P14 2.5 or O17 2.8

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by DynaSport, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    I have had some unexpected expenses lately, so my camera budget is low. I had been planning on buying a two lens prime kit of the O17 1.8 and O45, but I let the discounts pass me by at B&H because that of my recent expenses. Anyway, I'm now looking for lower cost alternatives and am thinking I may just have to wait on the 45 and am thinking about getting either the P14 or O17 2.8 as a lower cost alternative to the 017 1.8.

    Which lens would you guys recommend? I can get either off eBay for about the same price. Or, should I just be patient and wait till I can get the O17 1.8?

    Another alternative is to buy the P14-45 off eBay for about the same price and have the flexibility of the zoom until I can swing the prime pair. As it is, I just have the Oly 14-42 in that range and while it is not as bad as some make it out, I want better.

  2. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Real Name:
    I have both the 17mm f/1.8 and 14mm f/2.5. I just got the 14mm but from the looks of it, it's pretty good... I might even end up replacing my 17mm with it in the coming weeks. :D

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  3. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I have both, and wouldn't give either of them up. The FL is quite a bit different--14mm is really quite wide and produces a bit of noticeable distortion; 17mm is nearly "normal". The 14mm is the smallest lens you can buy (minus the dreadful bodycap lens) and I appreciate it for that often. It's also quite a bit sharper than the 17mm.

    What the 17mm has going for it is a more natural FL for many types of shooting, especially street. Despite its detractors, I find it plenty sharp enough, especially in the center.

    To me the choice is all about what FL you prefer, and only you can make that decision.
  4. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    get the 14mm, it is much faster, quieter and sharper than 17mm f2.8
  5. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    If I had to pick, I'd get the 14mm 2.5. Though I like the 17mm 2.8 as well!

    The 17mm 1.8 beats them both. :wink:
  6. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    Good luck getting that 14mm angle of view with your 17/1.8. The other way around - no problem, just crop a bit.

    Sent from my GT-I9500 using Mu-43 mobile app
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I don't get this comment ;
    Who ever said the olympus 14-42 was bad?
    I've never seen such a claim, it's a sharp lens.

    Having said that, my olympus 17mmF2.8 is sharpish and pocketable and takes lovely photos.
    I've tried the 14mm but the wideness didn't give me such nice photos most of the time.

    So I recommend the 17mm at current forum second-hand prices, which are excellent.
  8. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i've seen a number of people on dpreview claim that the oly 14-42 is a toy. personally i quite like mine. it's sharp, light and fast focusing.

  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Both lenses are fairly disappointing optically, especially compared to your 14-42mm lens, which is sharper. The 14-42mm may not have the build quality or the aperture of a great lens, but it does have the image quality that far surpasses its cost. The 14mm and 17mm lenses that you're looking at, on the other hand, do not impress, even stopped down. If you want them for size reasons or aperture reasons, then go ahead, but if you're expecting a bump in image quality, you're going to be disappointed. I don't think that any of your options are worthwhile; just enjoy your 14-42mm and save up for good lenses, like the 45mm you mention.

    If you really want to increase your image quality in a wide-to-normal prime, consider one of the used 20mm lenses in the buy/sell subforum. And the Olympus 45mm is still available for about $300 if I'm not mistaken, look in the hot deals section.
  10. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    What do you want to use it for?
    I like the 14mm. It is impossibly small and unlike 17 has iinternal focusing which makes me feel better about not damaging it by accidentally knocking it into something . It's only a little brighter than 17 but when needed every little bit helps. I like it for nighttime architectural photos.
    It's also great as the only lens when you want to i go super compact. i took it with Gx1 to Oktoberfest last year on Gx1 to stay compact andnunobtrusive. You can see results below. I amvery pleased with the photos.
    Zenfolio | Another Guy with a Camera | Oktoberfest
  11. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I say make do with what you have. Better to figure out how to work around the limits of your gear than add new gear. Save your pennies and in due time the right lens will make itself known to you.
  12. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    Unlike some of the others I've found the 14mm to be sharper than the 14-42 or 12-50 even if it looks "lost" on my OMD.

    I bought an ex kit lens that was obviously new and at £100 ($155) it's a bargain.

    I bought mine after seeing some of the shots taken by LittleMT with this lens on the forum and have not regretted it at all.
  13. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    Thanks to all for your responses. I have been primarily a zoom shooter and am used to the versatility of a zoom. But I had 2.8 zooms for my APS-C kit. I have never been much of a wide angle guy. Most of my photos are of people and I tend to like to shoot tight and crop tighter. I do shoot some environmental portraits and candids where I like a wider shot, though. When I look at the photos from my 14-42, most of them are at the two extremes, with the rest spread very evenly throughout the range. I can't afford the 12-35 and I'd like the long end longer than 35 anyway. I am thinking about just getting the P14-45 to put on my new G5 or I can just keep using the 14-42 on both cameras and keep saving for the 17 1.8, 25, or 45. I'd like all three, but I'll have to do them one at a time.

    Happy shooting!
  14. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2013
    Oahu, gathering place of many cars
    Real Name:
    Peter Gunn
    I just sold my P14-45. Really hated it: bulky, plasticy, ugly and slow. Optically it's fine but made my GX1 so big it defeated the reason I shoot M43. I replace the 14-45 with a 14 2.5 and really love the lens: fast to focus, tiny and sharp. With the 14 2.5 I carry the camera 24/7. With the zoom I often left it at home or figured I might as well bring my DSLR as it's not that much bigger.
  15. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Neither is fast enough for me. I like f/1.4
  16. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    Maybe, but your signature lists lots of lenses slower than 1.4.
  17. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    This is certainly not my experience--the 14mm is definitely sharper than either of the 14-42mms I've had, from Oly and Panny. This seems to support my experience.

    Now the 17mm, I agree--it's not as good as the kit, but it has other virtues (primarily size). But the 14mm is a dang good performer, in addition to being tiny. IMO, it's one of the great m43 bargains.
  18. MiguelATF

    MiguelATF Mu-43 Veteran

    They're BOTH pretty cool

    Well, I currently have the Panasonic 14mm - but previously had the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 - and having used both extensively, my advice is ----

    They're BOTH GREAT lenses.

    Many nay-sayers and particularly picky people harp on the supposedly inferior qualities of the Oly pancake 17mm - but the one I had possessed outstanding sharpness wide open, pleasing bokeh, and generally beautiful colors. Depending on which body I put it on - a larger Olympus PL2 or a smaller Olympus PL5 - it made for a very compact (semi pocketable) package.

    I replaced it with the Panasonic 14 mm primarily because I wanted a slightly wider angle. And ... guess what? The Panny is equally nice, in all senses. It's sharp, it's tiny & compact, it delivers very very nice optical quality - it's a great lens.

    They both are.

    So what it boils down to, is --- which focal length suits your eye and your shooting style more? The 17mm is closer to the classic 35mm field-of-view (in 35mm film format) wheras the 14mm, being slightly wider, is closer to the classic 28mm FOV. And there are small but subtle perspective and angular differences between how both of those lenses 'see' the world.

    It depends on what you truly like or are drawn to.

    But optically - and in terms of compactness and usability - both are very good lenses. You can't go wrong with either.


    P.S. the 17mm has a unjustified (in my opinion) bad rep for not being optically as sharp as some other lenses - but in both my opinion (and that of a number of other m4/3 photographers who've used the lens) that's hogwash - it's a fine lens
  19. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    Well, I have purchased a used 14 from a board member and hope to receive it soon. I decided on the 14 because when I looked at the EXIF data from my photos taken with my kit lens most of them were at the two extremes, 14 and 42. So, I have ordered the 14 and I am selling more of my Canon kit to fund a 45. Hopefully I will be happy with that. but if not I'll just sell the 14 and get the 17. I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with the 45.

    I'll probably add the 25 at some point in the future, but no time soon.
  20. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    Real Name:
    William Barnett-Lewis
    I recently went with the 17/2.8 and haven't seen any reason to regret my choice. Very nice lens and i've been very happy with the results.


    Either will do a good job for you. Hope you enjoy the 14.