*User* opinions sought - Olympus 17 pancake

Started Sep 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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John Bean (UK)
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*User* opinions sought - Olympus 17 pancake
Sep 5, 2012

Background: I used Panasonic G1 camera for a couple of years and am familiar with Panasonic lenses. I moved to Sony NEX for a while and am now back with micro 4/3 in the form of a E-M5 that I bought with the kit 12-50 and a 45/1.8.

I'm not happy with the kit lens apart from its weatherproofing (which is why I bought it) and its handy macro functionality. As a pictorial lens at long focus it is mediocre to say the least - IMO, of course.

I have two basic requirements: a "handy" zoom lens for everyday use, already decided (Panasonic 14-45) so not part of this question.

Secondly I would like a couple of small primes to make the camera+lens more "pocketable" (think cargo pocket here) and have already bought a Panasonic 14/2.5 to handle the wide(ish) end and of course I already have the 45 at the other. But what goes in between...

I will be buying a Sigma 30/2.8 in due course (I like this FoV oddly enough) and I also own and use a Fuji X100 which would be my preferred camera at the 35mm equivalent focal length, but it's a lot easier to carry a small lens for the E-M5 rather than a second camera when conditions are not so demanding. So I'm considering the Olympus 17, which appears to be almost universally regarded as rather mediocre - even I have been guilty of repeating this opinion even though I haven't used one myself, something I rarely do.

A couple of important notes about my preferences: "sharp" is not top of my list of important lens characteristics. Sure it must be "sharp enough", but far more important is how it draws and how it renders out of focus highlight detail. As a Panasonic user I had a 20/1.8 and didn't like it; it was sharp, and that's the best that could be said about it. The bokeh is particularly jarring, full of hard edges and line doubling. Not my kind of lens at all.

What I've seen of the Olympus 17 is that it is less sharp but appears to have much nicer rendering than the Panasonic 20. Opinions (and examples) from users is what I'd like to hear; I can Google all the opinions of "experts" and reviewers all by myself

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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

Fujifilm FinePix X100
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