About That 20mm Lens…

I’ve had the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 lens for almost 11 months and I shot 1520 photos out of 5298 with it, so a bit less than 29%.

It’s quite a lot of images – almost 140 per month – and all of them are street photos.

And yet, I don’t really like it. I don’t dislike it either, but I haven’t fallen in love with it, despite trying really hard.

To put things in perspective, it’s a 40mm full-frame equivalent.

It has its quirks, like the slow focus that becomes almost unusable in low light. But that’s not the problem. I love quirky lenses if they have character.

And that is exactly the issue with this focal length: it does not have character. It’s neither long nor short, almost like a Swiss Army Knife. It does a lot of things, but it’s not great at any of them. Don’t get me wrong: I love Swiss Army Knives: I have quite a few of them! They’re so nice and useful.

But… I want more for my photography. I greatly prefer my 25mm and even my 14mm. They have purpose and they force me to work harder for compositions, sometimes missing shots.

You see, the 20mm is too easy. It gets a lot in the frame, but you can crop later. It’s tight enough to exclude things, if you want. It sort of works for everything, but that is its greatest weakness, in my opinion.