The Olympus 17mm f1.2 PRO is a mild wide-angle prime lens with a bright focal ratio designed for Micro Four Thirds bodies. Announced in October 2017, it’s the third PRO lens from Olympus with an f1.2 focal ratio, following the 45mm f1.2 and 25mm f1.2 models, with all three sharing the same external barrel design. When mounted on a Micro Four Thirds body, such as an Olympus or Panasonic mirrorless camera, the 17mm delivers coverage equivalent to 34mm, providing flexible general-purpose coverage.
The 50mm equivalent focal length is often described as a standard all-round lens, but for me, a 35mm equivalent is far more flexible. Wide enough to squeeze in a landscape, interior or group shot, but not so wide it suffers from distortion, making it useful for contextual portraits, still life and more. If I only had one prime lens, it’d be this focal length. The Micro Four Thirds system isn’t short of lenses around the 17mm focal length – indeed Olympus has its own 17mm f1.8 – but what makes this PRO version different from the rest is its fast and bright f1.2 focal ratio. This allows you to shoot in lower light without compromising ISO or shutter speeds, while also allowing you to achieve shallower depth of field effects. The PRO barrel is also weather-sealed and features a programmable function button and a manual focusing ring that pulls back to reveal a distance scale and hard stops.
The optical construction employs 15 elements in 11 groups, has an f1.2 focal ratio, nine aperture blades and a closest focusing distance of 20cm. The dust, spash and freezeproof barrel measures 87mm in length, 68mm in diameter, weighs 390g, has a 62mm filter thread and is supplied with a lens hood. In the video below I’ll show you around the lens and share a selection of photos I’ve taken with it. For a closer look at the quality, check out my sample images page, and check back soon for more detailed comparisons!
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