Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Announced - $499 Price - Reviewed by Pekka Potka and Robin Wong

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The Olympus 17mm f/1.8 has been officially announced and is available for pre-order for $499 from B&H Photo with expected availability in December.


    Robin Wong and Pekka Potka have both published their reviews:

    Here's how I would summarize the qualities of this lens based on available samples and reviews:
    • Premium construction and snapshot focus like the M. Zuiko 12mm f/2 lens
    • Very similar MTF curves to M. Zuiko 12mm f/2 lens
    • Fast and essentially silent AF
    • Good but not superior sharpness across the frame - slightly behind the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 in terms of center sharpness
    • Very well controlled axial CA - meaning very little purple fringing compared to most fast wides (including the Panasonic 14mm and 20mm primes) and minimal green bokeh fringing
    • Mild-moderate lateral CA - meaning some red/cyan color fringing in high contrast areas in the periphery of the frame
    • Very pleasing bokeh character (subjective/opinion)
    • Probably field curvature, optimized for medium-far working distances, thus giving poorer edge sharpness at close range with flat targets
    • Significant barrel distortion which will be a non-issue for most people since it is automatically addressed in camera and by leading RAW processing apps

    As before, my impression is that landscape shooters looking for edge to edge superior resolution will be disappointed in this lens. For the rest of us, it seems to strike a very nice balance between size, weight, build, AF, sharpness, bokeh rendering, price, and lens speed.

    Direct link to pre-order: Olympus 17mm f/1.8 M.ZUIKO Wide-Angle Lens for Micro
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I really like these reviews because they're not just focused on resolution charts, etc. Seems like a winner to me, and I think they've priced it about right.

    I was curious, so I looked up the price history of Olympus' other recent offerings: the 45mm, 12mm, 75mm, and 60mm. The 45mm is the oldest of the bunch and can now be had for about 80% of its list price (new, on eBay); the rest are at or near list price, even on eBay from a foreign vendor. My conclusion is that if you want this lens you might as well get it now, because I don't think it's going to get appreciably cheaper in the near future.
  3. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    I already posted my pre-order through the above link. It's just too shiny and the 20/1.7 just hunts sometimes at night. So if what they say is true that the 2 are practically the same, I'd go with the 17/1.8. I'll be posting the wifey's 20/1.7 up for sale soon. :tongue:
  4. kicsrepins

    kicsrepins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    @Mellow and @yekimrd guys this is what I want to hear to persuade myself to purchase one! lol
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I did the same - saved my wife the trouble of getting me a gift this Christmas :smile:.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It will be miiiiiiiiiiine!

    - Eliot@Austin, TX
  7. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'm expecting to see more than a few 20s hit the Classifieds based on the 17/1.8. Looks like a great lens at a reasonable price.
  8. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    Well, I just preordered it from B&H! Here's hoping for an *early* December release. This wait is going to kill me.
  9. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I'm going to try not to cave until after the holidays.
  10. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    D'oh. I was kind of hoping it'd be expensive enough to skip. But no, at 500 I am buying it, though I am going to wait for somewhere else to list it, hopefully Amazon.
  11. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    Oh dear. Just laid off, and now this comes out. I've put it on my "must have" list, as it's a focal length I've been wanting in m43, while not being able to commit to getting the old f2.8, but I won't be pre-ordering it unless I hit some jackpot in the near term.

    Still, the price seems about right, and the improvements over the old version significant. If it is a tad less sharp than the 20mm panasonic, the improvement in CA control more than makes up for the insignificant difference. Purple edges don't exactly contribute to a over-all sense of sharpness. Software control of barrel distortion does not bother me, since software is now an integral part of the process, and designing and building a m4.3 lens at this focal length that did not need it would yield a price outside my budget. I will buy Capture one 7, though, so I can turn off the auto correction when appropriate.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Why did I have to open that Robin Wong link? Forget the sample images, the lens looks crazy sexy on that silver E-PL5! Now I want both the lens and a silver E-PL5. You are not helping my personal finances (according to my CFO/wife) Amin and Robin! :rofl:
    • Like Like x 6
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Olympus Malaysia make it look all too easy: Loan new product to popular blogger who knows how to take great images, sit back and listen to the cash registers. Curse them!
    • Like Like x 11
  14. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    :rofl: hehe...
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Robin's blog is international. Olympus cashes in worldwide! :wink:

    What's funny Robin doesn't even keep any of this gear. He's still shooting with an E-5, E-PL1 and some used Sony DSLR he bought off some dude. :smile:
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    Anyone else spot the typo in the OP? Subject is right, but first line of post says 17mm f1.9, not 1.8.

    Tried to send a PM to Amin, but it said I wasn't allowed?
  17. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    Madison, WI
    I think this will be very popular and a strong competitor to the 20/1.7, although personally I'm sticking with the 14/2.5 and 25/1.4 combo.
  18. las Palm as

    las Palm as Mu-43 Regular

    ok i will buy a used pana 20 , at a really good price....
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Fixed it, thanks. That was a weird bug. When I went to edit it, it said "1.8" but was showing as "1.9". I deleted "1.8", wrote "1.8" again, and this time it displayed properly :confused:.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    I just was skimming thru the front page, and saw 1.9, and was like "That's not a normal number I see..." Then I spent 5 minutes trying to find where my brain found it, and was half convinced I imagined it before spotting again.