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Saturday, 07 August 2010


Thanks for the tip. BTW, I bought this lens on your recommendation, and I like it a lot. Here's a recent shot, marred a bit by a water bottle in the foreground, but it still shows what I like about the lens.

Ask Ed whether he uses a protective filter on his lens. I bet that you do not. The 20mm panny has a reputation for playing badly with non-professional quality filters.

Mike -

Thanks again for helping me out with this problem. My lens is packed up and ready to go back to Panasonic.

As an aside, I found myself returning to your photo of "sunlight on a dirty window" several times. It is haunting me a bit, but I don't know why - maybe something from my childhood. I know it was a quick shot for you, but I think the artist in you was on autopilot at the time. I really like that photo.

T.O.P. is the best.



Were these taken with or without the lens hood shown in your previous post on the 20mm?

Steve G,
With. But these shots would not bring the lens hood into play. Lens hoods are really to protect against acutely impinging light; with long lenses they are often able to be long enough to act as gobos against light sources outside the frame. Some lenses are remarkably susceptible to radically impinging light, so even a shallow hood can help, and never hurts. but hoods really don't help with the light source is in the picture and thus able to strike the surface of the lens directly.


Thanks for all your hard work Mike. And thanks to be passed on to Ctein for his postings.

I have this lens too and I have not noticed any flare. I will shoot a few pics to see if I get any.

There is a page or two on my wordpress thingy about the GF1. I will try the Voightlander viewfinder too!

Tim -

I was not using a lens filter. There just seems to be something wrong with my lens or its coating.

I have ordered a lens hood from ebay, but I agree with Mike that it shouldn't make much difference in these situations.


I'm a bit puzzled here, Mike. If what you suggest is true -- some samples of the 20mm lens are more flare-prone than others -- how do you explain the fact that we came to different conclusions about the same lens used on the same GF1 body (mine being the sample you originally reviewed way back when)?

Mind you, I'm otherwise very happy with the performance of the lens and even the small hood I use helps enough to make this "problem" a non-issue most of the time.

Since lens hoods for the Panasonic 20 seem to be something that people want I suggest the lens hood supplied for the Voigtländer 40mm f2 SL lens would be ideal for this lens. It is a very compact. I have requested a stepping ring so I can try it but just holding it in place suggests it does not vignette. I am not sure Voigtländer sells this hood separately though.

I apologize, I don't recall the specifics of our discussion about this. Although I do try to pay attention when they're transpiring, in time the thousands of such conversations I've had tend to blur together!

There is certainly room for variance of opinion, though, with something as unpredictable and hard to quantify as flare. Every situation is in a sense unique.


I use a B+H protective filter on my 20mm and no big issues with flare so far. But it happens, as with all lenses under the circumstances Mike's just described. A couple of weeks ago I got a big ghost full moon when shooting the moonrise over the sea, the moon's brightness was extraordinary that night. But I can account for maybe 4 or 5 cases of flare and 10-12 of glare in more than 3000 pics so far (mostly outdoors in sunny Spain), so I suppose it's not a bad score after all. And without hood.

And that's the filter that caused that. Was the ghost of the moon just opposite the real moon relative to the optical axis (i.e., center of the picture)?


I tried taking the identical pictures of the 27 watt florescent bulb, and did not find any flare when the bulb was centered in the frame, however even small changes in angle produced some flare. I also took test shots at F2.8, shooting directly into the sun, and found similar results as on Mike's samples. It seems like this lens flares when there is a lot of sideways light. I often notice some veiling glare when shooting outside in daylight, so now I am going to use it with a lens hood and stopped down a little and see if that makes any difference. - Thanks!

Being an "old fart in training" myself, Mike, I certainly do understand about your not remembering the sum and substance of every email conversation you've ever had. Besides, for whatever reasons, you've come around to my way of thinking and are using a lenshood on your 20mm, so no apology is necessary! ;-)

Here is a link to a "glare test".
GF1 with Lumix 20mm:

Mike, I'd suggest you not make a habit of shooting directly into the sun. I'm not an engineer but according to what I've read, it could burn out your sensor.

Sometimes the filtre you're using could be the culprit. I only use original Panasonic filters or Nikon depending on the brand. I had the flare problem on my Lumix 20mm when I purchased a cheap filter ND.

My experience says, that for most of the prime lenses at least the lens prone to flare is the dirty lens.
I have and use much Zuiko 100mm f/2.8 lens (for OM sys). It doesn't have multi-coating which was used by olympus only for bright wide-angles at a time. And even this lens is not prone to flare. But it is a clean lens.

Perhaps Ed can show us some of the problematic photos he has?

This site has some interesting effects related to flare and filter flare.


Mike: This is too late to expect anyone to read, but the EP2/Panasonic 20mm combination is my favorite camera experience of all time. I want to thank you for the many posts some time ago on the GF1/EP2 and their respective lenses. The shooting experience, for me, is just so much better using this smaller camera. I had a D200, but our home was burglarized and they got it and tons of other stuff. Insurance to the rescue, I was able to get my beloved Oly and 3 lenses, and I'm so happy with it as an intermediate amateur. The Pani 20 is just so beautiful and easy to work with. Anyway, thanks again for mentioning these cameras every once in awhile.

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