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OlympusM.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Silver)
 
4.7

(based on 64 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (46)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (48)
  • Easy to use (35)
  • Durable (34)
  • Reliable (28)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Everyday (38)
    • Travel (36)
    • Landscape photography (26)
    • Home (20)
    • Portraits (14)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Enthusiast (27), Semi-professional (12), Photo enthusiast (7), Professional (7), Semi-pro photographer (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (57)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    A great 35mm equiv lens for MFT

    I recently bought an EPL-5, my first MFT camera. I've been using Canon FF gear for a few years and whilst I love the Canon IQ and ergonomics, I wanted something smaller...Read complete review

    I recently bought an EPL-5, my first MFT camera. I've been using Canon FF gear for a few years and whilst I love the Canon IQ and ergonomics, I wanted something smaller and lighter for when I travel but which still delivers excellent IQ. The EPL-5 meets this requirement perfectly - it's an incredible camera for its size and price with IQ getting close to the 5dii.

    I wanted a nice medium-wide to standard prime to go with it though, so I took a close look at the Oly 17/1.8, the Pany 20/1,8 and the Pany 25/1.4 by going out and shooting for a few hours in NYC. This is my summary:

    Build

    - The 17/1.8 has nicer build than either of the Panasonic lenses. It's a beautiful piece of optical engineering with a good quality feel in all ways. By comparison, the Panasonic glass seems lower rent - although take this comment in context; there is nothing that anyone could seriously complain about in the Panasonic lenses' build quality - it's just that the Oly lens is a notch above.

    AF

    - The 17/1.8 wins hands down, esp in low light. As with build quality though, the Panasonic lenses aren't bad and I doubt that they'd fail to meet most people's needs. To emphasise this point, I did some night-time shooting in NYC with the 20/1.7 and I had absolutely no problems - focus lock was slower than the 17/1.8, but not excessively so and focus was always accurate, so long as I did my part right!

    MF

    Like all MFT AF lenses, all three lenses support what the DSLR crowd have for years called 'full-time manual focus override'. Basically, you can use AF (or not) first and then rotate the focus ring to override the AF setting without moving any switches. This works well if you want to tweak focus. Once the camera tries to AF again (eg if you press the shutter half-way again), then whatever manual setting you had will be lost.

    What the Oly offers over and above the two Pany lenses though is a second 'full manual' mode. In this mode (activated by sliding the focus ring back a small amount), the focus ring is locked to the focus mechanism and a turn of approx 135 degrees will move it from min focus to infinity. At each end, the focus ring will stop - unlike in the mode discussed above where the ring spins and spins. AF is also disabled in this mode, so the lens will stay where you focused it.

    I can see this full MF feature being really useful for street photographers since it means that they can set a hyperfocal distance and just shoot away without focusing at all for the ultimate in fast capture. When placed in full MF mode, a DOF scale is revealed to help set this up (but with only 135 degrees rotation end-to-end, the scale is somewhat scrunched up).

    Overall, this full MF mode should really help with street photography and paired with the 35mm (equiv) focal length probably positions this lens as the go-to optic for street shooters on MFT.

    Sharpness

    - OK, the 17/1,8 isn't as sharp as the two Panasonic lenses towards the edges of the frame and when wide open. However, centre sharpness is as good as identical on all three so unless you're shooting scenes that require corner-to-corner sharpness wide-open (e.g. building interiors), then it's a non-issue. Once stopped down to f4, the edge sharpness deficiency on the 17/1.8 is all but gone.

    For street shooting, portraits, landscapes (where you'll be stopped down) and general purpose photography, the sharpness of the 17/1.8 is way better than adequate. However, if ultimate sharpness is important to you, then you'll be leaving the Oly on the shelf. For me, I think the Oly's qualities in other areas (build, AF, CA) make it a winner.

    CA/Fringing

    - None of these lenses are free of fringing/CA issues. I found both the Panasonic lenses to be worse though - esp the 20/1.7 which exhibits some horrendous purple fringing in the wrong conditions (high contrast highlights). Lightroom does a good job of removing these problems, so RAW shooters can produce clean shots, but JPG users will suffer. Remember too, that CA fixing/defringing will lose resolution, so this detracts a little from the resolution advantages of the Panasonic lenses (but it's a small point).

    Colo(u)r, contrast etc

    - I've no complaints with any of the lenses. The 20/1.7 seems the most 'constrasty' on first glance, but tweaking in Lightroom or such like can get shots from any of the lenses to look fairly close. I can convince myself that the 17/1.8 offers better microcontrast than the 20/1.7, but it's subtle.

    Flare

    - I didn't get chance to do comparative test of flare, but now that I'm an owner of a 17/1.8, I can say that it handles flare exceptionally well. Maybe this is why Olympus doesn't include a lens-hood?

    Focal Length

    Of course, FL choice is personal and depends on what you're shooting. For general purpose use though, a 35mm (FF equiv) lens is a good compromise and for this reason the Oly works well for me. I'd be happy with the 20/1.7 too, but there is a noticeably smaller FOV. The 25/1.4 is a great 'standard' lens - great for head and shoulders portraits without too much worry of perspective distortion effects, but I find it a little limiting for general purpose use since it's just not wide enough. YMMV!

    Summary

    Despite a slightly disappointing sharpness result in the corners wide open, the Oly 17/1.8 is a great lens. For me (and 99% of other photographers), I don't think this sharpness issue is anything that will ever be noticed, let alone spoil a shot. However, for those that require the absolute highest resolution possible, then one of the two Panasonic lenses will satisfy more.

    For me, the build, AF performance, colours, contrast, CA control and full MF mode mean this is a lens that earns its price tag.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Great lens for specific uses

    The construction is great and you feel that you have a very nice lens. However when I first opened the files on the computer, I missed sharpness of other lenses such as 45....Read complete review

    The construction is great and you feel that you have a very nice lens. However when I first opened the files on the computer, I missed sharpness of other lenses such as 45. Anyway is a great focal length, very comfortable, usable and great for street photography.

    Reviewed by 64 customers

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    5.0

    Showed my Canon primes who's boss ...

    By pcj

    from MA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Sports/Action
      • Video

      Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Silver):

      I'm brand new to this format. Less than a week into owning an Olympus OM-D EM-1, after many happy years with a Canon 7D and primes.I knew I needed a daily lens. Something that would live on the camera, be my walk about, and be flexible enough when I needed something a bit wider than the 45mm I already owned - and this was my choice.And I love it :)For comparison, I used to carry a 28mm f/1.8 Canon prime on my 7D - so the focal lengths are roughly the same. Obviously, the weight and size of my new setup is a huge factor, but I also found the auto focus to be as quick, the low light performance and focus grabbing to be as reliable and clean - and the rather nifty pull ring to get into manual focus is fantastic and smooth.Very very pleased.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Great lens

      By Brick

      from washington

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Lightweight
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery

        Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

        Fast, sharp wide angle/standard lens.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        New Favorite Lens

        By Double D

        from Honolulu, HI

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Video

          Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

          Extremely light, compact, and relatively sharp even wide open. This is my new go-to lens for MFT bodies.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A Great Street and Travel Lens

          By Bill

          from Western Massachusetts

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Lightweight
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography
            • Sports/Action
            • Street and travel
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

            This is a wonderful lens. It looks like a smaller version of my Olympus 12mm f2.0. It has a metal body and is very well built. I use this lens on my Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the autofocus is blazing fast and highly accurate. I think the image quality is excellent. The 17mm focal length is the equivalent of the classic 35mm lens, favored among many street shooters.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Hard to get out if focus

            By Paul

            from NJ

            Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Silver):

            I bought this for use with the black magic pocket camera. It brought in a lot of light and seemed to keep my subjects in focus

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            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent Starter

            By Iron_Mosquito

            from North Carolina

            Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

            I recently purchased a MFT system. I bought this lens first so I had a fast, semi-wide angle, general purpose lens.

            The metal construction is pretty solid yet light. The fast aperture allows for acceptable bokeh and low-light performance. The bokeh and sharpness aren't worth drooling over but focus is quick and sharp. At under $500 this is perfectly acceptable and worth more I believe.

            Canon's competetion to this would be a heavier, larger, slower, and more expensive 35mm 2.0. No contest in my opinion.

            Distortion and vignetting are minimal. Lens flare does exist but isn't a crucial problem.

            This is a great starter lens that does exactly what it was designed to do. Take good photos at an affordable price.

            Five Stars for all-around value, build, and quality.
            This lens is a winner.

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            5.0

            Sharp lens - super fast autofocus

            By Beikokunotora

            from Dallas, TX

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged

            Cons

            • Expensive

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Night Photography

            Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

            Photo fan - bought this for street photography.
            Relatively sharp wide open & autofocus is very fast.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Great Lens

            By Photo Guy

            from Tampa, FL

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Nice Bokeh

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

              This was not my first choice, the Panasonic 25mm f1/4 was. However the price went up $ overnite and the Zuiko 17mm was less expensive than I thought. Well I am extremely happy with my choice! For the price, I consider it a steal! Very sharp and delivers wonderful colors.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great lens

              By Ivan

              from Mexico city

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Night Photography
                • Video
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                It is a very bright light lens, and great optics.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                3.0

                Great lens for specific uses

                By Elbarrenechea

                from Pamplona, SPAIN

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Night Photography

                  Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                  The construction is great and you feel that you have a very nice lens. However when I first opened the files on the computer, I missed sharpness of other lenses such as 45. Anyway is a great focal length, very comfortable, usable and great for street photography.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great Macro Lens!

                  By Steve

                  from Dallas, TX

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Macro Photography

                    Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                    Light weight and well made. I really enjoy using this lens for macro photography.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Love it!

                    By LeanK.

                    from Campo Grande, Brazil

                    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Reliable
                    • Sharp

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Everyday use
                      • Landscape Photography
                      • Portraits
                      • Traveling

                      Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Silver):

                      this lens has a focal lenght that i love, makes a great street photography lens, I can comfortably go out with only this one mounted on my camera and get great photos.

                      Very sharp images and great build. The pull manual focus ring thing is a great feature too

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Olympus medium wide angle lens

                      By Chuck

                      from Metro New york

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Macro Photography

                        Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                        Macro photography, medium wide subject, fast focus crisp pix.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great little lens

                        By Brian S

                        from Toronto, Canada

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Lightweight
                        • Nice Bokeh

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                          I'm a 35mm prime lens fan and this Olympus is really a great little performer. It's fast, contrasty and sharp ... nothing to complain about. I've been using it for over a month and I can tell you it's one of my favorite MFT glass.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Blazing fast for such a compact lens!

                          By micron

                          from R. Cucamonga CA

                          About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                                Night photography under incandescent lighting is amazingly clear. Impressive in all lighting conditions. Even under moon light. No image blur or vignetting. I haven't seen a need to mount the camera on a tripod. This lens is mated to my EM-1 and has been used more than any other lens. I am immensely satisfied with the quality build and performance. Styling and feel is reminiscent of my old Nikon and Leica lenses.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Excellent wide prime lens.

                                By jtron9k

                                from St. Louis, MO

                                About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                • Lightweight
                                • Reliable

                                Cons

                                • Not Durable

                                Best Uses

                                • Street Photography
                                • Traveling

                                Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                                I love this lens for street photography and shooting architecture. Great field of view, and tack sharp paired with the omd em1. Shockingly small too. I describe it as a little bigger than a golf ball. People usually look at me quizzically after hearing that, but then I take it out of the bag and the first response is usually something like "oh ___, it really isn't that much bigger than a golf ball."Overall a great lens and if you want a classic 35mm equivalent for a m43 camera, this is a perfect choice.My only knock on it, and this is with all the non "pro" olympus m43 lenses, is that it isn't weather sealed. However, the product designers and engineers over at Olympus know more about making m43 glass than I do, so I'll trust their judgement. The fact they got this good of a prime made and under $[$]is impressive.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Nice Lens, fast

                                By Motion Picture Man

                                from St. Louis

                                About Me Professional

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Use
                                • Fast 18
                                • Lightweight
                                • Manual Clutch Ring

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Everyday use
                                  • Landscape Photography
                                  • Studio
                                  • Traveling

                                  Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                                  At 1.8 it's fast enough to shoot a talking head with a nice out of focus background but with a wider "set" so it can be a very different view than a 50 or 85. Light too, great walkaround tourist lens also. And I love the clutch to go manual focus quickly.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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                                  (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  Good lens, but a little too much

                                  By mi1stormilst

                                  from Gilbert, AZ

                                  About Me Semi-Professional

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Easy To Use
                                  • Lightweight
                                  • Reliable

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Everyday use
                                    • Portraits
                                    • Traveling

                                    Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                                    This is a great walk around lens and even capable for portraits. Paired with the OM-D EM-1 it is a killer combination. I might recommend the 25mm 1.8 over the 17mm 1.8 as it appears to be a bit sharper ... Although I still feel the 17mm 1.8 is a better travel or all around lens.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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                                    (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Buen lente

                                    By Carlos

                                    from Naples,Fl

                                    About Me Semi-Professional

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Durable
                                    • Easy To Use
                                    • Lightweight
                                    • Reliable

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Everyday use
                                      • Landscape Photography
                                      • Portraits
                                      • Traveling

                                      Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Silver):

                                      Es un lente de buena calidad, produce imágenes muy lindas pero no es muy nítido. La fabricación es buena pero y el anillo de enfoque se mueve muy suavemente. El autoenfoque es muy rápido. Es un bonito lente y produce un lindo bokeh, pero si buscas un lente que sea muy nítido quizás esta no se a la opción para ti.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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                                      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      excelent lens

                                      By Alasela

                                      from Santiago, Chile

                                      About Me Professional

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Durable
                                      • Easy To Use
                                      • Lightweight
                                      • Reliable

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about M.ZUIKO Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens (Black):

                                          Small and fast... what else you can ask?

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

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