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

(based on 62 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (44)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (46)
  • Easy to use (35)
  • Durable (32)
  • Reliable (28)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (8)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Everyday (38)
    • Travel (36)
    • Landscape photography (26)
    • Home (20)
    • Portraits (14)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Enthusiast (27), Semi-professional (12), Professional (7), Photo enthusiast (6), Semi-pro photographer (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (55)

    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 62 customers

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    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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      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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        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 1 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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          (0 of 4 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 2 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 2 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 1 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 2 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 4 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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                                (5 of 6 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 2 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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                                      (10 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Walking on the Moon

                                      By Bartlioni

                                      from Huntsville, AL

                                      About Me Semi-Professional

                                      Verified Reviewer

                                      Pros

                                      • Durable
                                      • Easy To Use
                                      • Lightweight
                                      • Reliable

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Everyday use
                                        • Home
                                        • Landscape Photography
                                        • The Moon
                                        • Traveling

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

                                        You can read technical lens reviews and read about how some reviewers say this glass is good stuff but not great. Well, my sample delivers technical sharpness that rivals my best MFT glass and I have them all. Technical sharpness is actually third on my list of evaluation criteria behind color accuracy and lens speed, and this glass delivers even in terms of technical sharpness. But the real question we should all ask ourselves is this:

                                        If I ever get to walk on the moon which camera and glass would I take? It would be my E-M5 with this lens. Sorry E-M1. I love you baby. Especially with the 12-40 F2.8 and battery grip I gib ya', but this lens on the E-M5 is the bomb. The overpriced hood locks up tight, and my hypothetical snaps would have people studying bare footprints in the lunar dust for generations to come. Dust angels anyone?

                                        Get this glass for either the E-M1 or the E-M5. I have my E-M1 set up for 'pro' performance, but I seem to have forgotten to tell my E-M5 there's a new player in town, and E-M5 didn't notice. Either camera is great but the balance of this glass on a basic E-M5 is perfect for travel up to and including the moon where weight considerations are significant given the current state of rocket lift-off capabilities. If you shoot MFT on an Olympus OM-D then you are obviously a savvy photographer. You really need to get this glass. There's your legacy to consider.

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                                        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Excellent all-around lens

                                        By George Napalm

                                        from Belmont, MA

                                        About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Durable
                                        • Lightweight
                                        • Reliable

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Everyday use
                                          • Home
                                          • Traveling

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

                                          This replaced my beloved Panasonic 20mm 1.7. Much faster autofocus, a bit wider angle, better construction. I was pleasantly surprised with other things I didn't expect: 1) The camera turns on much faster with this lens than with panasonic pancake and 2) white balance is spot on! I didn't have to fix anything in Lightroom.

                                          Definitely recommended!

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

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