One thing I noticed straightaway about the M.Zuiko 20mm F1.4 Pro is that it’s a snappy focuser. Even in low light on the OM-D E-M1 II, which has hybrid focusing, it gets most subjects sharp quickly. Switching to an old OM-D E-M10, which relies on contrast detection, sees it slow down and become less assured in low light, but in more average conditions, it’s fast.
Further good news is that the lens doesn’t struggle unduly when the subject is near to its 25cm closet focusing distance.
Videographers will also be pleased to learn that the M.Zuiko 20mm F1.4 Pro focuses silently and I was unable to see any focus breathing.
OM System M.Zuiko 20mm F1.4 Pro image quality
The M.Zuiko 20mm F1.4 Pro doesn’t let its Pro status down with regards to image quality as it shows a good level of sharpness even at maximum aperture and there’s only slight and very gradual fall off towards the corners. The sharpest results are produced at around f/5.6 while the poorest are at f/16 when the impact of diffraction becomes evident, but not excessively so. That said, I’d aim to make f/11 the smallest aperture I use whenever possible.
There’s a profile applied automatically to raw files when they’re opened in Adobe Camera Raw and that does a good job of dealing with vignetting and distortion so that straight lines appear straight and there’s just a suggestion of corner shading at the widest apertures.
When faced with a low sun that had a habit of finding its way into the image, you will see some flare but the M.Zuiko 20mm F1.4 Pro isn’t overly troubled by it.
Fringing also doesn’t appear to be a major issue but I experienced some green fringing around some out of focus branches in the background of a couple of shots I took on an overcast day, so it’s worth keeping your eyes open for it. Thankfully, it’s usually easily dealt with by the Defringe tool in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.
Out of focus areas are pleasantly rendered with attractive bokeh with highlights remaining circular into the corners.