Micro 4/3 Favorite walkabout prime?

Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I have to agree with William and Luke and Andrew - about the slow and supposedly inferior Olympus 17mm f/2.8 - I owned two, briefly, on and off - and both times, the copies of the lens I had were astoundingly sharp and generally wonderful. That's the dreadful part about reading a thread like this - it makes one start thinking seriously....about how great some lenses are --- and from then it's but a hop, step and a quick jump to feeling one should re-acquire one.

Hmmmm..... 😜
Too true. Actually, I've never owned one, and I'm absolutely happy with the 15mm f/1.7, but I've (if briefly) thought about buying the 17mm f/2.8 as well as the 17mm f/1.8 - again. In a way, it's embarassing ...

M.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Too true. Actually, I've never owned one, and I'm absolutely happy with the 15mm f/1.7, but I've (if briefly) thought about buying the 17mm f/2.8 as well as the 17mm f/1.8 - again. In a way, it's embarassing ...

M.
I would respectfully disagree with your last statement, which by the way totally amused me (because it was so true, probably!) - about it being, in a way, embarrassing, to consider buying lenses which are so close as to almost be overlapping. Because, though they are....they're also not. In my case, like you, I'm more than happy with my 15mm PanaLeica f/1.7, a lens I love so much that it has more or less acquired a permanent place on my Pen F. But the tiny Olympus 17mm pancake is different (at least, this is the rationale that I've come up with!) because a) it's sooo thin and tiny, and b) somehow it seems to 'mate' perfectly with the first several generations of digital Pens (the E-P1, the E-P2 and the E-P3). In fact, one of the copies I previously owned, I acquired because it had been attached to a beautiful 1st-gen E-P1, and seemed to almost be part of the camera. (So much so that Olympus actually made a standalone OVF for it, and occasionally sold the E-P1 + the 17mm pancake + the OVF as a kit.)

This wayward theory - that some lenses seemed originally to have been designed to go with certain camera bodies - is not original with me, by any means. I first heard it from several fine photographers (one of whom actually also owned a nice copy of the 17mm pancake which stayed permanently on his E-P1 as well).

So (this was all a long-winded wind-up to a confession, by the way), I couldn't resist the impulse - and have just bought my 3rd copy of the 17mm f/2.8 - which I suspect may become semi-permanently attached to my E-P3.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
I've had the 17/2.8 and I do like the output, but I still want a faster lens. I have the 17/1.2 and, frankly, I often find myself stopping down to get a bit more DOF, which leads me to think 1) I should maybe get the 17/1.8m and 2) do I need FF? If I keep stopping down from 1.2 on m43 for more DOF, I don't need 1.4 or 1.8 on FF (if CanNikon start making compact and beautiful 2.8 lenses, that might be interesting)
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I see KEH has the 17/2.8 for ~$120. Might just have to budget that in :D
I think I was lucky, but the one I just purchased cost me considerably less. And the owner also threw in a nifty accessory - the Olympus LC-37C, an auto-opening lens cap which Olympus designed and manufactured, originally for their tiny 14-42 EZ pancake zoom, but it also works nicely with this lens as well, according to the gentleman I purchased the lens from.

I'll report in the not-too-distant future how this - my 3rd copy of the same lens - pans out. But if it's as good as the previous two, I have a feeling I may hang on to it for a long time :)
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
My slow-but-tiny pancake Zuiko f2.8 lens arrived today - I have a feeling it may spend a great deal of time semi-permanently attached to the E-P3---

Zuiko17mmf2.8#1.jpg
 

Steve Noel

All-Pro
Location
Casey County, KY
Update on the 12-32 lens for the wife's GF5. She didn't say much, just used it occasionally, for family pics and a day trip to Cumberland Falls, with the grand children. But, last week, planning another trip to the Falls, she made a comment, that got my attention. And I asked her, "don't you like the 12-32". And, she said, "not really" I said, "then put the P20 back on your camera" (GF-5). When they got back, I ask for her thoughts, and she is thrilled, to have it back!
So I guess, I'll be looking again at a prime, for the EM-5
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Update on the 12-32 lens for the wife's GF5. She didn't say much, just used it occasionally, for family pics and a day trip to Cumberland Falls, with the grand children. But, last week, planning another trip to the Falls, she made a comment, that got my attention. And I asked her, "don't you like the 12-32". And, she said, "not really" I said, "then put the P20 back on your camera" (GF-5). When they got back, I ask for her thoughts, and she is thrilled, to have it back!
So I guess, I'll be looking again at a prime, for the EM-5
A colleague at work had the 12-32 and I let him borrow my Pany 20mm and also Oly 17mm F1.8 for his vacation. I don’t doubt the 12-32 is a good lens but he said the lenses I lent him were in a different league. He’s a snapshot shooter and might not have known how to get the best out of the 12-32, perhaps the ability to shoot wide open was new to him. But still, there you go.
 
Location
Boston Burbs
Real Name
David
Late to the thread but since you're back in search of something.....

I have the Olympus E-M5i. I am now carrying it with a 35mm adapted lens. I am thinking of moving to a AF prime, in the same general focal length. I shoot almost all outdoors, in all light conditions, and am looking for the cleanest detail and color, that I can get. My budget is very tight.
The wife has the P20, and we like it. Maybe something different to compliment the P20.
If you had only one lens, a single focal length, m4/3. Your choice? No zoom, no money for extras, making the hard choice, to live with for a long time. Either Olympus or Panasonic, is ok.
I know. It's been done before. But, it's time for me to do it, and I'd appreciate some fresh opinions.
Again, no zooms.
Compliment the P20? A few options.
  1. Go Wide - O12mm, P14mm, PL15mm - I could go into detail, but if you're trying to replace a 35mm than you aren't looking to go wide so I'll skip it. (Add an O9mm BCL fish that you can Defish to cover the really wide for $50-$75 ? ) and it's so small and light.

  2. Go longer - I'd recommend the P42.5 with one reservation. Did the the E-M5.1 get the "Lens OIS Priority" option in one of the FW updates? Did it have any issues / conflicts with Panasonic lenses that don't have the on/off OIS switch? It's a nice little lens that's sharper across the frame than the O45 and the closer focus distance is handy.

  3. S30mm f/1.4 - Can't really add anything other than it's bigger than I like for a prime. But it's a lens I've never owned so....

  4. Macro? - You can shoot more than just macro with them. The P30 has OIS so see my question about the P42.5 above. The O30 macro is on the slow aperture side of things, but 1.25:1 could be fun.

  5. And the odd suggestion out - PL25 f/1.4 VERSION II. The version II is sealed. It's a bit on the expensive side so budget is a question. But paired with your sealed E-M5.1 the combo could give you the clean detail and color you're looking for in a combo that gives you a different kind of compliment to the GF5 and P20mm.
 

Iron

Regular
Location
New Zealand
My favourite walkabout prime, at the moment, is the Panny 20mm f/1.7. It is sharp at all apertures and I like its unique rendering - somewhat film-like. It's also rather tiny, so paired with my GM5, it's "pocketable" when I am wearing baggy shorts.

My second used to be the Panny 25mm f/1.7, it stayed 90% of the time on my camera as I am a fan of that field of view (FoV). The focus-shift is just annoying so I usually shoot either at f/5.6 or wide open with it - not fun. I also found out that the FoV of that lense is a bit tighter compared to other MFT 25mms. It's equivalent to around 26mm or 27mm. So my MFT 25mm treatment is through my 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8. It's all-manual, has a lot of flaring, rather small for a 25mm and the FoV is similar to the PanaLeica and Olympus 25mm.

And the odd suggestion out - PL25 f/1.4 VERSION II
For a weather-sealed body, this is a good suggestion. I've only tried the version I and found it to be very similar in terms of rendering as my Panny 20mm f/1.7. Cheers
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
My favourite walkabout prime, at the moment, is the Panny 20mm f/1.7. It is sharp at all apertures and I like its unique rendering - somewhat film-like. It's also rather tiny, so paired with my GM5, it's "pocketable" when I am wearing baggy shorts.

My second used to be the Panny 25mm f/1.7, it stayed 90% of the time on my camera as I am a fan of that field of view (FoV). The focus-shift is just annoying so I usually shoot either at f/5.6 or wide open with it - not fun. I also found out that the FoV of that lense is a bit tighter compared to other MFT 25mms. It's equivalent to around 26mm or 27mm. So my MFT 25mm treatment is through my 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8. It's all-manual, has a lot of flaring, rather small for a 25mm and the FoV is similar to the PanaLeica and Olympus 25mm.


For a weather-sealed body, this is a good suggestion. I've only tried the version I and found it to be very similar in terms of rendering as my Panny 20mm f/1.7. Cheers
I have never used the Panasonic 25mm f1.7, but when it was new on the market I had the Olympus 25mm f1.8 and I compared a lot of the images, I always found I liked the Oly's output better. The Panny (I think) was regarded as ever so slightly sharper, and in my experience the Olympus needed to be stopped down to f2 to really sharpen up, but the colors and the rendering on the 25mm f1.8 were something special. Although, I have kind of come to believe that you need an f1.4 if you want a standard prime that actually has DoF control capabilities, on M4/3. But I miss the old combo I used for a couple years, the original EM10 + 25mm f1.8.
 

Iron

Regular
Location
New Zealand
I have never used the Panasonic 25mm f1.7, but when it was new on the market I had the Olympus 25mm f1.8 and I compared a lot of the images, I always found I liked the Oly's output better. The Panny (I think) was regarded as ever so slightly sharper, and in my experience the Olympus needed to be stopped down to f2 to really sharpen up, but the colors and the rendering on the 25mm f1.8 were something special. Although, I have kind of come to believe that you need an f1.4 if you want a standard prime that actually has DoF control capabilities, on M4/3. But I miss the old combo I used for a couple years, the original EM10 + 25mm f1.8.
The Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 is popular because of its price, NZD 200 when I got it, but one just has to live with its infamous focus-shift. It doesn't bother me that much because the DoF masks the focus-shift. There is strong focus-shift at around f/2.8 to f/4.0 (I tested it myself, as well, but using the close focus test on a tripod where DoF is rather thin) so when my subjects are within 3 metres, there is a chance of getting unsharp images. When doing street, I usually just almost play around f/5.6, where there is just some slight focus-shift, and wide-open at f/1.7 if shallower DoF is required. It's a good lens for videography, though, because of that fat focus control ring and really good peaking. Focus-shift is absent when doing videography on any AF lens on any system.

I tried the Olympus 25mm f/1.8, as well, as was impressed by its rendering. Last year I got proper GAS temptation in purchasing it but was able to waive it off when I said to myself that I don't need another 25mm as I have two at the moment, the Panasonic and 7artisans 25mm f/1.8.
 

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