Buy oly 17/f1.8 ?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by daveinamblerpa, May 25, 2013.

  1. daveinamblerpa

    daveinamblerpa Mu-43 Regular

    Considering buying this lens. I've heard about the disappointing reviews but have also heard real world results are pretty good. What about using this lens for landscape. I've heard that the corners are soft. What if you stop down. Can the softness be eliminated in pp. I'm interested in printing up to 11 by 14.
    Thanks in advance to all you expert 17/1.8 users.
  2. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
  3. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    For landscapes, have you considered the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, or is that too wide? The 20mm might be better for landscapes, too. The 17mm's main advantage over the 20mm, as far as I can tell, is the focussing speed, which is not really relevant in landscape work.
  4. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    yes for landscape it's not wide enough, but even the 14mm f/2.5 is not wide enough :wink: Although of course any lens can be use for landscape.:biggrin:
  5. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    You can use that lens for landscape in a pinch, but it's better off shot open aperture in street applications where a soft corner or corners are unnoticeable.
  6. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
  7. daveinamblerpa

    daveinamblerpa Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks guys

    for all your replies: Yekimrd . I really like your photos especially the Capitol at night and Grand Canyon. The shots look pretty sharp.

    Savas,Monk3y. I looked at the photo thread and most of the shots are street/people shots. So it seems as Savas has pointed out that the best use of this lens is street shooting. I'm traveling to Rome and the Amalfi coast this fall and I can see using this lens for doing street photog and night photog. I'll use my 9-18 for landscape.
  8. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    17 f/1.8'll kill for street and people. It's nice indoors such as at dinner and at venues like a night club or casino. Rome at night will look wonderful with that lens.
  9. neofx19

    neofx19 Mu-43 Regular

    May 16, 2012
    The Olympus 17mm is a fantastic lens, but in most cases, I would not recommend using this lens for landscape, as there are other alternatives such as the inexpensive (bought from ebay) 14mm 2.5, 12mm f/2 and the 7-14mm f/4 (although you can always add an adapter for the 14mm and make it even wider). For street photography and general purpose use the 17mm is an excellent lens and an absolute joy to use. You can still use the 17mm for landscape but its a lens I would not use myself for landscape. The focusing speed is blazing fast, especially with an OMD, its fairly quick even on my old EP2. Honestly, if you use the 17mm in the right situations you can't go wrong.
  10. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Sharpness sharpness sharpness... Is not just about that. ALL lenses today specially the primes are sharp enough or more than enough for everyone's need.

    I also read the lukewarm reviews about this lens that is NOT THAT sharp for the price. And then comes all the comparisons with other lenses. Specially with the 20 and 25.

    I would also like to point that don't forget that the 25 IS NOT AS sharp as the 20 as well. And there were several comparisons. But no one will say that now. And probably the 25 is one of the best lenses in the system. Right?

    But then, the 25 and the 20 are almost "Vaseline soft" when compared to the sharpness of the 75 and no one compares that right? (since we are talking about sharpness only)

    Well yesterday, I went to the store to try the "softness" and "alright-ness" of the 17 f1.8, according to some (note I said some, cause there are also some very good reviews about the lens as well. Don't forget that, including blogger superstar Steve Huff) .

    So I slapped the lens on my OMD and let me tell you. The built quality is as good as the 75 and light years better than the 20 or 25. Simply perfect. AF SPEED, as said before, faster than all those three.
    And now, the nowadays-forum-deal-breaker sharpness, how was it? Did some several test shots. And let me tell you, I love sharpness as much as you all do, don't get me wrong. But when enough is enough? When I shot a bunch of test images and I was able to zoom in to pixel peep, and all details were there nice and clear. As sharp as some of my other lenses. You want to see real softness? Shoot the p100-300 at the 300 side. That is soft. Or I would even go further, you want softness with a "glow"? Shoot a Fuji x100s wide open at f2. (Some could die for the last part. Ha) but then do you really want to see sharpness, like real stuff? Shoot the 75.

    End of story for me: bought the lens in a heartbeat. Easy buy. For me.
  11. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    +1. Though I would add that the 25 is probably the best of the bunch (20/1.7, 17/1.8, and 25/1.4) because it's the only first party 1.4 (not counting the large f/0.95 Voigtlanders) plus there really is some sprinkle of Leica pixie dust in the images it produces.

    Still, I let it go in favor of the 17/1.8 because the 17 comes awfully close in the IQ department, has lightning AF, has a more versatile FOV, has the MF ring, is smaller, and looks pretty in silver. :2thumbs:

  12. lescox

    lescox Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    I bought this despite the then reasonably negative reviews, and I now think it was a better buy than the 45/1.8. More versatile, great rendering and great fun it now spends about 90% of the time on the front of my OMD. The 45 is magic for certain shots, but the 17 just does so much. If I could only choose one lens from the fantastic Zuiko range it would be this one. Don't get me wrong, the 45 is beautiful and I aspire to the 75, it is just that the 17 is much more useable. And the so called downsides are only evident when compared with lens that are acknowledged as being superlative anyway.
  13. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Would you have purchased the lens with landscape work in mind?
  14. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    I know I'm not Chris but I surely did. For landscape work, I always stop down my 12/2 or 17/1.8 to f/5.6 to 8 anyways to get corner-to-corner sharpness. So having a fast lens in some ways is a moot point for landscapes (at least in daytime it is).
  15. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Meaning, if you set out to shoot landscape and have all the native lenses out there to choose from, would the 17 f/1.8 be your first choice?

    Or, are they all the same save for focal length once stopped down?

    btw, I'm not Savas; I have him all locked up in a room and have taken over for him ... :biggrin:
  16. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Once the black 17/1.8 comes out, it will almost certainly replace my trusty 20mm/1.7 (and probably the 14/2.5, too.) I'll be keeping my 25/1.4 (favorite lens right now), so the 17mm gives me a more significantly different AOV. Add to that the greatly improved focus speed. The snap ring for manual is another bonus. From what I've seen, the IQ is plenty good enough for my purposes.
  17. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Honestly, the 7-14 would be my preference due its versatility (sometimes, not always, wider is better) except I have this thing with not being able to protect the front element with a filter. My 2nd choice would be the 17/1.8. I personally find the 9-18 soft (though still quite good) and diffraction starts to become evident above f/5.6. I don't think of the 12/2 as a landscape lens but rather an archi lens.
  18. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 25, 2011
    Bravin Neff
    The O17 f1.8 is a great lens. Disappointing reviews?! Where? Geeze. Whadda ya planning on doing, staring at the computer screen at 200% corner pixels all day looking for (gulp) softness?

    I don't get it. The O17 f1.8 is a great lens. It is sharp. It has great colors. I thought this was well known.

    Yes, the corners get sharper when you stop down, which is exactly what every other lens on planet Earth does and what every landscape photog takes as a given.
  19. lawa222

    lawa222 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 3, 2013
    The 17/1.8 is great for landscapes. Sharpness and contrast are way better than adequate, and the focal length is solid for most shooters and purposes. Not every landscape has to be (or should be!) shot by an ultra-wide lens.

    Also, I'd second someone's comment that the fast-switch manual focus makes it super easy to flip the lens to infinity. Dialing in hyperfocal is no problem either.
  20. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I too have let go of the 25/1.4 after obtaining the 17/1.8. Unfortunately for me when I was looking for a fast normal prime, the 17/1.8 wasn't even announced.

    It really is sharp enough. In all seriousness though, every lens can be tack sharp if used properly. 35 mm equivalents are great for me because I got used to it and it's how I see the world.

    My only wish is that I didn't have to get the 25/1.4 then sell it. For a lot of people it is the lens that sells this system.
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