Count me in...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mauve, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Just bought a 17/f:2.8 2nd hand on a whim... spotted the ad, noticed the seller was living 4 streets away, took delivery in less than 1 hour... a bit more than I wished to spend, but it was way faster and less risky than waiting for UPS, and it is still a bargain considering the insane retail price in the euro zone ! :biggrin:

    No pictures yet, the night has already fallen here.

    It'd better be as good as reported here :wink:

    Cheers,
     
  2. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Well, first picture with my new Oly 17/f:2.8

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/w5Jtw993YuuqkYLp3wlzxw?feat=embedwebsite"> antoine_2011-03-11. "800" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">De <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/manuel.viet0/Test?feat=embedwebsite">test</a></td></tr></table>

    What I noticed :

    - The good : I feared quite a lot of CA, as it was much reported in the tests. Well, CA is definitively there for sure. But it's really easy to correct when importing from raw, so it's a non issue.

    - ditto for optical distortion : quite a lot, but nothing that won't be cured by PTlens or huggins.

    - The odd : Even at latest FW revision, this lens hunts quite a bit from time to time before locking solidly on focus indoor. I wasn't prepared for this as both the Oly kit zoom and Pany 20 don't hunt much even in low light. OTOH, MF focusing is smooth, fast and accurate. Issue mitigated.

    - The jpgs are very different from the raws. Much, much fuzzier, almost as if there was a light blur filter pass in camera before converting (and maybe there is one). The difference is even visible at the small preview size embedded into the images ! Never seen that before, neither with the pany 20 nor the Oly 14-42. Maybe a cheap ass attempt from olympus to disguise their lack of CA in-body correction.

    The verdict :

    IQ wise, this is a prime, no doubt about it. It is sharper than the kit zoom. It's not as stellar as the Pany 20, but it's a nice lens. It's small and light, and the fit and finish is a good match to the e-p1 body. It would fit any vest pocket, so it's a no brainer to bring along, and its relative cheapness makes it a candidate for situations where one could fear for the well being of the much more expensive Panasonic.

    From a photographic point of view, the couple of millimeters between 17 and 20 makes a world of difference, the difference between a 'normal' lens and a 'wide angle'. 35 mm is a focal length I used to skip in 35 mm film, so I wasn't really prepared. This lens will need a training on my side to find my 'comfort zone' for working with it. My first impression, nonetheless, is both lenses complement each other, instead of competing.

    All in all, I'm eager to begin taking real pictures with it. Quality is perfectly adequate, and what's objectionable from a purely optical point of view can be compensated almost to perfection in PP.

    But I wouldn't recommend it to someone who's not ready to work from RAW pictures, as in-camera jpgs made with this lens are far from optimal.

    Cheers,
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Nice photo! I like it. It even gave you a decent bokeh. I've always been tempted to get a 17/2.8 just because it's the equivalent to a 35, and that's my favorite length. But alas, I have a 20/1.7 already. And with a 25/1.4 coming soon, I'm dying to try that out first. Not to mention that I want to try out the 14/2.5 too.

    ps: Pany or Oly, give me a fast 50 too. And no, the 45/2.8 doesn't count. Although I'd like one of those too!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I don't believe I've had the same experience here. What body are you using and do you have any examples of the difference you are getting between the JPG and RAW?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    Congrats on your new lens, enjoy!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    If you find a good deal, take it, there's nothing better than the feeling of 'being home' with a camera; this said, having seen the lens in the flesh (so to speak) now, I stand by the opinion I have voiced here many times : this lens isn't worth its asked retail price. To price it in the ballpark of the panasonic 20/f:1.7 in the euro zone is totally deceptive. In my humble opinion, the 17/f:2.8 is worth about half the Panasonic. At that price point, though, it's a competent lens that is different enough from the 20/1.7 to justify having both (and, Olympus, if you hear me, it would also help selling it like hot cakes).

    Now, I too was tempted at least by the Pany 14/f:2.5, but the simple truth is, I don't have that kind of cash to spend at the moment. So I invested what little I had into the 17, with the hope that I could resell it later on with minimal loss in case I wouldn't want to keep it anymore, and to help finance the acquisition of the 14. But I'm not too sure now, as I can see a lot of use for this specific focal length. Time will tell.

    I used it on my e-p1. Admittedly, this is just gut feeling at the moment, but I have the feeling there's an Unsharp Mask (USM filter) applied to the raw before converting to jpg. Thus, edges are sharpened, micro-contrast is enhanced, but subtle gradations (skin) are mudded. As I told, just a feeling, not really hard science here.

    Cheers,