Olympus announces the 17mm f/1.8

New M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 High-Grade Lens Easily Captures Spontaneous Moments in Remarkable Detail

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., November 15, 2012 – Today, Olympus adds to the Micro Four Thirds family of lenses with the release of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 lens (34mm in 35mm equivalent), a bright, wide-angle, single-focal-length lens ideal for snapshot street shooting, landscape photography or capturing subjects in challenging low-light environments. This high quality, compact lens features a stunning metal body and a Snapshot Focus mechanism for pan focusing with a distance indicator.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 has nine carefully placed lens elements in six groups to deliver sharp images of subjects with beautiful, eye-catching depth of field. The advanced optical system features three aspherical lenses, including a Dual Super Aspherical element to correct aberrations, as well as a High Refractive index lens to correct high spherical aberrations. Each lens element is polished to an ultra-high level of working precision only possible with the progressive techniques developed by Olympus master craftsmen, and carefully assembled to ensure maximum accuracy and reliability. Olympus’ exclusive ZERO (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating) lens coatings are applied to the elements to reduce lens flare and ghost images even when shooting against the light.

The Snapshot Focus mechanism lets users easily take spontaneous, blur-free images by shifting the focusing point to a specific distance. Sliding the focus ring back reveals range markings on the lens barrel, including distance and depth of field scales, which can be used as guides as the user adjusts the focal distance by rotating the ring.

With a total length of just 1.4 inches, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 is incredibly compact and adds to the rapidly growing lineup of Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses that enhance the performance and versatility of Olympus OM-D® and PEN® Compact System Cameras. The sophisticated, textured metallic finish projects a stylish, classic look that complements the design of Olympus® compact system cameras.

Ideal for capturing brilliant still images and high-definition (HD) videos, the lens employs Olympus’ proven MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) autofocusing mechanism featuring an inner focus system to drive this single-focal-length lens for fast and quiet focusing.

The optional LH-48B Lens Hood and LC-48B Lens Cap are designed exclusively for the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 and both are elegant in design with a finely textured metallic outer finish and distinctive, classic appearance. The Olympus VF-1 optical viewfinder, originally developed for use with the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f2.8 lens, is also compatible with the new lens.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 17mm f1.8 Lens will be available in December.

Estimated Street Price: $499.99

For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/m-zuiko-digital-17mm-f1-8.html

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About Giulio Sciorio

Since 2009, Hybrid Photography pioneer Giulio Sciorio has been blending still + motion & sound with his photography. Giulio is a Lumix Luminary, commercial photographer and founder of SmallCameraBigPicture.com - the resource for everything Hybrid. A portfolio of Giulio’s hybrid work can be found at GiulioSciorio.com.

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5 Responses to Olympus announces the 17mm f/1.8

  1. Tobias Weisserth November 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Hey G,

    with your connections to the good people at Olympus, can you please let them know the following?

    I am a huge fan of Olympus. My wife and myself have

    * E-5

    * E-30

    * E-520

    high grade Olympus Four Thirds glass in the thousands

    * (black) OM-D

    * (silver) E-PM1

    lots of Micro Four Thirds lenses from Panasonic, some Olympus and Voigtländer, I caved in and actually bought the black 12mm limited edition

    * an Olympus recorder device

    Given that, it’s safe to say I am among the most loyal customers Olympus has in the amateur photography target group. So please forward my criticism in this context.

    Here it comes:

    Olympus insults customers like me by offering their Micro Four Thirds prime lenses only in silver and without hoods, making lens hoods available at RIDICULOUS prices and charging ridiculous amounts of money for limited black edition of lenses.

    It’s plain apparent that I am not alone with this criticism. Every honest gear review includes this criticism and if you check out the Olympus OM-D page on Facebook and the 17mm announcement there, the majority of comments complain about this evil marketing scam as well.

    I wish Olympus would change their mind about this marketing policy and come to their senses.

    Regarding the 17mm: I won’t buy it. I have the Panasonic 20mm and the Panasonic 25mm and both perform well on my OM-D. Also, they look natural on my black OM-D because Panasonic offers BLACK lenses.

    I would probably budget for the 75mm if it came it black at the original price and included the lens hood at no additional cost.

    I will probably sell (or give it away) my silver 45mm once Panasonic releases their “roadmapped” 42.5 f/1.2 prime lens next year. Also, this lens will probably come with a hood, in black and most likely with a lens pouch.

    While buying lenses mostly depends on the optical quality and the usability of the lens, the accessories that are part of a lens and the appearance in colour (does it match my camera) are likewise important. Of all companies, you should think Olympus understands this given they market cameras in a specific retro appeal that adds nothing to function or performance.

    Maybe you find it into your heart to use your influence and report back to Olympus that they are alienating loyal long time customers with their marketing.

    • Paula Thomas November 19, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      I was a little upset the Olympus lenses didn’t come with lens hoods at first but then I thought about if they did come with hoods they would probably cost more. Now I am glad they did it to keep the price lower and give me the option to buy one if I want. Plus there are 3rd party hoods you can buy for a heck of a lot cheaper.

    • Giulio Sciorio November 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm #


      Olympus reads the blog so I’m sure they’ll see your comment. I’m a big fan of getting a hood and case with a lens too but what I do is just factor the price of the hood into the “real” price of the lens.

      It would not surprise me if we start seeing hoods and cases with Olympus lenses.

      You make some valid points here. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Rob November 16, 2012 at 11:25 am #


    Any chance that you could persuade Olympus to put a red dot on the face of their cameras??

    • Giulio Sciorio November 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      HAHA! Funny. Maybe I’ll buy some red dots and give them away.

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