POLL - Olympus 17mm 1.8 or panasonic 15mm 1.7?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dlhomesolutions, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Olympus 17mm 1.8

    38.2%
  2. Panasoni 15mm 1.7

    61.8%
  1. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    I am looking for a good standard to wide angle low light lens for weddings. I use my 12-40 2.8 pro with a flash but would like a better low light option.

    Torn between the two.

    I will be shooting with an Olympus EM1 mk 2, em1.1 and em5 mk2
     
  2. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    918
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I had the same dilemma last month, I got fed up with the hunting of the 20mm and decided I needed a change for low light weddings.

    I went for the 15mm and I use it on my EM1. I can't speak to the 17mm, but I really like the 15mm and wouldn't swap it for anything.

    I'm sure there are fans of both lenses, but my understanding is that the image quality from the 15mm is a step above the olympus.
     
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    All the considered opinions say that the Panasonic is the better lens optically. OTOH, it's wider and has a rather useless aperture ring on Oly bodies.

    Personally, I have the 17/1.8 and whilst in the real world it delivers excellent results, whenever I go pixel peeking I always am a little disappointed. It's a nice lens but doesn't live up to the other small primes (i.e. the 12, 25, 45 and 75).
     
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  4. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL

    How fast is it to focus?
     
  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    15/1.7 is fast to focus. 17/1.8 even faster. But I think you are way past "fast enough" with either lens.

    I agree that the 15 is a bit better with regard to IQ (sharper, I guess), but I don't think that difference is all that meaningful either. I've shot them both on an E-M10.
     
  6. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL

    Yeah the 20mm is terribly slow to focus. I am hoping they come out with a wider fast pro prime later this year. 25mm 1.2 is tempting but still too long for reception pics.
     
  7. junkyardsparkle

    junkyardsparkle Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I have the O17, and like it for its small size and fast focus, but I wouldn't describe the image quality as spectacular for its category. In particular, the vignetting is quite strong wide open. Correcting this fully from RAW (OOC jpegs are only partially corrected) along with the barrel distortion can result in slightly "unclean" corners, but for things like wedding pictures this might not be a huge factor.
     
  8. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    212
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    It depends on what your definition of "better" is. In my case, with a Pen-F, "better" is the manual focus clutch in the Olympus vs the (to quote @pdk42@pdk42) rather useless aperture ring on the Panasonic.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    the olympus has a manual focus clutch? that's nice!
     
  10. junkyardsparkle

    junkyardsparkle Mu-43 Top Veteran

    It's a focus-by-wire ring similar to the O12/2. If you're not familiar with that one, it's worth pointing out that it's not quite the same as a "real" physical helicoid focus ring. I'm not saying it's not useful, but I've never found it useful for any kind of "snap" focusing where time is a factor, due to the latency (which is cumulative with the latency already incurred by electronic viewfinders). I mostly use it for quickly getting to minimum focus distance, at which point I move the camera for fine focus. Other people seem to be more excited about it, though, so YMMV.
     
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    While I have not heard many negative comments about the 15, the 17 is a lens that seems to have its loyal fans and foes. Some seem disappointed in it, usually with regards to IQ, while others praise its rendering and character. I suspect that two key factors that might sway a decision are your post-processing skills/style and what IQ characteristics you are seeking. There was a thread or two a few months back by Hamsong about using the 17 for wedding work, and the thread included some of his work - Wedding in Washington State (excerpts and link to full gallery) . This recent thread also included some shots and discussion as well - Olympus 17mm 1.8 .

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  12. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    I've had them both. First I upgraded from Pana 20mm 1.7 to Oly 17mm 1.8. I think it was step in the right direction since the Olympus had much better focusing (AF and MF). While there was something special in the Oly 17mm 1.8 rendering it was a step back from the crisp sharpness of the Panasonic 20mm. I believe part of the issue was field curvature on the Olympus 17mm. That means the plane of correct focus is not flat but curved. So when you try to take a shot of a subject that fills the frame only the part which is focused is in shap focus. Sometimes it can be a benefit too but I found it tricky to predict. That can also lead to illusion that it isn't sharp in the corners if you only shoot brick walls. The reality could really be that it is also pretty sharp in the corners, just 50 cm pefore the brick wall. Long story short, I later upgraded my Oly to Pana 15mm 1.7 and have been fully satisfied. I really think Pana 15mm is the better lens. The difference in quality is so small though that you should first think which focal length suits you better and also think twice if you are ready to pay the higher price for the Panasonic. I'd say they both have reasonable price to quality ratio.
     
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  13. wimg

    wimg Mu-43 Veteran

    320
    Dec 10, 2016
    Netherlands
    As Vivalo states, I think you should look at which focal length suits you better.

    Personally, I somehow do not manage to click with a 35 FF equivalent lens, I never have in the past 40+ years, and I have tried, many, many times. Somehow I don't and can't "see" it. I have no problems with 40 mm and up, and 30 mm and down, so for me it would be the PL 15 in that case.

    HTH, kind regards, Wim
     
  14. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    264
    Jan 8, 2013
    Bought both and currently have the 15/1.7. The 15 is sharper across the frame (if you get a good copy - I've encountered several that were decentered), and I prefer its color and out-of-focus rendering. The focal length is something to consider - even though it doesn't seem very different on paper, the 15 feels noticeably wider.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. JamesD172

    JamesD172 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    482
    Aug 18, 2016
    James Dolezal
    Have used both and agree with the above comments.

    I started with the Oly 17, but wasn't impressed due to my poor pixel peeping habit. I bought a 15 1.7 that was severely decentered (which I returned), but my second 15 performed well. Still not as sharp wide open as other primes in the system, but decent, and marginally better than the O17. It has a nice contrasty rendering, and seemed to have less longitudinal aberrations than the O17, as well.

    Ultimately, though, I kept the O17 because I prefer the focal length as a general use lens. I'm just learning to pixel peep less :)

    IMO, the differences are pretty mild unless you pixel peep, and if you do, you probably won't be satisfied with either wide open. Stopped down they're both great.

    Side note: I think part of the relatively poor resolution of the O17 is due to its huge barrel distortion. If I turn off distortion correction, I get better resolution, particularly near the edges of the frame. Obviously this is at the expense of having straight lines.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
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  16. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    How do you turn off distortion correction? I thought it wasn't possible.
     
  17. JamesD172

    JamesD172 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    482
    Aug 18, 2016
    James Dolezal
    I use Capture One - the option to fine-tune (or turn off) distortion correction is under the "Lens Correction" tab.
     
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  18. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Is this a Capture One feature only? I don't think Lightroom or ACR allow it with M43 lenses. Hmm, maybe it's time to switch!
     
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    No, they don't. You could use dcraw to export to TIFF first, but that's hardly a simple workflow.
     
  20. JamesD172

    JamesD172 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    482
    Aug 18, 2016
    James Dolezal
    I'm not sure, maybe someone who uses other PP software can chime in. But I wholeheartedly love C1, and highly recommend you at least give it a try. I think they have free 30-day trials.