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Featured Review Olympus 17mm Pro and Landscapes (User Report)

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by SLOtographer, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Sep 1, 2013
    California
    Stan
    Hi all! I've had the 17mm Pro for about 6 months now, and I thought I'd share a user report. I'll share some experiences using the lens for landscapes and scenery. I also use it for other genres, but thought to focus on one aspect and use case.

    I sometimes limit my choices by restricting myself to one focal length when landscape scenes are complex. This helps me simplify my thought process and work the scene. Normally I use the amazing 12-40mm zoom for landscapes for the flexibility of a zoom.

    I can't rate lenses technically. It's not in my skillset, but it checks all the boxes for my style. Weather sealed, wonderful bokeh (for environmental portraits), sharp, and manual focus is easy. Stopped down it gets good sunstars. On an EM1.2, it's well-balanced, and IBIS makes this a low-light monster. I can handhold down to about 1 or 1.5 seconds.

    Is it worth it? Camera gear is so personal. I saved up for it, because 35mm equivalent is my style. I used to own a Fuji x100T, and could go on vacation with just that camera. So that gives a sense for how much I use 35mm equivalent FOV. It's my most used focal length. I can use it for wide range of things, and I sometimes shoot in conditions with dust or mist. So the weather sealing matters to me.

    The downside is cost, but it comes with the fullest feature set of any 35mm equivalent lens. I've owned the Canon 35L, Canon 35mm f2 USM IS, used the Nikon equivalents, the Fuji X100T. The Olympus 17mm Pro is the only one I've used that has no real weakness, and coupled with EM1.2 you get IBIS. So yeah, it's spendy, but it's the complete package.

    1. The combo!
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    2. Moonrise, Montaña de Oro
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    3. Blue hour at Montaña de Oro
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    4. Driftwood, Lighthouse
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    5. I've posted this before, but thought to put it here. The bright aperture and low coma wide open makes this a nice lens for astrophotography. Several images were stacked to reduce noise.
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    6. Sunstar test shot... Stopped down, the 9-bladed aperture gives good sunstars!
    6.jpg
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  2. Jeffcs

    Jeffcs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    607
    Jan 20, 2017
    Toms River NJ
    Jeffrey Swank
    NIce shots I to prefer wide angle lens ( I’m waiting for Olympus to make a 10 pro) and when it came out GAS I got the lens if any one looking to pick it up don’t hesitate you won’t be disappointed the lens does produce awesome images.
     
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  3. kawhona

    kawhona Mu-43 Veteran

    Nice images
     
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  4. ToxicTabasco

    ToxicTabasco Mu-43 Top Veteran

    708
    Jul 2, 2018
    South West USA
    Great samples and examples. That is a great lens for landscape at night. And you seem to know how to work it well for composition. I agree, and use the 12-35 II for most of my landscape shots and night shots. But the 15 to 17mm range allows for ideal compositions that have a good balance without distortion. And with multi shot panorama composition is unlimited. I would love to have that aperture and range to capture some Galaxy horizon panorama shots. It would take about 7 shots per row and 2 rows easy.
     
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  5. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Sep 1, 2013
    California
    Stan
    Thank you! I believe 12 Pro is coming next year. 10 Pro would be rad.
     
  6. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Sep 1, 2013
    California
    Stan
    I like your idea of panos of the galaxy. Will have to try that next time!

    I seem to settled in 14-25mm (in M43) range often for landscapes. Part of this could be the subjects I have in my area and my personal interest. I don't want to push the backgrounds too far away in these settings with a wider lens. But with that said I am sure there are great images by photogs around here using every other focal length :) 
     
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  7. saladin

    saladin Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 29, 2015
    jason
    excellent.

    my favourite thing about the Pro lenses (other than the great image quality) is the manual focus clutch ring. I only have the 40-150pro , but the 17mm is the prime i'd like to get.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  8. Jeffcs

    Jeffcs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    607
    Jan 20, 2017
    Toms River NJ
    Jeffrey Swank
    In the FF world the possibilities of a 12 pro would be nice but only a 24mm while a 10 is 20mm doesn’t look like much of a difference on paper but real world usage is different. Perspective, angle of view less compression. It’s the lens I want to put into my kit!
     
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  9. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Fantastic write up! You had mention it was one of the most feature-rich -- do you mean in terms of coma control, etc. or something else?
     
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  10. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Sep 1, 2013
    California
    Stan
    Quick thank you to the moderators for putting this in the right forum!
     
  11. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Sep 1, 2013
    California
    Stan
    I completely agree. I had the Panny 7-14 years ago (and have since sold it). Each mm is increasingly wider.
     
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  12. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Sep 1, 2013
    California
    Stan
    Thank you! Yes, features as set as you mention. To list the ones off the top of my head...
    • Coma
    • Sharpness at f1.2 and also at infinity focus stopped down
    • Bokeh quality
    • Weather sealing
    • Manual focus clutch
    • F1.2
    • Fast AF
    • IBIS on Olympus and some Panasonic Bodies opens up a larger shooting envelope and also video. While not a direct feature of the lens, it's part of the system package.
    • Edit: Sunstars!
    Very few lenses offer all these at any price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  13. Jeff Storck

    Jeff Storck Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    99
    Nov 21, 2017
    Virginia
    Nice review and pics. When I am shooting landscape, my go to lens is my 12-100 pro. Super sharp and maximum flexibility, however I usually find that I end up shooting at 15-20mm for most of my shots, so I’ve been thinking of picking up a fast 17 for the kit. This one is the lens I think I will opt for. Feeling a little gassy...
     
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  14. SLOtographer

    SLOtographer Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    132
    Sep 1, 2013
    California
    Stan
    I'm on the flip side. I've been thinking about getting a better telephoto lens for landscapes, and then thought the 12-100 would be great instead of the 12-40 for the extra reach. 12-100 makes the most sense in the Oly lineup for landscapes, getting all the focal lengths in one lens. I like the idea of 12-100 for the main duties, and the 17 for when I want to simplify mentally or need the bright aperture for people or night skies.
     
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  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    This is one of my go-to lenses.
     
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