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Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 II lens officially announced!


Black lens at Amazon (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Adorama (Click here).
Silver lens at Amazon (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Adorama (Click here).

In short:
The new 20mm II version has a new metal finish replaces the original 20mm lenses resin body, and combines with a durable metal mount for a sophisticated premium feel.
Optically the new The LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II lens offers the same great performance as the previous model with two aspherical lenses and a multi-coated lens surface for reduced ghosts and flaring

Press text:
Panasonic is pleased to announce the addition of a new single focal length lens, the LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH (H-H020A) featuring a new metallic profile in the Micro Four Thirds standard. It boasts dramatic compactness and light weight despite its F1.7 aperture that enables beautiful soft focus in the background, allowing the subject to stand out impressively.
Comprised of seven lenses in five groups, the new system uses two aspherical lenses to minimize both distortion and chromatic aberration, achieving incredibly high resolution corner to corner. The versatile 20mm focal distance (equivalent to 40mm on a 35 mm film camera) is suitable for wide variety of photography including scenery such as sunsets and dimly lit indoor shots taking advantage of its beautiful soft focus. It supports the Contrast AF system for high precision auto focusing.
Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in unsharp areas when shooting at large aperture settings. The new LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH. lens also features a highly reliable metal mount, and uses multi-coated lens element.

Images (Click on it to see a large size version):

Press Text:
Dpreview, ThePhoBlographer, Panasonic Japan, Photoscala,

  • Geared

    No mentioning of improved AF… Panasonic finally starts to learn from Olypus, in a bad way.

    • Geared

      but hell,if the street price is same as the Mk I, I will probably get one because it looks good and has Muli-coated surface.

      • GGGG

        if the street price of mkII drop to mkI, then mkI will drop even lower. i’ll get the mkI since they r the same. just some minor facelift which i can overlook for the $

      • Pharque Moi

        I love love love my 20/1.7 I.

      • I contacted Panasonic about this new version and they told me that optically noting’s changed. However, a test on ephotozine shows slightly different results from the new version. Images look more contrasty. I find it hard to believe it’s sample variation or a change in light conditions. The new version really does seem different. As sharp as ever, but with better contrast.

        • +1 The new version has better contrast then the old one. I had a copy of the first version and now I have the new one. There’s a difference. I’m not sure why Panasonic denies it.

    • Phred

      I want to believe that this lens has improved AF. Otherwise, w hy rerelease it?

      • Phred

        Hmmmm…sadly..from what I have read on the web..I am dreaming…the AF performance will be the same, (I bet the banding is still there on the Oly cameras, too.)

        • The banding is the on the GH3 too. It’s even mentioned in the manual.

  • Ryan

    Looks like a winner. Doesnt mention it, but im sure the AF situation has been improved upon. I can imagine they would use the same AF motor. Even if it was just silent and the same speed that would be an improvement.

  • Paul Latouche

    Seems like they mostly tried to improve the lens looks and its image quality, both of which were non issues on MK1.
    Did they know that slow AF was priority #1 here?

    I guess banding on OM-D and GH3 will be solved anyway. I didn’t expect to read it in the press release. We’ll find out latter.

    • rrr_hhh

      If the AF was improved they would certainly claim it in the press release ! So I don’t expect it.
      But it looks good, better than the MK1.
      If they added coating, it may take care of the atrocious purple fringing affecting the Sony sensors :-)

      • digifan

        True, to me it’s the same lens just a different look.
        No mention of faster AF or inner focussing.
        If I look very close it seems the front element is designed to move the same as the mkI.
        So if you don’t mind the old looks you’re better off with the mkI because it’s cheaper.

  • hector

    It would have been nice if panasonic had added distance marks for manual focus…
    Is that so hard? Because most of todays lenses (but oly 12&17) do not have them, and i find it pretty useful…

    • Uberzone

      How exactly would that be accomplished with focus rings that spin infinitely in both directions? They are all focus by wire.

      • Well, like Olympus achieved it :)

      • Anonymous

        The Oly 12 & 17 do not spin infinitely once you engage the manual clutch.

      • JF

        by indicating focus distance in EVF or screen !! that would be great, sometimes for landscape (night shot with stars for example), AF doesn’t work and I would like to be able to set focus point at a known distance for hyperfocal but I can’t…

        • Mr. Reeee

          Low light, night shooting and instances where zone focus is effective are where you leave the AF lenses at home and switch to manual focus lenses.

          The 20mm is a very nice little lens, but there are certain instances where it’s less than ideal. The amount of time it takes hunting for focus can be irritating at best, even in broad daylight!

    • Pete

      used it often with the FT 14-54

  • WSG123

    The same great performance, as in exactly the same?

    I love that lens, but it’s too bad if they didn’t tweak the AF in a revision, it’s the one thing about it that needed improvement.

  • AhYap

    Just cosmetic upgrade like the Sigma DN?!

    Can this thing AFC?!?!

    • uiti


    • GGGG

      almost like sigma..but sprinkle some marketing powder on top it will be a worthy upgrade! I need it now..looks! it’s black & silver! oh wow!

  • Yun

    Interesting lens .
    Metal furnishing , hopefully Pana will did the same for my 42.5 lens too .

  • Brandon

    Some of you guys are too quick to judge. I’m sorry, but if seriously don’t think that they upgraded the autofocus on this then you really need your sanity checked out.

    • Paul Latouche

      OK, so where exactly did you see that in the press report?
      Only thing about AF is: “It supports the Contrast AF system for high precision auto focusing.” I’d say that MK1 would fit this requirement too.
      I think that if they did improve AF, they would have at least mentioned it.
      I would be glad to be wrong.

      • true homer

        best oly site out there people! dont try to reason!

    • Ryan

      If they didnt, then they need their sanity checked!

      • Anonymous

        Surely AF speed requires improvement. This was what held me back and I went for 12mm oly instead..

    • From (excerpts by DElliott on DPR thread):

      • AFC does not work for still image recording.

      • The LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH. utilizes a lens drive system to realize a compact and bright F1.7 lens. As a result, sound and vibration may occur during focus operation, but this is not a malfunction.

      • Operating sounds will be recorded when auto focus is performed during motion image recording. It is recommended to record with Continuous AF set to OFF, if the sound of operation bothers you. Also, it is not possible to set the focus mode to AFC.

      That is literally copy-paste from description of the 20mm mk1. Compare yourself:

  • Hmm, I don’t seem to have the same complaints about AF that a lot of people are sharing. Granted, I do manual focus a lot and I only really AF for snapshots so maybe that’s why I haven’t noticed issues.

    • rrr_hhh

      I have no complaint either.. I think that if you are using the center point and adopt the Focus and reframe technique there are no problem. However if it begins to hunt, just stop it and try it again, don’t let it hunt, try another pont of focus at the same distance.

  • Sqweezy

    If auto focus mechanism has been improved, wouldn’t it be mentioned in the press release? I’m sorry to say that this is all but a minor cosmetic upgrade, with no substantial changes to its performance. Shame.

    • bousozoku

      They might not want to admit to there being a problem with the older lens.

      • Mr. Reeee

        EXACTLY! Slow focus… on SOME cameras… is NOT something that would ever be mentioned. I don’t seem to remember focus speed mentioned in the specs in regard to lenses too often. Panasonic seems pretty good when updating lenses. I’d assume they’d be using a more up-to-date motor (faster) on the new 20mm.

        On my GH2 the 20mm is plenty fast to focus, but oddly on my GX1, it’s a bit (but noticeably) slower and hunts more, too.

    • @Squeezy and @Paul Latouche
      One of Panasonic’s biggest weaknesses is that they don’t shout loud enough about their strengths, advantages or improvements in all likelihood the autofocus has been improved…just wait for the tests and reviews.

      • true homer

        why shout it out? the empty can rattles the most id say

        • Anonymous

          Like you…..

          • true homer

            Hahahahaha…oooo you fanboys…not one intelligent thing to reply

  • Rom

    Don’t you guys think they need to update the lens cuz of the serious banding (faulty i would say) with some of the newer m4/3 bodies?

    And of course why on earth would they say that in the press release?

    • Yan

      of coz they need to upgrade the bending issue..but not enough, they need to do more for us to wait so long like weather seal etc.

  • kawai

    I am happy if they would just fix the banding issue. I am returning MKI because of the awful banding issue with EPL5

  • David B

    someone somewhere sure has a pre-production copy of one, right? The million dollar question is if they fixed the AF to bring it in line with all the other lenses (14/2.5 is fast and silent AF). I was about to pre-order, but I won’t until I have this question answered. If yes, I will pre-order immediately.

    • tomas

      strange is that my 14mm 2.5 is noisy when doing video …I can hear it on the record

      but I do video ocasianaly …so no issue myself…just to point out as looks this is like an refernece for quietness

  • Rob

    I don’t particularly need it as I’m happy with my 25mm f1.4 but it’s nice to see the legend get updated. Shame it’s all the bits that never had complaints though! You have to wonder if they really do listen sometime.

    Just one simple sentence ‘Improved auto-focus.’ would help sell a lot more straight away.

    • ong

      They have been resting on their laurels for along time many years since m43 system have been introduce?

  • Suck it up – no internal focusing, no AF improvement, no IQ improvement.
    Essentially same lens repacked in slightly better housing.

    • true homer

      hahahahahahhahaha! when the tests prove you wrong im sure youll come up with a brand new set of bullsht, ooooh you fanboys and this place…priceless

      • MFT charts are identical. The (mis)feature list is identical. Compare yourself:



        But man, I wish to be proven wrong…

        • Mr. Reeee

          Spec sheets that say absolutely ZERO about focus and banding issues. Certainly they wouldn’t mention such shortcomings (for a small subset of users) in a candy-coated press release. No company would.

          Hopefully both have been addressed, if for no other reason than to halt all the wailing and gnashing of teeth. ;-)

          • There is still some hope for banding issues, but for AF – I don’t think they would miss a chance to say how great AF became even more faster. And when I say great Af it’s not sarcasm – it was really fast in comparison to first iteration of Olympus zooms.

            To “fanboy” comment – I assure you, there will be numerous tests from users who will claim directly opposite results in IQ and AF. But from what read in release, I’ll keep my Mk I.

      • ColinH

        Not sure how anything he said could class him as a fan boy, quite the opposite in fact!

        • true homer

          There isnt? The man stated facts about a lens that hasnt been released and THAT NOBODY HAS TESTED. If that doesnt qualify I dont know what does.

  • Jankoff

    Good news, price probably good, focus should have been improved. I only wonder for someone with 25mm f1.4 whether this one would bring practical benefits? I can compare 40 and 50 mm with the 12-60 but only for focus distance. I feel tempted to have a slightly wider lens with high IQ to replace the 25mm according to situation and need. The Oly 17mm does not meet this desire – for being expensive and less fast at the same time.

  • Anonymous

    This should answer everyone’s AF question.
    Under features it says no AFC yadayadayada.

    • digifan

      So it’s official not improved just different look!
      Same focus motor they say in the specs.
      Ouch, not good!

  • adaptor-or-die

    I hope future reviews make the following wrong, but this is simply a rebranding upgrade. Close to what Sigma did, putting their optics in metal jackets vs plastic. That isn’t bad, but all the talk of AF improving, frankly anything to due with a change of the optics setup, isn’t going to happen, if it does they will play it to crowd, loud and clear. (I think lens coating changes are noted.) The old lens was a bestseller. They’ve repacked it to sell even better, but it’s pretty much the same lens it was. I hope the price doesn’t go up, I like that Sigma kept theirs the same, and Panasonic notes that fact.

    • Cheetos

      I do not want to admit it, but I think you are right. Just a rebranding of the same lens with no improvement. =/

      • It’s not a rebranding, it’s a remake. It’s still the same brand.

  • Henoly

    Its still the same old noisy & slow AF, folks!

    • AFC does not work for still image recording.
    • The LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH. utilizes a lens drive system to realize a compact and bright F1.7 lens. As a result, sound and vibration may occur during focus operation, but this is not a malfunction.
    • Operating sounds will be recorded when auto focus is performed during motion image recording. It is recommended to record with Continuous AF set to OFF, if the sound of operation bothers you. Also, it is not possible to set the focus mode to AFC.

    • Gurdygurds

      I for one am a huge fan of the slow and noisy autofocus. Honestly it aint that slow and it really isnt that noisy. The first version of this lens is wonderful. This new version also seems wonderful. It’s a great lens for everything, portraits and all. If you don’t like these lenses you are a bad person. If you don’t like these lenses then I feel sorry for your mother. Hurray for camera lenses.

    • AhYap

      I just cried. So we need to wait another 5 years for Mark III to see an AF improvement to the legend lens?

  • Narretz

    Holy Shit Panasonic, just when I thought your offers were generally more consistent and sensible, here comes a completely useless lens design upgrade. Doesn’t bode well for the GX7, honestly. All of a sudden, it doesn’t sound too far fetched that it will have the GH2 sensor …


      Because of this lens??


      Oh, I keep forgetting, this is 43 Rumors… “Sense” gets thrown out the window here…

  • fantastic news … hope it hits the stores in a reasonable time and also hope they start offering GF6 and GX7 kits with this lens to make it an even better deal.

    no mention of a change to the AF? But if it really is lighter weight then maybe removing physical gears and replacing with rubber bands/belts like other silent lenses is an indicator of a silent and faster AF?

    great news (but not so good for my planned conincidental eBay sell of the old model)

    • Gurdygurds

      Dcap good to see you are still supporting 40mm. I used to check in on you via Flickr when you shot the voigtlander ultron 40mm.

      • ahhhh, them were the days … my first decent pancake!

  • zeus

    All that long wall of press release mambo jumbo..all I get is 13g lighter, black n silver. maybe nicer design no mention of faster AF which current 20mm is decent.
    ok i’m keeping my old 20mm.

  • S.A.Y

    wat the hell…no weather seal..

  • What is surprising is that the 14/2.5 has lightning quick internal AF, and the Sigma 19mm too. Having both I can relax on mount Olympus while Panny mortals tear at each other in manic depressive fits :)

    “Why, oh, why?” LOL

    • Does straw men grows on mount olympus?

  • Mundstrøm

    Hell, I’m just happy to see they are continuing this lens. If my current one got a scratch and I couldn’t replace it, I dunno what I’d do. That lens is ALWAYS in my kit-bag. I think I use it over 75% of the time, only switching to my 3 zooms or my fish-eye if the occasion really really needs it.

  • nobody

    My opinion:

    They just reduced the production costs of the lens, hopefully without loosing performance.

    Marketing put a little design change on it and some people will sell the old one for a new one.

    The only quality improvement might be that there are no more banding effects.


    >> The 20mm F1.7 II will be available from 29th July at an RRP of £349 (US pricing and availability has not been confirmed).

    WEX has the old one at £269 … so unless they boot them all out on a clearance deal between now and 29-Jul then this new version had better offer something more than just metal to attract that £80 premium. Of course, street price isn’t always RRP – so time will tell.

  • … I think the best part of this launch news is that it is no longer a lilac lens! :)

  • CR7

    this is good news for me actually..I’ve been using gf1+20mm for 4yrs+ and bought gx1 2 yrs back….after seeing the so call “update” am happy that I’m still have pretty similar specs n images quality equipment. shows they have been stagnated for yrs, recycling rebranding recoating watever..all same same but diff diff..i’ll wait for another 2 yrs for the weatherseal.

  • Thom

    nice preview of what the gx7 finish will look like no doubt

  • “motor type: micromotor”
    … is that the same as the original?

  • Jørgen

    No one has had it in their hand, still a lot already seem to know what it will and will not do. Just wait and see.

    • wong

      who gives a turd wat it can do. 1 thing for sure it doesn’t have weatherseal.

      • true homer

        Agreed, a weather sealed f6.3 pos is way better than a non weather sealed f1.7 prime! What are they thinking?!

        • true homer

          Wait wait
          No weather seal no buy!

          • U&7

            Of coz i’ll buy a f6.3 weatherseal len!

  • minaccia

    well, the Mk1 I have is not lightning fast but fast enough for me, it never bothered me. My favourite lens with the 75mm

  • beautemps

    Looks like the GX7 will have a sony sensor and they tried to limit the banding issues?! A new cosmetic desing + better coating.

  • awaler

    • The LUMIX G 20mm / F1.7 II ASPH. utilizes a lens drive system to realize a compact and bright F1.7 lens. As a result, sound and vibration may occur during focus operation, but this is not a malfunction.
    • Operating sounds will be recorded when auto focus is performed during motion image recording. It is recommended to record with Continuous AF set to OFF, if the sound of operation bothers you.

    A disappointment!
    Even if there should be a slight improvement of AF over thr predecessor.

    The positive side of this is, I can keep the old lens and use the money for sth. else.

  • froggy

    Seems to be the same slow and noisy AF… too bad :(
    This is a very good lens but some improvements would have been great :
    – faster AF
    – silent AF
    – better bokeh
    – no thread on the moving front part of the lens
    – weather sealed
    – no banding with Olympus OM-D and E-PL5 (is it still the case with last firmware of theses cameras ?)

    Of course i think it is not possible to get all theses improvements in a so compact f1.7 lens. But if they only did a cosmetic evolution and miss to improve some of theses points, i think Panasonic failed here. In this case, they won’t get my money !

  • its_obvious_isnt_it_?

    Isn’t it obvious to all of you? Panasonic changed the housing of this lens from plastic to metal just to prevent the banding issues. The metal shields the imaging sensor from the waves of the micro motor. They even explicitely mention the “highly reliable metal mount”, so it seems they have “improved” upon that too. When you are able to read between the lines, then you will realize why this update is focussed on the changed housing. Exterior changed => banding issues solved. Yes, there will be some people who do not even know what banding is and still want to replace their old version with the new one, just because it’s “new”. Let them go do it. My advice: Don’t bother about equipment too much, instead have fun shooting pictures. :-)

    • Exactly

      Don’t like it, Don’t buy it.

      I for one will be picking one up. Two 20’s with my 25..

  • em7

    The new fuji 27mm 450$ is better imho it is designed for full frame too and you can throw out this one when pana oly switching to a bigger sensor…

    • comon


    • true homer

      No and no, the fuji x mount does NOT cover a full frame sensor and also, how is a f2.8 lens comparable to a f1.7 lens? I also doubt tye fuji is near as sharp. Or are you ine of those people that think theres nothing wrong with the x trans raw files?

      • lone

        yea it doesn’t support FF. only APSC. 27mm test shots are out it’s sharp. nothing wrong with the raw file is all supported by LR, aperture etc..

      • em7

        Don’t be so sure! Fuji marked their lenses clearly! XF as fullframe XC as apsc or cropped! Are you living in a cave? Even the shitty adobe support x trans…

        • true homer

          Xf are their upscale versions with aperture rings xc are economic. It has been proven quite often that the x mount does not cover full frame. Google it. On the computer in the cave I live in the x trans files look like sht. Oversharpened cartoons on c1, softer than 12mp oly on lr and a mixture of both on aperture. It has also been proven to death. Goolge it.

  • Ivo

    Poll would you buy this lens

  • Andy

    It sounds as if the anti reflection coatings have been improved (although they didn’t actually say if the coatings are different from the old model or not) Hopefully this will improve the contrast.

  • Gearhead

    If you compare the lens construction against the old one (, nothing changed as far as eye can see.

    When focusing, the entire lens assembly moves in and out as one unit, therefore requiring powerful motor. So you can forget about fast auto-focusing.

    That reminds me of those 50mm lens from 35mm SLRs. Great optics, but focusing is terribly slow, because of the design where the entire lens group moves as one.

    On the other hand, the 14mm lens doesn’t change shape when focusing, implying only a limited lens is moving therefore achieving high-speed auto-focusing.

  • OMega

    It is worth noting that the earlier rumor stated a metal body and mount, however reading the header for this thread please note, Quote “has a new metal finish replaces the original 20mm lenses resin body, and combines with a durable metal mount” and from the press statement “featuring a new metallic profile”, now I do not read that as a metal body. Can someone please confirm what is correct.

  • OMega

    A lot is being said about the Fuji and I don’t wish to criticise them but their track record in the digital world has hardly been the best, let’s hope with their current range of mirror less models they will achieve longevity.

  • OK, AF is the same. Now to, flush the disappointment, admin, throw at us some more (good!) GX7 rumors!! Don’t care if even FT0 :D

    P.S. If GX7 would turn out to be a dud too (e.g. GX1 mk2) then probably I should really try my luck with the Fuji. After all, the X-M1 + XF27 is really pretty compact, very similar in size to GX1+20mm:,183.30,ha,t

    And Fuji X also has f/2.8-4.0 standard zoom (sadly starting only with 28mm eq).

  • I like both new and old versions (metal barrel has a grand total of 0 importance to me) and I already own the old one. So, where is the problem? :D

    • OMega

      Press text states Metallic not metal, I’m concerned about that comment.

  • Neonart

    I’ve owned the original 20 f1.7, and currently have the PL 25/1.4 and Oly 17/1.8. At first I was interested in this IF there were improvements in AF. If not at $399 for the new 1.7 the Oly 17/1.8 for $499 (or $449 like I bought it) is simply a better lens.

    There are people who get all wound up about how the 17/1.8 is not as sharp, but the rendering, the OOF backgrounds, the construction, the MF ring, the AF speed, etc. all make the 17 a better lens even if it’s not as sharp.

    The 25/1.4 is a special lens (especially for the price). Just fantastic IQ.

    So where exactly is this lens going to fit at $399 without AF improvements, which were its biggest complains?

    • Anonymous

      This is what I did. I upgraded my 20 to the PL25 several month ago. All I can say: if size and price do not matter, the PL25 is better is every way.
      And much more comfortable for manual focussing during video, if this is a requirement.

  • squeeler

    Mweah. mweah, mweah.
    What a POS, this is a no news item.
    Only fashionistas are happy it has the new modern look of the current lenses 12-35, 35-100, 14-42 Mk3/4 or 5 (I lost count) and the coming 42,5 lenses.

  • Picterwow

    I am disappointed that the lens hasn’t improved the af, but I am not as negative as most people here. Although not perfect, the 20 mm f1.7 was and still is an amazing lens and I do like the cosmetic and material upgrade. I guess the AF upgrade isn’t as easy as most people think.

  • f/0.00020

    For the Daewoo elite only.

  • Same… SIGH

    Just found the press release from the JP Panasonic Site.

    According to the site, there will be no bloody changes at all to the optical and image quality.

    ※ It is the only change of the exterior design from previous models (H-H020), the performance of the optical design does not change.

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