Lens review

Panasonic G 20 mm f/1.7 ASPH.

Panasonic G 20 mm f/1.7 ASPH.
29 October 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2010-08-16 on Optyczne.pl

In my opinion the possibility of using small, mirrorless cameras with tiny „pancake” lenses is their biggest asset. It seems that the producers of this type of equipment at least partially share that opinion because every company which offers such cameras also has a “pancake” lens in its line-up. Olympus showed the M.Zuiko 17 mm f/2.8, Sony – the E 16 mm f/2.8 lens, Samsung – the NX 30 mm f/2.0 and finally Panasonic is represented by the LUMIX G 20 mm f/1.7 ASPH model.

Parameters-wise two last lenses pleased me the most. New mirrorless cameras feature sensors smaller than full frame and should make the most of this opportunity by designing good, fast but physically small lenses. F/2.8 pancakes are rather appropriate for full frame. We would like to see faster and still dwarfish instruments designed for smaller sensors. Panasonic adjusted to this trend perfectly, offering an almost standard “pancake” with f/1.7 aperture. Such parameters would be difficult to fault. On the one hand the amount of gathered light is almost the same as in the case of full frame 1.7/50 or 1.8/50 standards. On the other hand we deal here with a tiny lens – so tiny that full frame pancakes with similar angles of view, which can compete with it in dimensions must feature f/2.8 aperture. The Panasonic, at least theoretically, is their equal: being every bit as neat and small as them, offering a similar angle of view and the depth of field it gathers more light and has a chance of a better frame edge performance at the same time. Whether or not it remains true in reality you can find out reading the next chapters.

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The lens was provided for our tests by the Panasonic Poland company.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Panasonic G 20 mm f/1.7 ASPH. - Introduction

Panasonic G 20 mm f/1.7 ASPH. - Introduction