How bad -is- the 17mm f2.8?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Superstriker#8, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    Is the 17mm f2.8 really that bad? Comments and opinions, please!
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I have the 17mm f2.8 and quite like it and it's been my most used m4/3s lens since I got it, it basically lived on the E-P1. It may not be at the pinnacle of optical perfection, but it takes a pretty good picture. I honestly believe that it's a grossly underrated lens.
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  3. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I'd have to agree with OzRay. While I don't have that lens, I've seen plenty of great shots taken with it. I think it would be a good pancake to have in your arsenal covering that FL. Recently picked up the 17 f/1.8 but I doubt my shots are any better than they would be with the 2.8 - just maybe more useful in some lower light situations.
  4. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    I'll take that as a joke, seeing as the pictures underneath it are great.

    Edited, (because I didn't want to add another post): I think this is anther instance of needing to just go out and shoot, instead of worrying about technical qualities.
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  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Indeed. I have the horrible 18-180mm 4/3 lens and it's been on my E-5 more than the others because of it's versatility. It might be rubbish, but seems to take reasonable photos.
  6. It's not a bad lens, but technically it's not a great lens.
  7. LDraper

    LDraper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    I'm another fan of the lens. I think some of its bad rep comes from being compared directly with the panny 20 - and in a technical sense it does come up short. But I bought the 17 2.8 after I already had the 20 and I immediately developed an affection for it. I personally like the FOV of the 17 - if I have to use one lens, that's my choice. It is also the most compact of all the lenses except for the P 14 - but they're pretty close to the same size. I keep it on my PM1 and it makes a very compact kit. I now have the 17 1.8 and I have to admit that I use it most of the time. The extra two stops or so make it more flexible. But I sometimes wonder if the 2.8 doesn't have a little more character than the newer lens. I think that if you don't need to know that every shot you take possesses maximal sharpness - it's a great lens. It also focuses a little faster than than the P20 - but not as fast as the 17 1.8 . . . .
  8. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    It isn't bad, I just found other lenses better. The 14mm 2.5 or the Sigma 19mm 2.8 can be had for around the same price. Unless you really like a pancake 34mm equivalent you are better off with the 28mm pancake or the 38mm non-pancake.

    And if you have a bigger budget, the 17mm 1.8 and 20mm 1.7 are better lenses. And soon we'll have the 15mm 1.7..
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    If you really want that 34mm EFL, and like the size, the look, or really need exactly 1 extra stop of light, it's okay. For focusing speed and optical quality, the kit lenses are better. If you can live with 28mm, the 14/2.5 is better and faster focusing. If you do go with the 17/2.8, make sure to get it secondhand. You'll avoid a lot of depreciation.
  10. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    It's not horrible. Not the best lens ever either. Check out the sample image thread and see for yourself.
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  11. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    It sits on my e-pm2, fits in a pocket and takes great pictures ... I like it, this is SOC

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  12. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    It's not really bad; it's just not up to the high standards of other lenses in the lineup. I had it for a while and took some of my favorite pictures with it, and it was a great complement to a tiny kit (which is how I used it, with a PM2). It's not the sharpest lens, but for most things that really doesn't matter. The great pics posted already attest to that.

    Now, however, that I own the Panny 12-32mm I don't think I'd buy it again. The 12-32mm is quite an amazing lens, especially wide open, and you only sacrifice a tiny bit of speed. And the 12-32mm is only 2mm longer than the prime. So unless you have a strong preference of primes, or really value that 1/2 stop, or don't like collapsing lens designs, or really like to MF, I think the 12-32mm wins on all counts over the 17mm.
  13. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It was my first m43 lens ... sold it. Missed it so much I bought another. Gets used quite a bit. So easy to slap it on and drop the camera into my pocket and go.
  14. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    It's a nice little lens, I've no complaints about it, focuses ok, build quality is ok, but most importantly I found I could take nice photo's with it.

    Here comes the sun by Darren Bonner, on Flickr
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  15. (Excluding the obvious BCL and 3d ones) I don't believe there is a terrible/bad lens in the micro 4/3rds system.. this incudes kit lenses. Could be seen as an indication of how commited Olympus and Panasonic are to the system. However, I wouldn't say that all the micro 4/3rds lenses are outstanding. From my experience the 14mm f/2.5 is another one that falls in this category.
  16. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have done the exact same thing, it may not be perfect but then perfection is over rated any way, its a nice small 35mm equivalent and as I went out today with the 14mm and found it too wide as a walk around but the 17 is the next best thing to a 25.
  17. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2013
    West Sussex, England
    It's a good little lens, good value, nice and small. I like mine. If you want extra speed, better build and a bit more sharpness the 17 f1.8 is terrific.
  18. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Great as compact lens. I use it all the time.
  19. Dewi

    Dewi Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2014
    Lancashire, England
    I like mine, it's kinda cutesy and small which means I can fit the E-PL5 in my pocket with it attached. There's not much wrong with it that Photoshop can't put right, it's a good little "walk about" lens. Best thing about it - it was free! :smile: