The Olympus 17/2.8


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I know everyone LOVES the Panasonic 20/1.7 and the Olympus 17/2.8 is considered low rent but as heretical as this sounds IMHO the Olympus is a terrific lens and a great match to the EPL-1. I use it as my casual snaps lens and I think it is just great. I read everywhere that the Panasonic is so much sharper, better, cooler, what-have-you (and I am sure it is better given that it is almost twice as much)...but I don't regret getting the Olympus one little bit.

Okay, I feel better now.



Mu-43 Veteran
yes it's all relative isn't it. I like the 17mm too and I saved a few hundred bucks over having the 20mm. I didn't realise how "good" it actually was until I shot with a friend who had a Canon and the kit zoom lens. We were doing night shooting. The 17mm is "only" F2.8 but it trounced my friends F4 (or F4.5). She had to use iso greater than 800 just to get anything visible on the image where as I was able to get an awsome picture at iso 200. It made her so jealous. The day light photos are sharp and clear compared to her kit-zoom too.

Here's the night picture, I got it in 1 shot / 1 try, she tried about 6 times, then gave up until she realised I got it, then finally got something similar but with a lot more noise a few tries later.

So, while it may not be the panny 20mm lens, it's still a good little thing and makes my friends jealous - and that's what equipment is about right? :yahoo:


tell your friend to get the canon 50mm 1.8, the nifty fifty will help allot in low light shots. And it is only 95 dollars. The kit lens is nice for daytime uses. But but can get some nice shots, as long as the IS is on, and shooting at 1600iso hand held.

This is what she can shoot at 1600 iso at f4.5, the lens is 3.5-5.6 like the oly 14-42mm. It will give similar low light results.

But back to topic, the 17mm 2.8 is not a bad lens, it is a good lens. The 20 1.7 is great, but you can not shoot at 1.7 during the daytime, it will overexpose. To shoot wide open at 1.7 you need to get a 3 stop ND filter.
I have and like both.

The 20 1.7 is very nice indoors, and I like the effect you can get when driving the exposure mad shooting 1.7 outdoors on a bright day at base ISO 200.

But somehow I also really enjoy the feel of the images shot by the 17. And with the slower and noisier autofocusing of the 20, the 17 is better at shooting video.


Administrator Emeritus
I have both also and favor the 17mm.
The thing the 20 can't do is to give me 35mm on 35mm.....
It's a great lens and is on the camera 90% of the time.


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We went to the local apple farm yesterday to buy some apple seconds (honeycrisps...mmmmm), eat goodies and take the farm tour. My little boy was having a blast and I had the 17 snapping away in bright sunlight iniAuto and it was great. I got some terrific shots and I was getting P&S ease with much better quality. The color was lovely, they seem very sharp and generally very pleasing to look at. I think its a really fun lens to use. I find that its on my camera the most and I use it where I would have used the kit lens. I started photography using a fixed lens RF camera with a 42mm/2.8 (and Olympus 35RC) so the EPL-1 with the 17/2.8 brngs me back to that same kind of feel. I LOVED using that camera and this combo is getting close.


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I really like my 17mm too. I've thought about buying the 20mm, and I'm sure it's a great lens, but I'm happy with the 17mm on my e-p1 with the OVF.


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The 17 is my most used m4/3 lens. I love the FOV and the balance it gives the kit. IQ is more than "good enough".
I like very much the way it draws.

Ulfric M Douglas

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Well, I just bought an e-P1 with 17mm and viewfinder because that combination is one of the few where I hardly need to use the LCD for framing. I'm happy with the performance, focusing, aperture, size ... everything really. It's a mini-e-620. I don't have the Pen kit zoom.


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Well...I ended up selling my 17/2.8 after I bought a Panasonic 20/1.7. There is no denying that the Panasonic 20 is a better lens. It's in a completely different league when it comes to IQ but the 17 is still a very nice lens and has a few advantages. The 17 is a whole lot cheaper, the slightly wider angle FOV is very useful and I wpould say that it is abetter performer in terms of AF when mounted to an Olympus body than the 20 is.

Now that I have been without the 17 U have seriously be considering picking another one up. Right now I am leaning more toward a Panasonic 14 for the extra WA but at half the price the 17 is still tempting.


New to Mu-43
I was planning on making the 17mm my next lens purchase, but I might wait and see what gets released this summer. :rolleyes:


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ive had both,. other than IQ differences, i prefer the 20's size, it makes it easier to handle. the 17 is an odd small size, and makes it awkward in my hands.


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ive had both,. other than IQ differences, i prefer the 20's size, it makes it easier to handle. the 17 is an odd small size, and makes it awkward in my hands.
Really? I always thought the 17 felt pretty balanced on the E-PL1.