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Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8

My micro four third kit has gone through continuous expansion and contraction, but it has started with one camera and one lens. Panasonic GF2 and the 14/f2.5 lens. I had shot with this lens exclusively for 11 months. I actually went on holiday to Japan for a week with this kit. The 28mm equivalent focal length feels natural to me.

After picking up the acclaimed Panasonic Leica 25/1.4 for the faster maximum aperture, I have always struggled with the 50mm equivalent focal length. It may be considered the normal field of view, but I found it either too short or too long most of the time.

Fast forward another 12 months, I’ve picked up a few more lenses, including the M.Zuiko 9-18 and 12-40/2.8, which gave me back the 28mm equivalent field of view. But neither ends up satisfying as a single-lens walk around kit.

The pictures from the 9-18 are not the sharpest, and the lock/unlock mechanism is annoying. (I will never buy another lens that needs unlock before use, even the well-received kit zoom of the GM1) In the end, I sold the 9-18 because for its price I wasn’t completely satisfied.

The 12-40/2.8, on the other hand, is exquisite. It is very sharp at the wide end, and only gets slightly soft toward the tele end. I have only praises about the output, but it is a large lens and can be intimidating to acquaintances and strangers alike, and f2.8 max aperture means it sometimes struggle in low light.

After some thinking, I’ve decided to pick up the Olympus 17/1.8. It is only a half stop slower than the 25/1.4, it is not pancake but gets quite close. And I have always read about, and fascinated with, the 35mm equivalent focal length.

Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8

So far, so good. It is fast focusing, reasonably sharp wide open and very sharp stopped down to 2.8. I had liked the focus clutch on the 12-40/2.8 and on the 17/1.8 it is supposed to be very useful for zone focusing. I can’t wait to try it for some street shooting.

Panasonic GX7 with 14/2.5, 25/1.4, 12-40/2.8, 17/1.8

The combination with GX7 is also quite handsome, if you ask me.


17mm, f/6.3, ISO 125, 2.5 sec exposure on tripod. 

100% crops


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