Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.2 PRO - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2019

Introduction

The Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.2 PRO is among the best lenses that we ever tested here at OpticalLimits and it deserved a very rare 5* rating across the board. And it has two close cousins - the 25mm f/1.2 PRO, thus a standard lens, and the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.2 PRO which we are going to discuss now. It's the type of lens that is wide enough for catching scenery and moderate enough to keep things still within a "normal" perspective which explains the popularity of such a lens among street photographers. Additionally, the M.Zuiko is sufficiently fast for making it interesting for low-light even though Micro-Four-Thirds is not ideal in this respect due to the comparatively small sensor size.
As the name implies, it is a member of the professional gang of Olympus lenses coming with a correspondingly steep price tag around 1200USD/EUR mark.

In terms of shape and feel it is almost indistinguishable from its 45mm stablemate - which is, of course, a good thing. Thus the build quality of the 17mm f/1.2 PRO is excellent. Professional lenses are designed to withstand some abuse - and the 17mm f/1.2 PRO is dust-proof, splash-proof, as well as freeze-proof. It's an all-metal construction that maintains its length during focusing (aka internal focusing). Olympus also implemented a programmable L-Fn (lens function) button for easily accessible settings adjustment. A plastic, petal-shaped lens hood is provided.

The AF is very fast, silent and, of course, precise. The Movie & Still-compatible (MSC) autofocus system is also aligned to smooth video recording. The lens features a focus-clutch mechanism for switching between manual and auto-focusing. It is a matter of taste but we are generally not a fan of this approach because you keeping the focus is next to impossible when switching between the modes. However, unlike on conventional focus-by-wire systems, you do get a focus distance as well as a depth-of-field scale on the lens barrel.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length (full-format)"34mm" (in terms of field-of-view)
Equiv. aperture (full-format)"f/2.4" (in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction15 elements in 11 groups inc. 1x Super ED, 3x ED, 1x ED-DSA, 1x EDA, 1x Super HR, 1x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.2m (max. magnification 1:6.7)
Dimensions68.2x87mm
Weight390g
Filter size62mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresdust-, moisture- & freeze proof, focus-clutch, L-Fn button
MountMicro-Four-Thirds