What a disappointing situation with the 17mm lens! Why?

Started Sep 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,768
If you can't find happiness in the 7 choices, nothing will

"1. Olympus 17mm f/2.8 - Inadequate IQ. Better than nothing, I suppose. The only reason for having the lens is small size, but the Panasonic 14mm is even smaller, cheaper, and I bet still as sharp after cropping to the same FOV, based on test results.

2. Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 - Very good resolution. It is however slightly wide but OK. This lens is a bit slow, but very good value given its low price. I am however trying to find better than a basic lens.

3. Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 - Very sharp, though slight,y uneven across the frame, but still impressive in IQ. Very good speed too. There are however some flaws, banding from ISO 1600, noisy and sluggish AF.

4. Sigma 19mm f/2.8 - Also quite sharp, fast and quiet AF too and good value. But it is a bit slow, more than 1 stop slower than the 20mm.

5. Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 - Excellent speed and bokeh. A very nice lens indeed. All good, except that it is 50mm equivalent FL, which is not ideal for a general purpose walk-about lens and restricting for buildings, landscape, travels or when you want to get closer and more intimate with your subjects.

6. Nockton 17.5mm f/0.5. - Beautifully piece of metal and glass and great specs. Excellent dreamy bokeh. The lack of AF plus the weight and size make this not enjoyable for many situations, including street shooting or parties, etc Too niche and expensive.

7. Olympus 17mm f/1.8 - An expensive but underperforming lens. Significant field of curvature problem and sub-standard sharpness (even worse than 12-35mm, the 12mm, and also the 20mm and 14mm, which are supposed to be harder to make sharp, being respectively a zoom, a much wider lens, and pancakes). Except for flare control, it does stand out in any optical measurements compared to much cheaper lenses."

Every lens/camera is a compromise of price/performance/size/IQ. It appear that you want the IQ of #7 Olympus 17/1.8, but isn't willing to pay the price. You get what you pay for. If the above choices doesn't satisfied you, then nothing will.

Honestly, name another system with 7 choices in 17mm (35mm) range. That's plenty. Select a compromise you can live with and be happy.  If not, leave for NEX, how many choices do you have there?

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