September 04, 2015


Great Kit Lens

I got this lens with my E-PL3, and it is fantastic for landscapes. The f 2.8 is obviously slower than the much more expensive 17mm f 1.8, but for landscapes you don't shoot at f 1.8 at all-- you use higher f-stops of course! The sharpness may not be as good as the f 1.8 version, but it is quite good. The lens is horrible for video, as it is quite loud and hunts.

July 14, 2015


great travel lens

I use this along with an OMD EM5 as my travel kit. Because the lens is so small I find the camera and lens combo fits in my jacket pocket, and even barely squeezes into my cargo shorts. It's convenient to go without a bag when traveling. I've been spoiled by this combo so I don't think I can ever go back to using a dslr when traveling.

The focal length is great for stuff like markets and museums, I find it's wide enough to use indoors, and focuses close enough to take pictures of exotic wares in markets. Stopped down it's also great for use as a street photography lens.

May 19, 2015

Quincy Lee

Very compact, amazing Lens

I travel a lot and having this lens in my em5 camera is the sweetest thing its compact and taking a very nice and sharp images i use this lens a lot on street photograpy, having this on my camera doesnt get a lot of attention with the people my camera looks like normal camera not like dslr that bulky and heavy,I highly recommend this lens to all olympus camera users

April 06, 2015


Was on my E-PL1 for 4 years straight

When I put together my first m4/3 kit, I was hunting for a decent pancake prime to keep the size down. I ended up with an E-PL1, and found a great deal on this 17mm f/2.8. I kept hearing about how the lens was soft, and how the equivalent of 17mm on a kit lens (at about f/3.5) was about as good if not better.

I disagree.

It's hard to describe, but all my shots with the 17mm f/2.8 have a sweeping cinematic quality to them, that a kit lens at the same 17mm setting did not have. The colors have always been great, and makes up for what may not be the sharpest lens, edge to edge.

Yes, the edges can get a bit fringy, but a good photographer also adapts to their equipment. Framing is key to get the most out of this lens. Know it's flaws, and it will reward you. This lens fails the modern science test (putting it on a test rig), but absolutely shines in the field.

It keeps your kit compact, and lets you shoot discretely. Also, I always thought I was a 50mm equivalent type of person. The 17mm gives you a 34mm view, and I do like that quite a bit more.

f/2.8 may be slow compared to the f/1.8, but the size is much smaller, and on a wider lens, larger depth-of-field is more desirable. With IBIS improving rapidly in newer bodies, I think the 17mm f/2.8 will find its way in many more photography kits in the future.

March 25, 2015


Great lens! Good price!

Bought this lens a few years ago and it stays on my camera all the time! Really like how sharp it is, and how quickly it focuses. It also gives a surprising bokeh for a 2.8 lens!

July 02, 2013

Quincy Lee

Great Lens

I have this lens for a week now and i love it, it surely compact and light. Picture quality is superb nice to take street photography even landscape, if your looking for a really compact lens i recommend this one.

January 01, 2013


Darn tootin' wee optic

I was forced to buy my E-P3 with a kit lens since it was not sold as body only, so I choose the E-P3 and 17 2.8. This is a tiny and flat lens, hence the term "pancake." Hot dang, it's a fine little optic: perfect walkaround angle of view and easy to slip in a pocket or messenger bag. I've shot a lot of images and the color, contrast and sharpness are excellent. But, it's not perfect: you can invoke a little chromatic aberration if you shoot tree branches against a blown out sky or strong backlight. Normally you'd never notice CA in most images and it is easy to edit out. And, yes, it is a little softer around the edges wide open (as all lenses are). But it basically gets it right: subjects are sharp and pleasantly rendered.

One point few mention is this Olympus has a smooth as silk manual focus ring and attractive cosmetics. I didn't pay any attention to these things until I bought a Panasonic 14mm 2.5 and found its manual focus sticky.

There are a couple gotchas. Sadly, this lens lacks a dedicated hood. Eventually I found a metal Leica style screw-in hood and I tossed the lens cap. Although AF works okay, it is slow and a little noisy, certainly much slower and louder than my Panasonic 14mm 2.5.

And, yes, I use the 17 2.8 with the VF-1 optical finder and what a great combo! The finder is a joy to use compared to an EVF or LCD so life is now good!

November 24, 2012


Competent and fast lens

While this isn't the sharpest of lenses, it is certainly a solid performer. Couple that with small size and fast aperture, this is a great lens for street and night shots. We use this for travel alongside a longer and slower zoom. It's easy to carry and a great choice for travel.

February 26, 2012


Good, but...

If I could have given this lens 3 1/2 stars, I would have. It does have some things going for it:
useful focal length
good bokeh
pretty sharp in the center

But it also has some things going against it:
horrendous CA (this cannot be overstated)
beyond the center, sharpness is not good
2.8 is okay, but when there's a 20mm 1.7 running around, one has to wonder why this lens isn't faster
also, m43 bodies correct for distortion, but natively the distortion of this lens is quite high

All in all, it's a fun lens to use with a very useful focal length, good bokeh, and a pretty sharp center. Just don't expect miracles, as the CA is some of the worst of any lens I've ever used (and that's a lot), and the across frame sharpness is fairly weak as compared to the center.

July 13, 2011

Capt. Matt

Small, fast and sharp

Sharp a stop down, fast AF, nice lens for general use.

June 29, 2011


Great lens for this system

Small, well made, fast amd sharp. I am amazed at the colors from this lens, reminds me of some higher end german ones.
I love using this lens, particularly with the VF-1. It has a high quality build, focuses fast, is very sharp at f4 to 5.6, and respectable wide open. A perfect lens to carry on the camera when you want to go minimalist, great for walking around a city or town.