Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Panasonic Lens Prices

I have been wanting the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 since it was announced, but when I checked the price on it, I was turned off by the $500CAD price tag. Let's have a reality check here, shall we? We are talking about a normal lens here. One of the easiest and cheapest lens to make. The 20mm f1.7 is not even considered fast, but normal lens standards. Let's compare the prices of similar lenses from other manufacturers. All prices are quoted from Vistek the day this is writen:

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II ($140)
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 ($480)
Nikon AF 50mm f1.8 ($160)
Nikon AF-S 50mm f1.4 ($570)
Pentax FA 50mm f1.4 ($350)

All these lenses, with the exception of the Canon 50mmf 1.8 II, are pretty well made with metal lens mount.

Sorry Panasonic, but I think this is a bit rediculous.

The other lens that also interests me, is the 45mm f2.8 macro that has the Leica name printed on. Again, this lens is $1200CAD, almost the same price as the Canon EF 100mm f2.8L ($1250CAD). Both lenses are stabilized but he Canon version has hybrid IS that helps counter camera shake at macro distance. In terms of image quality, I highly doubt there is a large difference between the two lenses, and I am willing to take a gamble that the Canon 100mm f2.8L IS will outperform the Panasonic version slightly.

Nice try, Panasonic. It's great that you bring out primes for the micro 4/3 mount, but your lens pricing is out to lunch. I will pick the Canon 100mm f2.8L any time if the price is similar.

Well, I guess I will continue to mount manual focus lenses on my G1, and add auto focus lenses for the Canon.


  1. Having handled the 20, it's actually better built than the Canon or Nikon 50 (metal barrel) and arguably optically better as well. I don't find it to be overpriced at $500, the M.Zuiko 17 on the otherhand should be $150 not $350 as its build, optical quality and speed don't justify its price.

    The 45 is reasonable at US list ($900, well under the 100L) but not the extra third we Canadians have to pay.

  2. I still think that $500 is too much for a 40mm f1.7 lens.

  3. Well you know, it does AF and have some advantages such as being compact. Grief about the price I understand as its US$399 in the USA which is around 260 Euro yet the shops here ask 399Euro for it ... which is a bit more rude if you ask me ... As an Australian I'm sorta used to being shafted on prices for the AU$ conversion, but being in Europe at the moment it is clear something else is at work on the pricing structure.

    I'd be tempted to get the GF-1 kit with the 20mm (at 899euro) and thus get a GF-1 for 500 euro ... although its annoying that the G1 is 599euro with the 14-45mm which is more on parity with the cost in the USA (which is US$799)

    go figga

    but either way I'm guessing you think that US$399 is too much for the EF50f1.4 which is essentially only 1/2 a stop faster than f1.8 before you get on the "faster" bandwagon. I really don't think that is much faster

  4. It's interesting how they price the GF1. In Toronto, Canda, Henry's sells the GF1 with 20mm f1.7 Kit lens for $1100. They sell the body alone for $850. The difference is $250. Yet, the price of the kit lens is $500 by itself. 100% more. WTF?

  5. That's pretty typical for kit pricing. Note that those kit lenses which add $50-$100 to the price of a camera typically cost $250-300 on their own.

    Probably the best pricing comparison for the Panasonic 20 is the Voigtlander 40/2 Ultron, which is slower, similar sized, not AF and runs around $400-450.

  6. well its AU$1300 for the GF-1 in Australia ... so think yourself lucky over there in Canada ;-)