Oly 17mm 1.8 Review by Digital Rev

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by digitalandfilm, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K5MiOsQTFXU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  2. Tapper

    Tapper Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2013
    Haven't watched the video yet.

    But uh oh... I was just getting ready to return my 17 f1.8 because:

    -- no weather sealing? A bummer for OMD.
    -- IQ not much better than the 17 f2.8 IMO, which I also have
    -- bulkier than the 17 f2.8, can't fit OMD with the lens into jacket pocket easily as the 17 f2.8 can
    -- lame reason, but I don't like silver lenses on my black body
    -- just not worth the price IMO

    Now I'm going to watch this video and see if it changes my mind.

    EDIT: OK, watched it. I'm a big DigitalRev fan. Kai is awesome. I really haven't done careful comparisons between this and the smaller f2.8. Perhaps this weekend I'll do that and give this lens another chance. With the OMD rebate, I only paid $350 for it. So I need to be sure.
  3. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I paid full price for mine, so it went back. It hurt to box it up, but then I thought about that $500 and that I already own an excellent copy of the 17/2.8, so I felt better. :biggrin: If the 17/1.8 had cost me $350, however, I'd still own it....
  4. wayne

    wayne Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2012
    I just recently purchased the Pany 25 f1.4 and after watching this video I think I want one of these also.
    All these lenses are going to put me in the poor house.
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  5. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Heh- count me in the small group of people that really like the 17mm f1.8.

    My first µ4/3 was the 17mm f2.8, which gets a bad rap- but I sold it pretty quickly when I got the Panasonic 14mm, it blew it away with AF speeds and resolution, and somebody has to be the bottom ranking lens :wink:. I prefer the 17mm FOV over the 14mm's.

    Size-wise, I find it's pretty small. I was never much for pancake lenses (I owned the 20mm + 14mm + 17mm in the past), as I like to MF when I need to/like to- and MF on a pancake lens SUCKS, or I suck at doing MF on pancake lenses :wink: The AF on the 17mm f2.8 was really what I had more of a problem with than resolution, and also had the same problems with the 20mm as well and sold it too (a bit painful to do), those fast internally focusing lenses spoil you.

    For weather sealing, I suppose it would have been a bonus to have that, but I'd prefer to use the 12-50mm for my outside bad-weather-needs, as I like more versatility in the lens, and wouldn't want to change lenses in this fantastic pacific northwest hiking weather. If I were more of a street shooter, I would have no doubt I'd like the lens to be weather sealed though.

    Heh, I also paid full price for it (although I sold some other stuff to payroll it), and don't regret it. I also like the 35mm FOV and 50mm FOV (is that blasphemous?), compliments my 25mm well. The bad part is it gave me GAS, as the 14mm lens wasn't wide enough and got very little use... so i sprung for a 12mm :redface: Which I really like, but actually never thought I'd ever get it, as the 14mm was a cheap lens with not-cheap optical quality, I just needed something wider.
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  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Nice review - and I totally agree. The 17/1.8 is a great lens. That Lenstip review which trashed it has a lot to answer for...
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  7. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I agree as well.

    The photo's and nice contrast all speak well for that lens.. the loose ring is the persnickety nit-picking.. but a good review.
  8. Basset

    Basset Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2011
    What sort of viewfinder does Kai have on his camera? Looks like it's not an electronic one...
  9. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    i could be happy with the pl25 and o17(ok and a 300 for motorcycle racing shots)

    i have the 12, but really its main use has been indoor birthday parties to get everyone in, and its fast aperture for my mothers insanely dim dining room where all the parties are hosted... well and for street shooting, just due to the snap ring for zone focus tho... it was way too wide feeling for me for street.

    i cant believe i havent run out and bought the 17/1.8 to replace my 2.8 yet. i think the x100s, rx1, and m240 all made me pause long enuf to get over my initial I MUST HAVE IT spazz out :)
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    its the olympus vf1
    its opitcal only, no elec connections
    its roughly a 35mm view
    tho a lot of people use it for the p20 as well
  11. lescox

    lescox Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
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  12. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    I generally like Kai's reviews. But this one was quite boring and un-informative.
  13. Aldredge

    Aldredge Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    Was a bit surprised about the wobbly snap focus ring, maybe just his copy?
  14. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    How exactly was the lens "trashed"..? (Bear in mind that I own it too - but I don't view the review as "trashy"...)
  15. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I can't remember the Lenstip review but in general I would say that most of the reviews I've seen have tended to "damn with faint praise". My experience, coming to it after 15 months of using the 2.8, is that I really like the 1.8 and I regard it as a very good lens.

    Why the negative comments and faint praise? I think a large part of the answer is that the lens didn't deliver what a lot of people wanted or hoped for, especially in terms of "biting sharpness" as a result I think it's getting a lot of criticism for what it isn't rather than for what it is.
  16. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    Yes. The 20/1.7 set a benchmark for sharpness. Hence, reviewers expect newer lenses to match or surpass it in sharpness. Nothing wrong with that. It sets the bar high and makes manufacturers produce better lenses.
  17. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    What's the difference between a "negative" review & "trashy" review - I just don't read that (trashy) from Lenstip.. :confused:
  18. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Please keep in mind Lenstip writers are writing in a foreign language, since their mother tongue is Polish. So there may be certain expressions that aren't used properly.

    They also criticized the lens for having distortions natively, so like DxO they're really just a benchmarking site looking at raw data.

    Personally I picked up this lens on launch date. Most modern lenses are good. A 35 mm-e sub f/2 with silent and fast auto focus for $499? It was a no brainer for me.
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  19. rogergu

    rogergu Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2013
    $350 is really a good deal, if Olympus sells it alone at this price, I will get one right away.

  20. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    You'll have to ask the person who raised the Lenstip review about it because I can't recall it, and I said that. I simply wanted to make my comments about what my impression of the general tendency of most of the reviews I have read was that most of the reviews I had read seemed to "damn with faint praise".

    While I did mention "negative comments and faint praise" I neither referred to "negative reviews" or "trashy reviews" in my post. I did say "negative comments" referring generally to the reviews I had read but negative comments don't necessarily mean a "negative review", especially since positive reviews often find something to criticise and make negative comments about the points they criticise.

    I did say that I regard the 1.8 as a "very good lens", which means I think it's better than I feel the general tone of the reviews I have read indicates. That doesn't bother me, especially since I'm on record as saying that I think the 2.8 is also a better lens than most people seem to think. I'm also on record as saying I think the 1.8 is noticeably better than the 2.8 and I've been criticised for that view too.

    I'm actually starting to wonder whether it is possible for someone to make any comment at all, positive or negabout either of the Olympus 17m lenses without painting a target on their chest for someone to draw a bead on. The other Olympus primes, the 12, 45, and 75m, all get positive comments and have large followings. The 17s seem to have large groups of critics. My feeling is that those of us who are fans are in the minority but that's the group I'm in.
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