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

(based on 95 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (68)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (63)
  • Durable (44)
  • Easy to use (35)
  • Reliable (28)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (26)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Everyday (38)
  • Travel (36)
  • Landscape photography (27)
  • Low light (21)
  • Home (20)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (27), Photo enthusiast (20), Semi-professional (12), Semi-pro photographer (8), Professional (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (73), Yes (3)

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 95 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

Great Lens extremely tight fit

By Dave the Engineer

from Illinois

Verified Buyer

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

The lens is a great wide angle lens and I am using it go get night shots of the milky way and star trails. It is light and small enough to fit in my bag with the Olympus and two other lenses. However, the fit on the camera is extremely tight and requires the use of more force to lock the lens in place than any of my other lenses. I plan to speak to Olympus regarding this issue once I find the contact information.

 
4.0

Perfect match for the PenF

By JoeLovotti

from Southwick, MA

Verified Buyer

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

All around great lens for everyday use.
Great Pics
Great Feel
Perfect fit on PenF

 
5.0

Nice prime lens

By Halz

from Boynton Beach, Fl.

Verified Buyer

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

Very happy with this lens. Sharp and compact. Nice general purpose lens.

(6 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The perfect carry everywhere lens

By Averyphotog

from Boulder Creek, Calif.

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

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

      This is the lens I have on my camera when I'm not working. It's small, lightweight, sharp, and the perfect focal length for travel, street photography, and snapshots of my dog.

      (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent

      By Love

      from Virginia

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

          Great match for my E-M5.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (1 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Sharp and compact

          By On the river

          from New York, NY

          Verified Buyer

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

          Great size and silver finish.

          (6 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Compact Lens

          By RCcola

          from Orlando

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

          Love the size and feel of this lens on my Olympus Omd E5. Fits in larger jacket pocket. Takes great pictures and has super fast AF. This is my new hiking set up. Manual focus option is fun and simple. Build quality feels solid. Definitely a go to wide angle lens for anybody wanting that grab and go camera. The fact that your Olympus looks sexier with it on is just an extra bonus.

          (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          It is spending a lot of time on my camera

          By Raincheck

          from The Great Southwest

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Good For Manual Shooting
          • Lightweight
          • Small
          • Well Built

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Street

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

            Put this on my camera and find I almost never take it off. I like the 35mm angle of view, and I love thie size and build of this lens, it makes a great walking around lens. I used to have the Pro 12-40 on all time, but the size of this lens has spoiled me. And I can have the 45mm in my pocket.

            I just leave the clutch pulled and shoot in manual focus, this lens is great for a that kind of engaged shooting. It doesn't automatically turn on the focus aids when you switch to manual (and a recent firmware upgrade didn't change that) so on the EM-1 I made that little button on the lower right of the lens that I never used before turn on peaking. That makes it pretty easy.

            I like the experience of shooting with it, from the angle of view, to the feel of the focus ring,to the size. And I like the results, I like the look of the files. A good add to my collection.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Exactly what I wanted

            By Annie the Tagalong

            from California

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Wonderful Manual Focus

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

                I bought this lens for my husband. He has the original 17mm 2.8 from Olypus. He loves his 17mm, period, but having a newer, faster, and sharper version was just what he'd hoped for. If you love the snap ring focus of the 12mm from Olympus, you will love this one. It works perfectly and we are so happy to have this new version in our kit.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great lens

                By Rob B

                from New York

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Weak Casing

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Weddings/Events

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

                Beautiful colors and quality of pictures. Super-fast autofocus.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Good Lens

                By Owen

                from NY

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

                A perfect partner for EM 10 Mark II! Beautiful outlooking and strong function!

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                So far so good

                By Fink

                from NYC

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery

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

                  Bought it for street and landscape photography as well as having a 35mm equivalent. Fast autofocus. Output consistent. The build is excellent. Have only been using it for two weeks now so no definite opinion.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great, fast lens

                  By Kim in post

                  from NYC

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

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

                      This lens is super fast with great color and bokeh, love it and am so glad I bought it.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great Lens

                      By Jersey girl

                      from green brook nj

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery

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

                        Fantastic clear pictures. wonderfully small

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        (10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Gem of a lens

                        By jasas01

                        from Destin, FL

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

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

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

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

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

                          Purchased this for my daughter's Olympus OMD EM-10 to complement her 12-40 f2.8 Pro, also a great lens. I wanted her to experience shooting with a fast prime and a setup that would make the camera more grab it and go friendly. It has certainly delivered. Seems very sharp, fantastic bokeh and fast autofocus. I am used to shooting with a Canon full-frame but I have borrowed the EM-10 with this lens for a few outings when I didn't want to lug around my 5D and lenses. I am really impressed with what you can capture with this discreet and compact little system. I can't compare this to any other MFTs, and frankly my expectations were not that high for MFTs in general, but I have been genuinely impressed. You know what they say about the camera you have with you...The OMD EMs and the 17 f1.8 make a great combo that begs to be taken everywhere. The ~35mm equiv focal length hits the sweet spot for lots of situations. Now I'm thinking about an EM-5ii for me so I can share lenses. I would love to see Olympus build some rugged primes in their micro4/3 pro line, but overall, I think this M.Zuiko lens is a solid value as is and worth buying now.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • Yes

                          (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          A worthy lens....

                          By Dante

                          from San Francisco

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Lightweight
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Landscape/Scenery

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

                            I waffled over purchasing this lens because my Olympus EP-2 that I purchased in 2010 from B&H came with the 17mm 2.8 lens and I've been pleased with it together with the other Olympus and Panasonic lenses I have for my camera. I questioned the other consumers on B&H's website about this lens and if it would be prudent to consider this lens knowing that I have the 17mm 2.8. The responses were mixed and some suggested I consider other Olympus lenses that I already have.
                            I decided to make the plunge in buying this lens and believe it was a good decision both for its performance and sale price. This lens does appear sharper and the colors are as true as with my other 17mm lens. I like it's faster speed at 1.8 which will certainly come in handy for those low light situations as we travel where flash is not permitted. The build quality of this lens is certainly superior to the 2.8 which Olympus and consumers have touted. I look forward to using this lens with our upcoming trip so I'll provide an update about its performance. As usual, the service by B&H in processing and shipping my order was outstanding.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            If I could only have one lens this is the one

                            By Cocomono

                            from Costa Rica

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

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

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Night Photography

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

                              I just replaced my lens which was stolen and I am so delighted to have my familiar friend back on my camera. I use it for street photography often shooting without looking through the camera. The Olympus image stabilization along with the ability to focus on faces without my interference is a gift.
                              It is good for night work too.

                              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Wonderful wide normal lens

                              By CK

                              from NY

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

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

                              Cons

                              • Not Weather Sealed

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Photography
                              • Street photography

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

                              This is a fantastic all-round lens. Excellent for street photography and even some landscapes. Also works well for indoor portraits if you're careful.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Great Lens

                              By dustball

                              from Pine Grove, PA

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                              • Good resolution
                              • Lightweight

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery

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

                                Landscape and street photography

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                (3 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                good thing to have

                                By Jeff Z.

                                from SLC Utah

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                                Cons

                                • Difficult to Clean

                                Best Uses

                                • Indoors/Low Light

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

                                good thing to have

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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