Olympus 17mm f1.8 vs f2.8

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mikeywcu Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Olympus 17mm f1.8 vs f2.8

Peter 1745 wrote:

DavidHH wrote:

I am a new Olympus OM-D owner and currently have the 12-50 Kit Lens and the 40-150mm Telephoto Lens.

I am looking to purchase my first Prime Lens and would like to stay with an Olympus Lens.

I would like to get a 17mm (35mm equivalent). I would be using it for indoor family photos, street photos and perhaps the odd Portrait.

My question is the f1.8 worth the additional money over the 2.8 given my stated uses?

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thank You

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There are 3 reasons for getting the 1.8

  1. More depth of field control
  2. Better low light ability
  3. Better image quality

For indoor family photos 1 and 2 both apply. If you're prepared to let the ISO creep up a bit the 1.8 enables you to take indoor family photos without a flash. Note however the DOF at 2m focusing distance is 76cm.

The kit flash is OK for for use in the house so if you are prepared to use it then either lens will let you take pictures at ISO 200 at any F stop you like.

For information DOF at various F stops at 2m focusing distance (my typical indoor focusing distance with a 17mm lens).

  • F1.8 = 0.76m
  • F2.8 = 1.27m
  • F3.2 = 1.46m
  • F4.0 = 1.98m
  • F5.6 = 3.5m
  • F8.0 = 10.2m
  • F11 & above = infinite

As you know increasing the focusing distance will increase the depth of field. There are plenty of depth of field calculators available for you to check out other focusing distances.

For street photography the larger aperture of the 1.8 will also aid subject isolation.

For portraits I personally wouldn't use a 17mm lens.

So which would I buy? I would go for the 1.8 primarily for its ability to take indoor family photos without a flash. I find I get better images if I don't spook the "wildlife" with a bright flash.

Oh I almost forgot about image quality. If you're happy with your kit lens images then the image quality of the 2.8 won't disappoint you. I wouldn't pay the premium for the 1.8 just for it's image quality.

-- hide signature --

Regards, Peter 'Keep taking the photos'

Again, I agree. The 45 1.8 is an outstanding lens for portraits. I've used the 17 1.8 for one or two portraits, and it does a fine job, but it's not a portrait lens.

 Mikeywcu's gear list:Mikeywcu's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8 +2 more
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