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Thread: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

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    Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    It seems to me that the Oly-D 17/2.8 is really faster in AFS mode on a G1 than the 20/1.7 from Pana.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Does it really matter? they're both pretty slow really... I find shutter lag and shot-to-shot blackout more troublesome.

    Luminous Landscape mentioned shutter lag on the Canon S90 being virtually nil... why can't Olympus/Panasonic do better I wonder?

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Aren't we better off with manual focus prime lenses?

    I know, I am.

    The total delay in a making a snap by eliminating AF hunt and the aperture to be set by the camera is really useful.

    I am really surprised that Olympus appears to focus faster. There are other niceties that I like about the Oly-D's lens design. They could have easily left it at f/2 (or even a bit faster) but for the restricted aperture discs they put in that lens, for example.

    I would very much look forward to more prime lenses from Olympus. They still have their optics expertise.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Does it really matter? they're both pretty slow really... I find shutter lag and shot-to-shot blackout more troublesome.

    Luminous Landscape mentioned shutter lag on the Canon S90 being virtually nil... why can't Olympus/Panasonic do better I wonder?

    Cheers

    Brian
    Brian, you find the MFT cameras to have noticeable shutter lag? I have a Canon S90 sitting right next to my GH1 and G1. Can't recall the last time I was bothered by shutter lag with any of them!

    The 20/1.7 AF seems faster to me, but maybe that just my perception because it gets there in one (slowish) movement, whereas the 17/2.8 gets there after a few (quick) movements.

    I like and use both the Zuiko 17 and Lumix 20. AF speed isn't a major determinant as to which gets used on a given day.
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Does it really matter? they're both pretty slow really... I find shutter lag and shot-to-shot blackout more troublesome.

    Luminous Landscape mentioned shutter lag on the Canon S90 being virtually nil... why can't Olympus/Panasonic do better I wonder?
    they can ... disable focus priority or use manual focus. The thing you call shutter lag is the camera trying to assist you to not have out of focus images. Back when we all only had manual focus cameras we could all take blurry pictures in an instant

    I remember my first AF camera (EOS 630) at a conference photographing gig back in 1990 ... I was really annoyed by the AF and the fact that the camera would not release shutter while focusing in some modes. It was worse that despite prefocusing (decades of manual focus earlier) I had to have my focus point on something with contrast (not a cheek) or the camera would go hunting for focus and my decisive moment was lost.

    USM lenses (and still using manual focus) solved my problems, and the KIT 14-45 focuses as fast as my 28-105 USM did.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Does it really matter? they're both pretty slow really... I find shutter lag and shot-to-shot blackout more troublesome.

    Luminous Landscape mentioned shutter lag on the Canon S90 being virtually nil... why can't Olympus/Panasonic do better I wonder?

    Cheers

    Brian

    I am not interested in the shutter lag of S90 or any cameras. Please start a separate thread if that is a major concern for you.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    There are a few things going on but it also just dawned on me that you don't have the latest firmware which speeded up the AF on the G1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    It seems to me that the Oly-D 17/2.8 is really faster in AFS mode on a G1 than the 20/1.7 from Pana.
    That is possible as the Panny lens is not internal focus and it doesn't have a very light focusing element (unlike their other m4/3 lenses - per various lens reviews). So, in this case there is a lot more glass to move for the 1.7 vs. 2.8 lens.

    Once you put the 14-140 lens on the camera it is shockingly fast to focus (done by the time you get to the half press). In that case it is both the focus motor and elements as well as a really good algorithm. I say that about the motor because the 14-140 significantly speeds up the Oly performance and then the difference between the Oly and the Panny can be chalked up to better algorithms. I made videos of both cameras with that lens but the videos were all done before the release of the 20mm lens.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Checked in on G1s with V1.2 and V1.4.

    Pana 20/1.7 still appears (noticeably) slower than the Oly-D 17/2.8 though less noisier (which does not concern still images with no sound).

    I would like to keep the topic to the thread title- if that is possible- I am not overtly concerned about the focusing speeds of the zooms.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    I wasn't trying nor did I change the topic. I used the zoom experience to break down the focus into the two component elements to illustrate what makes them faster or slower.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    I know. It is a lot easier for most manufacturers to keep churning out zooms.

    Given the idea of small size and compactness of the m4/3rds (besides other advantages), prime lenses are very essential.

    With only two primes that are totally compatible (and more zooms in the offing), it would be beneficial (or at the very least, of interest) for everyone concerned with the m4/3rds.

    There are some intriguing optical differences (some connected to the focus speeds while others only the image rendition) about the Oly-D and the Pana 20/1.7. I will try to start a discussion on that later, separately.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    It seems to me that the Oly-D 17/2.8 is really faster in AFS mode on a G1 than the 20/1.7 from Pana.
    I JUST got the 20mm, so I don't have a lot of experience. My initial impression is that it focuses quicker than the 17mm. OTOH, I also have the impression that the 17mm focuses WORSE since I upgraded all of my firmware recently (it hunts a lot more, especially in lower light). These are impressions only, of course. No test data.

    Neither lens is particularly fast to focus IMO.
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I know. It is a lot easier for most manufacturers to keep churning out zooms.

    Given the idea of small size and compactness of the m4/3rds (besides other advantages), prime lenses are very essential.
    I wonder if this is related to the ability to use:

    * inner focus
    * USM ring style motors where the lens elements are rotated much faster.

    My ring motor USM canon lenses (primes) were startlingly faster to AF than the micro motor ones (USM or AFD)


    is there some patent on this which prevents Oly / Pana from making primes like this?

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Pellicle, Your earlier post on the focus hunt is on the money.

    However, there are no differences between the Oly-D 17/2.8 and the Pana 20/1.7- in that both are unit focusing optics. No IF and such.

    Major difference (physical) is the weight.

    Oly-D 17/2.8 = 71g

    Pana 20/1.7 = 100g

    The metal mount itself is ~>30g!

    This would imply that Olympus have managed to keep the weight of the glass elements to the minimum by making them very thin. This is commendable.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    Quote Originally Posted by JBurnett View Post
    My initial impression is that it focuses quicker than the 17mm. OTOH, I also have the impression that the 17mm focuses WORSE since I upgraded all of my firmware recently (it hunts a lot more, especially in lower light).

    John,

    I will check that (I have 2 G1s with different firmwares). I think you may be correct though. Interesting.
    Last edited by Vivek; 15th November 2009 at 07:46.

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    Re: Focus speeds Oly-D 17/2.8 vs Pana 20/1.7

    for what it is worth my experience with EOS and focus hunting was that:

    * ring USM motors hardly ever did this (my 200 f2.8 snapped onto a plain white T-Shirt so fast that I thought it was pre-focused there when I was trying to see how fast the USM was after first buying it)
    * geared solutions were slower and hunted more, Canon literature suggested this was because they did not stop as fast when cycling through focal attempts
    * my sigma 75-300 apo while having nice optics was my king of hunt! it was so dreadful I barely ever put it onto AF

    so maybe this has something to do with the issues with the two lenses in question?

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