No idea why people disparage this lens

Started 2 months ago | User reviews
DominicVII Contributing Member • Posts: 529
No idea why people disparage this lens
7

A pancake lens is an indispensable part of my humble arsenal.

A pancake lens makes life so much easier: on cold winter days I can wear my em10 mkii with this lens under my parka and there is no noticeable bulge.

Another great thing about this lens is its small Ø, which allows you to place the camera on the ground in order to shoot with the self-timer; this is impossible with the Lumix 20mm because of its large Ø which extends beyond most compact bodies.

The optical quality of this lens is remarkably good and the colour rendering as pleasing as that of any other Zuiko prime lens that I had the opportunity to try. In terms of sharpness it is not that far behind my 60mm macro. The autofocus of this lens is somewhat sluggish, but always accurate.

People who disparage this lens as being too slow or obsolete need to realise that individuals like me, who do not live for photography, are quite unwilling to pay silly money for a pro lens.

I got this lens for €109 brand new, and at this price it is an offer that is simply too good to resist.

 DominicVII's gear list:DominicVII's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake
Wideangle prime lens • Micro Four Thirds • 261564
Announced: Jun 16, 2009
DominicVII's score
4.0
Average community score
3.4
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake Olympus OM-D E-M10
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AndyH44 Senior Member • Posts: 1,410
Totally Agree!

My copy has excellent I.Q. as well and is perfect for hiking, biking, or whenever concealed carry is wanted.

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"The world doesn't exist to satisfy our expectations."

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garryr Regular Member • Posts: 322
Re: No idea why people disparage this lens

I suspect some of those folks look down upon it because it's not a 'pro' lens. Back in my younger years I used to work at a ski hill and a lot of money was spent on appearance and appearance over skill is very important for some folk. I don't have that lens but from the sample images I've seen it appears to be a very good lens. Use it. Enjoy it.

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SamKnopf Regular Member • Posts: 444
It suffers by comparison with the 20mm f/1.7
3

The 17mm f/2.8  not a bad lens but the only thing it has going for it is that it's small.  It's a prime lens that is no sharper than a kit zoom.

By comparison, the Panasonic 20mm is a pancake that is faster and sharper.

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Sony a6000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Sony a7R II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Olympus PEN-F
AndyH44 Senior Member • Posts: 1,410
Re: It suffers by comparison with the 20mm f/1.7
1

SamKnopf wrote:

The 17mm f/2.8 not a bad lens but the only thing it has going for it is that it's small. It's a prime lens that is no sharper than a kit zoom.

By comparison, the Panasonic 20mm is a pancake that is faster and sharper.

........ and larger, noisier, and hunts while trying to auto focus.   Did I mention the banding issue that sometimes occurs with the P20 f1.7?  Have both so I know.

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"The world doesn't exist to satisfy our expectations."

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Bassam Guy Contributing Member • Posts: 978
Re: No idea why people disparage this lens
1

DominicVII wrote:

A pancake lens is an indispensable part of my humble arsenal.

A pancake lens makes life so much easier: on cold winter days I can wear my em10 mkii with this lens under my parka and there is no noticeable bulge.

Another great thing about this lens is its small Ø, which allows you to place the camera on the ground in order to shoot with the self-timer; this is impossible with the Lumix 20mm because of its large Ø which extends beyond most compact bodies.

The optical quality of this lens is remarkably good and the colour rendering as pleasing as that of any other Zuiko prime lens that I had the opportunity to try. In terms of sharpness it is not that far behind my 60mm macro. The autofocus of this lens is somewhat sluggish, but always accurate.

People who disparage this lens as being too slow or obsolete need to realise that individuals like me, who do not live for photography, are quite unwilling to pay silly money for a pro lens.

I got this lens for €109 brand new, and at this price it is an offer that is simply too good to resist.

I have it and used it until my five year old poured maple syrup over it, and tried to eat it.

I also have the 1.8 which is nearly as small, optically superior (brighter, sharper (esp. edged), less purple fringing, flare, etc.), and it has a manual focus clutch!

Perhaps you have a poor 60 Macro. Mine is pin sharp edge to edge. Visibly better than the 17 1.8 which is visibly better than the 17 2.8.

However, the 17 2.8 is fun! Perhaps I'll take mine for a walk this week!

 Bassam Guy's gear list:Bassam Guy's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M5 III Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +5 more
LoneTree1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,603
Re: No idea why people disparage this lens

Should be no question as to the quality of a lens.  Just test it against a lens of known high quality or do a resolution test.  A good m4/3rds lens should peak in resolution and contrast at f4, or f5.6 at worst.

James Stirling
James Stirling Senior Member • Posts: 5,512
Re: It suffers by comparison with the 20mm f/1.7
2

AndyH44 wrote:

SamKnopf wrote:

The 17mm f/2.8 not a bad lens but the only thing it has going for it is that it's small. It's a prime lens that is no sharper than a kit zoom.

By comparison, the Panasonic 20mm is a pancake that is faster and sharper.

........ and larger, noisier, and hunts while trying to auto focus. Did I mention the banding issue that sometimes occurs with the P20 f1.7? Have both so I know.

Andy , The 20mm is over a stop faster and very sharp for a pancake design. I know that many complain about the AF slowness , but I have never had an issue with it and it remains by a good margin my most used m43 lens. I believe that the banding only happens on Olympus cameras

The difference in sharpness is not small . I think the 17mm F/2.8 is possibly the poorest m43 prime { outside the novelty lens-cap lenses } Does not mean you cannot get nice images with it

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Jim Stirling:
It is not reason which is the guide of life, but custom. David Hume

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 4,795
Re: No idea
1

I have no idea why people need affirmation about a lens they like. Is peer pressure that intense?

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I believe in science, evolution and light. All opinions are my own. I'm not compensated for any of my posts. Can you honestly say that?

 HRC2016's gear list:HRC2016's gear list
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 +2 more
OP DominicVII Contributing Member • Posts: 529
Re: No idea

Well, it is a lens review. You should address your problem to dpreview who are facilitating the culture of peer pressure by allowing users to review products. I should also congratulate you on writing the Ludicrous Comment of the Month in Micro Four Thirds Talk.

 DominicVII's gear list:DominicVII's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II
007peter
007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 12,531
because SLOW AF, Whiny Noise, compare against Panasonic 14/2.5 Pancake
3

DominicVII wrote:

The autofocus of this lens is somewhat sluggish, but always accurate.

I can say the same thing about my ancient Screw-Drive Minolta 50/1.7 lens. The focus is very sluggish + noisy (but) AF is always accurate. That maybe fine back in 1970~2000, but in 2019, Noisy AF lens is simply not acceptable anymore.

The problem against Olympus 17mm F/2.8 isn't the same noisy Panasonic 20/1.7, but the much CHEAPER QUIET and much Wider Panasonic 14mm f/2.5.  Mounting Panasonic 14/2.5 for the 1st time is like:

  • you give you camera a shot of adrenaline
  • AF went up instantly like 10X
  • Gone are the AF hesitation when you hit the shuter
  • Gone are the AF slowness
  • Gone are the Noisy Whiney Motor
  • Everything is now Instantaneous + Silent + FAST!

The only thing I like about Olympus 17/2.8 over Panasonic 14/2.5 is its lovely ♥ Bokeh Rendering ♥, there is a softness in out-of-focus character in Oly that I find it lacking in Panasonic.  But after having been spoiled by the Instant AF of Panasonic 14/2.5 pancake, I simply can't go back to Slow Whiny lens anymore.

Ironically, this is the SAME reason why I stay with M43 instead of jumping into Fuji X-System now.  I tried the following Fuji X-lens:

  • Fuji 18mm f/2.0
  • Fuji 27mm f/2.8 Pancake
  • Fuji 35mm f/2 (faster but not fast enough)
  • Fuji 35mm f/1.4

My 1st impression was, damn they so Whiny Noisy & Slow, reminding me of the snail like Olympus 17mm f/2.8 pancake I used to have.

Erik00 Regular Member • Posts: 243
Re: It suffers by comparison with the 20mm f/1.7

AndyH44 wrote:

SamKnopf wrote:

The 17mm f/2.8 not a bad lens but the only thing it has going for it is that it's small. It's a prime lens that is no sharper than a kit zoom.

By comparison, the Panasonic 20mm is a pancake that is faster and sharper.

........ and larger, noisier, and hunts while trying to auto focus. Did I mention the banding issue that sometimes occurs with the P20 f1.7? Have both so I know.

I myself is a big fan of pancake lenses.

The banding issue with the Pany 20mm is only an issue on one older Oly (Sony) sensor.

No one has mentioned the Pana 14mm f. 2,5.

It is smaller compared to Pana 20mm.

Lensrentals made in 2012 an Imatest about M4/3 wide-Angle lenses.

They tested ten copies of each of the three pancakes and the short result was:

"Of the prime lenses, only the Oly 17 pancake isn’t very good; the Panasonic pancakes were clearly better."

Of course, If you demand a 17mm pancake neither of the Pany lenses will do.

(Pana has a very good15mm f.1,7 lens. It is small but neither cheap nor a pancake.)

yslee1 Contributing Member • Posts: 564
Re: because SLOW AF, Whiny Noise, compare against Panasonic 14/2.5 Pancake

007peter wrote:

The problem against Olympus 17mm F/2.8 isn't the same noisy Panasonic 20/1.7, but the much CHEAPER QUIET and much Wider Panasonic 14mm f/2.5.

Yea, the 14mm is a little less sharp in the centre but the edges are far better, so overall it doesn't feel as bad when looking at the photos. And it's just as small and priced better too. Also if you're using a black camera it doesn't look so hideous.

The downside of course, is if you like 17mm over 14mm.

My 1st impression was, damn they so Whiny Noisy & Slow, reminding me of the snail like Olympus 17mm f/2.8 pancake I used to have.

It's been a long time, was the 17mm that noisy? I recall the 20mm being noisy and a bit slow.

Luke Forrest Contributing Member • Posts: 577
Re: No idea why people disparage this lens

DominicVII wrote:

A pancake lens is an indispensable part of my humble arsenal.

A pancake lens makes life so much easier: on cold winter days I can wear my em10 mkii with this lens under my parka and there is no noticeable bulge.

Another great thing about this lens is its small Ø, which allows you to place the camera on the ground in order to shoot with the self-timer; this is impossible with the Lumix 20mm because of its large Ø which extends beyond most compact bodies.

The 20mm only protrudes about 1mm at the bottom when attached to the Panasonic GX800/850, which is the smallest body currently available for M43. It's hardly noticeable. The 20mm is too fat for the GM1/5.

picture for those who are curious:

The optical quality of this lens is remarkably good and the colour rendering as pleasing as that of any other Zuiko prime lens that I had the opportunity to try. In terms of sharpness it is not that far behind my 60mm macro. The autofocus of this lens is somewhat sluggish, but always accurate.

People who disparage this lens as being too slow or obsolete need to realise that individuals like me, who do not live for photography, are quite unwilling to pay silly money for a pro lens.

I got this lens for €109 brand new, and at this price it is an offer that is simply too good to resist.

The 17mm 2.8 is a great option for those who love that focal length but don't want to splash out for the 1.8 version. If you just want a pancake around that focal length, I think the 14mm and 20mm lenses are better options. The 20mm is faster and sharper. The 14mm is a little faster, a little sharper and I believe focuses faster.

jrg
jrg Senior Member • Posts: 2,262
Re: No idea why people disparage this lens

Good lens, my first m43 lens, and I still regularly use it. Its long time partner is my G3. The combo is small enough to fit in a large jacket pocket.

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UppercanadianAcadian Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: No idea why people disparage this lens

Bassam Guy wrote:

DominicVII wrote:

A pancake lens is an indispensable part of my humble arsenal.

A pancake lens makes life so much easier: on cold winter days I can wear my em10 mkii with this lens under my parka and there is no noticeable bulge.

Another great thing about this lens is its small Ø, which allows you to place the camera on the ground in order to shoot with the self-timer; this is impossible with the Lumix 20mm because of its large Ø which extends beyond most compact bodies.

The optical quality of this lens is remarkably good and the colour rendering as pleasing as that of any other Zuiko prime lens that I had the opportunity to try. In terms of sharpness it is not that far behind my 60mm macro. The autofocus of this lens is somewhat sluggish, but always accurate.

People who disparage this lens as being too slow or obsolete need to realise that individuals like me, who do not live for photography, are quite unwilling to pay silly money for a pro lens.

I got this lens for €109 brand new, and at this price it is an offer that is simply too good to resist.

I have it and used it until my five year old poured maple syrup over it, and tried to eat it.

I also have the 1.8 which is nearly as small, optically superior (brighter, sharper (esp. edged), less purple fringing, flare, etc.), and it has a manual focus clutch!

Perhaps you have a poor 60 Macro. Mine is pin sharp edge to edge. Visibly better than the 17 1.8 which is visibly better than the 17 2.8.

However, the 17 2.8 is fun! Perhaps I'll take mine for a walk this week!

Your son must have heard you call it a pancake lens

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Olympus PEN E-P5
sigamy Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: No idea why people disparage this lens

I just got a perfect refurb E-M10 with the kit lens.  I'd love to stick a wide prime on here and use it the majority of the time.

My main body is GH5 and I have only Panny lenses.   The Lumix 12-60 and PL 25 are too heavy/unbalanced for the E-M10, so I'm thinking about which pancake to pair with it.

I know folks love the 20mm, but I have the PL 25.

So I'm between the Lumix 14mm and Oly 17mm....Off to check ebay!

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