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Olympus 17/1.8 test/review at lenstip

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dhazeghi, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    A formal test of the new Olympus 17/1.8 is now up at Lenstip.com. Not bad for a lens publicly released just a few days ago...

    The resolution information is on the 4th page:


    Interesting to compare to the Panasonic 20/1.7:

    • Like Like x 4
  2. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I read their Polish review through Google Translate a couple of days ago. So much dialog is lost through that lol.
  3. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 19, 2012
    Well, it is not promising in their conclusion. In fact this lens is so bad per their review.
  4. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Lenstip considers software correction of distortion to be a big negative, which makes no sense to me and influences their conclusions heavily. In this particular conclusion, they call the lens ill-considered because it occupies the same space as the Panasonic. I strongly disagree - 20mm and 17mm are very different focal lengths, and it's important for us to have a good 17mm autofocus lens for the system.

    This lens is a compromise and seems to be a successful one in terms of achieving small size, good performance, fast AF, large aperture, premium build, and reasonable price.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Mu-43 App
    • Like Like x 3
  5. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Just on the basis of resolution figures, it's not that hot compared to the 12/2. It should have been a bit better wide open through f4. This was probably a very early production, or pre-production lens. I wait for more of these quantitative types of tests to be run on full production samples.
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    For the price, I was hoping for more than "decent" optical performance. Hopefully there's more to the story than test charts.
  7. las Palm as

    las Palm as Mu-43 Regular

    I agree but the 20mm is a lot better on resolution, is small, and 200$ minus.
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I love the Pana 20. It's the last lens I will give up. But it's not 17mm.
  9. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Seems though it may not live up to the lofty optical standards of the P20 and in particular the O75, but then not many lenses do. For myself, the O17 could fit nicely in my lineup of lenses...my main attraction to it though is the 'snap focus' mechanism...always been super interested in trying that out for myself but felt for what I would shoot it for and how the 12/2 was too wide.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    What is an extra 10 lpmm of resolution at regular viewing distances anyway?

    Is that really distinguishable?
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    No. I don't even think 20 lp/mm would be visible in prints viewed from a typical distance. Viewed at 100% on screen is of course another story...
  12. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I think having the snap to focus mechanism on a 35 mm equivalent makes more sense than a 24 mm equivalent.
  13. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Let's all remember that lp/mm is not the final word on lenses, any more than DXO scores or megapixels are the final word on sensors. A lens is a complex beast, and frankly I've had my doubts about LensTip's reliability for many years. They're test chart guys. It's how this lens performs in the real world that matters, and while we've had a glimpse (Pekka Potka, Ming Thein) it's not really in the hands of photographers yet.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I sold my 20mm for this, mainly because: I want wider.

    The fast AF, and the snap focus are just extras to me. I also knew it had slightly less resolution than the 20mm, but it's not a huge difference for me. The size isn't much of an issue either- it's still pretty small. The 20mm was also pretty close to my 25mm lens, where I'd have to choose between using the two, I'd always go for the 25mm most of the time. So for me personally, the 20mm just fit kinda weird in my line up. I've also been waiting for a "Better" 17mm for awhile now :smile:
  15. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Amen! I trust Olympus so I pre-ordered this after I saw Robin Wong's and Ming Thein's real-world images and reviews. :smile:

    Olympus has a great and consistent lens track record. Panasonic has a very good track record as well as well but let's not forget their crap gimmicky X lenses: the 14-42 compact zoom and the 3d one. Re: the maligned Olympus lenses, a lot of people are happy with their mZD 75-300 (even if it's slow), 12-50 kit (nice but not great IQ, a more than decent all arounder, best kit lens ever) and 15/8 cap lens (because it's dirt cheap with decent IQ; it's not even a real Zuiko)
  16. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I am with you on this one, except I probably won't sell my 20mm because it is a small lens that doesn't take up any space. Or maybe I am just keeping the 20mm for sentimental reasons. It is the first prime lens I got for my m4/3 system, and was used extensively on several memorable trips before I got the PL25. However, it has just be sitting in the cabinet idling ever since. On the other hand, the 17mm should be a great compliment to the PL25 in my prime lens line-up...
  17. amalric


    Jul 24, 2012
    Rome. Italy
    I agree. A lens must be judged in a 'holistic' way. Olympus' goal with the 17/1.8 - see their charts - was to have a lens with even sharpness across the frame, and that has been reached. Maximum resolution at the center is less important for a wide.
    All the defects of the 17/2.8 have been addressed, while I am sure it will offer good tonal transition, colour signature - in Oly's tradition.
    And yet Lenstip was positive about the 17/2.8, and negative about the new one.
    I think the explanation is price. One thing is 500 $, and a completely different one 550 EU. That's a more than 30% difference, and Poland is not exactly swimming in gold.

    I share their concerns, but I think it's a matter of being patient. The 12/2 has already lost 20% in Europe. This HG series is well designed although it cannot solve completely the problem of m4/3 i.e. that FW correction tends to spoil the edges, more than optical correction did with 4/3 wides.
    That is one reason for me to keep the old, adapted 9-18 for Landscape, and the 17/2.8 for Street.
    By comparison the 17/1.8 should work well with both genres, and is still small, so it might be worth buying for a new customer.
  18. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Seems like most electronic devices are more expensive in Europe nowadays.
  19. amalric


    Jul 24, 2012
    Rome. Italy
    The paradox is that there is more mirrorless penetration in Europe, although the purchasing power in the US is greater. That is what makes me predict that the introduction prices won't hold.
    The Yen is also v. expensive, so Japanese companies are faced with v. hard choices. Try to grab as much as they can at introduction, and see their profits plummet later.
    The m4/3 market is not as carefree as it was in the beginning, it now faces stiffer competition i.e. from Fuji and Sony lenses. That in the end must determine long term prices for m4/3 lenses. So reviewers are becoming more demanding.
    Having said that I am pretty sure that the 17/1.8 is a v. good lens to own, but one must factor in how much use it will get. Thein and Wong don't use it much.
    I think that a 35mm. eq. is at the core of m4/3 so I wish that a good standard lens for the system was cheaper. But it seems that O&P have decided differently.
  20. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    "When it comes to wide angle Micro 4/3 lenses some constructor give up trying to correct the distortion at the very start because they assume it will be corrected anyway by a camera’s software. By the way a lens being an equivalent of full frame 35 mm doesn’t provide an exceptionally wide angle of view so it is not difficult to correct it. Full frame 35 mm devices in our tests showed moderate barrel distortion hovering near -1.5%. That’s why we were so surprised seeing the results of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/1.8 on RAW files, which weren’t corrected by the software. "

    Is this a joke or are they actually that far behind the times?
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