Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved

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Cafe Racer Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved
1

BostonC wrote:

The improved version is called PL 15mm.

The improved version is the 17mm f1.2. It improves Olympus' bank account. 

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Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic Senior Member • Posts: 2,946
You mean, optically destroyed?
3

ata3001 wrote:

I bought a new Oly 17mm f/1.8 & find I am really disappointed with it's optical performance when compared with the Oly 12-40 f/2.8 at 17mm. Does Olympus ever update their lenses to improve them? NOT interested in the heavy Oly 17mm f/1.2 lens due to size & weight.

Sharpness and contrast you see, and for some reason like in your zoom, are not the sharpness, the contrast in a fine prime lens like the 17/1.8 is. To make them look same, would mean to destroy the subtlety 17/1.8 is able to deliver.

It is a lens for a different sentiment, different psychological character of the picture, so to say. If the 12-40 is a catchy pop song, 17/1.8 is a subtle ballad. You can't artificially crank it up to be "better".

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Cafe Racer Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved
1

ata3001 wrote:

Auf Reisen wrote:

I can just pass on some hearsay on this topic, but word on the forums is that there is a lot of sample variation in the early batches of this lens from the Chinese plant. Apparently, QC for the batch from Vietnam was much better. Where is yours from?

My lens was purchased new only a few months ago. It was made in Vietnam.

When I did image comparisons between this lens & my Oly 12-40 f/2.8 @ 17mm, the 12-40 lens produced better contrast, sharpness & detail. The testing was done using a Pen F on a CF tripod & using a cable release to eliminate any camera shake. There were no filters on the lenses either, so that eliminates that variable as well.

It's not that it's a terrible lens because on it's own, it produces nice images, but when compared, it simply falls short. Taking the same image with both lenses & w/o any post processing, I can tell which image was shot with which lens.

I agree. I currently have a Vietnamese made 17mm f1.8. It's a great lens in use but the technical reviews show the resolution falls behind the other Olympus primes in the current line-up and also the 12-40mm. Those results fall in line with my own experience. If they made an updated f1.8 version with the resolving power of at least the 25mm f1.8, I think that would satisfy many users. On the positive side, I find the 17mm does respond well to post processing.

My favourite focal lengths for a 'one prime lens set-up' is between 17 and 20mm. I got rid of the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 because the AF speed and acquisition was not suitable for shutter mashing. Shutter mashing is easy work for the 17mm. So the Olympus 17mm f1.8 is currently the only compact option I have. I like the lens but I wouldn't say no to a bit more resolving power.

Cafe Racer.

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Carol T Contributing Member • Posts: 799
Re: You mean, optically destroyed?

Zvonimir Tosic wrote:

ata3001 wrote:

I bought a new Oly 17mm f/1.8 & find I am really disappointed with it's optical performance when compared with the Oly 12-40 f/2.8 at 17mm. Does Olympus ever update their lenses to improve them? NOT interested in the heavy Oly 17mm f/1.2 lens due to size & weight.

Sharpness and contrast you see, and for some reason like in your zoom, are not the sharpness, the contrast in a fine prime lens like the 17/1.8 is. To make them look same, would mean to destroy the subtlety 17/1.8 is able to deliver.

It is a lens for a different sentiment, different psychological character of the picture, so to say. If the 12-40 is a catchy pop song, 17/1.8 is a subtle ballad. You can't artificially crank it up to be "better".

Too funny, lol.

Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 1,696
Re: Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved
2

ata3001 wrote:

I bought a new Oly 17mm f/1.8 & find I am really disappointed with it's optical performance when compared with the Oly 12-40 f/2.8 at 17mm. Does Olympus ever update their lenses to improve them? NOT interested in the heavy Oly 17mm f/1.2 lens due to size & weight.

I disagree. The images at full aperture are not perfect - a little bit of softening and darkening in the corners at full aperture - but the colors and the contrast are excellent, and it is very sharp at f/2.8, and excellent at f/4.0. And at f/1.8, it gives you 'character', like an old MF lens.

17/1.8 at f/2.0.

Taking into account the light weight of that lens, and its convenience - I love the shifting MF to AF of the focusing ring - I am very happy with that lens.

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jwilliams Veteran Member • Posts: 4,500
My suggestion ...

ata3001 wrote:

I bought a new Oly 17mm f/1.8 & find I am really disappointed with it's optical performance when compared with the Oly 12-40 f/2.8 at 17mm. Does Olympus ever update their lenses to improve them? NOT interested in the heavy Oly 17mm f/1.2 lens due to size & weight.

My suggestion is to use the 17 1.8 and your 12-40 2.8 where they work best.

The 17 1.8 is a superb available light lens to use inside for people and gatherings. I've never taken a picture where I found it wanting for sharpness. If the corners aren't sharp I don't know because I don't think I've ever taken a photo where the corners were in focus. I almost always shoot it wide open and it has allowed me for almost all purposes to leave flash photography in the past.

Now if I'm outside taking a landscape shot at 17mm I'll use my 12-40. That lens between about 12-25 is very very good so you're comparing the 17 to some pretty tough competition.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses and really there's not a lot of point comparing them. Now if one is a prime only person doing landscape work I'm sure the 17 is a bit disappointing, but otherwise, it in my opinion is one of the best m43 lenses out there when used in the situations where it excels.

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Jonathan

Rich K
Rich K Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Re: Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved

That has been my experience. I feel it is overpriced and has options I don't want or use (the pull-back focus ring) and of course has an overpriced fancy hood. I think it was one of the early lens designs, and fell heavily into the hipster nostalgia phase. I paid the price to get one because I wanted a 35mm equivalent, and there is nothing else. But yeah, I find the output uninspiring.

I had a chuckle when I read the "hipster nostalgia" comment.  At the ripe old age of 71, I had not particularly thought about being dropped into the hipster segment.

I totally understand that the lens is not for you, but perhaps that's the whole point.  The lens was initially introduced along with the EP5 and sold as a kit.  For some, that's a wonderful combination for evening walkabout; small, unobtrusive and plenty of capability.  Does it provide the same capability as my EM52 with the 12-35/2.8 (or the 12-40/2.8)?  Well, of course not.  But the size and weight are so significantly different, it's not really a comparison that's relevant to me.  And that manual focus ring - a lovely little feature when things are really dim and focus is critical.  Pull it back, use focus peaking and voila!

Your mileage obviously does vary,

Rich, aging hipster in Reno

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Carol T Contributing Member • Posts: 799
Re: Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved

Rich K wrote:

That has been my experience. I feel it is overpriced and has options I don't want or use (the pull-back focus ring) and of course has an overpriced fancy hood. I think it was one of the early lens designs, and fell heavily into the hipster nostalgia phase. I paid the price to get one because I wanted a 35mm equivalent, and there is nothing else. But yeah, I find the output uninspiring.

I had a chuckle when I read the "hipster nostalgia" comment. At the ripe old age of 71, I had not particularly thought about being dropped into the hipster segment.

I totally understand that the lens is not for you, but perhaps that's the whole point. The lens was initially introduced along with the EP5 and sold as a kit. For some, that's a wonderful combination for evening walkabout; small, unobtrusive and plenty of capability. Does it provide the same capability as my EM52 with the 12-35/2.8 (or the 12-40/2.8)? Well, of course not. But the size and weight are so significantly different, it's not really a comparison that's relevant to me. And that manual focus ring - a lovely little feature when things are really dim and focus is critical. Pull it back, use focus peaking and voila!

Your mileage obviously does vary,

Rich, aging hipster in Reno

To me, it looks like it was meant to mimic an old-school rangefinder lens. That interests me not in the least, but I feel that added a lot of cost and detracted some usefulness.

I don't really get the pull-back thing. When shooting AF-S, I use AF-S + Manual (or whatever Olympus calls it, don't have my camera in front of me). All I have to do turn the focus ring, no pulling back required.

At least it is better than the 12/2, which is one of the worst gear choices I have ever made. Massively expensive (plus hood, natch~), and at least in my copy, the pull-back focus works in steps, not continuously. I rarely shoot even landscapes that wide, and have only used it a few times. But it comes from the same time, when Olympus was introducing the overpriced, under-performing retro lenses.

I *am* happy that you are financially comfortable, though, that makes me smiles.

And hopefully you love living in Reno, and in Nevada. I know a lot of people do.

Carol, aging non-hipster in rural flyover country

Edit: OMG, I am such an idiot, lol. I thought you meant you were rich, just realized that is your name. Doh! (rolls eyes at self) I hope you are financially comfortable as well as being named Rich, lol.

Rich K
Rich K Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Re: Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved

Ha, ha.  Comfortable, yes, wealthy, no.  Have a good one ...

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Rich in Reno

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glassoholic
glassoholic Senior Member • Posts: 4,092
Re: My suggestion ...
1

jwilliams wrote:

ata3001 wrote:

I bought a new Oly 17mm f/1.8 & find I am really disappointed with it's optical performance when compared with the Oly 12-40 f/2.8 at 17mm. Does Olympus ever update their lenses to improve them? NOT interested in the heavy Oly 17mm f/1.2 lens due to size & weight.

My suggestion is to use the 17 1.8 and your 12-40 2.8 where they work best.

The 17 1.8 is a superb available light lens to use inside for people and gatherings. I've never taken a picture where I found it wanting for sharpness. If the corners aren't sharp I don't know because I don't think I've ever taken a photo where the corners were in focus. I almost always shoot it wide open and it has allowed me for almost all purposes to leave flash photography in the past.

Now if I'm outside taking a landscape shot at 17mm I'll use my 12-40. That lens between about 12-25 is very very good so you're comparing the 17 to some pretty tough competition.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses and really there's not a lot of point comparing them. Now if one is a prime only person doing landscape work I'm sure the 17 is a bit disappointing, but otherwise, it in my opinion is one of the best m43 lenses out there when used in the situations where it excels.

I think that is part of the problem.for some people... they want to say carry just 3 primes that work well in low light and stopped down in bright light for say a landscape... not have to carry another lens, particularly a relatively big and heavy zoom lens, just for getting super sharp landscapes. Having said that, I do think that the differences are more on a PC screen at 200% than in practice with comparison prints.

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108 Contributing Member • Posts: 951
Re: You mean, optically destroyed?

Zvonimir Tosic wrote:

ata3001 wrote:

I bought a new Oly 17mm f/1.8 & find I am really disappointed with it's optical performance when compared with the Oly 12-40 f/2.8 at 17mm. Does Olympus ever update their lenses to improve them? NOT interested in the heavy Oly 17mm f/1.2 lens due to size & weight.

Sharpness and contrast you see, and for some reason like in your zoom, are not the sharpness, the contrast in a fine prime lens like the 17/1.8 is. To make them look same, would mean to destroy the subtlety 17/1.8 is able to deliver.

It is a lens for a different sentiment, different psychological character of the picture, so to say. If the 12-40 is a catchy pop song, 17/1.8 is a subtle ballad. You can't artificially crank it up to be "better".

Zvonimir I'm 200% with you on this one

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Cafe Racer Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: Who would like to see the Oly 17 f/1.8 optically improved
2

Carol T wrote:

But it comes from the same time, when Olympus was introducing the overpriced, under-performing retro lenses.

And my underpriced, over-performing one. 45mm f1.8! 

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