Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8 - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Exposure 1/4000s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/125s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/500s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/400s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/1.8
Exposure 1/4000s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure 1/250s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/320s
Make Panasonic
Model DMC-GX1
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 17.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/400s

Verdict

The Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 may not be a stellar performer but it is certainly an interesting lens considering its strengths. High speed wide-angle lenses tend to suffer from poor corners at large apertures but the Olympus lens actually does a decent job here. The center is already very sharp and contrasty at f/1.8. The borders are also quite decent here although slight field curvature has a certain impact in the corners. So if you are into low light or shallow depth-of-field photography the M.Zuiko is a good candidate. The technical image quality doesn't overly improve by stopping down but the field curvature dissolves towards medium aperture settings. The bokeh is very good for a wide-angle lens (they tend to be rather rough here). Except some bokeh fringing (colored out-of-focus halos) at large apertures though. The amount of lateral CAs is comparatively high for such a lens. Distortions are not a problem in the real life but the original characteristic - present in the RAW data - is rather mediocre.

The mechanical quality is certainly convincing with its all metal body and a "focus-by-wire" focus ring. The focus clutch mechanism may also come handy at times. The AF is impressively fast and silent thanks to Olympus' MSC drive. Olympus claims that it operates smoothly for movies but more serious users will probably prefer to stick to manual focusing.

Now is it worth the comparatively high price tag ? Well, it depends. Some argue that there's no substitution for speed than more speed and the M.Zuiko is about as fast as it gets in this lens class within the micro-four-thirds system. Its nearest competitor, the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 ASPH is slightly cheaper but not quite as 'sexy' in terms of build quality and field-of-view. Performance-wise the Panasonic lens may be slightly sharper whereas the M.Zuiko has a better bokeh.

Optical Quality:
Field Quality: (Low-light/shallow Depth-of-Field Photography)
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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