Feathered Bokeh - the new bokeh

E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:1.2 PRO • 1:1.2 • 1/8000s • ISO 200

Getting my hands on the new 17mm f1.2 PRO lens was not only exciting and but something I had been waiting for a long time. I'm a big fan of the 17mm f1.8 and it's definitely one of my most used lenses. Even the 1.8 is great, getting a PRO lens with this focal length is just amazing. I specialize in Rock and music photography where I tour with bands and am in very demanding situations and light conditions. Having a PRO lens with weather seeling and even more light at f1.2 makes all the difference. I was also happy to notice that the lens is sharp even at full f1.2 aperture.

E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:1.2 PRO • 1:1.2 • 1/5000s • ISO 200

E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:1.2 PRO • 1:1.2 • 1/8000s • ISO 200

Where maybe the biggest advantage of the lens comes in is not the sharp subject but the smooth background. Shooting at wide apertures the lens creates very smooth bokeh which Olympus calls Feathered Bokeh. This is actually something that really needs its own word. Comparing the 17mm f1.2 to other lenses on the market I noticed that the lens creates a nice and soft bokeh compared to normally seen hard bokeh.

E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:1.2 PRO • 1:1.2 • 1/1250s • ISO 200

Build quality of the lens itself is on par with the other PRO lenses, with both having a smooth and sturdy focus ring. It should also be weather proof, so dust and rain (or drinks on the tour bus) won't be a problem. This brings comfort while being on the road and a perfect partner for my OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:1.2 PRO • 1:1.2 • 1/1250s • ISO 200

E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:1.2 PRO • 1:1.2 • 1/1600s • ISO 200

I'm very happy for this addition to my camera bag. I'm pretty sure it will make room and bump its way into my top3 most used lenses. In most cases I will cover my needed focal range with three lenses. 17mm f1.2, 25mm f1.2 and my trusty 75mm f1.8 which I use for most of my work.

E-M1 Mark II • M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm 1:1.2 PRO • 1:1.2 • 1/640s • ISO 200

Photographer profile:

Lars Johnson is a Photographer from Helsinki, Finland. He is an easy going guy but when it comes to photography Lars is an perfectionist using a large variety of techniques while shooting in his studio or using natural light on location. Specialized in portraits, he is well known for shooting international rock and metal bands. 

  • Fantastic shots! I've been waiting for high quality 17mm for m43 long time. Seems that waiting is soon over.

  • Tres beau la photogrphie que j aime.

    Simple et efficace dans tous ses composantes.

  • Anonymous

    Francesco Dissegna Veramente notevole la purezza dell'immagine !

  • Even with 1.2, that portrait bokeh is nothing compared to analog lens with 1.4-2.0.

    Yes, the lens is super sharp and all the quality is fantastic, but I miss the real blurry, dreamy, magic and SOFT background.

    Maybe its technically impossible because of the smaller mFT sensor.

    With FT I used to get wonderful bokeh with 50mm f2 etc...

    Now I can take my iPhone X and with Portrait mode I get the same results as mFT portrait bokeh.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps we should make a distinction between fashion photography and portrait photography. Beautiful women dressed in fabulous evening-wear standing in front of a shipyard surely belong in the category of fashion photography. Real-life women, whether sitting at a desk or selling mobile phones in a store or taking a rest from painting an old wardrobe, might be the subject of "portrait photography". A portrait would surely try to say something more about his or her place in the world, his or her feelings, and perhaps even enter into some kind of dialogue with the onlooking photographer. Such a photo might even hint at a story, which arouses our interest in the subject beyond the technical quality of the physical object of the photo. Just a thought.

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