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

letsgofishing

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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?
Thanks,
Mike
 

pdk42

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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!
 

nixapatfan

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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.
 

hrsy1234

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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.

Oly:
- 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


Sigma:
- hunts in even average light
- slow aperture
- large
- sharp
 

bigboysdad

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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.


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Vivalo

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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...
 

letsgofishing

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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.....
 

Droogie

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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.
 

EarthQuake

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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.....
The Sigma would be a good choice then, or the Panasonic 14mm 2.5.
 

kevinparis

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

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
P9210021 by kevinparis, on Flickr


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

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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

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
P2200075 by kevinparis, on Flickr

K
 

T N Args

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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.
 

barry13

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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.

Barry
 

barry13

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Dayam

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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.
 

GFFPhoto

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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.
 

Wisertime

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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.
 

MaK543

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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.

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.....
 
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