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First two Olympus 17mm f/1.8 image samples…


One of the nicest new announcement at photokina was that Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens. Sadly Olympus didn’t release any official image sample to see how good (or bad) the image quality is. But a Dpreview forum member (Click here) managed to take two shots with the prototype version that was on show at photokina. Those pics definitely can’t unveil what the quality of the lens will be. For now also price and availability are unknown. Hope it doens’t take that long to see it in store! This is one of the mft lenses I would like to own.


  • It would sure be nice if this is the kit lens for the E-P3 successor….

  • tomas

    ah…hope this would be my 1st non kit lens as until now I only played with manual OM lenses. I believe this would be slighly cheaper than pan 20 f/1.7 so wating for this nice lens

    • Tomas, you’ll be right to wait for this, but don’t expect it to be cheaper than the Panny 20/1.7. It will be closer to the Olly 12/2.0 in price, as it has the same design and build quality.

      • tomas

        DanTom…if it costs as much as 12/2.0 …which is 800eur in europe ..(our lovely retailers have exch rate 1eur=1usd)… I rather go for pan 20/1.7 …6mm differnce I can live with it ..and I would save a money for 45mm or new macro 60mm…

        • I fully agree with you. If this lens is discounted with a camera I want, fine. But the 20/1.7 is a great lens. I don’t use it for fast action, so don’t care about the focusing speed. You won’t go wrong with the 45/1.8 either, and the 60/2.8 macro looks like a bargain when you consider all it can do.

        • Mark

          Tomas, here in the Netherlands (Europe) the 12mm f/2.0 is 630 euro.

        • Mr. Reeee

          The 20mm is apparently closer to 18mm or 18.5mm, so the difference isn’t so much.

          • JP

            Nope, the 20 mm is 20 mm, where in the world would you come up with 18 mm or 18.5 mm? The new 17 mm will be better than the 20 mm in many ways. It will have a 17 mm field of view not a 20 (or 18 mm – for crack smokers), it will have an all-metal build, it will look like a real lenses instead of a pancake, it will have pull to manual focus that is lightyears better than the 20 mm and it will be able to autofocus better, which is nice considering the 20 mm cannot focus correctly for video – and doesn’t have a manual focus that is even acceptable. Not to mention the default colors produced by the Olympus won’t be as shitty as the 20 mm. That said, for $350+/- the 20 mm is an excellent value and a great lens for stills.

            • The Master

              Ahh, isn’t that cute and it comes in silver too. Oh wait, I hate silver lenses. I hate companies that try to sucker you too. I love everything and everyone else though. :)

            • For price and performance (not to mention body color), I’d take the 20mm over this lens any day. Expect Olympus to overprice this lens.

            • Anonymous

              I’ve just compared the 20 with the 14-150 and it really seems ti be a 18 .mm. That’s wierd!

              • JP

                Wow, hopefully your comparison is not as inaccurate as your spelling.

            • Jens

              I’ve just compared the 20 with the 14-150 and it really seems ti be a 18 .mm. That’s wierd!

            • Mr. Reeee

              I think it was Pekka Potka who did some tests and found the 20mm closer to 18mm. Maybe somebody else, but I’ve seen several references to it.

      • Mike

        I too am sure it will be closer to cost of the 12mm than the 20. The build quality will justify the cost. But I’m quite sure it will be a bit less than the 12 with even better image quality. It’s got to be easier to design a high quality standard wide angle than a high quality super wide.

  • All I can say is how disappointed I am that Olympus is not releasing those prime lenses in black.

    • Jens


  • This looks good, along with the new Voitlander 21mm 1.8 should be a good pair for prime users.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Thanks for the tip! That Voigtländer looks promising!

      • The CV lens you are talking about is an M-mount lens right? 412g, its heavier than the Olly 75/1.8!

        • Mr. Reeee

          I can live with a few extra grams when it comes to lenses that give the sort of results and have the feel of Voigtländers.

          If you haven’t used any Voigtlander lenses, you’re in for a real treat. I have three which I use regularly: 25mm f0.95, 35mm f1.4 (Leica M) and 75mm f2.5 (Leica L39).

          • Mymaco

            Hi! I am quite interested in the Voigty 25mm, how is it? My only concern is that I already use the good PanaLeica 25mm and I’m afraid to have a double version of it.. I own the 17,5mm and it’s amazing though!

  • tomas

    what about those upcoming sigma m4/3 lenses …no rumours ?

  • Andrew

    599 is my guess

    • Yes i is agree ;-)

      • Ash

        Agreed! 599

  • The only reason I’d prefer over 20/1.7 is a lower price. And seems to be not cheaper, but much more expensive. Sorry…

    • Agent00soul

      We’ll see what the image quality is, but it could offer lower CA than the Panasonic 20. Also the coma at full opening could be lower.

    • Keith

      The 20/1.7 is horribly slow AF.
      This 17/1.8 will be quick like the 12 and 45…

  • Florin

    I do not agree with those who are saying that this lens it will cost more than panny. It seems to be similar with 45mm f/1.8 (in almost every respect, including materials and build quality, it is bigger than panny and a bit slower. So, do not worry, I think it will have almost the same price or even lower than oly 45mm, which has already a very good price. I hardly wait to see it in stores!

    • Forget it, unfortunately it has the much higher build quality, similar to 12/2. You may also look on the DOF scale which is also a sign for higher class.

      • Yeah don’t bet on it being lower or even same price as the 20. I reckon it’ll be the same or slightly higher than the Pan Leica 25mm 1.4. If Olympus price it right, it’ll be a hot seller.

      • Tropical Yeti

        Yes, unfortunately it is true. DOF scale really is a sign of high class nowadays… Does anybody remember lenses from >15 years ago? All lenses had DOF scale…

  • The guy who posted those photos put those guys working for the Olympus stand in big troubles. During Photokina it was said clearly “No shots with the 17mm f/1.8 pre-production lens”!

    • Kabe

      With all due respect: Maybe they said it to their booth personel, maybe even to some visitors. However, they had a working prototype and handed it out to somebody. As long as the OP was not asked not to take pictures or to keep the photos for himself, I dont see a major issue with it.

      If you absolutely need to prevent this from happening, don’t bring a working prototype to Photokina in the first place.
      In this situation lenses have been stolen in the past (and quite likely during this Photokina, too), and this would have been a *real* issue.

      Two hasty shots in a completely uncontrolled environment just make headlines, which is good for Olympus.

  • Agent00soul

    Pekka Potka has just published an interesting interview with mr. Terada.

    • Thank you! Here’s the link to that article:

      So, it looks like we will get on sensor PDAF and focus peaking eventually. We already have IS no in video for MF lenses with the latest firmware update, that was quick work!

    • Interesting reading. If the OM-D E-M5 was released sooner as an answer to competitors… imagine what can they do with future product, lets say “the E-M6”. With another one year for development. Olympus is very precise and makes really valuable products. If only they had better marketing department…

      • Yes, it proves again that it is usually better to wait for the second generation of a new concept.
        Looking at what extra we may get with the E-M6, and/or the successor to the E-P3:
        -focus peaking
        -Full HD teleconverter 4x zoom in video (already out with the E-PL5)
        -truer colour in the LCD/OLED screen
        -higher res & faster refreshing EVF
        -smaller focus boxes
        -a fix for the “hold your button down” issue
        -an LCD that you can turn off properly, and still keep access to the SCP via the EVF
        I’m very happy to wait for all this!

        • peevee

          How Full HD 4x teleconverter even possible? 16:9 ratio of full sensor is about 12 mpix on that 16 mpix sensor. 4x digital tele uses 1/16 of the sensor, meaning the true resolution will be 12mpix/16=0.75 mpix. Full HD (1920×1080) is 2 mpix. If it is just 0.75M scaled up, it is not to be named “Full HD”.

  • Yun

    No , is not for me regardless what price it’ll cost .
    Better save $$$$ for Panny’s 42.5mm , that’ll be my dream lens with huge aperature .
    Long focal fast prime lenses are always my priority right now .

  • Samples… sure. This lens he used is a sample, not even pre-prod but a prototype with who knows what peculiarities. Stupid people doing what they are told not to do.

  • Doesn’t look significantly bigger than the 1.7/20. Specs are actually very comparable. A bit wide, insignificantly slower, somewhat bigger. Nothing worth having both.
    I am looking forward to see price and reviews of that one.

  • Amadeo

    I’m very conscious of the fact that these are pre-production images (which were practically “stolen” from Photokina), but am I the only one who thinks the depth of field is rather large for an f1/8? I know it’s a pretty short focal length, but I suppose I’m overly familiar to the 45mm.

    And for those with the pipe dream of this costing close to the 20mm, or even the 45mm: keep dreaming. It’s going to have the same build quality (metal and pull-back manual focus ring) as the 12mm. Therefore, I don’t think we’ll see this for any less than $700, unfortunately.

    But therein lies my dilemma. I ONLY have the 45mm. I want a wider lens, since I like street photography (NYCer). But I’m too chicken-shit to get the 12mm, and I hate how massive the 25mm is, as much as I like the lens in theory. So, I’m looking at this 17mm, and to an extent, the 20mm. My concern about the 20mm is that it’s a slow focuser. So, I’m torn…get the 20mm now, or wait until next year for whenever the 17mm hits the market.

    • Or get the Panasonic 14/2.5, it’s a very good lens. You can get it very cheaply on eBay.

      • Brod1er

        +1 it’s really pocketable, cheap, fast focusing and as sharp as the 20mm (check out the lensrental blog tests). It’s not as wide aperture, but fine for street use. I use the 14 with the 20mm and Oly 45 and they are brilliant and so pocketable. Only MFT offers this combination. Covers 90% of my photo needs.

    • Well, for the street there is the 15/8.

    • Peter

      Given the progressively high quality of the 45 / 12/ 75,
      I guessing this lens will compete with the panasonic 25,
      so it will just be a question of what your preferred field
      of view is. I’m holding out till the reviews are in before
      I make this purchase

  • The Master

    One thing I can say positive, is it looks like they got rid of the ugly looking flange at the mount end, like the 12 and 45 have. I guess there is at least one intelligent person, amidst a sea of idiots, at Olympus.

    • It has just the same “flange” as 12mm, 45mm, 75mm etc. It only is fatter than 12mm or 45mm. Actually I would have liked these two also fatter, not because of esthetics but for better grip.

  • I am actually eager to see how they will price this one. I use the f/2.8 sibling and, for what I do, it does the job (notice the wording, I am not saying it is the bets thing ever, haha).

    Really looking forward to this one!

  • For its intended uses, this lens should be weather sealed. It will be inexcusable if it is not. Of course, I will still buy it because of its nifty look and feel (I can feel it between my fingers just looking at the photograph) and of course due to its fantastic contrast and speed (I have the 12), but it should be sealed. really.

  • lazybeans

    how about some more affordable lenses Olympus. I can live with plastic quality.

  • Ryan

    I hope everyone decides to keep their 20mm Pannies when this lens comes out. That way, their value doesn’t plunge when I go to sell mine to help pay for the new 17mm.

  • Keith

    I have been whining on about. 17/2.8 replacement for ages.
    The 20/1.7 while opticlally great, is terribly slOoooooow at AF…

    As far as I am concerned the only two lenses I will own for m43 is this new 17/1.8 and the 45/1.8.
    I will sell everything else….

    • Ash

      Well I won’t sell everything else!

      Keeping the 12-50mm for inclement weather and the 45-175 for trips to the zoo, etc.

      That said, this 17mm lens and the 45/1.8 will see far more use than anything else. Can’t wait for it to be released!

  • Zaph

    Will this lens be weather sealed?

  • Zaph

    I really hope they are considering an m43 fixed lens compact with something like this lens on it, for $500 or so. A poor mans X100, as such, but WEATHER SEALED, and maybe even a bit ruggedized. I know that’s much harder to make a standard lens rugged, but I think there’s a definite market for it.

  • Irresistable lens

    Were the sameple photos taken with f1.8? I feel the DOF is so thick.

  • jojonas

    son, is that you??

    /FED Industar 26M 2,8 5cm

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