View Full Version : 17mm - IQ difference between the two models?

2nd March 2015, 12:24 PM
I was thinking about purchasing the 17mm lens but hadn't realised that there were two different models f1.8 (black) 350+ and f2.8 (silver) 199

There is a considerable price difference betwen the two and I was wondering if the "user experience"/IQ/ease of focusing of the new lens justifies the price.

I've seen the old model sell for under 100 2nd hand.

If any of you have used both, please share your experience.

It would be mainly for street photography.


2nd March 2015, 12:39 PM
The f2.8 version is by no means a bad lens, but it is slower to focus and obviously cannot offer as shallow a depth of focus.

2nd March 2015, 12:44 PM
thanks for the info.

To be honest, the chances of me shooting at f1.8 (or even f2.8) are very slim. For street photography I would often shoot closer to f8.

I take the point about slower focus, that is definitely important to me.


2nd March 2015, 01:02 PM
Wide aperture can be nice for street, it enables the photographer to direct the viewers attention from other things, viz. the background.

f8 is getting close to the diffraction limit for m43.

7th May 2015, 11:50 AM
I never liked the 17mm 1.8 wide open on my EM-1. Perhaps the 2.8 is better.

7th May 2015, 04:09 PM
I've only used the 2.8, so can't compare the two.
The 2.8 is cheaper & considerably smaller, both good bonuses from my point of view.
I find it ideal for using with some of the small technical filters I have available, and have always found it performance to be adequate for my needs, though I believe the 1.8 has a better reputation.
Unlike my other native glass it's fast enough to use indoors without added flash on many occasions, but when I really want low light performance I switch to adapted lenses.

7th May 2015, 05:00 PM
I've only used the f1.8 which I love.

The f2.8 is a "standard grade" lens with plastic body and was one of the earliest m4/3rd designs. As Stephen says the focus mechanism is slower than the f1.8 and the lens was not particularly well received from the outset.

The f1.8 is a "Premium" range lens with a beautifully designed metal body and a superior optical design, 9 elements in 6 groups compared with 6 elements in 4 groups needed to make the pancake size feasible.
A feature of the f1.8 which I believe is usefull for street is the "snap focus" facility. By slidung back the focus ring manual focus is immediately selected and a calibrated focus distance scale is revealed complete with DOF/aperture marks like a "traditional" manual lens design. This enables you to pre focus on your main subject distance and DOF you want and not have any auto focus delay at all. The f1.8 also has ZERO (Zuiko extra Low Reflective Optical) coating on the lens to minimize flare. The lens is available in both silver and black.


Ulfric M Douglas
7th May 2015, 05:16 PM
My original 17mmF2.8 stays at f2.8 all the time, even for landscapes.
I just like how it does things wide-open, and how it is a pancake.
Mine is a sharp copy.

8th May 2015, 06:35 AM
I use the f2.8 indoors to take snaps of my grandchildren, using ISO 800 or above allows flash free use. Mine is rather sharp, but not as sharp as my Sigma 19mm f2.8, which is a substantially larger lens.

8th May 2015, 08:14 AM
I have both but the 1.8 is the one I use. I would not use either at f8 unless I had no choice as that is where diffraction starts to kick in. Both are good lenses but I like the added flexibility that the extra stop gives me and the manual/auto ring. The big advantage of the 2.8 is size.
If you decide to go with the 2.8 PM me as I have considered selling mine.