Can't decide between Oly 17 1.8 or Sig 19 2.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by letsgofishing, May 13, 2014.

  1. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Mike Kaplan
    I've read numerous reviews on both lenses and can't decide - both have their strong and weak points.
    I want it for general walk-around shooting and like the +-35mm FL from my Oly film days.
    Don't really shoot low light and from what I've read, the Oly is better 1 stop down anyway.
    Is the Oly worth twice the price of the Sig?
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    No experience of the Sigma, but IMHO, the 17/1.8 is a great lens. It's not quite as sharp as the 25 or 45 wide open but a little bit of extra sharpening fixes it, even for large prints. It's also got great build and very fast AF. Like Kevin, I use it a lot - probably my most-used lens. It looks cool too!
  4. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
  5. nixapatfan

    nixapatfan Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 26, 2014
    I had both ended up selling the Sigma IQ differences weren't significant but I just used the 17 more often. I originally bought the E-P5 kit to sell off the 17 but after using it for a few weeks just found the 17 handles better, it's smaller, built better, faster and slightly wider which all helps make it a much better lens IMO. In the end it didn't matter that the lens cost almost 4x more than the Sigma did on sale because I wasn't using the Sigma that often.
  6. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    I have both, the Oly is definitely worth twice the price of the Sigma.

    If you are going to do any low light shooting then don't bother with the Sigma. I am talking social shooting - friends, family, candid shots at parties, kids playing indoors.

    - smaller, about half the size of the Sigma
    - instant focus on EM5
    - much better build quality
    - very useful in low light
    - snap-back manual focus ring very useful for manual focus

    - hunts in even average light
    - slow aperture
    - large
    - sharp
  7. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Agree with the earlier comment about the 17 not being as sharp as the 25/45, that the images it renders will need sharpening but that, generally, 1.8 aperture has to be better than 2.8. Having said that, if I were in the shoes of the op and didn't really need a faster aperture, I'd definitely check out the Sigma. I haven't seen one person complain about the output of that lens.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    Only time when I find the 17mm 1.8 a little "soft" is when shooting landscapes wide open. Usually stopping down to 2.8 or 4.0 helps. But when shooting near objects on street or indoors I find it plenty sharp on any aperture. I really appreciate its fast start up and focus. I've heard that Sigmas cause a little longer start-up times with m4/3 bodies, I have no personal experience...
  9. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Mike Kaplan
    Many thanks for the replies.
    I'm not really into very thin DOF - as I first posted, will use the lens mainly for walk-around street shots, people with backgrounds, buildings etc. In the above circumstances, I don't shoot wide open, it's more of a hinderance than help, I was thinking that if the Oly was stoppped down to f2.8 or f4, would there be any real difference.....
  10. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    I use the Sigma on my G3 and EPL2 bodies and love it. Nice and sharp - and I have no clue what people are talking about when they mention a slow start up time. I turn my cameras on and there is no delay whatsoever for my first shot whenever I have the 19 or 30 Sigma mounted. My Sigma 19 has also no issues at all auto focusing in low light. I always use it for indoor photos of family gatherings. Great lens. You can't go wrong for the price.
  11. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    The Sigma would be a good choice then, or the Panasonic 14mm 2.5.
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    even wide open , you have to work quite hard and deliberately to get a thin DOF with the 17mm. It can be done

    9880553754_09d656c159_b.jpg P9210021 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    but once you get to more general street shooting there is a surprising amount of DOF shooting wide open

    9909788785_9ab3177583_b.jpg P9240015 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    even from a couple of feet away you dont struggle with thin DOF like you do with longer lenses, and that extra stop and a bit comes in useful when the light is lower, or you need a faster shutter speed

    8496343707_afc805d77c_b.jpg P2200075 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    • Like Like x 2
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Broadly speaking, the optics of the Sigma primes are rated as follows: 19mm good, 30mm great, 60mm outstanding.

    If you shoot mostly at other focal lengths and need the money, consider the Sigma, otherwise the Olympus or the Panasonic 20mm, IMHO.
  14. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Note there have been 2 versions of the Sigma 19mm produced:
    19mm F2.8 EX DN
    19mm F2.8 DN A

    The first is discontinued.

    I'm wondering if the users complaining of slow focus have the first?

    There have been 2 versions of the 30mm as well.

  15. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Isn't the difference just cosmetic? To bring it into the Art range look?
  16. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
  17. Dayam

    Dayam Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    You may want to consider the Panasonic 14mm f2.5. I don't have one myself, but I'm decided that I'll be getting one either this week or the next, paired with my Sigma 30mm.
  18. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The advantage of a fast lens isn't necessarily bokeh and DOF, its also the ability to use it in lower light and still produce clean files. 2.8 is slow for indoor or low light use. Even if you are looking only for outdoor street use, its good to have the option of shooting a party, kids birthday, family dinner etc.
  19. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    The sigma 19 samples I've seen haven't impressed me much. They don't seem to compare to the 30 or 60 which look fine. FWIW. Never owned any of em. The 17 I did have and liked, but sold it for lack of use. 14 is a good option as well.
  20. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    Sharpness aside, one thing really frustrated me when I had Sig19 was it's operation speed. Every time I woke up my camera from sleep, I had to wait that extra second before I could take a shot because the lens elements take a second or so to engage after camera power on. The AF speed isn't something to rave about either.
    The Sigs are good band for the buck lenses, but better lenses do exist with higher price tag.