Back into photography


New to Mu-43
Hello all.

I used to do a lot of photography - had a ton of Nikon gear and did everything from weddings to landscapes, macro to game photography of the Cincinnati Cyclones!

A few years ago I sold everything and "gave up" photography.

Not too long ago I started using an iPhone and thru the many photo apps available found that I was really enjoying taking pics with the iPhone camera and then manipulating them with the apps I had downloaded.

This led me to start missing photography and then when I picked up a iPad last week and started messing with some pics on it, I decided to look at maybe getting a new camera.

I thought about an "entry" level Nikon or Canon DSLR, but when I discovered the new Olympus Pen E-PL1, I took a chance on it, not knowing anything about the whole Micro Four Thirds thing! It was $100 more than the Nikon, Canon, and Sony DSLRs I was looking at, but something just really intrigued me about it and the lenses available. It also seemed more "advanced" than the more novice, entry level cameras the other companies are offering for @ $499. (Nikon D3000 for ex.)

I look forward to playing with my new Pen (just got it today) and I'm already eyeballing either the Oly 17mm or Panny the price of the Oly, but the bigger aperture of the Panny is nice...any advice?!?

Funny how an iPhone has reignited my "passion" for photography!

Bokeh Diem

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Welcome Mapleleaf!

You are going to like this format. The 20.17 is a great lens.... check out some of the photos on the Site using this piece. Check out this link also..

I see some of the old warhorses coming on by, proves that once a photographer, always a photographer.

Bokeh D


Mu-43 All-Pro
Hi, welcome aboard !

I faced the same question than you. After reading reviews and asking advices around from people using both, I decided on the 20/1.7 ; it's a very solid lens, extremely sharp at all apertures. But I chose it because I had a long experience with a canonet 17QL, with the same type of optic, and knew beforehand that a 40mm (equiv. 24x36) would suit my "style" if I may say so.

For what I know, the 17mm is a good lens too. Some people were annoyed by the relatively high 2.8 aperture, but most told me it delivers fine pictures, if you like a near 35mm (film eqiv.) FOV. Which isn't my case.

I think you should go with whichever you're more comfortable with. If you shot 80% of your pics at 35mm in the past, don't overlook the Olympus. It's a very good lens, just not an absolutely stellar one, which is hard to swallow for many zuikoholics.

To tell the truth, I'm even considering buying it 2nd hand if I manage to find a good bargain for it. But on absolute performance, the 20 is a notch better. That was to be expected from a lens which focal matches perfectly the sensor diagonal (easier to calculate).


Administrator Emeritus
I couldn't even think about not having both the 20 & 17.
They are both excellent and I need both.
It's the FOV that sets them apart and not much else.
Many here are using the camera you have and are getting wonderful results.
Check the site out and enjoy your journey.


Mu-43 All-Pro
your instincts are correct and your format choice will lead you down a path of deja-vu

you are obviously well acquainted with the wonderful lenses of the past , now imagine a camera mount that allows virtually any camera lens ever made to find a rebirth on this new format

some of the lenses will vignette horribly but inside the image circle a great photo may await following cropping away .... similarly slr and rangefinders image circles are larger than needed but m4\3 uses the sweet spot so theoretically lenses should be better performers here, and a 200 2.8 magically becomes a 400 2.8 wow ! but you lose on the short end ...lenses made for 110 cameras in the 80s are just right [ image circle wise ]

micro 4\3 was an adventure for me , i had no idea what it was capable of , and i am astounded by the variety of lenses that can be used with such success, i had no idea i would be drawn to excellent machined metal lenses of quality and speed and manually focus them!....... such precision such control .....

welcome to the forum ,ive read great things about you new machine , i understand it seems to outperforms my ep1 and gf1 too is certain areas , oh the march of technology!! happy shooting ...............enjoy ...

il leave it to the other to sway you to the 20 or the 17 , both are fine lenses [ the af lenses are a little plasticy for me but optically they are great ] or if you can get both... the 17 is a true wide angle ....and the 20 is normalish and fast .


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Welcome MapleLeaf! Funny how the iPhone got you back into photography. Now you will need an iPad to show off all the cool photos you will take with the E-PL1!

I have the 20 1.7 but the 17 2.8 is a great bargain at a little over half the price of the panny. While I never abandoned photography on my last vacation I brought my Nikon D90 and never took it out of it's bag, I took all my photos with my iphone or a little Casio Exlim that I hated the image quality of but it fit so easily in my pocket.

When I was leaving to go on my trip I turned around at the airport and saw a woman with an EP1 with a big Nikon lens on it. That was my clue to look into M 4/3 format and I did and got both a GF1 and EPL1 when I returned.


Mu-43 All-Pro
Welcome ! Glad you made it to here, it's the right place to be.
Glad you're back in photography again. Congrats on your new camera as well as on your iPad.