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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:47 AM   #1
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Default New Zuiko 17mm f1.8

I got an email from Olympus yesterday announcing the new 17mm f1.8 (available for pre-order). The lens is no longer pancake-style (at least from the picture it does not look like it is) and it's going for $499...a bit steep considering the cost of the 20mm f1.7 or the 14mm f2.5.

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lens...m_content=17mm
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
I got an email from Olympus yesterday announcing the new 17mm f1.8 (available for pre-order). The lens is no longer pancake-style (at least from the picture it does not look like it is) and it's going for $499...a bit steep considering the cost of the 20mm f1.7 or the 14mm f2.5.

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lens...m_content=17mm
Hi,

I received the same notification. My first reaction was that, at that price, I'd opt for the m43 9-18mm lens. It offers a great deal more flexibility with respect to angle of view and image quality is excellent. Granted, it's more money, but I'll take the wider view.

The other lens that comes to mind is the 20mm f1.7 from Panny for about $150 less.

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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A BIG part of the cost difference between the 17mm f1.8 and the two mentioned Panasonic lenses is the build quality. The 17mm f1.8 is metal and is supposed to be identical in terms of construction to the 12mm f2 and that's where the comparisons to the 20mm f1.7 and 14mm f2.5 stops right away. It even has the same snap mode where you pull the focus ring down to reveal a distance scale, allowing you to manually set infinity. That is not an inexpensive feature to implement. The focus ring on the 12mm f2 goes from being unending in travel to positive stops at the far and near end of the focus scale when in the snap mode and it feels in use like any manual focus Nikkor I ever owned.

The 17mm f1.8 also uses the same MSC internal autofocus system so will be substantially faster focusing compared to the 20mm f1.7. Optically, the 20 and 17 seem to be so close if optical quality alone was the consideration, it's hard not going the route of the 20mm f1.7, but in terms of cost difference between the two, it goes WAY beyond just the optics.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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@Greg...... Whew! That is a lot of information, thanks.

While I am not buying m43 lenses yet it is encouraging to learn that quality of make and quality of features is so quickly coming to the forefront in the m43 system.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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A BIG part of the cost difference between the 17mm f1.8 and the two mentioned Panasonic lenses is the build quality. The 17mm f1.8 is metal and is supposed to be identical in terms of construction to the 12mm f2 and that's where the comparisons to the 20mm f1.7 and 14mm f2.5 stops right away. It even has the same snap mode where you pull the focus ring down to reveal a distance scale, allowing you to manually set infinity. That is not an inexpensive feature to implement. The focus ring on the 12mm f2 goes from being unending in travel to positive stops at the far and near end of the focus scale when in the snap mode and it feels in use like any manual focus Nikkor I ever owned.

The 17mm f1.8 also uses the same MSC internal autofocus system so will be substantially faster focusing compared to the 20mm f1.7. Optically, the 20 and 17 seem to be so close if optical quality alone was the consideration, it's hard not going the route of the 20mm f1.7, but in terms of cost difference between the two, it goes WAY beyond just the optics.
Hi Greg,

I have no doubt that everything you've just stated is true. AND yes, build quality +features = greater value. Therefore, price is higher.

I come at it from a different perspective, i.e. what will provide me with the greatest flexibility and functional utility without sacrificing image quality.
So, for me, the 9-18mm is significantly more appealing for my purposes.

If I were to buy a prime, most likely it would be the 45mm f1.8 m43.

Have a happy turkey day.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:34 AM   #6
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I don't know, Greg. You bring up some good points but I still find it hard to justify spending that kind of money when you can get similar lenses for a lot less. I guess it all depends on whether you have the extra floating $$$. I have many lenses that offer a distance scale but to be honest, I hardly ever use it. I find the scale to be helpful on MF lenses but not so much on AF ones. Then again, that's just me...not a sophisticated photographer!
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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...

If I were to buy a prime, most likely it would be the 45mm f1.8 m43.

Have a happy turkey day.
Zig
I also would consider this lens more than the 17mm. Although it's not a very practical focal length for many shooting situations, it serves its purposes well.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:21 PM   #8
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I wonder if it uses the same 12mm hood?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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I wonder if it uses the same 12mm hood?
No, I've seen an image of the 17mm f1.8 with the hood mounted. The hood for the 17mm f1.8 is a rounded affair, where the hood for the 12mm f2 is more squared off.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:49 PM   #10
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I have many lenses that offer a distance scale but to be honest, I hardly ever use it. I find the scale to be helpful on MF lenses but not so much on AF ones. Then again, that's just me...not a sophisticated photographer!
On the few MF lenses I have used, the distance scales seem to have no relation to reality whatsoever. I don't know if that's because I'm using cheap adapters, or it's because the lenses weren't made for M43, or what.

Now it is way easier for me to MF on a lens designed for that rather than on an electronic AF lens. I also like the aperture ring on the lens as opposed to that ring thing on the back of my E-PL2.
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