Advice Needed: Oly 17mm or Oly 45mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by cpclark, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. cpclark

    cpclark Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 11, 2013
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    Christopher Paul
    I have the funds available (with the sale prices) to spend this weekend on either the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 or the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 but I can't decide which one to add to my cart. The problem is that I already have two lenses in these focal ranges so i'm not really adding anything new, just improving on what I already have with something of better quality. The lenses I have are the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 and an adapted Minolta 50mm f/1.7. I shoot primarily street photography or portraits so I utilize both focal ranges equally.

    If anyone could offer some advice on which to buy it would help me greatly!
  2. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    How do you feel about manual focusing? That might be a big reason to switch to the 45/1.8. If you don't mind MF, then how is your 50/1.7 wide open? My 50/1.4 is soft wide open, so the 45/1.8 is nicer in those situations.
  3. cpclark

    cpclark Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 11, 2013
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    Christopher Paul
    I enjoy the occasional outing with a MF lens but it can be a challenge with children's portraits. My 50mm soft and glowy wide open but I guess that is part of why I like the lens. I've heard the 45 is pretty sharp at 1.8 and quick to focus so that is why I'm considering the lens.
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Depends which focal length you shoot the most. Both are good lenses so either choice you win! Saying that I'd go with the 45. The 17 2.8 is a decent lens and the 45 1.8 would be a drastic improvement over the adapted 50. Then again the 17 is built solid and is a real joy to shoot with!
    • Like Like x 2
  5. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    I like automation, so I'd choose the 45. It is also tiny compared to your Minolta.

    I have both the 17/1.8 and 45/1.8 and like them both. Both have image quality better than I need and clearly limited by the photographer.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Sibben

    Sibben New to Mu-43

    Sep 19, 2013
    The 45 is killer. Get it. Love it.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
    • Like Like x 1
  7. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    I have both the 17/1.8 and and 45/1.8 and both are great lenses and you should choose based on what focal length you shoot at the most. Personally I use the 17 a lot more than the 45 but I would never give up the 45. But because you already have the 17/2.8 which is an ok lens, I would suggest first getting the 45 to replace your manual minolta, and then later save up to upgrade your 17/2.8 to a 17/1.8.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Jewood1234

    Jewood1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2011
    Might also look at picking up the 45/1.8 used. Got mine 6 months ago for 200 ish and there seem to be more of them on the used market than the 17/1.8.

    Love the 45. Anxious to get the 17......
  9. cpclark

    cpclark Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 11, 2013
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    Christopher Paul
    Thanks so much everyone for the replies. I was leaning towards the 45/1.8 already and its seems that buying it over the 17/1.8 would be the bigger upgrade right now.
  10. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    yeah +1 for the 45/1.8, it will be a big improvement over the 50/1.7, plus its tiny, light and has very fast AF.
  11. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    another recommendation for 45... given it's price and small size, it is a must have
  12. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    To be honest you might not need either. Which era is that Minolta 50/1.7 from? I assume it's a Rokkor? Is it a MC, MD, SR?

    45/1.8 will make your portraits easier but I take my time with portraits and had a MD 50/1.7 for a while. It was nice wide open. Since 4/3 is a smaller frame, it was plenty sharp.

    17/1.8 will give you faster auto focus and sharper overall. It's actually a dramatic improvement over the 17/2.8.

    I would probably address the most immediate need first if I had to spend the money. How much more time on the street vs. posing for portraits?
  13. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Definitely made the right choice. I have both and I can tell you the 45 is the better lens, no question.
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    An interesting conundrum

    I have both the 17's and the 45, though since I got the 75 I have hardly used the 45....and I haven't used the 17/2.8 in over 2 years though I was never unhappy with it on my E-p1.

    My regular lens set is 17/1.8, 25/1.4 and 75... and truth be told I could survive happily with just the 17 and the 75.

    I am a big fan of the 17/1.8, and have used it a lot since getting it... much more than I expected.

    f you feel you need to spend right now I think that the 45 would be the way to go... it does stuff that your Minolta wont... autofocus and be much sharper wide open, as well as being lighter and smaller.

    But personally I would save longer and get the 75 :)

    or wait till the new Leica 15 comes out and watch for people trading in their 17's


  15. Slim

    Slim Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 7, 2013
    Sell ur 17 2.8 and get the 17 1.8. Get the 45mm 1.8 with the funds you already have. I have the minolta 50mm 1.4 and I am selling it..

    Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk
  16. Dch

    Dch Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 20, 2013
    Get the 45 :2thumbs:
  17. Jaynometry

    Jaynometry Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 13, 2011
    Toronto, Ontario
    I also have both. The 45 was the first lens I ever bought for the Micro 4/3. It was my favourite for a long time. Just recently, I bought the 17 1.8, thought long and hard about getting a used 2.8 or a new 1.8. I bought the 1.8 thinking I wasn't going to like it much and I was going to try it out for 10 days and exchange it for a 75 1.8. I kept the 17 because ever since I bought it, it hasn't left my camera. What I'm trying to say is, the 45 takes better photos, but I like the 17 a lot more.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Aldredge

    Aldredge Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    I have the O45mm and my brother has the O17mm (great lens). I use the PL25mm as my "normal" lens, but I would have no problem swapping it out for the 17mm.

    My first lens was the P14mm and I liked it when I got it, but as soon as I got the 25mm, I barely used the 14mm. After that, I got the O45mm to replace my OM 50mm f/1.8 (sort of wanted to complete my 3 prime w/ AF kit), and while I love the 45mm (great optics, price, etc.) I once again barely use it because the 25mm stays glued to my camera 95% of the time. Part of it, is the versatility of a fast "normal" lens (17, 20, 25), and the other part is me trying to discipline myself into using 25mm.

    Fact is the OM50mm was fine for when I needed that focal length. AF was just a bonus, as was the portability and sharpness of the 45mm. If those things are important to you, go for the 45mm. However, having a fast lens that can used in a variety of situations is the most important thing for me (because I don't do much portrait work), so I would go for the 17mm first.

    Hope this helps.
    • Like Like x 1
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