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Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake Lens - Black

by Olympus
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 306.37
Price: 229.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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  • N4290792

Frequently Bought Together

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake Lens - Black + Hoya 37mm UV(C) Digital HMC Screw-in Filter
Price For Both: 237.74

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 55.9 x 144.8 x 8.4 cm ; 73 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 454 g
  • Item model number: 261564
  • ASIN: B004IK8F32
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 11 Jan 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,820 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could do better 22 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase
Anyone getting a copy of this lens as part of a camera promotion, either as a free gift or for a reduced price, will probably be delighted with it. As a standalone purchase, when compared with virtually any other micro four thirds prime lens, it falls short of the mark in most respects.

On the positive side, it is small and easy to pack away with two or three other lenses. The focal length is a personal favourite of mine, because it is wide-angled without being obviously distorted in its output. It can be effectively utilised for a variety of subjects including street scenes and landscapes. All Olympus lenses produce interesting colour and contrast and this is no exception.

When the lens was originally launched, it was a natural companion to Olympus's very first MFT camera, the landmark, rangefinder-style E-P1. I still own a copy of the camera and used the 17mm f2.8 on it only last week. In glorious sunshine at the most south-westerly point in the whole of Europe (Cape of St Vincent, Portugal), the shooting experience brought home to me how much Olympus cameras and lenses have advanced since 2009. Sharpness and noise results were disappointing and my pictures were markedly inferior to anything I've produced in the past six months. I will have to return to the location again in the future with different equipment to make up for my mistake. But never mind about that.

Even back in 2009, this lens drew unfavourable comparisons with the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 and 20mm f1.7 pancake offerings and now I can understand why. There has always been a bit of a reluctance on the part of Olympus owners to choose Panasonic lenses and vice versa.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great lense as standard fit 6 April 2013
By steve.s
Verified Purchase
Superb lense a great alternative to the zoom lenses supplied as standard. This light lense also makes the camera less ungainly and more convenient to use
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is now my prime lens 23 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase
I knew exactly what I was getting and I was not disappointed, this is a good lens to start with and I find myself using this most of the time for a lot of different situations.

I highly recommend this lens for all casual photographers who do not have a deep wallet for the PRO-lenses
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Olympus PEN + this lens + optical viewfinder = Modern remake of the rangefinder 18 Sep 2009
By Michael A. Duvernois - Published on Amazon.com
This is small lens. That's its main claim to fame, not the speed at f2.8, nor the focal length, the equivalent of about 35mm in 35mm photography. But on the small Olympus PEN body, this lens gives you a small package that takes quite good pictures without messing around with a zoom. In particular, it works well as a walking-around street camera, much like an old Leica or a Canon rangefinder of the 1950s/1960s. (See also the optical viewfinder which has image lines specifically for this 17mm lens.)

I tried this package out, camera, lens, and viewfinder, and got a good number of excellent images walking through crowds of people downtown. It's wide enough to catch people in their immediate environment. The camera is unobtrusive and really helped with the casual picture taking. I'd strongly recommend the setup to folks looking for a forgiving digital imaging setup with modern features but much of the ease of handling and casual ability of old rangefinders (without having to focus of course).
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated, tiny lens 19 April 2010
By Kon Peki - Published on Amazon.com
The M. Zuiko 17/2.8 has a bit of a bad rap because people often compare it to the outstanding Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens. However, 17mm is very different from 20mm, and if you want that "standard wide" angle of view (similar to a 35mm lens on a 35mm frame camera) in a tiny lens, this is the one. Fortunately, it is plenty sharp, and the distortion and color fringing are easily addressed (automatically for Olympus in-camera JPEG shooters as well as by some 3rd party RAW converters). Although I use my Pana 20/1.7 more often, I enjoy using the tiny M. Zuiko 17 when I want that angle of view. It's a good little performer. You can see some samples taken with this lens here: [...].
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet spot in format, size and price for street photography 23 Oct 2013
By nagappa - Published on Amazon.com
I bought the black version of the M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8 lens after selling my Panasonic 14mm F2.5.

While the Panasonic 14mm is an excellent lens, and I highly recommend it, I found it to be a bit too wide for my needs for street photography. When I want to shoot really wide, I shoot at 12mm with my M.Zuiko 12-50mm kit lens that came with my Olympus OM-D. I did consider getting the new M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 as well as the new version of the Panasonic 20mm F1.7, but found them a bit to pricey for my needs, since I already own a Panasonic-Leica 25mm F1.4 lens. I did also consider the Sigma 19mm, but did not like the extra size.

The 35mm equivalent format is what's used in Fuji's X100S and the one favored by many enthusiasts. It is touted as the format that matches the field of view of the human eye. With its 34mm equivalent format, the M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8 hits the sweet spot in terms of format, speed (F2.8), sharpness and price. So for an affordable "one size fits all" wide pancake lens, I thought the M.Zuiko 17mm might just fit the bill!

I was indeed aware that the M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8 did not score too highly in the technical reviews, especially that the slight corner softness persists across all apertures, and that the chromatic aberration (CA) is easily noticeable along the edges in high-contrast scenes.

But where the rubber meets the road is in actual user experience, especially street photography.

It's small size, metal barrel and plastic manual focus ring make this lens a joy to handle. It easy to use in a discrete way. While auto focus is slower than on my M.Zuiko 12-50mm kit lens, it is accurate and fast enough for capturing spontaneous street pictures.

The lens is sharp wide open at F2.8. Corner softness is only slight and hardly noticeable in street or portrait photography, and barely noticeable in landscape photography. (In overall sharpness it beats both the M.Zuiko 14-42mm II and 12-50mm kit lenses at 17mm, although the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 is definitely sharper.) And, given that CA is easily corrected using any decent photography software, such as Lightroom or Apple's Aperture, it is not a major issue either. (My typical CA correction settings for this lens on Aperture are -0.56 for magenta/cyan, and -0.28 for purple/yellow.)

This lens produces sharp images with great colors and skin tones. It also has very good micro-contrast and is great for photographing people, art, food and all the things one encounters in street photography. In fact I feel it has the edge the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 in this regard. The bokeh is smooth and excellent. This lens excels in indoor photography where lighting is adequate but not too direct. I have got some excellent portraits using this lens in combination with my Olympus FL-300R flash in bounce mode.

From my brief experience thus far, I noticed that brightly lit scenes (especially with direct or indirect sunlight) to be slightly hazy, so a lens hood is recommended in these situations. Underexposing slightly, by setting my default exposure compensation to -0.3EV to -0.7EV, does seem to help with the bright scenes. I use a Tiffen 37mm UV haze filter and a collapsible rubber lens hood. Thankfully, the filter and hood on this lens, with hood extended, do not cause vignetting.

This lens seems to be slightly less "contrasty" than the Panasonic 14mm lens and is very sensitive to dust and even minor smudges, so a filter is definitely recommended to protect the lens. But remember to keep the filter absolutely crystal clear to prevent images from looking soft and veiled. (Good to keep a lens cleaning cloth handy).

Having understood both its strengths and quirks I now exclusively shoot in RAW + JPeg and develop the RAW images in Apple's Aperture software, mainly correcting for exposure, CA, highlights and contrast - and have obtained stunning results this way! (I typically need to do much less post-processing when shooting with my PL 25mm F1.4).

On a recent vacation in Portland, OR, I only had two lenses in my bag, the M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8 and M.Zuiko 40-150mm F4-5.6 R zoom lens. This combination gave me both the flexibility and speed in capturing the moments while on vacation.

In summary, this is an excellent lens, with caveats. I can easily recommend this lens to photographers who would take the time to understand how to use it.

Update: Oct 29, 2013:
Please see the comments for a link to some of my recent pictures with this lens.

Update: Oct 31, 2013:
If you intend to use a UV protective filter on this lens, definitely go with a quality, multi-coated UV filter. I used a cheap Tiffen UV Haze 1 filter and found it to be the cause of noticeable flare, especially against florescent lamps and neon lights at night. It is now going to be replaced with a multi-coated filter. Please see the comment for a link to my pictures showing this effect.

(I increased my rating of this lens from 4 to 5 stars, after removing the cheap UV filter and noticing a considerable improvement in night shots).

Update: Feb 3, 2014:
I managed to get hold of a 17mm F1.8 lens to compare this lens with. At F2.8 and F4.0, both lenses seem about equal in sharpness, micro-contrast and color. In fact you will need to pixel peep in order to find the differences.

Please see the links in my latest comment to this review, for the straight out of camera ("sooc") jpegs from both lenses and you be the judge.

I will go on to say that the unfavorable press reviews of this lens were probably because testing was conducted on a 12MB system, the standard when this lens was first released. On a 16MB system (like the OM-D EM5) this lens shines, especially with the weak anti-aliasing filter on the EM5.

Granted both Sigma 19mm and Panasonic 20mm are sharper than this lens. But the colors and skin tones that this lens is able to produce are quite amazing.

The 17mm lens format (34mm in full-frame equivalent) is one of the reasons I am sticking to the micro-four thirds format, even though I have now put together a basic Fuji X system.

For what this lens can deliver on my OM-D EM5, my rating remains at 5 stars.
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compact Compromise 12 Sep 2009
By K. Tanaka - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Oly 17mm f/2.8 pancake for micro four-thirds is just about as small and light a lens as you'll find. It's basically a 35mm focal length on its native cameras. Its sole advantage is its size. It is far from optically perfect, with fairly strong chromatic aberrations and some corner softness (surprising, given its crop factor of 2). Still, the Oly E-P1 does recognize the lens and post-processes its images specifically to improve as much distortion as possible.

All things considered, I can't really claim that this lens is an excellent optical value for anyone who doesn't really need the compactness it offers the E-P1. The 14-42mm kit lens is a better performer at this focal length, also very light, and far more versatile. But if you're willing to make compromises for smallness this is THE lens for you.
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was very pleasantly surprised 8 Jan 2010
By Harry M. Shin - Published on Amazon.com
1. I should technically give this lens a 4 star, just because 5 stars should be reserved those extraordinary lens (ex: Zeiss Distagon 21mm 2.8).

2. With that being said, I just like this lens: it's light, it's obviously small, and it's a no brainer for all EP-1 /2 users to have this lens (or the panasonic pancake). Even though I have the 14-42mm kit lens, it's just... fun to slap this lens on the EP-1 and take shots. One of the unexpected joys and surprises of using this lens, that it made me think of the "good old days" of using prime lens 100% of the time and at the same time, has made me rethink my overall strategy of whether or not to utilize more primes etc...

3. For me and for the photography I utilize the EP-1 for, the 17mm is "good enough" in re: focusing speed, sharpness, color / contrast etc... With "pixel-peeping", I'm very happy with the output image quality.

4. All in all, a great lens for all EP-1 / 2 users to have simply because it brings back the joy of photography. I really hope that Olympus / Panasonic continue to develop more compact prime lens.
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