Olympus 17mm f18  (1 of 3)

I debated for awhile between the Panasonic 15mm f1.7, Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and the Olympus 17mm f1.8. I spent a few hours at a camera shop Playing around with the 20mm and 17mm and even rented the 15mm for a week. The 20mm f1.7 was a great little lens and the pancake form factor is appealing but it left me wanting something just a little bit wider. The 15mm f1.7 is an all around impressive lens and wide open it had the best corner sharpness out of the bunch. The difference in image quality between the 17mm and 15mm isn’t dramatic enough to be a deal breaker, but it is noticeable if you start pixel peeping.

Olympus 17mm f18  (2 of 3)

At the time of this purchase I had already planned on picking up the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 and was really just looking for a decent walk around 35mm equivalent with auto focus for those times when I didn’t feel like focusing manually. While both the Panasonic and Olympus hover right around $500 new, the used prices are dramatically different. After doing some research it turns out that the used price of an Olympus 17mm f1.8 hovers around the mid $300’s while the Panasonic 15mm f1.7 used price is stays solidly in the mid to upper $400’s.

I already planned to spend the majority of my budget on the Voigtlander and I figured saving some money made the Olympus a better buy for my needs. After making a few offers on Ebay I was able to pick the Olympus up for $330.

Olympus 17mm f18  (3 of 3)

For the price, I’ve used the 17mm f1.8 just enough to make it worthwhile, and it ended up making a great walk around prime. The Olympus is a good lens and for the price, well worth a look if you are in the market for a 35mm equivalent focal length on the GH4.

If you only buy your lenses new, the Olympus and Panasonic are within $50 of each other and the Panasonic 15mm f1.7 is the winner by enough of a margin to make it worth wild for the price. However, if you don’t mind buying your lenses used the Olympus 17mm f1.8 is a really good value.

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