Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens (Micro Four Thirds)

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Tried & Tested
Its extreme portability comes at the cost of some optical compromises. Image quality at the centre of the frame is high, but it's less impressive towards the edges”

Key Features

  • 17mm focal length
  • 34mm equivalent focal length on Micro Four Thirds cameras
  • F2.8 maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • 37mm filters
  • 0.20m/7.87" minimum focus
  • Micro Four Thirds mount for Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras

Product Description

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake (35mm equivalent focal length: 34mm) lens pushes compactness to the limit. It measures a mere 22mm in length and weighs only 71g. Autofocus is fast and quiet, but optically there are better options available, and ultimately this lens's main attraction is its size.

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm F1.8 vs Olympus M.Zuiko 17 mm F/2.8 Lens

I have an OMD EM5 and I am looking at getting a second lens primarily for street shooting but also for night time work and taking some photos of the stars. There's a large price difference between these lenses, as well as the obvious size difference, but I want to know is it worth getting the f1.8 over the  f2.8? I'm new to photography, sort of, so I'm just not entirely sure if the price jump is worth it. Would the f2.8 be good enough in low light and night time? Is the depth of field significantly different? Thanks in advance! :)

tawhai asked
6 months ago

ANSWERS

tawhai wrote: I have an OMD EM5 and I am looking at getting a second lens primarily for street shooting but also for night time work and taking some photos of the stars. There's a large price difference between these lenses, as well as the obvious size difference, but I want to know is it worth getting the f1.8 over the f2.8? I'm new to photography, sort of, so I'm just not entirely sure if the price jump is worth it. Would the f2.8 be good enough in low light and night time? Is the depth of field significantly different? Thanks in advance! :) For night work and especially stars f/1.8 will be handy or even necessary. For street shooting the much faster focus (and better manual focusing system) of the 17/1.8 will be beneficial. The 17/2.8 is less sharp, focuses slower and admits less light. If you can afford it, the 17/1.8 will fit your needs much better. Depth of field should be pretty large with both lenses, unless you focus really close. Continue Reading

Iskender answered
6 months ago

First, welcome to dpreview and to this Forum!   There are many, many threads on this topic and I would suggest you do a search. You don't mention it but I supposed some sort of kit zoom is your only lens now.  Summarizing a couple of consensus conclusions, the 17 2.8 is not very highly regarded, one of the weaker m4/3 lenses.  The 17 f1.8 is relatively new, larger, much, much more expensive.  Many users laud the 20mm f1.7 Panasonic, a 'pancake' lens, which I personally believe to be one of the great lenses of all time in its old configuration (there is a new, highly expensive mark II version just out, not commented on very much as yet).  However, many posters report that the AF is not very fast.  Another alternative is the 14 f2.5 Panasonic, even smaller than the 20, and very cheap. Continue Reading

PSCL1 answered
6 months ago

The f2.8 model is, I think an OK lens, but for $150 more you get a far better lens in the f1.8 model. When you get enough experience you will likely think the first $299 spent on the cheaper lens was money and time wasted. Anyway, I have neither, but I suspect that's how I would feel. Lenses should be affordable, sharp and fast, but usually I can only pick two. Continue Reading

baxters answered
6 months ago

QUESTION

Round the World trip booked, now what gear to take?

I have booked a trip consisting of India, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore starting in January for a total of 7 months, lucky me!  But what I wanted to ask was the opinions of what gear to take along.  I am interested in buying an OM-D E-M5 to replace my E-PL3 and I am going to limit myself to 3 or 4 lenses to keep weight down.  I will be taking a variety of shots both indoors and out and at night, and want to have a range of focal lengths including a relatively long tele lens for close ups, as well as a wide angle. I am also moderately limited on price, obviously I want the best for my money but I do have a budget. I currently own the Oly 14-42mm f3.6-5.6, Oly 17mm f2.8, Oly (Four Thirds) 40-150mm f4-5.6 and some legacy lenses but I will almost definitely be leaving those at home. I have been thinking about taking the following: Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6, Olympus 12-50mm f3.5-6.3, Olympus 17mm f2.8 and Sigma 30mm f2.8 What does everyone think? Thanks!

ajmoore7 asked
10 months ago

ANSWERS

ajmoore7 wrote: Harold66 wrote: Hello With all due respect , it does not seem to be a good lens selection as you do not have EVEN ONE of the excellent lenses in the m4/3 system . there are some good lenses ( the sigma 19mm ) but I think you should get at least ONE of the high performing lenses (12mm, 45mm, 60mm, 75mm or the panasonic 14mm, 25mm or 45mm) Thanks, I have been looking at the Olympus 45mm but in terms of price I don't know if I can afford that over a tele-zoom that I can see myself using a lot more on this trip. The Panasonic 25mm also look amazing, but it does cost £450 which is a lot. Hello Sorry, but I do not understand your reply. You already have the 40-150mm which is a decent performer ( I have one too because it is such a light and small long zoom) why would you need ANOTHER telezoom. . if I were you and based on what you wrote . I would get the 12-50mm , take the 40-150mm and get one of the fixed primes in my first message based on what Focal length you use most ... Continue Reading

Harold66 answered
10 months ago

ajmoore7 wrote: I have booked a trip consisting of India, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore starting in January for a total of 7 months, lucky me! But what I wanted to ask was the opinions of what gear to take along. I am interested in buying an OM-D E-M5 to replace my E-PL3 and I am going to limit myself to 3 or 4 lenses to keep weight down. I will be taking a variety of shots both indoors and out and at night, and want to have a range of focal lengths including a relatively long tele lens for close ups, as well as a wide angle. I am also moderately limited on price, obviously I want the best for my money but I do have a budget. I currently own the Oly 14-42mm f3.6-5.6, Oly 17mm f2.8, Oly (Four Thirds) 40-150mm f4-5.6 and some legacy lenses but I will almost definitely be leaving those at home. I have been thinking about taking the following: Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6, Olympus 12-50mm f3.5-6.3, Olympus 17mm f2.8 and Sigma 30mm f2.8 What does everyone ... Continue Reading

jeffharris answered
10 months ago

If I were you I'll not take any interchangeable lenses cameras to South East Asia during spring and summer. Travel as light as you can with either a large sensor compact like RX100II or superzoom SX50HS will be more enjoyable. :-) Continue Reading

Donald Chin answered
10 months ago

QUESTION

BOKEH

I have a pancake 17mm f2.8 mft lens. If  i set it wide open to f2.8, and get in close, the subject is in very sharp focus, but so is the background. Can I get any bokeh with this lens? What type of lens do you recommend that can deliver very good bokeh, but has other uses too? Carl

carl glicky asked
9 months ago

ANSWERS

Before all and sundry start whining about the Jjapanese word for blur, the larger aperture diameter is (focal length divided by f number) the more blurring you will have. So a longer lens or wider aperture would be useful.  At (head and shoulder) portrait distances, an aperture diameter of 20-25mm (35mm/1.4 or 50mm/2 85mm/2.8 etc) will give you a nice blur.  15mm (can be done with say 35mm/2 50mm/2.8, if you can adapt some sort of CCTV lens in the 17/1.2 or something) is pretty much my minimum for recognizably blurry images. 75mm and more are usually called for when you want to blur at full length distances (200/2.8 300/4 or anything faster). Continue Reading

nelsonal answered
9 months ago

Get closer. Imagine for a minute a triangle from your right shoulder and your left shoulder to the target. (ok, its actually from the sides of the lens but whatever)  Imagine the area behind the target and how quickly it diverges.   that is how I imagine depth of field being. Imagine getting twice as close to the subject and how much wider your triangle will get when past the subject.  The point is that getting closer will exponentially decrease your depth of field. At 0 focal point you'd have infinite blur...or something. Macro shots are the ultimate example.  With a 2 inch focal point your dept of field is EXTREMELY shallow. Instead of taking the whole body shot, get close enough to only take the head and shoulders.  You should have tons of bokeh then!  Well, technically you will have more blur...bokeh refers to how asthetically pleasing whatever blur exists actually is. Continue Reading

joe1512 answered
9 months ago

joe1512 wrote: Get closer. Imagine for a minute a triangle from your right shoulder and your left shoulder to the target. (ok, its actually from the sides of the lens but whatever) Imagine the area behind the target and how quickly it diverges. that is how I imagine depth of field being. Imagine getting twice as close to the subject and how much wider your triangle will get when past the subject. The point is that getting closer will exponentially decrease your depth of field. At 0 focal point you'd have infinite blur...or something. Macro shots are the ultimate example. With a 2 inch focal point your dept of field is EXTREMELY shallow. Instead of taking the whole body shot, get close enough to only take the head and shoulders. You should have tons of bokeh then! Well, technically you will have more blur...bokeh refers to how asthetically pleasing whatever blur exists actually is. Joe is absolutely correct all around. There is a problem with a 17mm lens, however. A very wide angle ... Continue Reading

Guidenet answered
9 months ago

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