Pancake lens ?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by BAKatz, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. BAKatz

    BAKatz Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 9, 2010
    Riverdale, NY
    Is anyone using the Oly 17mm,2.8 ? Are you happy and why did you choose it over the Pany 20/1.7 ? Thanks
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Don't forget the 14/2.5 - it's the mini-pancake! :biggrin: Okay, maybe a bit wider than you were looking for?
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  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Yes. I like it. Check out the gallery for the lens.

    At the time there was only the 17 and 20. The 17 was a lot cheaper and easier to get. Now with the 12 and 14 theres more choice and an even wider option than the 17 or 20.

    While it may sound like the 17 is a bit of an also-ran in the pancake race, you'll find that many people (myself included) are pleasantly surprised by the way it renders images.

    If cost isn't an issue and you need the speed go for the 20, if you need to go wide get the 14, otherwise give the 17 a crack and save some $$.
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  4. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    It was available used at less than half the price of a used 20 at NZ prices so I bought it. I quite like it too.
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  5. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I have both, and I'm not terribly fond of the 17. I have already had the occasion to say why :

    In a nutshell, the pancake 17 isn't better than the kit zoom set @17mm, and only 1/2 stop brighter.

    But the size and handling are, admittedly, very tempting. The focusing ring, for instance is much stiffer on the Pany 20.


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  6. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    It was the first prime I bought and I wanted a pancake so the camera could easily sit in the shoulder bag I carry as a general purpose bag. Basically it came down to field of view and price for me. The 20mm seemed a little too long and the 14mm a little too short in focal length so the 17 mm seemed like the best option, plus it was also the cheapest which seemed like a handy thing while I worked out which way I wanted to go with my choice of primes.

    As phigmov said, "While it may sound like the 17 is a bit of an also-ran in the pancake race, you'll find that many people (myself included) are pleasantly surprised by the way it renders images." Make that a +1 from me. I've since bought the 12 mm and 45 mm and they are certainly sharper and more detailed than the 17 mm but the 17 mm still turns out nice images. While it continues to be the lens that's on the camera when I'm just out and about, it's also quite often the lens that's on the camera when I decide to go out for a walk to take some shots. It may be the lightweight in the Oly prime lineup but a good lightweight can still punch hard and the 17 mm is a very good lightweight in my view.
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  7. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    I have the 17, chosen at first over the 20 primarily because of price. I love it, it is what I use at least 80% of the time, and I think it does quite a bit better than the kit lens. To my eyes anyway, don't know or care from a pixel peeping standpoint.

    I like the angle of view, as well. I know the 20 is like the holy grail to many here, but, If anything, I would go towards a 14 before a 20 now, since I have been doing lots of 28 equivalent shooting on my GRD1. I also sort of like what i see of the new 25/1.4 and the cv 25/0.95 even more , but I don't see myself affording either soon.

    Meanwhile, the 17 remains my favourite general use lens, and I think the prices you can get it for now make it a nice bargain.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
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  8. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    As a follow on from my post above, I was in town on Monday and wanted to photograph some large metal spheroid sculptures in a plaza area. It's the sort of thing that I would normally consider using the 12 mm for but I don't have space for the 12 mm mounted on the camera in my go everywhere shoulder bag so I had the 17 mm instead. This is the 17 at f/8 in order to get a fair bit of depth of field. The point of focus is towards the right edge of the large sphere the person is walking in front of so the plane of focus is 3, maybe 4 ft behind the person. That sphere is the largest of the set, and it is large. The only post processing was to recover a few blown highlight areas on the sphere and on the person's shirt—though it was only 10.30 in the morning, the sunlight here in Queensland is already getting pretty hard at this time of year as we head into summer.

    I'd get a bit more detail with the 12 mm and the image would have a bit more bite, but there's nothing overly soft in this and there's more than enough detail in the sphere's surface and in the rest of the scene.

    The 17 isn't a bad lens. I think it's a more than acceptable lens which is overshadowed by the competition but that doesn't mean it can't produce good quality images.

    Attached Files:

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  9. BAKatz

    BAKatz Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 9, 2010
    Riverdale, NY
    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback. $$ between the 17 and the 20 is only about $45, so the issue was really the quality of the images. I'm not really into wide lenses ( 14mm ). I find that when I need a wider image, I just take two ( with alot of overlap ) and stitch them together. Even that doesn't come up too often.
    For no reason in particular, I prefer native lenses. Unlike some people however, I have never had a problem with OLY customer service, so maybe it's a sense of loyalty.
    Thanks again for the input. :2thumbs:
  10. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I prefer the FOV on the 17, but I also have the 12 & 25. The 20 though makes a better 1 lens solution if you can only have one lens.
  11. BAKatz

    BAKatz Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 9, 2010
    Riverdale, NY
    After reading a whole bunch of reviews by people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do ( which is why I appreciate you kind people ), including that long ,but informative, diatribe by Mauve, I have come to a conclusion. I am going to spend the extra on the Pany 20mm. I'm guessing that, along with the OLY FL 300R flash will be great for indoor pics. Thanks again everyone.
  12. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    The great thing about the 20mm is that you can take great handheld indoor shots without a flash. I'd save the flash money towards my next lens.
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    You can't go wrong with that lens :thumbup:
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I like my Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 pancake, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, and Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8 pancakes. :) I also like Betty Crocker pancakes, German Bacon Hotcakes from Barb & Ernie's in Edmonton, and Whole Wheat Waffles from Mitchell's in Chicago.
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  15. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    The next photo challenge will have to have a food theme and if you submit your pancakes stacked in maple syrup I think you'd have to win :wink:
  16. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    Homemade potato pancakes.... yummm :)
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Don't think you'll be disappointed. The Olympus is a so-so lens. The Panasonic is a great one. Enjoy!