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Why so little love for the 17/2.8?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dixeyk, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Now, I realize the Panasonic 20/1.7 is the darling of the m43 crowd...and justifiably so it is a lovely lens (from what I can tell) and the speed is a real bonus. That said, I didn't have the $300+ (around $285 used) to drop on the 20/1.7 so I bought a second hand 17/2.8.

    Much to my surprise I found it to be tiny, reasonably fast focusing, very sharp and produces wonderful results. At $125-$150 used I thinks its a heck of a bargain. So, why do so many folks treat it like the poor relations at a family picnic? Now, the 20/1.7 may indeed be better (maybe even a lot better) but the 17/2.8 is no slouch.

    I think its time to show it some love.

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    • Like Like x 11
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Just for the record...now that I've had the 17/2.8 for a while I don't think I would trade it for the 20/1.7. I might have both some day but at the moment the Panasonic is not a priority. Now, if there were an m43 equivalent of the Olympus 4/3 14-54/2.8-3.5...THAT I would something to be excited about (I love that lens).
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I've been enjoying mine quite a bit. Its a grreat walk around lens. I think some folks believe that since it doesn't live up to the 20mm its not worth owning.
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    The 17 is my natural FOV as I've stated many times. That being said.... I have the 20...now I have the 14 also...so there's not much spread between either of the 2 to the 17..

    If I could have only 1 lens... the 17 would be it. Bunk to all that IQ nonsense... it's a great lens...
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I find it a very natural field of view too - when I shoot with the LX5 or the Nex I generally take most of my shots right at that equivalent focal range. I also have the 20 and 14, but if I had to sell any of them, the 17 would probably be the last to go. Sony is supposed to have a Zeiss 24mm f1.7 (not sure if the aperture has been confirmed, but the focal length has and is in that same 35mm equivalent area as the 17 is for m43) for the Nex sometime this year. I'm sure it will be expensive, but I'll likely get that lens and may well sell my m43 17 and 20 because this will have the field of view of the 17 with better low light than the 20 and likely amazing optics (not that this is a huge priority to me, but it doesn't hurt!). I don't see buying a camera that ONLY has this focal length (X-100), but I can't imagine not owning a camera with this length available either...

  6. I guess the general consensus is that 17mm and 20mm are close enough that f1.7 beats f2.8. Also the 20mm is closer to the traditional standard FOV whereas the 17mm is in the "wide" category which may not be to everyone's liking as a prime lens. I tend to think that if you like the 17mm FOV, get the 17/2.8. If you like the 20mm FOV, get the 20/1.7. The Panasonic 14mm and 20mm would complement each other nicely, and the Oly 17mm pairs well with a good 24mm legacy lens. The 17/2.8 doesn't do anything badly, but it does most things very well.
  7. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    In the UK, the price difference between the 17 & 20 is only about £20-50 new, and there's not a lot of them come up for sale used
  8. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    There is a reason 35mm lenses were popular in the "olden" days. I believe it is the widest FOV you can have before wide angle distortion starts to noticeably affect the picture.

    If Oly had created a 17 f2.0 or faster I believe it would be the preferred lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pancake

    pancake Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2010
    UK south East
    I loved that little lens, its a go anywhere job, and I never had a prob with it not being bright enough, and to me it was very sharp.
    Perfect combo with an oly m43 body :) 
  10. eternallurker

    eternallurker Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 22, 2010
    Where did you find it at that price?
    I cannot seem to find anything below $200 anywhere online.
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have to agree I've never found the IQ on the 17 to be lacking. In fact, I find that the 17 produces that lovely Olympus color rendition that I find enormously appealing.
  12. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    Seems the 14 is getting faint praise also in some corners - darn that 20!
    A 17mm/35equiv seems ideal for a focal length, but I'm awaiting further announcements before picking my 1st :43: prime.
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    One thing that I will say for the 20/1.7 is that if you have a Panasonic body the lens carries the image stabilization so I can see the 20 being a lot more appealing than the 17 if it were to be used with a Panasonic body.
  14. jlabate

    jlabate Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2010
    There is no IS in the 20/1.7.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    REALLY? I thought all the Lumix lenses had that. Not that it really needs it given the speed. I learn something new every day.
  16. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    I've had all of my 4/3 lenses on my EP1, as well as a 400. While the kit zoom is a great lens, over 80% of the pictures I've taken have been with the 17. It just is such a perfect natural on the EP1...

    Sent from my Milestone using Tapatalk
  17. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 6, 2010
    s'funny, a very similar discussion has popped up over at seriouscompacts.com about the merits of the 17 ... I'll repeat the comment I made there: if the 20/1.7 did not exist, I reckon people would rave about the 17

    I have both both and I use both, and I really admire the 20/1.7 and the images that can be got from it ... but I like the 17 & that 3mm makes a big difference ... choices don't have to be rational ... hmmm tempting to get a bit pseudy and say the 20 is a miniaturist's lens, the 17 a watercolourist's ....
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    No, just the longer ones, the kit (although without a switch to turn it off - maybe via a menu on the cam?), the 14-140, the 45-200, and the 100-300. Don't know about the 45mm macro? No stabilization on the 14, 20, or 7-14. Although its arguably not necessary at these focal lengths, it certainly doesn't HURT to have some form of stabilization, which is one reason the Pany 20 f1.7 is so popular in combination with the various Oly pens. The in body stabilization on the Olys makes an excellent low light lens able to handle even lower light. So, even though its a Pany lens, its arguably even a better match with an Oly body than a Panasonic body.

  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I like that. I'd say that's pretty accurate. I really find that the color on the 17 can sometimes be quite breathtaking.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    The term "watercolor" typically is a negative conotation when talking about photos, isn't it?
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