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Olympus 17mm f/1.8 vs Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 + Olympus VF-3

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by sammaritan12, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Dec 17, 2012
    I can get both packages for about the same price and wondering which one you would take? Here's my opinion on the two lens packages:
    Olympus 17mm f/1.8
    • WAY faster focusing in photos AND videos
    • Better build quality
    • Better image quality (?)
    • Would look good on my silver E-PM1
    • The "classic" 35mm

    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 + Olympus VF-3 viewfinder
    • Small pancake lens
    • Wider, don't know if it's going to be too wide
    • Cheaper
    • EVF! (I chose the VF-3 because it has a locking mechanism)

    Since I can get the Olympus lens at a bargain ($370~) should I just get that instead?
     
  2. gnb40

    gnb40 Mu-43 Regular

    75
    Jul 9, 2011
    Maryland
    Gary
    I can't comment on the lens issues as I don't have either one. However, I would highly recommend you think about getting a VF-2. For me, the quality difference overrides the failing of the VF-2 not having the locking mechanism. It's a bit pricey new, but if you wait long enough you see some great deals here on used ones in the Buy & Sell forum. One just sold for $140.00 last week.
     
  3. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    231
    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    It's really down the the focal length you like, and if you need the viewfinder. I have no regrets on purchase my VF-3, I use it a lot in bright conditions.

    BTW pros for 17 #1 and #3, not so true -- image quality very similar, focus speed close enough as to make no difference.

    I find myself shooting at 14mm a lot with my kit zoom, so I went with the 14 mm myself. Every time I check my EXIF I find myself at 14mm or ~25mm so that's what I'll be building to on my primes.

    P.
     
  4. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    187
    Jan 13, 2013
    London
    James
    Some points, but no conclusions. . . . .

    The focus of the 14mm is fast, I don't believe that the 17mm can be much faster in real world terms.

    The 14mm is not at all great for low light in my opinion. (at least with the 12mp sensors)

    The 14mm is tiny small and will make your e-pm1 very portable

    I don't think the IQ of my pana 14mm is any better than my oly kit zoom was at 14mm.

    I would much much much prefere the 17mm to the 14mm as my only prime, but the other day I used a ViewFinder for the first time in years and realised that I really really miss using a ViewFinder to compose my shots.
     
  5. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    231
    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    Absolutely true, but that is because the kit is excellent at shorter (14 - 20) focal lengths. The 17 won't be that much better @17 either.

    The reason for primes is larger aperture and the difference in framing technique when you can't zoom.

    Why not get the lens you like best (17) and get a viewfinder sometime down the road. By taking your time you may find a bargain (used, price drop, rebate) on the finder.

    P.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    I think it'll have to be about focal lengths. Do you like the 28mm or the 35mm equivalent focal length?

    I find that 35mm-e is the most versatile focal length in photography. But you might disagree.
     
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    You said about the same price??

    14mm: ~$150
    VF3: ~$110

    17/1.8: ~450-500
     
  8. sammaritan12

    sammaritan12 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Dec 17, 2012
    Thanks guys for the replies. I said they were the same price because I live in Australia and get a "tax" just because I live in Australia.

    I know a guy that will sell me his practically new 17mm for $370~. On the other hand an Aussie supplier on eBay for the Panasonic 14mm is $200~ and the VF-3 from the US is going for $171~ (+ postage).

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    That's the best price I've ever seen on the 17.

    Here's a response to your specific points:
    Olympus 17mm f/1.8

    WAY faster focusing in photos AND videos -- I dunno. The 14 is pretty darn fast!
    Better build quality - perhaps. They're both mid-level.
    Better image quality (?) - more shallow DOF and better use in low light. Both have reasonable IQ. The 17 has softish edges
    Would look good on my silver E-PM1 - no disagreement there!
    The "classic" 35mm - yes!


    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 + Olympus VF-3 viewfinder

    Small pancake lens
    Wider, don't know if it's going to be too wide - only you would know
    Cheaper
    EVF! (I chose the VF-3 because it has a locking mechanism) - the VF3 is fine for framing, and the locking mechanism and smaller size is nice, but the image is much smaller and lacks color and accuracy vs. the VF2