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17mm pancake, reacquainted

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Luckypenguin, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. The M Zuiko 17mm f2.8 was the first native m4/3 lens I had used on my E-P1 late last year and remained in fairly regular use until I got hold of a couple of zooms that covered the wide-angle range. Being so small it literally got pushed to the side and forgotten about for a while, until a thread over at seriouscompacts prompted me to take it out for a run. The 17/2.8 has copped a lot of flak both here and elsewhere; some perhaps justified, some perhaps not. My biggest gripe about it is the in-out autofocus that feels a bit crude alongside the latest lenses. Reviews of this lens will reveal that it isn't the best if shooting test charts is your thing, but there is something about it that numbers can't quantity. I don't know quite how to describe it, I just know that I like it.

    While perhaps not the greatest test of optics, this image below helped me to decide that this lens deserves much more than sitting unused and unloved on a shelf somewhere.





    ANZAC War Memorial: E-PL1 + 17mm f2.8
     
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  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    35mm is a classic photojournalist lens. nice silhouette! :biggrin:
     
  3. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Aug 27, 2011
    Miami
    This is an excellent image, very well done.
     
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  4. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I got my 17 iny ep3 kit and I love it. I've also got the 20/1.7 & 45/1.8. I think I use them all equally. I really wish there was a 17/1.4 styled like the 12/2.
     
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  5. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    520
    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    look, I've said similar before, but it bears repeating-- I primarily got the 17/2.8 instead of the 20/1.7 because I could actually AFFORD it. I think it gives gorgeous results and it is really the "just right" FOV for many things I shoot. I use it MUCH more than the kit or the 40-150. For faster lens right now I have a Yashinon 50/1.4 that I really like the character of, and a bunch of other legacy lenses which have their own quirks and characters, rather than perfection, which IMHO makes them interesting.

    But back to the 17... I think it is too often just compared to the 20, which is for sure faster and performs better if you are a pixel peeper at least, but people too easily diss what is actually an excellent lens.

    I am tired of test charts and pixel peeping. Most of the pics I actually LIKE are not because they are perfect or super-extra-sharp and the highest definition (though, again, I think the 17 is not bad in those areas, just overshadowed by big-sister 20).

    Don't forget the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, which used to play all manner of music in a technically perfect, and soul-less way.

    Sure, I wish I could grab a Cosina-Voigtlaender 0.95/25, but I can't right now. Meanwhile, the Oly 17/2.8 is still a very good lens, very compact, and available for a decent price since it is overshadowed by a favourite. Very good VFM (value for money as we say in the F&B industry)
     
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  6. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I've taken to leaving on my 17mm just to give my E-P1 that old Trip 35 compact shooter feel. I actually really enjoy the field of view and the image quality is just good enough for me (ie as in most things I'm the limitation and not the camera).

    Having said that, I tend to use the 20mm almost exclusively for my low light stuff.
     
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  7. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    532
    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Mark
    It appears to have come through that torture test really well, Nic. While I've had "better" 35mm lenses I have to say that this one feels right for the format. f2 would be nice but it's more than adequate in daylight and OK in less than perfect conditions. And it's small and I can use an accessory finder.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I wonder why there isn't as much 17 vs 14... It's also only 3mm diff, and is great and tiny and $28 cheaper than the 20

    - Eliot
     
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  9. From the current thread on "image quality", it got me thinking on what it is about the 17mm that I like. I'll acknowledge that it is possible that there are bad copies of this lens around which is a problem in itself. The one that I have is not a bad lens. I've used a few bad lenses in my time and this isn't one of them. For me I think that the 17mm produces a look that I like even though it may or may not generate the numbers to excite any lens testing apparatus. It's something to do with colour and contrast I think.
     
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It also is less "omg watch out for my front lens element!" panic inspiring compared to the 20's big bubble glass

    And it looks better on my ep3 than the 20, by a large margin. The panny lenses look better on panny bodies! No interlensification! Lol!


    - Eliot
     
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  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That was one of my first m43 lenses and I thought it was terrific. I eventually sold it when I bought the 20 and later the 14. In some ways I miss the way the 17 rendered images (it was vert pleasing). AF could be a bit of an adventure at times and it's not the handsomest lens (in silver) but it is capable of some great stuff. One of the sharpest images I have ever shot came with that lens. It's a real bargain.
     
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  12. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    520
    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    +1
    that is about as close as I have come to an "explanation" ... I just know whenever I have looked at a batch of pics with mixed native lenses (for me, the kit1, 40-150 and 17) the ones that "pop out" and grab my eye are usually the ones from the 17. Yeah it is quite sharp, but it is also the contrast and I think at least in OOC jpeg it does the best job of showing those "Oly colours" that are somehow a bit more vivid but end up looking most "realistic" ... like I used to get excited about with Fujicolor in my old Pentax MX back in the Pleistocene
     
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  13. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    483
    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I've grown to really like my 17mm, had and sold 3 20mm's since I've had my EP1 and now EP2 but I've kept the 17mm, its my only native lens now and when I just want to go out and shoot its such a good lens, and like has been said before the almost 35mm FOV is excellent.

    Missing my Canon 24mm though..... might need to get a Panasonic 25mm to replace it......
     
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  14. S38

    S38 Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Jul 2, 2010
    renton
    oly 17mm > panny 20mm :wink:
     
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  15. VinVin

    VinVin Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Jun 7, 2010
    GTA, Canada
    Kevin
    I bought a 17 purely because i could not afford the pany 20 1.7... I still wish to find the 20 but i love my 17 so far :D
     
  16. luguidomanski

    luguidomanski Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Apr 11, 2010
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Luiz
    +1. Never had the chance to shoot with the 20, but I do love my 17. Sometimes I use it as my only lens (specially at parties). I think my favorite shoots come from this lens as well.