I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?

Started 11 months ago | Questions
Neurad1
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

The Photo Ninja wrote:

I have plenty of lenses for my 5D Mark III, but I was thinking of getting just one more lens for my Olympus EP5 kit. The 17mm is awesome. I was thinking maybe a 45mm 1.8 or a 75-300.

Do I need it, NO! Still, thought maybe one more lens for my kit and then call it quits (LOL, yeah right, but no seriously).

I have the MZ 9-18 and use it a lot. I think the IQ on my specimen is quite good, though it is not a fast lens. However, since I use it for outdoor landscape and architectural shots, that doesn't seem to matter often as I am most commonly shooting in decent light. Others might recommend the Panasonic 7-14. I don't have that lens, but lots of folks love it. I chose the MZ 9-18 over that lens mostly because I wanted to be able to use filters, which may not have been such a great reason. I think that many people think the 7-14 has better IQ than the 9-18.

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Grzzl
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the 17mm 1.8, but i don't own it yet (NT)
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago
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yonsito
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the PL25 is nice
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

I really like the Panasonic 25/F1.4. I hardly use anything else since I bought it.

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jeffharris
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

The Photo Ninja wrote:

I have plenty of lenses for my 5D Mark III, but I was thinking of getting just one more lens for my Olympus EP5 kit. The 17mm is awesome. I was thinking maybe a 45mm 1.8 or a 75-300.

Do I need it, NO! Still, thought Smaybe one more lens for my kit and then call it quits (LOL, yeah right, but no seriously).

From everything I've seen and read, you can't go wrong with the 45mm, especially for the price. A 12mm or 14mm (another lens you can get cheap: $180-ish on eBay) would be another way to go. But my vote is for the 45mm.

My favorite lens is the Voigtländer 25mm, but that's a different critter altogether.

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stephen99
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PL25 or 45mm 1.8 or 75mm 1.8
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

Depends on what focal lengths you prefer but all three are spectacular lenses. Then, of course, you will need to get a bigger bag. It never ends.

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Raffwal
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

The Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (which I own) is very good optically, small and cheapish.

The Olympus 75mm f/1.8 (which I don't own) is considered by many the best m43 lens ever.

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slimandy
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

The 17 is my standard lens. A few weeks ago I would have said my next most important lens was the 12mm f2, but then I bought the 75~300 and that has been my most used lens since. If i want portrait the 45mm f1.8 is an easy choice.

So, tough choice to pick one other lens..... but its the 75~300.

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azazel1024
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

If I had to pick one, I would be the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4.

If I had to pick two, it would be the PL25mm f/1.4 and then the Olympus 12mm f/2. If I was allowed to pick three, I would then add the Olympus 45mm f/1.8.

Really, it is all of the glass currently in my bag (well, except that I have the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 and I'd really rather prefer the Olympus 17mm f/1.8). I couldn't "live without it". Or at least I'd feel very limited.

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NZ Scott
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I own eight lenses and I couldn't do without the ... (pix)
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

The Photo Ninja wrote:

I have plenty of lenses for my 5D Mark III, but I was thinking of getting just one more lens for my Olympus EP5 kit. The 17mm is awesome. I was thinking maybe a 45mm 1.8 or a 75-300.

Do I need it, NO! Still, thought maybe one more lens for my kit and then call it quits (LOL, yeah right, but no seriously).

I couldn't do without two lenses: the 60/2.8 Macro and the 17/1.8.

I own the following:

1) Samyang 7.5 --- extremely sharp, optically almost perfect (apart from the distortion ...)

2) MZ 12/2.0 --- the lens I use the most, a bit overpriced

3) MZ 17/1.8 --- an excellent everyday lens, this gets almost as much use as the 12/2.0 and is an awesome street lens because of the blazing autofocus speed and ability to set hyperfocal distance

4) MZ 45/1.8 --- optically outstanding, especially for the price, but the focal length doesn't suit me and I rarely use it

5) MZ 60/2.8 Macro --- a superb macro lens that gives me lots of fun in the garden, and I would certainly shed a tear if I was parted from it

6) MZ 14-42 IIR --- acceptable image quality, but I find the retracting design to be more of a hindrance than a help

7) MZ 40-150 ED --- a great-value lens, and one that I will probably not replace, even with a constant f2.8 lens, because it's just so small and handy

8) MZ 75-300 II --- a really good lens for the price, and one that plays to the strengths of m43, as it costs a fortune to reach 600mm on full-frame

All of those lenses are good, but the one I like the least is the 14-42 IIR, because I find the retracting design to be a pain in the bum - it's an extra step to get in the way of the photography process.

The best two lenses in terms of image quality are the 7.5 fisheye and the 60/2.8 macro.

My favourite lens at the moment is the 17/1.8, because of its "normal" focal length, its blazing autofocus and its ability to zone-focus.

My most-used lens is the 12/2.0. I've never actually considered the lens to be terribly good in terms of image quality, but I find it to be my go-to lens for low light, interior and landscape shooting.

The 45/1.8 has excellent image quality, but I've never used it much because I rarely shoot head-and-shoulder portraits.

Here are some shots with each of those lenses:

1) Samyang 7.5

2) MZ 12/2.0

3) MZ 17/1.8

4) MZ 45/1.8

5) 60/2.8 Macro

6) 14-42 IIR

7) 40-150 ED

8) 75-300 II

S

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EarthQuake
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

The Photo Ninja wrote:

I have plenty of lenses for my 5D Mark III, but I was thinking of getting just one more lens for my Olympus EP5 kit. The 17mm is awesome. I was thinking maybe a 45mm 1.8 or a 75-300.

Do I need it, NO! Still, thought maybe one more lens for my kit and then call it quits (LOL, yeah right, but no seriously).

For me?

1. Oly 45/1.8

2. Pana 7-14/4

3. Pana 25/1.4

4. Pana 100-300

In that order. Really depends on your shooting style though.

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The Photo Ninja
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to Ulric, 11 months ago

Fun!

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rpm40
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to secretworld, 11 months ago

Grab the 45mm 1.8 for $299 while it's on sale (if you can still find it), and you should have enough left over for a 40-150 (you can sometimes find those for $99). The 45 is a great lens, the zoom is a great deal. Those should round out a nice versatile kit for you.

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grey0135
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to Alexis D, 11 months ago

Alexis D wrote:

I supposed it is a "best" lens for you because it is the only M43 lens you have.

I don't own it but I have wanted to buy it many times, as I really need this FL. However I stopped myself every time, because this lens seems very ordinary. Both Lenstip and Photozone both said the 17mm f/1.8 is quite ordinary as a prime in its resolution ("just decent"), distortion ("extreme"), vignetting ("huge"), CA ("medium") and bokeh("not big calibre"), especially since it is not cheap. The 12-35mm zoom is said to match or beat it in sharpness at that particular FL. It is excellent in AF, flare control and build, that's about it. While there are other reviews that are more positive about this lens' worth, I trust Lenstip and Photozone more. So, I managed to live without it thus far.

The best lens I can't live without is the 12-50mm. By expecting less IQ (due to the lens quality and the need to use higher ISO more often), I have something that can go with me anywhere and be ready for just about any situation, rain, wind, wide scenes, portraits, macro shots, video, quick shots of things near and far (no time to change lenses) etc. Of course I use sharper lenses for specific and planned situations too, but this lens makes the difference of getting that picture or not.

Have you ever shot the 17mm Oly? The limitations are there, but they're massively overstated and are only a real issue if your primary use for the 17mm is shooting landscape shots. And if you're really that concerned about IQ, you wouldn't be shooting with the 12-50, which is a far inferior lens. Sure, the test charts show that the 17mm is slightly soft in the corners when you shoot wide open, but I've never had any issue with real world photos. When I shoot this lens wide open, I'm usually photographing people (especially in the evenings). The corners, for such photos, are out of focus anyhow, so not an issue.

This lens is especially great at night. It's allows me to travel light with the E-P5. It can quickly focus in the dimmest of settings, such as at restaurants or bars. In fact, after trying the E-P5 with the 17mm for several weeks (I got them as a package, along with the VF4), I ended up returning my Fuji X100S, which I had owned for several weeks. Although the Fuji has better high ISO performance, I actually found myself getting better pictures with the E-P5 and the 17mm because that combination focused so quickly and easily. And thanks to the fast aperture and IBIS, I never had to go above ISO 1600.

Don't get me wrong; the 17mm has its weaknesses, but the weaknesses are only apparent if shoot lots of landscapes or interiors at 1.8 (with focus on infinity), and even then, I found that the slight softness did not manifest itself in actual prints.

One other bit of advice: if you use the snap back feature and want to focus at infinity, turn the ring so that it's just a little short of infinity. On my lens at least, if you put it at infinity, it will focus past infinity, and you'll end up with soft pictures.

In short, the 17mm is a great travel companion.  I use the 12-35mm during the day, and the 17mm or 25mm at night.  I've gotten some of my favorite images with the PL 25mm, but if I'm in cramped quarters, I prefer the 17mm.

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RV Abbott

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honeyiscool
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to grey0135, 11 months ago

grey0135 wrote:

Alexis D wrote:

I supposed it is a "best" lens for you because it is the only M43 lens you have.

I don't own it but I have wanted to buy it many times, as I really need this FL. However I stopped myself every time, because this lens seems very ordinary. Both Lenstip and Photozone both said the 17mm f/1.8 is quite ordinary as a prime in its resolution ("just decent"), distortion ("extreme"), vignetting ("huge"), CA ("medium") and bokeh("not big calibre"), especially since it is not cheap. The 12-35mm zoom is said to match or beat it in sharpness at that particular FL. It is excellent in AF, flare control and build, that's about it. While there are other reviews that are more positive about this lens' worth, I trust Lenstip and Photozone more. So, I managed to live without it thus far.

The best lens I can't live without is the 12-50mm. By expecting less IQ (due to the lens quality and the need to use higher ISO more often), I have something that can go with me anywhere and be ready for just about any situation, rain, wind, wide scenes, portraits, macro shots, video, quick shots of things near and far (no time to change lenses) etc. Of course I use sharper lenses for specific and planned situations too, but this lens makes the difference of getting that picture or not.

Have you ever shot the 17mm Oly? The limitations are there, but they're massively overstated and are only a real issue if your primary use for the 17mm is shooting landscape shots. And if you're really that concerned about IQ, you wouldn't be shooting with the 12-50, which is a far inferior lens. Sure, the test charts show that the 17mm is slightly soft in the corners when you shoot wide open, but I've never had any issue with real world photos. When I shoot this lens wide open, I'm usually photographing people (especially in the evenings). The corners, for such photos, are out of focus anyhow, so not an issue.

This lens is especially great at night. It's allows me to travel light with the E-P5. It can quickly focus in the dimmest of settings, such as at restaurants or bars. In fact, after trying the E-P5 with the 17mm for several weeks (I got them as a package, along with the VF4), I ended up returning my Fuji X100S, which I had owned for several weeks. Although the Fuji has better high ISO performance, I actually found myself getting better pictures with the E-P5 and the 17mm because that combination focused so quickly and easily. And thanks to the fast aperture and IBIS, I never had to go above ISO 1600.

Don't get me wrong; the 17mm has its weaknesses, but the weaknesses are only apparent if shoot lots of landscapes or interiors at 1.8 (with focus on infinity), and even then, I found that the slight softness did not manifest itself in actual prints.

One other bit of advice: if you use the snap back feature and want to focus at infinity, turn the ring so that it's just a little short of infinity. On my lens at least, if you put it at infinity, it will focus past infinity, and you'll end up with soft pictures.

In short, the 17mm is a great travel companion. I use the 12-35mm during the day, and the 17mm or 25mm at night. I've gotten some of my favorite images with the PL 25mm, but if I'm in cramped quarters, I prefer the 17mm.

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RV Abbott

Agreed. In fact, the 17mm f/1.8 is exactly the lens that "makes the difference of getting that picture or not" so it's weird that Alexis is so dismissive of a lens that is all about getting that picture no matter what. Almost everyone who actually did real life shooting with the lens and took actual photos with it have very good things to say about it. There are many users, me included, that tried out the 17mm f/1.8 against the 20mm f/1.7 and ditched the 20mm after. I know the feeling, honestly, that this lens might not be worth it... because the pixel peepers do not like this lens at all, but trying it won't hurt.

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george4908
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Re: I own eight lenses and I couldn't do without the ... (pix)
In reply to NZ Scott, 11 months ago

NZ Scott wrote:

/

You should shoot with the 45 more often -- that's a lovely portrait.

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Ulric
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to The Photo Ninja, 11 months ago

The Photo Ninja wrote:

Fun!

A Sigma 60/2.8 and alcoholic beverages for what money's left.

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Alexis D
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to grey0135, 11 months ago

grey0135 wrote:

Have you ever shot the 17mm Oly?

No, I only try something when I want to buy it. In this case, I have not bothered.

The limitations are there, but they're massively overstated and are only a real issue if your primary use for the 17mm is shooting landscape shots. And if you're really that concerned about IQ, you wouldn't be shooting with the 12-50, which is a far inferior lens.

I am really concerned with IQ if I have to spend so much money on a prime lens. A prime is a huge sacrifice (in terms of the FL range and cost, compared to zooms) and is justified if it has superior speed, resolution and/or other optical qualities. In this case, as explained already, this 17mm f/1.8 only has speed and flare control but nothing much, e.g. in terms of sharpness, distortion, vignetting, CA, or bokeh (all fairly ordinary for a prime and an expensive one). I trust the detailed tests in Lenstip and Photozone.

As for the 12-50mm, it is indispensible for its versatility, which is in many situations more important than IQ, e.g. for travel shots, outdoor parties, etc. It is a far inferior lens in terms of IQ when compared to the 17mm f/1.8, but it superior in numerous situations it when you need to shoot monuments, coins, tight head shots, in wet weather or cannot change lenses, etc.

By the time you can change to a 37mm lens (assuming you find one), the shot may be gone. And, if you have to shoot with your 17mm to get that shot (and crop to get the correct frame and subject size), the 12-50mm would be definitely much sharper. What's the use of a superior lens if it cannot get the picture? The butterfly is already gone when you can change to your macro lens, so is the 17mm so indispensible?

Sure, the test charts show that the 17mm is slightly soft in the corners when you shoot wide open,

Look at the Lenstip chart, it is very average all the way to diffraction point, both in the centre and edge. Just compare it with other primes.

but I've never had any issue with real world photos. When I shoot this lens wide open, I'm usually photographing people (especially in the evenings). The corners, for such photos, are out of focus anyhow, so not an issue.

Good for you. It is good for others to know that this lens is just so-so in terms of resolution, and as explained about the same as what you can get in the Panasonic zoom.

This lens is especially great at night. It's allows me to travel light with the E-P5. It can quickly focus in the dimmest of settings, such as at restaurants or bars. In fact, after trying the E-P5 with the 17mm for several weeks (I got them as a package, along with the VF4), I ended up returning my Fuji X100S, which I had owned for several weeks. Although the Fuji has better high ISO performance, I actually found myself getting better pictures with the E-P5 and the 17mm because that combination focused so quickly and easily. And thanks to the fast aperture and IBIS, I never had to go above ISO 1600.

Don't get me wrong; the 17mm has its weaknesses, but the weaknesses are only apparent if shoot lots of landscapes or interiors at 1.8 (with focus on infinity), and even then, I found that the slight softness did not manifest itself in actual prints.

Good for you. Some of us need to crop, to PP and enlarge, in which case more resolution will be important.

One other bit of advice: if you use the snap back feature and want to focus at infinity, turn the ring so that it's just a little short of infinity. On my lens at least, if you put it at infinity, it will focus past infinity, and you'll end up with soft pictures.

In short, the 17mm is a great travel companion. I use the 12-35mm during the day, and the 17mm or 25mm at night. I've gotten some of my favorite images with the PL 25mm, but if I'm in cramped quarters, I prefer the 17mm.

Thanks, but no thanks.

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Alexis D
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to honeyiscool, 11 months ago

honeyiscool wrote:

grey0135 wrote:

Alexis D wrote:

I supposed it is a "best" lens for you because it is the only M43 lens you have.

I don't own it but I have wanted to buy it many times, as I really need this FL. However I stopped myself every time, because this lens seems very ordinary. Both Lenstip and Photozone both said the 17mm f/1.8 is quite ordinary as a prime in its resolution ("just decent"), distortion ("extreme"), vignetting ("huge"), CA ("medium") and bokeh("not big calibre"), especially since it is not cheap. The 12-35mm zoom is said to match or beat it in sharpness at that particular FL. It is excellent in AF, flare control and build, that's about it. While there are other reviews that are more positive about this lens' worth, I trust Lenstip and Photozone more. So, I managed to live without it thus far.

The best lens I can't live without is the 12-50mm. By expecting less IQ (due to the lens quality and the need to use higher ISO more often), I have something that can go with me anywhere and be ready for just about any situation, rain, wind, wide scenes, portraits, macro shots, video, quick shots of things near and far (no time to change lenses) etc. Of course I use sharper lenses for specific and planned situations too, but this lens makes the difference of getting that picture or not.

Have you ever shot the 17mm Oly? The limitations are there, but they're massively overstated and are only a real issue if your primary use for the 17mm is shooting landscape shots. And if you're really that concerned about IQ, you wouldn't be shooting with the 12-50, which is a far inferior lens. Sure, the test charts show that the 17mm is slightly soft in the corners when you shoot wide open, but I've never had any issue with real world photos. When I shoot this lens wide open, I'm usually photographing people (especially in the evenings). The corners, for such photos, are out of focus anyhow, so not an issue.

This lens is especially great at night. It's allows me to travel light with the E-P5. It can quickly focus in the dimmest of settings, such as at restaurants or bars. In fact, after trying the E-P5 with the 17mm for several weeks (I got them as a package, along with the VF4), I ended up returning my Fuji X100S, which I had owned for several weeks. Although the Fuji has better high ISO performance, I actually found myself getting better pictures with the E-P5 and the 17mm because that combination focused so quickly and easily. And thanks to the fast aperture and IBIS, I never had to go above ISO 1600.

Don't get me wrong; the 17mm has its weaknesses, but the weaknesses are only apparent if shoot lots of landscapes or interiors at 1.8 (with focus on infinity), and even then, I found that the slight softness did not manifest itself in actual prints.

One other bit of advice: if you use the snap back feature and want to focus at infinity, turn the ring so that it's just a little short of infinity. On my lens at least, if you put it at infinity, it will focus past infinity, and you'll end up with soft pictures.

In short, the 17mm is a great travel companion. I use the 12-35mm during the day, and the 17mm or 25mm at night. I've gotten some of my favorite images with the PL 25mm, but if I'm in cramped quarters, I prefer the 17mm.

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RV Abbott

Agreed. In fact, the 17mm f/1.8 is exactly the lens that "makes the difference of getting that picture or not" so it's weird that Alexis is so dismissive of a lens that is all about getting that picture no matter what. Almost everyone who actually did real life shooting with the lens and took actual photos with it have very good things to say about it. There are many users, me included, that tried out the 17mm f/1.8 against the 20mm f/1.7 and ditched the 20mm after. I know the feeling, honestly, that this lens might not be worth it... because the pixel peepers do not like this lens at all, but trying it won't hurt.

It depends on what "you cannot live without", the context of this thread. I can live without the 17mm because I can at least get a 17mm picture when I need to with some sacrifice IQ. I cannot get the macro shot or head shot if I only have the 17mm mounted, and if there is no other lens or time to change. "Getting that picture or not" means getting that picture. For well planned shooting and when there is time to change lenses, etc a prime would be good for the best quality.

Also check my reply to grey0135 (above) on why the 17mm can be inferior even in resoltuion in many instances when compared to a zoom.

Of course a lot depends on one's requirements.  I was talking about what I cannot live without, based on my requirements.  As for the worth of the 17mm f/1.8, I was also talking about what I think of it based on my needs, and based on reputable reviewers' findings.  You and others are entitled to your opinion and I can understand why you find it indispensible, since you bought it.

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deleted-13120401
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to duartix, 11 months ago

duartix wrote:

Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye.

You asked, I answered. IMHO this is clearly the most underrated lens in the whole m43 system. Nobody talks about it but once you own it, you'll be hard pressed to take it off the camera.

Great build, good operation and above all incredible image quality. Amazing FUN!

Wow. I never considered them because fisheye always seems weird and curvy in my head. Then I went on 500px.com and searched for the lens (my favourite way of evaluating a lens) - amazing!! I clearly don't understand fisheyes.

Can I ask a question - I know DOF is super deep with the lens, but has focusing it ever been at all a challenge for you? Any tips?

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secretworld
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Re: I own the 17mm 1.8, what's the next best lens you can't live without?
In reply to deleted-13120401, 11 months ago

Focussing is super easy on my copy. Set to 2mm before infinity and everything from 1m or even closer is sharp (do a few test shots). Enter it in DOF calculator and you will see why. On one photo shoot, an emotionally important one I accidentally set focus closer (maybe 8mmfrom infinity) and landscapes still came out 100% sharp. It´s a great macro lens too, then you need to really focus, but even then DOF is deep and it is easy to do. If you go really close even the bokeh is nice.

No the horizon is not tilted, it is the slope of a mountain..

CA should have been corrected, but was one of the first shots I took with it, on the way back home from shop....

 secretworld's gear list:secretworld's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Fujifilm X-E1 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +5 more
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