Olympus 17mm Lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by OzRay, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    I know that the 17mm has been discussed previously under various topics, but I received mine today (thanks to Amin) and I'm more than impressed with it's size, quality and speed of focus (I don't know why anyone complains in regard to the latter - it's fast). I also really like the wider angle of view that it affords over the much lauded Panny 20mm, happily giving up on the overall speed of the latter.

    So I wonder, what has made this lens so underrated and generally ignored by many? I intend to use it solely with the E-P1 (much like a fixed lens P&S) and, to this end, it's an absolute cracker in both size and field of view; lots of versatility. It's given my E-P1 a new lease of life and, in a way, will become my party camera (and lots more) where, coupled with the FL-14, will be the neat little pocket camera that I've missed with the demise of the LX2.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi Ray,

    I agree, it's a beautifully compact, fast lens with a brilliant FOV for social photography. The 20mm f1.7 is much sharper and has less distortion / CA to correct... and the comparisons become very polarised over on the dark side :wink:

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    I haven't had any fruitfull time yet with this lens, except for some shots around the house to test it out, so I can't comment on either aspect. Distortion may well be more than with the 20mm considering the subtle difference in angle of view, but I suspect that it's overrated. However, it's something that can be easily corrected. I don't know about CA, but it's another thing that should be easily adjusted post. That said, the effective FL is rather nice and despite the relatively small difference compared to the 20mm, I think in real life it's quite substantial.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Ray, don't ya know if ya pay more for something, it's always better.....
    That's why the 20 is better.......
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Marketing? And I don't mean by the corporation, nor do I mean to imply there was anything nefarious...just sheer enthusiasm and excitement on the Internet sites. I, for one, was very influenced by the lauding of the 20mm, right here on our own mu-43.com for starters, and I became convinced it was faster and "better"... Without explaining ad nauseum my own camera buying, I ended up with the E-P2 and the zoom, and then went for the 20mm based upon its rave reviews. I'm sure I could have and would have been very happy with the 17mm, and could have put the money saved towards that nice 9-18mm, or the longer zoom that's coming out in July.
     
  6. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    The sad reality is they're both mind bogglingly over priced; those see-through body caps used to go for (almost) peanuts in the good ol'days and are now both realistically worth about 100, 150 $ / €.

    Many people like the 35, 50, 90 progression of focal length, and should be right home with the 17. I prefer myself the 28,40, 75 (and then 135), hence my sway toward the 20. But both fill an important niche, and both deserve to be used.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Ray,
    If you can get the finder for the 17, it will make you smile.
    It sees as any Leica finder and give you that feeling of the M camera.
    Shooter
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Mosca

    Mosca Mu-43 Regular

    103
    May 27, 2010
    I have 'em both, like 'em both. I prefer the 17mm because it's lighter and smaller, and I like the wider fov. But I'm sure there will be a situation where the 20mm will be the better choice.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. amaimani

    amaimani Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    May 26, 2010
    Oman
    I have just got mine, now it sticks on my E-P2 like anything.
    I am still testing it.. I am not sure if there is a thread of photos for this lens
    Maybe we need to get ourselves inspired with the photos taken by this lens!!!!
     
  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Abdul,
    There is a thread but feel free to start a new one.
    It will help Ray from feeling so alone with his new found love.
    Do you have the finder? It is a pleasure to look at your subject and not see info from the camera. Set up right, it's a very fast accurate set.
     
  11. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Right here: https://www.mu-43.com/f80/olympus-17mm-f-2-8-image-thread-294/
     
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The Oly 17 is sharper than people say, has moderate (not severe) barrel distortion, and I've never noticed color fringing with it (automatically corrected in Lightroom). I never noticed the distortion either, to be honest. Also, the AF speed is basically identical to the Lumix 20.

    I think it's an underrated lens.
     
  13. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Amin, I agree totally....it's the perfect FOV and I have never been disappointed with any image from it at all.....The size on the Pen is just sexi....well, at 60 it's sexi....
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    Actually, one of the reasons that I got the 17mm was so that I don't need to use a finder. I wanted something that gave AF on the E-P1, but was small and discrete (relatively speaking). It really is a very nice combo with the E-P1.:smile:

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  15. nokiamia

    nokiamia Mu-43 Regular

    102
    May 20, 2010
    Malaysia
    I have both 17 and 20. When I first got my 20, I was going to sell off the 17. But I realized that the 17 is really sweet. It's quiet, light and the eff focal of 34mm is easier to manage. So, now it rotates. I use the 17 daytime and 20 when it's dark.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. trumpump

    trumpump New to Mu-43

    3
    May 23, 2010
    Manhattan
    I bought my E-P1 with the 17. It is a great little lens whose focusing performance has gotten better with each update. The chromatic aberration is manageable with Lightroom. Good sharpness. But it is very plasticky. The small chrome ring fell of this past weekend. I'm nervous about the whole thing coming apart. I would have traded a little more weight for a tougher lens.
    52910-15 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
     
  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    Focus performance to me is very good, even in poor light, now with the updates that we've had and I don't really mind the image quality of the lens at all, it's actually very good for what it is. Mine sort of travels around in my vest pocket, car centre console etc and seems to hold up very well, so you may have just been unlucky with your breakage.

    The thing is, I think one needs to recognise that if you want the solidity of something like a Voigtlander/Leica/Zeiss lens, you're going to have to pay for it and with AF included, you're not going to get a lens anywhere near as small and lightweight. It's always a case of swings and roundabouts.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  18. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    :thiagree:

    The thing is, we're in the 'consumer' grade with m4/3rds... I can't see anything here being in service in 30 years time - things have changed.

    Even the Leica M8 and M9 bodies - while retaining the beautiful build quality rely on electronic innards which will become obsolete in the medium term.

    May as well go with the flow, and accept the advantages of cheap, lightweight performance for the moment.

    Still, there's plenty of room for a bombproof pro-spec m4/3rds package, ideally with upgradeable electronics.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  19. I prevaricated over the 17mm and the Pany 20mm, and ended up going for the 17mm. I have not regretted the decision. (saved myself £100 in the process! The Pany is VERY overpriced).

    I like the viewpoint of a 35mm equivalent lens, if the Panasonic had been a 25mm/1.7 (50mm equivalent) the decision may have been different.

    As previous poster said, I'm in the 35, 50, 90 camp.

    Use, enjoy it, love it. Its a great lens.
     
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend Charter Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    Oddly enough, I reckon an E-P2 (in equivalency terms) will last longer than any M9. If I buy 10 E-P2s (or make that even more E-PL1s) now (or over a short period of time), rather than one M9, and with my manual lenses, I think I'll get many more years of use out of a Pen 2 than an M9. The image quaility may not be quite the match of the M9, but for all intents and purposes, it probably doesn't matter. :biggrin:

    Cheers

    Ray