Olympus 17mm 1.8 Lens Review

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the 35mm f2.8 Canon FD Lens using High Res Shot UnEdited

I got this lens quite last minute before my trip to Cuba. Actually I got it about an hour before leaving to the airport. Before this I had the olympus 25mm 1.8 lens that I got with my OM-D E-M5 Mark II a few days earlier. I love the 50mm focal length but I just didn’t like the build and the continuous wire focus ring on the 25mm. I also felt it overall lacked in build for its price. The image quality was great and the auto focus was on point, but I like to have the option for solid manual focus and I want a solid build. So last minute I went and returned the 25mm for the 17mm and I’m very happy for it.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the 17mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

The 35mm (actually 34mm with this lens but close enough) focal length you get with the 17mm Olympus is quite something. I was a bit skeptical before this about it since I’m overall on team 50mm. Since using the 35mm I have to say I find myself playing on both teams now. It gives crips solid shots at about 4.0 and up and you can also get some beautiful bokeh in if you stop it down a bit. You should see some samples here and linked bellow is my Instagram where you should be able to see more. The focus ring is great too, if you pull back on it, it will lock into place and switch to manual focus. Its not actually manual focus, its still focus by wire. It just simulates old school manual focus and it does it extremely well. You wont have the same speed you would with pulling the focus ring around like you would with say a vintage lens but its pretty close and its as good as it will ever get for focus by wire.

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Shot on the iPhone 6s Plus

The overall build is prefect. Small, solid metal/quality plastic construction all around. It felt heavier than the larger 25mm I had before, if not more dense. I was never worried about breaking it in use and when I would bump it into things it seemed to bump back just as hard. Ill be honest I hate using neck straps and rarely do but it was simply too hot in Cuba for me to carry my backpack around which means my Peak Design Capture Clip couldn’t be used. If you read/herd my review on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II you would understand I didn’t overall like the grip even though I’m use to it now. So I had to use a strap and let me tell you did my camera and lens take a beating. I would get up from a tables and the lens and camera go smashing nose first into the edge of the table. They would both shrugging it off like it was nothing. I expect this kind of solidarity coming from the OM-D E-M5 Mark II which was build for it but not the lens. Simply put I was impressed at how well it can take a beating.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the 17mm f1.8

In conclusion I would say it was worth every penny. When I got it I thought I would return it if I didn’t like it. (Same with the OM-D E-M5 Mark II) In the end I couldn’t let either of them go. The only thing that would make this lens perfect in my eyes is if it had weather sealing. Cant have it all I guess. If you are looking at this lens I highly recommend it and if you are thinking about this vs his brother the 25mm, I still highly recommend this over that. Now thats not a 35mm vs 50mm thing thats this particular 17mm vs that particular 25mm thing. If you want to see my comparison and thoughts on the 35mm focal length vs the 50mm focal length check the links bellow. I cant say more good things about this lens from a general use standpoint and a street photographer standpoint.

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OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

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One thought on “Olympus 17mm 1.8 Lens Review

  1. Pingback: OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review | DarksterMedia

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