Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens

The new Olympus 17mm f/1.8 has been officially released for sale!

It will cost you.

Estimated Street Price: $499.99

And it’s worth it, from our first look.

 

Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens

 

With a total length of just 1.4 inches, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.is light as a feather and incredibly compact.  The autofocus performance of the 17mm F1.8 lens, used on the E-PL5, is exceptionally good.  I expected that.  What I hadn’t expected was how exceptionally good it is on my new Panasonic GH3 as well! This tiny wide angle really shows some snap, which is good when you shoot street photography or document events like I do.

 

Photo from Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Shot With Panasonic GH3

Photo from Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Shot With Panasonic GH3

 

Compared to the Panasonic 20mm lens I formerly owned, the new 17mm Olympus lens shows practically no fringing. Micro contrast is very good though the Lumix at first glance shows more resolution due to a higher macro contrast.  Once sharpened up, the Olympus gets my nod.  The Bokeh on the Olympus 17 is butter smooth, creamy and pleasing to see.  So is the level of fine details resolved.  I am not seeing any ghosting, no flare, no distortion and only very low CA, even when shot with strong backlight as in the samples shown here.

 

Photo from Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Shot With Panasonic GH3

Photo from Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Shot With Panasonic GH3

 

The optional LH-48B Lens Hood and LC-48B Lens Cap are designed exclusively for the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8.  Write those part numbers down now, you’re going to need them.  While both the lens cap and hood are elegant in design with a textured metallic outer finish and distinctive, classic appearance, I fail to see why they are not included in the package with a lens this expensive.  I mean, come on Olympus!  Do you think we stick our lenses in our bag without protection?  In today’s age that is almost like having sex without using a condom – a very dangerous practice.

 

Also try finding the three different part numbers before ordering, and then pray your local dealer had the foresight to order in advance so you can even buy one.  My dealer didn’t.  But then, neither did Olympus on their own official website.  The “optional” cap and hood are not even listed as available accessories.  Olympus, bump the price if you need to, but include the necessary accessories like hood, cap, and pouch.

While this is not an inexpensive lens, it is a lens that I hope to do further evaluation on over a longer term.  The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 17mm f1.8 Lens should be available this week.

 

Carmen Porto, Regional Account Executive, Olympus America.

Carmen Porto, Regional Account Executive, Olympus America.

Many thanks to Carmen Porto, Regional Account Executive for Olympus, who took his time to introduce me to the new M.Zukio 17mm, and to Samy’s Photo for hosting the launch event.

For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/m-zuiko-digital-17mm-f1-8.html

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    About Chuck Jones

    Digital Media Producer, Photographer, Video Storyteller, Cinemagraph Master. Only Semi-Reformed Hippy. Managing Editor of http://TheCameraForum.Com

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    Lenses, Olympus M. Zuiko

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