My Expression | M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8

M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8 was launched by Olympus in March 2013. When I first got a hold on this lens, I immediately fell in love with it and decided to buy it.  Since I then, the lens got hooked on to my OM-D E-M5 and it has accompanied me wherever I go.

With a 17mm focal length (34mm in a 35mm system equivalent), a high grade all metal built, a large aperture of f/1.8 and a very quiet yet fast focusing system, this lens is an ideal optic for street and daily life photography.

The only slacking of this lens is that it is not built with a weather sealing capability to make it splash and dust proof, or otherwise I would have abused it to the fullest when paired with OM-D E-M5. Nonetheless, it would survive better compared with a cheaper lens with plastic construction such as Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 or its elder brother, the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8.

This prime lens has an all-metal lens barrel that makes this lens feel quite durable when holding it. The overall build of the lens is pretty lightweight.

The 17mm f/1.8 lens means this lens is better suited for low-light situations and does a slightly better job blurring the background to create a shallow depth of field effect. The other major advantages of this lens are related to focusing speed which I consider it to be extremely fast.  The Olympus Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) auto focus technology equipped in this lens enable it to focus quickly and quietly making it great for capturing fast-moving subjects.

The quick-clutch manual focus ring enables you to expand the creativity in photography. I found the manual focusing gives me more pleasant “bokeh” compared with the auto focusing, but that is rather subjective.

As for image quality, this lens only able to give me approximately 90-95% corner to corner sharpness at wide open. However, it satisfy me enough considering the color, contrast and most importantly “the character” created by this lens for every image taken.

Sharing some of my photos taken since the first day I owned this lens. Only minor post processing on brightness, contrast and shadow were applied to conserve the originality of the photos.

Night Market

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Monotone
f/1.8 | ISO 640 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

People of Kundasang

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Monotone
f/1.8 | ISO 200 | 1/320s | SuzailanJai

Scene at Brickfield

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Natural
f/1.8 | ISO 200 | 1/620s | SuzailanJai

Kuala Lumpur by Night

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Monotone
f/1.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/25s | SuzailanJai

Safe journey 

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Natural
f/1.8 | ISO 2000 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

Business on the street

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Monotone
f/1.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

Reaction 

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Monotone
f/1.8 | ISO 200 | 1/320s | SuzailanJai

Walk of life

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
I-Enhance + Low Key
f/3.2 | ISO 500 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

His daily life

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
I-Enhance + Low Key
f/1.8 | ISO 500 | 1/15s | SuzailanJai

Colors of Eid

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Natural
f/1.8 | ISO 200 | 1/400s | SuzailanJai

Cleaning in progress

OM-D EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/1.8
Monotone
f/2.0 | ISO 200 | 1/250s | SuzailanJai

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Note: This article is about user’s expression on a lens he owns therefore it is based on his experience with a retail unit.

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3 comments

  1. Pingback: a little bit of everything… | Michael John Burgess

  2. c0ldc0ne

    “I found the manual focusing gives me more pleasant “bokeh” compared with the auto focusing”

    Can you elaborate on how the selected focusing method can have any bearing on the perceived bokeh?

  3. Coldone: as mentioned..it is subjective ..it happened when I play around between the 2 focusing method on a same subject…

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