M.Zuiko 17mm F/2.8 - Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lens Roundup
M.Zuiko 17mm F/2.8
The M.Zuiko 17mm F/2.8 lens is a light prime lens that provides a 34mm equivalent angle-of-view. This is an extremely popular focal-length that offers a slightly wide perspective. This focal-length is among the most popular for journalistic photography since it allows to interact with your subjects while getting some general shots of them.
Build quality of the 17mm F/2.8 is good with a metal lens mount. It has a buttery-soft focus-ring. When the camera powers on, the 17mm lens extends about 3 millimeters outwards. It extends just a bit further for close focusing. Like the 14-42mm lens, this one has a small 37mm thread as well.
Center sharpness is excellent from wide-open at F/2.8 all the way to the diffraction limit at F/13. Significant corner softness is visible until F/4, meaning that his lens wont get a lot of use wide-open without cropping. At F/4.5 corners are still soft but better only becoming moderately sharp at F/6.7. The is a minimal amount of uneven distortion. Vignetting can be seen at F/2.8, drops at F/4 and diminishes a little more at F/5.6. It always remains visible but not extremely so.
Overall the performance of this lens is moderately good. Considering the whole frame, there is little point to this lens other than size since the 14-42mm performs well at the same focal-length when wide open and that the 17mm must be stopped down to F/4.5 to avoid problematic corners. With a little cropping or for subjects where the corners would fall outside the depth-of-field, this lens is a good choice.
What is shown below are 5 crops taken from a photograph, repeatedly captured for each combination of focal-length and aperture. The smaller pieces are cropped from the extreme corners of the image, while the middle wide crop comes from the center of the image. Select an aperture in a row for a desired focal-length to see the crops from the corresponding image. When judging quality, keep in mind that these crops come from a 12 MP image which is normally used to print an image up to 16x12". On a computer display, these may appear much larger which magnifies image defects.
M.Zuiko 17mm F/2.8 Sharpness
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