Best Olympus M Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/1,8 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
The grip of this small 17 mm is exceptional. The lens is beautiful, compact and perfectly proportioned to a camera like the E-P5. Its light weight of 120 grams is a real plus to maintain a light and balanced configuration. With less than 4 cm long, it looks like a real pancake: total discretion guaranteed. Good point, this lens is available in silver and black versions to perfectly match the various cameras in the Olympus range.
The quality of construction, 100% metal ensures gives confidence. There is a small, fluid focusing ring that is pleasant to use. Switching to manual focusing is done by slightly pulling this ring towards the camera. This action brings up focus distances. The race has two stops: great!
The design is very successful. Olympus has remained discreet about the various information displayed on the lens: depth of field indicator (too rare nowadays), focusing range, etc.
Unfortunately the lens does not come with a lens hood. There is an optional and metal one. No carrying case is provided in the basic kit.
Best Olympus M Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/1,8 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
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A focal length corresponds to an angle of field – or angle of vision – covered by the camera equipped with the lens. The larger the focal length, the smaller the field of view: we speak of a long focal length. Conversely, the shorter the focal length, the wider the field angle: we speak of wide-angle.
Here is what we get with the 17 mm mounted on the Pen E-P5, which is equipped with a Micro 4/3 sensor. With the conversion coefficient of 2X, we get a 34 mm equivalent. This lens is the perfect standard focal length for reporting or landscape for example.
All the lenses give an image whose periphery, and particularly the corners, are darker. The vignetting is measured in IL (Lumination Index): the value indicated measures the difference, in IL, between the amount of light received by the edges and that received in the center.
The vignetting is very discreet. You can feel it slightly at the largest openings, but its influence remains almost completely negligible. From f / 2.8, you can’t see anything.
Objectives tend to “twist reality”. Geometric aberrations appear when one moves away from Gauss conditions. There are two types of geometrical distortions: distortions in bearings and distortions in barrels.
The bokeh is to be related to the depth of field. We can compare it to the “quality” of the blur or to the way in which the objective goes from the net to the blur – a very subjective notion, even if certain elements make it possible to predict things – on images with shallow depth of field. It depends on many parameters including mainly the lens design, the shape and the size of the diaphragm.
A maximum aperture of f / 1.8 provides depth of field effects. Of course, the depth of field depending on the size of the sensor, we should not expect to have the same type of results as with a 35 mm full format: we are far from it.
We tested the 17mm f / 1.8 Olympus with a Panasonic Lumix GX8 and its 20 Mpx Micro 4/3 sensor.
The notion of dive is quite delicate to deal with. This is what we can assimilate to the “feeling of sharpness” and / or to the “precision” that we observe on an image. It can be very different from one lens to another, from one focal to another and from one aperture to another. It can also vary between the center and the edges of the image. We usually say that the sharpness is optimal in the center and at the average openings: f / 8 or f / 11 for example.
In addition, the sharpness will depend on the definition of the sensor of your device (20 MP for the GX8) and the size of its sensor (Micro 4/3 for the GX8). The smaller the pixels, the more the system will show its limits due to diffraction. This phenomenon increases as you close the lens diaphragm. The GX8 has a definition of 5,200 x 3,904 px. Each pixel therefore measures 3.3 µm side. The minimum aperture recommended to avoid diffraction problems is therefore f / 8 – f / 11!
The performance of this 17mm is, overall, very good. From the largest opening f / 1.8, the sharpness is already high and on everything quite homogeneous. It remains relatively constant over the first three openings. From f / 4, the dive in the center comes off and increases to reach its maximum at the average apertures f / 5.6 and f / 8. The sharpness at 2/3 of the images and at the extreme edges remains constant. Arrived at f / 8, diffraction makes its appearance.
- Exceptional handling
- Compactness and weight
- Build quality
- Switching to manual focus and stops
- Versatility for street photography
- Bokeh effects at f / 1.8
- Vignetting at all openings
- “Circular” chromatic aberrations
- Disappointing dives at large openings
- Embossed screws screws of equivalent models in 24×36 mm
What strikes at first sight with this objective is the beauty of the object and the quality of construction. There is simply nothing to complain about there. The focal length, equivalent to a 35mm lens, is very versatile for lovers of reporting, street photography or landscapes. On the quality side, we are a little disappointed. Indeed, the lens does not really equal its 24×36 mm SLR equivalents. The dive is back despite a remarkable homogeneity at large openings. To shoot “sharp” images of this lens, it will be necessary to restrict oneself to f / 4 or f / 5.6. It remains to see what will give the new version of the 20mm f / 1.7 from Panasonic to compare.
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