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Why so little love for the O17/1.8?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WT21, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Went to B&H today, and wanted to look at the 17/1.8. Oh my. What a fantastic little lens. Yes, it's a bit expensive, but it's wonderful from what I can tell so far.

    First, the size:
    It is just barely thicker than the P20/1.7. The P20 is 25.4mm thick. The O17 is 35.5mm. Only my Oly 15mm lens cap lens is truly pocketable. This 10mm isn't going to make much a difference. And btw, the P20 is 63mm wide vs. the O17 is 57.5 mm wide. Weight is 99g (P20) vs. 120g (O17)

    Second, the look:
    You might not like the silver of the O17, but you have to admit, it's cooler looking than the dark grey of the P20! I like it on my black EPL3 and 5.

    Third, tricks:
    Actually neither lens has tricks. The O17 purports to have the snap-focus ring. That's actually kind of nice to flip into MF mode, without SCP diving, but the DOF scale is sooooo small, it's hard to really use. A little more gimmicky than truly useful.

    Fourth, AF:
    The O17 focus instantly. The P20, well.... doesn't.

    Fifth, Close Focus:
    The P20 focuses a bit closer (20cm vs. 25cm). Maximum magnification favors the P20 (.13x vs. .08x). Actually, neither is great. But I'm pleased the O focuses closely.

    Lastly, image quality. Well, there's the rub, lol. I just got it, and I no longer have the P20, so sadly I won't be able to test head-to-head, but in my initial shooting, the image quality looks very nice.

    Some pics from my hotel room while in NYC, on an EPL3.




    • Like Like x 1
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    LoL now there's a great debate topic: Who gets more love, the M. Zuiko 17mm ƒ1.8 or ƒ2.8 :biggrin:

    On a more serious note, I have both and no issues with either of them :smile:

    BTW, nice shots....
    • Like Like x 1
  3. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 7, 2011
    Illawarra, NSW, Australia
    I remember when the P14 was a much ignored lens. Now everybody wants one...
    • Like Like x 1
  4. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Next time at least go to the lobby!
    • Like Like x 3
  5. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    At a $150, who wouldn't. But $500.......
    • Like Like x 1
  6. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I personally love the lens -- although I concede it's not as sharp as some there is much more to the "look" of a lens (and more important I reckon) than just sharpness.

    I reviewed it on my blog and the type of photos I do might not match what you would use it for, but I really like it both on my E-M5 and E-PL5. It's usually mounted on one of those cameras all the time.

    Here's my review: What's all the Angst About: The Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Review
    • Like Like x 8
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    I like the 17/1.8 and it is worth every penny for me. Pics with it sure look pretty sharp to me, even when I pixel peep. And it produces a nice image characteristic that's somewhat 3D-ish. Most of the angst is likely coming from folks who haven't used it yet. and are relying solely on technical reviews as opposed to real life usage experiences.
    • Like Like x 4
  8. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    I dunno, maybe the 19mm at $99 chills me on either 17mm. That and the $200 difference between the 17mm f1.8 and the 20mm.
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I just got mine Friday, but I have to say so far I've been pleasantly surprised by the lens. All the blase press around the 17mm f/1.8 made me a little leery but I figured what the heck, its got a return policy, right? But at this point I doubt it'll be going back; this is a nice sharp lens in my tests so far, well built, close focusing, and the snap focus ring is a bonus too.

    I wonder if part of the issue is just that this is another silver Oly lens following the 75mm and people were simply expecting another absolute stunner. Maybe the fact this is just a really good lens is disappointing by comparison? Or perhaps the price is the issue? I've seen multiple people pan it as too expensive. The price is higher than the 45mm which is optically very good, yet with the build quality of the $800 12mm... with that being the case I really think it's priced pretty appropriately myself.

    Whatever the reason, I'm just happy it seems to be a good lens, and not a disappointment for me personally :smile:
    • Like Like x 4
  10. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Would you guys trade a 14/2.5 and 20/1.7 for the 17/1.8? I love the 17mm FOV and I figure if I need 14mm, I could just get a kit lens for dirt cheap. I have no issue with either the 14/20 I have, in fact they're sharp, but I like the idea of consolidation.
  11. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Yes. But I do like the 14/2.5, because its so small and can make a m4/3 almost pocketable.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I sold my 14 already and the 20 is next, in favor of keeping the 17mm f/1.8 and PL 25mm.

    The pancake was nice when size was my big motivator but with the GH3 I actually dislike the pancake form factor (no place for my left hand to sit comfortably). That and the 20's slow focus + 14's slow aperture kind of pushed me the rest of the way into deciding to let them go.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I would sell the 14 and 20 only if I had similar focal lengths in their place.

    I think people have taken the limited reviews of 17/1.8 to the extreme. Most reviewers either love or hate a product, you have to be able to read between the lines. I'll just use Lenstip for example since it's the more negative one. The reviewer never said the lens isn't sharp, it's simple not as sharp. Also the reviewer said it was too expensive, well in the EU the pricing is just out of this world. So comparing it to the 20/1.7 that has been on the market for a couple of years now--it's just simple insensible for that reviewer to recommend it to his/her European compadres.
  14. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I just sold my 20, because I didn't like the AF speed (will I ever learn). I was planning on getting the 75, but still haven't worked up the nerve. I tried out the 17 at B&H and fell in love. I am going to consider it -- can it replace both my 14 AND my PL25. But I don't have a kit lens, and the 14 is pretty cheap, so I am wondering what I'd benefit from selling it. Still, It's worth a discussion, at least.
  15. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I have the Panny 20 and really like it. Sure, auto-focus could be faster, but that's it. But I also just purchased the Oly 17 f/1.8. Perhaps it's not as sharp (no time to do in-depth testing yet) but it focuses instantly and will be better at high ISOs on my E-PM2. There's room for both in my kit.
  16. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I thought about it too and even sold P20. But I am keeping P14 due to deeper DoF, much smaller size, lighter weight, much cheaper. Oly 17 is only one stop faster but at the expense of DoF which is in short supply in low light anyway. With E-PM2's sensor P14 at f2.5 provides proper DoF and bright enough.
    I am very happy with my lineup which I've had for several months now: P14, O45 and P45-175. Can't even think of any additional lens I'd like...

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
    • Like Like x 1
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Got my 17 about a week ago...liking it but not loving it...certainly not in the way I liked and loved the 20 when I got it. Maybe its the FL that I haven't got used to in the environment I am it right now

    Its a nice size, its sharp, but seems to me totally without any 'character' something the 20mm had bags of.

    The focus scale is a joke... though the manual focus feel is pretty good.

    sadly stuck in a sunny Maui, where the lighting is harsh (but oh so warm :)  so not sure I have given it a true work out yet.

    anyway I have a wee set up on Flickr for you to look at I will add as I go along...

    Olympus 17/1.8 - a set on Flickr

    this is a teaser

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    P2180100 by kevinparis, on Flickr

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    P2180080 by kevinparis, on Flickr

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    P2200067 by kevinparis, on Flickr

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    P2200110 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    • Like Like x 7
  18. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Just give me a 17mm f1.8 and I'll love it! :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    I think those shots look great Kevin, maybe you just need more time to get know the lens strengths and weakness.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    That's more or less what I did do. I got the 17mm 1.8, I sold the 14 2.5 and gave the 20 1.7 to my daughter for her Panasonic G1. I don't miss them except for their size and that just wasn't important enough for me.
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