Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions
Setter Dog
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Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
May 9, 2012

I want to buy a wide sharp m43 lens for a trip to Teton/Yellowstone next month. I have several excellent zoom lenses and the kit 14-42mm 11 that came with my my Pen.

Recently I read in a review that the 17mm F2.8 is not as sharp as the above kit at the same focal length. The reviewer said the only reason to buy the 17mm was to get a smaller size. I find this very hard to believe. The kit lens seems fine but surely the primes are better.

Any comments appreciated.

Jack

Actual
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Re: Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
In reply to Setter Dog, May 9, 2012

The Panny 14mm f2.5 is smaller/faster/sharper and can be found for under 300$

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Helen
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Re: Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
In reply to Actual, May 9, 2012

Actual wrote:

The Panny 14mm f2.5 is smaller/faster/sharper and can be found for under 300$

I was going to make the same suggestion. Whilst I find the 17mm perfectly fine optically, it has a loud focusing motor and extends the barrel physically on focusing - in comparison with the current zoom lens it tends to feel slow and noticeable. The Panasonic 14mm has near-silent internal focusing, so is also much faster to AF.

PS to the OP: I guess from your post that you now have your E-PM1. How are you liking it?

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baxters
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Re: Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
In reply to Helen, May 9, 2012

The Panasonic 14mm is within the realm of wide angle, whereas the 17mm is just inside it. You can buy either one for around $160-180USD online.

Many of the ebay 14mm sellers are in Asia, but I see one that ships out of New Jersey which will make for quick delivery and avoiding possibly a lengthy hold up in US customs.

I've ordered two lenses from Asia and had no customs holdup or charges, but I hear some post offices are getting more strict and checking the valuations. No duty though if it's under $200.

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Ulfric M Douglas
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Re: Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
In reply to Setter Dog, May 9, 2012

Setter Dog wrote:

Recently I read in a review that the 17mm F2.8 is not as sharp as the above kit at the same focal length. The reviewer said the only reason to buy the 17mm was to get a smaller size. I find this very hard to believe.

My personal 17mm is about exactly as sharp as the collapsible kit zooms, centre and corners.
If I want wide for landscapes and SHARP I use my old Lumix 14-45.
If I want the camera in my pocket I use the 17mm.
I can't comment on the Lumix 14mm.

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Setter Dog
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Re: Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
In reply to Helen, May 9, 2012

Hi Helen,....I really like it. It will be a training camera for me while I evaluate the E-M5 and maybe the Panasonic GH3 (whenever?).

I sold my GH2 which I loved. However, it was not especially good at high high ISO and had a weak burst mode. I do a lot of my photography of animals and birds in early morning and late afternoons. I still have a G2 that I bought at a great sale and it's just about as good as the GH2 for most things.

I'll be back for more advice on the E-M5 someday. Always amazed at what people on this forum know and share. Thanks, Helen.

Jack

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s_grins
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Re: Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
In reply to Setter Dog, May 9, 2012

Setter Dog wrote:

I want to buy a wide sharp m43 lens for a trip to Teton/Yellowstone next month. I have several excellent zoom lenses and the kit 14-42mm 11 that came with my my Pen.

Recently I read in a review that the 17mm F2.8 is not as sharp as the above kit at the same focal length. The reviewer said the only reason to buy the 17mm was to get a smaller size. I find this very hard to believe. The kit lens seems fine but surely the primes are better.

Any comments appreciated.

Jack

This is a difficult, but because ANY comments appreciated:

1. You already have 14-42 zoom for casual shooting, so why do you need not really wide and not really fast 17/2.8 ? If you want this lens because it is cheap and small, you know better what you need.
2. If you want really wide, you need more expensive 7-14 or 9-18 zooms.
3. If I were in your shoes, I'd rather get 40-150 or any other long reach zoom.

4. If you do not think I understood your needs and give you stupid advice, you're certainly right
--
I’m surprised how much Wikipedia contributes to the forum.

 s_grins's gear list:s_grins's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +2 more
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twokatmew
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Re: Small wide lens for Pen? 17mm F2.8?
In reply to Setter Dog, May 9, 2012

I purchased a refurb 17/2.8 from Cameta. If you don't mind silver, you can get one right now for $189 shipped. (Black will cost more, as they're currently out of stock on the refurbs.)

I find the 17/2.8 plenty sharp, and it focuses quickly on my E-PM1. When I turn the camera on, the lens extends all of 3mm. At close focus, it extends less than 5mm. With a lens so tiny, I don't know why anyone would complain about it extending a few millimeters!

The 17/2.8 focuses quickly on my E-PM1, though not quite as quickly as the 14-42 IIR. The difference is negligible in my experience. Although I find the 14-42 IIR to be sharp, the 17/2.8 is sharper. Check the cat photos in my galleries. Most were shot with the 17/2.8 wide open, though there are a few shot with the 14-42 IIR and bounce flash.

I have no experience with the 14/2.5, but I find the 17/2.8 to be a more useful focal length and a steal at the refurb price. BTW, I certainly wouldn't say the focus motor is loud on the 17/2.8. If you want loud, check out the 20/1.7 while it hunts and ultimately misses focus in low light....
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Margaret
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