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Olympus 17mm Pancake (newbie question/advice)

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Phil B, May 17, 2011.

  1. Phil B

    Phil B Mu-43 Regular

    May 13, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I've only just got an E-PL1 and have been looking at other lenses. I'm thinking of getting the 17mm pancake lens although I have a few questions.

    In alot of places I look, it seems the Panasonic lens is prefered but it's a bit out of my price range at the minute, as I'm trying to re-build my underwater set up around the E-PL1.

    As someone who has only used a P&S before, is the 17mm lens worth getting? Would I really notice the difference between the Olympus lens and the Panasonic lens? Or am I better just using the 14-42mm kit lens until I find my way around and buy another lens later?

    I'm sorry if this has all been asked before. Thanks
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    They're both good lenses. The Panasonic 20 is a bit better optically and you can see the differences in 100% crops of test shots, but for real world photography, they're both quite good. And if you've only used a P&S before, you'll be more than happy with the 17. The only question is how important low light shooting is to you. The 20 has a wider max aperture opening so can take in more light and handle low light shooting better. So if that matters, you may want to save up. I personally prefer the slightly wider field of view of the 17, but that's very much an individual preference.

    • Like Like x 4
  3. Phil B

    Phil B Mu-43 Regular

    May 13, 2011
    Thanks for the reply Ray, I've bought the 17mm so once it comes I'll try to get out and get some photos done.
  4. Phil B

    Phil B Mu-43 Regular

    May 13, 2011
    Thanks for posting the photos, I found the 17mm image thread as well as I was looking round the site. I'm looking forward to having a go with the lens. It came yesterday whilst I was at work, I'll have to wait until next week to get it now.
  5. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    And the 17 can couple with a readily available optical VF which can be a real bonus for street, candids and even sports photography.
  6. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    I really enjoyed the 17mm, a fine lens. I let it go with the GH1, it was that or the 14-45.. and I just couldn't do that.
    Sure do miss my Datsun 1600 esp. on nice days.. I had hard and soft tops! :smile: Thanks for the memory, Panther.
  7. taikuodo

    taikuodo Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 17, 2011
    I personally didn't really like the optical VF because it was like shooting blind - without any sense of whats in focus or what not. Just something to think about.
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Not a problem...:smile:
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I have to agree. I was really excited about the 17mm kit with the optical viewfinder, until it came out. I had one pre-ordered, but never got it (thanks to Olympus not shipping them out, not personal decision). When the national Olympus rep brought one into the city though, I was greatly disappointed with the viewfinder which does nothing but compose the image... no focus or anything. Then I was further disillusioned by the m.Zuiko 17mm lens when the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 came out, but that's another story. ;) 

    This pancake lens and even the VF-1 was such a hot commodity when they came out with the original E-P1 Digital PEN. 6 months later though, and all the nicer options came out with the E-P2 and GF-1.
  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I like the viewfinder, it feels like freedom compared to the good EVFs : different job entirely. I just have to hope the lens has focused where I'm pointing : with 17mm that's easy, a longer lens would be suicide.
    I do have other options though, plenty of them : I wouldn't enjoy photography if the e-P1&17mm was my sole camera system.
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