We have been churning out tons of lens reviews on Tools & Toys recently, and the latest review of the famous Panasonic 20mm pancake lens is one of the best yet.
I had this lens for a little while and share 99% of Álvaro’s thoughts regarding the lens’ qualities. I, however, never experienced high-ISO banding and I wonder if this is largely dependent upon the specific model. Regardless, this caveat definitely is not present amongst all Panasonic 20mm’s, so as Álvaro says, try before you buy.
I’ve felt since day one that the Panasonic 20mm pancake was the best starter lens for Micro 4/3 shooters. For the most part, I still maintain this position. However, if the Panasonic Leica Summilux 15mm was $150 cheaper, I’d say the 15mm would be the best starter lens for new shooters. The slightly wider focal length and substantially improved build quality make the 15mm an absolute gem — my favourite lens to date, to be honest. At $600 USD though, I’m not sure the value is outweighed by the amazingly inexpensive $300 Panasonic 20mm.
Seriously, at $300, this Panasonic 20mm pancake is an absolute steal.