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(FT5) There will be a new Olympus 17mmf /1.8 lens!


Image on top: The current 17mm f/2.8 pancake.

Just got one of these rumors that will make most of us very happy today :)

Olympus will announce a new 17mm f/1.8 lens at the Photokina show. What I don’t know yet is if the lens will be shown as “Prototype” or as a “Real” final production lens. Better to keep expectations low and bet on the first option :)

Current 17mm pancake price check at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

  • pez

    FINALLY !!

    • MJr

      I hope it has 12/2 quality for built and optics.

      • QQT

        I think I’ll spontaneously combust if that is true: all metal construction, AF/MF pull thing, excellent image quality, compact dimensions. Needs to be cheaper or equal to the price of the 12mm f/2 though…

        • TomR

          You forgot weather sealed

      • Mr. Reeee

        As long as it’s black, who cares. ;-)
        If not, Oly will introduce yet another shade of silver. It’s up to about 12 now, isn’t it? :-P

        If that’s true, maybe it’ll finally give the Panasonic 20mm some real competition.

    • mpgxsvcd

      Now that sounds like some good news. This should have been the lens that they started with.

    • Gjim

      “FINALLY !!”

      HaHa! I read the title and that was going to be my exact comment. This is fantastic news.

    • santela

      Sony is shaking the photographic world with its RX1, and this is what Olympus has to offer?

      • Stef

        Shaking the world? Really? Merely tremors here and I’m in Japan.Sales of pen cameras or OMD’s far outselling the Sony RX I’m sure. A99 is FAR more interesting.

  • G Gudmundsson

    Wonderful, black, please!

    • Narretz

      Black special edition a year later. Initial version will be silver, but a different hue than 12 or 45mm. ;)

      • Miroslav


        I’m afraid you’re right. Unless it’s a macro ;).

        • TomR

          …not macro…
          Olympus lenses:
          weather sealed = black
          Non weather sealed = silver

    • steve

      Yes. Cameras and lenses are black, not silver.

  • SF


  • JF

    Good news ! even if I will probably stay with my pana 20mm f1.7

    • Charles

      with noisy, slow autofocusing and awkward manual focus by wire with blueish tint on Olympus bodies and terrible focus hunt while in video mode…

      and it is neither 35mm nor 50mm…

      don’t get me wrong, pana 20mm is the sharpest and most used lens in my kit, but I always kept saying, do a mk2 revision, and you’ll sell millions Trillions no matter the price!

  • Black? Please!

  • U-dash

    Would be lovely. However I’m very satisfied with the Lumix 20/1.7, but maybe a 17mm would better.

    • QQT

      I’m with you on this one. The 20mm f/1.7 is by no means a perfect lens. But strangely nothing can or will ever beat it. Despite its slow(ish) focusing speed, it’s still a hard lens to hate.

      • nicwalmsley

        Depends what you are photographing. Anything faster than a chess match and it’s no match for the 25mm 1.4

  • Dannecus

    At last! this will certainly be on my ‘buy’ list as soon as it is available

  • If it is as sharp as my Panny 20, I will definitely give it a try because I prefer 35mm focal length. Also can we expect it to focus faster so it works with the new continuous focus mode?

  • BLT

    This is probably the lens I want most. To be my everyday lens.

  • Jens

    Geat news, the focus speed of the 20mm is really annoying sometimes.

    @admin Will it be a new pancake or a 45mm/12mm pendant?

    @Olympus :-) please put it a box with the PL5

  • Narretz

    Cool, but I am still waiting for that cheap wide angle. And Pana could bring a 20mm MkII, wit better focussing.

    • why the waiting, get the 14mm, its cheap enough, its riciculous how much the word “waiting” is used here lol.

      • QQT

        Ulli, when we accidentally get the Gear Acquisition Syndrome and have no money at all, some of us may easily fall into the trap and start waiting. We may easily forget what started our passion in the first place – going out and actually taking pictures.

        • QQT i suffer from GAS too, but i dont wait, i just buy whatever excites me when i have the money lol.

  • Ki

    Sweet! About time they release a fast pancake!

    I just decided (couple of days ago) that I would NOT buy the lumix 20/1.7 because the focus is too slow for it to function as a “snapshot” lens. I really hope this new lens will have a snappy focus!

  • Cpt

    Joy to the world!

  • jpplenissart

    Please a pancake ! :)

  • onlyme

    I hope they offer it as a kit option with the new PEN Mini.

  • NiKo

    That is freaking awesome news. At last.

  • Simon

    Woohoo! I hope it has (in order)
    1. Nice out-of-focus rendering
    2. Uniform sharpness
    3. Weather sealing
    4. Small size
    5. Reasonable price

    • I presume that a new 17/1.8 will be a mainstream lens, with the same IQ/price ratio as wonderfull 45/1.8. Olympus needs to gain a higher market share >> decent quality lenses for affordable prices.

      IMO 17/1.8 and 45/1.8 will be a cool combo!

    • simon

      that’s exatly what I want, ok I’m happy if the out of focus rendering is just ok doesn’t have to be very nice since with that focal length often not much will be out of focus. I really want the good sharpness and the weathersealing thou.

    • samshootsall

      i think everyone forgot about : PLEASE MAKE IT A MSC LENS!! love the size of the lens & not the noisy AF.

      super silent and superfast AF…

      rectangular Lens hood? that will be super sweet.

  • buongustaio

    any idea whether this is going to be weather sealed or not? :)
    i’m a little worried about the price though!

    • Ulli

      wondering about a sealing too as there is only one sealed lens sofar from Olympus in the mft range….

  • Miroslav

    Great news. Anyone wants a used Panny 20mm ;) ?

  • ilkiit

    Please, not pancake, if it the smaller size will have effect on optical quality. Please make something like 45/1.8 – maybe not pancake, but small and optically superb.

    12/2 + 17/1.8 + 45/1.8 will be nice set (and maybe + 75/1.8)

    • nicwalmsley

      I agree. Used to be hungry for pancakes, but after 12 months of using m43, the reality for me is that I carry the camera in a bag, so anything up to the size of the 45mm 1.8 would be fine.

  • DaBastl

    Text says 17mm f/1.8, picture shows and says 17mm f/2.8. Does it need a correction? Seems so

    • Anonymous

      No correction needed at all the caption clearly states “The current 17mm f/2.8 pancake.”

    • thats the older version Bif…..

    • Martin-K

      nope.. image is the old 17mm pancake.. as it says.. current lens ;)

    • DaBastl I got it, it will be a replacement with a different aperture. I thougt…. don’t know what I thought. Maybe it’s just too good news to be true. Let’s hope it is faster and cheaper than the Pana 1,7 and I will buy it for sure and replace my pana 14mm with it.

  • Sweet… more $ to spend :)

  • Leo


  • CRB

    GREAT NEWS,FINALLY….im going to jump back into m4/3 territory…no more panasonic…olympus epl merge (ep+epl) and a good 35mm EQ…uhuhuh

  • Mar

    It will be a much better lens than Panasonic 20mm and here’s why:

    – Probably less optical distortion, so roughly the same FL (20mm is a lot wider to accomodate for software correction).
    – Much faster and better AF
    – Less CA/PF
    – Nicer color (20mm has awful cold tone)
    – Wider and generally more useful focal length.

    • JF

      “Nicer color (20mm has awful cold tone)”
      To my eyes the 20mm has beautiful color rendition with constrasting and saturated colors. Never noticed problems with cold tone…

      • fRetse3w

        Olympus fan boys like Mar love to delude themselves about Olympus being the only company with good “colour”. Some Olympus fanboys have been deluding themselves for so long {new 12mp sensor {used several times}, fastest AF {used a few times}; Olympus criminal board only did it for Olympus lol , only Olympus makes good lenses and so on. One must be careful not to burst the “bubble of delusion” that surrounds these guys { always men} or serious mental psychosis can follow.

        • Mar

          Having used 20 and 25mm, I found that 20mm is very dull lens with slow and unresponsive focus.
          Olympus lenses have much faster focus and even 25mm is not as fast as MSC Olympus lenses.

          • dede

            is there an Olympus 20mm or 25mm to compare with?. The 20mm F1.7 is a very well considered lens and it is better than the Olympus 17mm in every way.In fact other than the numerous kit lenses the 17mm is the worst Olympus lens around.

        • nicwalmsley

          I guess the the other option is, he doesn’t like the 20mm colour so much

    • Brod1er

      I never understand why one focal length is more “useful” than another! Different yes, but usefulness is highly subjective. one person’s 14mm is another’s 600mm.

      • Charles

        on 600mm the perspective is so distorted, that unless the jaguar in question isn’t having creamy bokeh, the gazelle 100m further away is:
        bigger than jaguar
        is sticking her nose to his ass
        both which have totally wrong forest behind them, probably from neighbouring country and even then, just one tree is visible in the frame…

        in the other news, 28mm is not big win, but if you shoot distance subjects it looks natural to eye, not as much as human vision, which is around 35mm-50mm perspective wise, but because of our stereoscopic feeling of the world you need the wide lens, even with a bit inflated distances…

        there’s focal length for.everything you do…

    • BdV

      Better? And here’s why? Because you think anything with the name Olympus on it is better? Sure I would have considered this 17 1.8 if it had been there when I bought the 20 1.7, but for now you’d better be hoping it’s at least as good.

    • Gee, thanks for sharing your crystal ball’s readings.
      Splitting hairs before the pre-production sample’s verdict is not my cup of tea, but I’ll say that for the 2 years I had the 20mm, it was a fun lens: If the Olympus really puts it to shame, I’ll be the first in line to get one ;)

  • Jalo

    Fantastic! :D

  • Happy indeed but I’m not too positive on price… would probably be higher than 45mm i reckon. I think olympus is onto something here if they can make it a stellar performer, it’ll be the zuiko F2 legends re-born. 12 F2, 17 F1.8, 45 F1.8, 75 F1.8 hopefully a 100 F1.8

  • st3v4nt

    I hope the price and performance would be near 45mm….:-)

    • Justin

      The fab five: 12, 17, 45, 75, 150.

  • Smarikoe

    I’d just like to say admin that over the past few weeks you have made me the happiest little boy in the world :*)

  • Sergey

    The lens is already on my Christmas wish list :)

  • Tim

    This is great news! as i cant imagine they want to cancel the old 17mm, i ll bet it will be a high quality, all metal-but expensive lens like the 12mm&75mm. Which leave room to sell the old pancake, as cheaper (& maybe more compact) Version.

    Now i just hope that it will be a double announcement with a 25mm f1.8 in the price and quality of the 45mm ;-)

  • Mike

    Hooray. Oly takes their fast glass seriously so we can definitely expect the optics to be top tier. I hope the build quality is on par with the 12 and 75 but I suspect it will be more like the 45 in this respect.

  • Yun

    Another brilliant move by Olympus .
    I sold my 20mm to give way to 25mm summilux , and always tempted to get it back .
    This might it to end my long wait .
    The only question in my mind , can this lens match the glass of 20mm ?

  • Camaman

    I really really hope the make it in black and silver…
    I really want some AF primes for my OMD, but can’t stand the thought of buying something expensive that I don’t like the looks of, no matter how good the supposed IQ is…

  • kesztio

    Hoping it will have an optical quality close to 20/1.7 and a really cheap build quality (even a plastic mount would make me happy) in order to keep the price as low as it’s possible.

    The 20/1.7 is a bit expensive to me for ~320 EUR.


  • awaler

    Let us hope for top-notch optical quality.
    Plus fast and noiseless focussing, of course.

    In that case, many a 20mm Panny will go to the bay, just like mine.

  • Diane B

    Its not a lens for me. I have the 17/2.8 and don’t generally use it and not because its not fast enough or IQ but just not a FL I prefer. I bought it before the 20 was ever announced and used it that whole summer. but 20 worked better for me and now the 25/1.4 is my FL of choice. Glad others will have it available though.

    I keep thinking about the 14 since its cheap and small. But–I’ve been using the 12 end of the 12-50 for wide without carrying a WA lens along with the 25/1.4 for small kit and that works. I may have to get out the 17/2.8 again though and see how it affects my shooting. Its been awhile.

    • Brod1er

      Diane, I use the Panny 14 and 20 along with the Oly 45. Three great compact fast lenses. If you like the 20, you won’t be disappointed with the 14 – smaller aperture but faster focusing and just as sharp. No need for that slow/big 12-50 unless you are doing macro in a thunderstorm! My other favourite lens? The bulky and slow 100-300 of course! Who says I have to be consistent… I am starting to feel the need for an Oly body however so I can stabilise those primes.

  • Darryl

    A 17mm 2.8 Mk 2 with revised optics would have been fine with me too. The original 17mm has repeatedly been recognized/tested as the softest m4/3 lens, bested in resolution by kit zooms at that focal length.

    I can only gather that Olympus put pocketability over IQ considerations with its first batch of m4/3 lenses, and only belatedly came to see the format as the successor to 4/3 SLR.

  • ChiBear

    Sold my 20mm on eBay last night and woke up to this news today.
    I will be the first one to preorder this lens…

  • Nickaboom

    I think it’s only me who want this lens to be in silver not black lol.
    Hope the price is under Pana 20mm.

  • Vince

    Does this mean there will be no Olympus 25/1.8?

    • I am hoping that one day, doesn’t matter if it’s next photokina, Olympus will release a 25mm f/1.2 with FAST AF. Even if it resembles the 75mm in size with aperture/fn ring (perhaps clicks for aperture, slide and function changes to click-less turning which can be set as aperture (for video) or something else). + weather-sealed.

      Either that or a new panaLeica 25mm but also f/1.2 that also has faster AF, but looks $700 worth! Weather-sealed as well and metal barrel.

  • Joe A.

    I will be purchasing this. I do wish it was a 25/1.8, since I quite enjoy the existing 17/2.8, but beggars can’t be choosers.

  • M

    Oh please make this happen! I’ve dreamt of a 17mm with better image quality. Hope it’s still compact. 1.8 makes me a bit worried. If it’s 1.8 it’s very likely it will be either big/bigger or small with worse image quality.

    • Exactly. It makes me smile how noobs always believe in a free lunch. Say it will be the same size and built quality of the 12 mm, and it will cost a fortune and be much less ubiquitous than the lovely 17/2.8.

      Therefore I hope it’s black plastic, price of the 45mm, and tolerable at the edges. The CV which costs a fortune, and is heavy as a tank, has some optical problems at 0.95.

      People want everything and then have to suffer the limitations. Bokeh with a 17mm? The very notion is rather absurd. The 35mm has always been a lens for hyperfocal work in the street, according to masters.

      It’s not a portrait lens because of the perspective distortion. I have seen enough poor dogs with distorted faces shot at ambient light in the living rooms with the 20mm :)

      • some people do look better with a distorted face

    • Panasonic’s 20mm is not that much bigger, not bigger enough to be a factor and most importantly it does not suffer comparison with Olympus’s 2.8/17.

      To keep it small enough is feasible. But it might not happen, we have no such details yet. Not that there is anything wrong with premium glass…
      Oh wait, I just read that there is a patent on 35mm FoV, it is not multi-purpose, I repeat, it is not multi purpose. Anything that is not hyperfocal street shot is de facto portraits and becomes subject to being sued by Apple corp. Don’t worry, if you diligently pay the 0.99¢ per non-street shots to the app store, the FBI won’t drop in ;)

  • Nathan

    Build it and I will buy it if the price is not absolutely asinine. I know lenses are expensive and don’t have a problem with it. That said, make it 1000 dollars and I can’t do that. Make it 799 and you have a deal. Make it 499 and I buy two.

    • Narretz

      If you buy two for 499, you can buy one for 1000!

  • donsantos

    I was hoping for a panasonic leica 17mm 1.4 but this one will suffice

  • Neonart

    I had the 17/2.8 and loved it. Got some really great shots with it, but since according to most reviews, etc. the 20/1.7 was sharper, I sold it.
    Well, I really don’t like the 20. I use it alot because it’s a good low light lens, but don’t love it. Not sure what it is. Focal length, rendering, aesthetics? Don’t know.
    If this is priced decently (~$400) I’ll be very happy.

    • SteveA

      …and you value a review over your own experience?

  • abucci

    if its a pancake, comes in black, and is priced less than $300, i would happily trade this for my 20mm.

    chances are though, it will look like the 45mm, it will be silver, and will retail for $799.

    • Neonart

      I agree it would stink if it’s $800.

      Otherwise, I don’t care if it’s silver or black. As long as it’s not that stupid purple-ish color most Panasonic lenses are at the base, I’m ok.

      Size is fine too. I don’t mind the 45’s size whatsoever, so if it’s around the ball park, I’m in.

    • SZRimaging

      Doubt it. I would think they would be forced to compete with the Panny 20mm, so I would go with $299 for the price point.

  • bhanu

    take that sony RX1 with the 35/f2 :) I hope this this is as good as the 45 1.8 optically. If so m4/3 will probably have the best selection of primes compared to any system..

  • Olympus 17mm/f1.8
    Now they have created the fast primes for 80% of my stills and videos.
    Very good job – congratulations!
    Offer limited black and weather sealed versions and I’m happy!
    (“Olympus wild life series”, “Olympus adventure line”)

    • peevee

      You’ll still need something like 25mm in the middle. The gap between 17 and 45 is too large.

  • Ab

    I am torn, unlike many of the posters here I actually think the original 17mm is a perfectly acceptable lens, stopped down it is nice and sharp through most of the image, a bit of CA removal and distortion correction for the images that need it and you have a very nice, contrasty image.

    I honestly think the original was massively underrated only because the the lack of CA removal in body compared to the 20mm.

    So my problem is, I got his one for $150, say the new one is $400 or thereabouts, do I really need to spend that much money on a stop and a bit of light gathering, or more sharpness…

    Ahh but it is still nice to have the option, I would expect the original to drop to about $250 and this to retail at $499 (canadian dollars that is).


  • nicwalmsley

    Manual aperture ring. Would love one.

    • Mike

      Before i moved into digital with the OM-D and a D800E the idea of not having a real aperture ring seemed almost unthinkable and I felt forced to deal. However once i started using a modern digital body I found I never use ring on my 2 older nikon lenses equipped with the manual rings. Adjustment from a dial on the body is just so much easier and quicker.

  • Andrew

    Great. apparently a couple long primes, a wider prime than the 12mm and then MAYBE we’ll finally get the short-fast zoom: 14-54mm.

  • mr.smth

    Admin, I’m guessing your sites are all hosted on :)–finance.html

    time to move some eggs to diff baskets!

  • Neonart

    Admin, PLEASE investigate price!

    It would be awesome if this thing is priced right.

  • dreamer

    17mm f/1.8 – if size and quality equal to 45/1.8 it will be great

    We will have 12/2, 17/1.8, 20/1.7 (Panas), 25/1.4 (Panas), 45/1.8, 75/1.8…. Nice. There is stil necessary 10/2.8 and 150/2.8, and primes are complete. Maybe 400/4…

    And there is necessary to make micro versions of old 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 (or 12-60 f/2.8-4), 50-200 f/2.8-3.5, or 90-250 f/2.8 (can be f/4 if it will be significantly smaller and lighter). Even 70-200 f/4 smaller and lighter then Canon 70-200 f/4L will be very nice.

  • JP

    If as good as 12 mm f/2.0 I will sell that and get the 17/1.8 – please…

  • Mike

    I already plan to buy my wife the new pen. She takes very good pictures that deserve more than the crappy iPhone camera she’s always using. If this rumor turns out correct I could get her this lens too and I could borrow it for em-5 once in a while.

    • Mr. Reeee

      She may still prefer the iPhone.

      I was just on vacation with my girlfriend and kept offering her my GH2 to take photos instead of her iPhone. She refused, saying she likes the iPhone better than a real camera.

      Oh well.

      Maybe you’ll just be buying the camera for yourself… ;-)

      • Neonart

        Worked for Homer Simpson when he got Marge that bowling ball with “Homer” etched in it.

  • mailman

    hope oly and pana will push the m43 lens in to its limits, bigger aperture (.95, 1, 1.2, 1.4), affordable and small/light as much as possible, this is the only way to catch up with other bigger sensor user…

  • Admin, was the rumor about the 25/1.8 wrong?

    That might have been a sensible lens, although people have been clamouring a long time for a faster 17mm.

  • physica

    will it be a lens which does not made any change opically but adding a weather seal for the E-M5?

  • peter pan

    this lens on a pen, or just the new FF sony? hmmmmm

  • if it is a 1.8 25mm weather sealed, high quality and I am there… sold..

    • It’s really the missing piece of Oly’s lineup. I had the 25/2.8 for 4/3, a pancake and v. sharp, at the same price of the 17/2.8. The PL is excellent, but far too expensive for a ‘normal’ lens.

      It seems that people here have no idea of the downturn, or perhaps they just pretend they are going to buy, the more expensive, the better :)

      Let those rentiers buy the 3000 bucks Sony, with one do-it-all lens, and no worries :)

  • Joe Reilly

    Whatever the babe in the orange wraparound dress is selling: I’ll take a dozen.

  • Gideon Buurma
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