Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 Pancake - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published November 2009


The Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 is another pancake lens available for micro-four-thirds system cameras. The lens is either sold as part of a camera kit with the Olympus E-P1 or separately for about 260€/300US$. Its field-of-view is equivalent to about 34mm in full format terms so it's a moderate wide-angle. Typical applications include landscape or street photography.

The M.Zuiko is even smaller than the already dwarfish Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 ASPH although this isn't really all that surprising regarding its less ambitious max. aperture of f/2.8. Olympus is also "cheating" a little bit here because the lens (the inner lens tube to be precise) extends slightly into its working position upon power up. However, the procedure is not really noticeable and as such not objectionable. The build quality of the lens is perfectly fine - it is based on a quite high quality plastic body and a metal mount.

The AF uses a conventional micro motor. However, the AF speed is pretty reasonable and the accuracy is spot on (which is typical for contrast AF lenses). Manual focusing works "by wire" so there's no direct mechanical coupling. This is sometimes controversially discussed by users but if you ask me it's a non-issue. Unfortunately there're no focus distance marks though.

Equiv. focal length34 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 4 groups inc. 1x aspherical element
Number of aperture blades5 (circular)
min. focus distance0.2 m (max. magnification ratio 1:9)
Dimensions22 x 57 mm
Weight71 g
Filter size37 mm (non-rotating)
Other features-