Taking Up The Challenge: Shooting with only M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 on Olympus PEN E-PL7

Note: For those of you Olympus users coming to Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival this coming weekend, there will be free professional camera and lens cleaning services for your Olympus products! Do not miss out. 

I planned to shoot with only the kit lens this weekend, since I have been using mostly prime lenses these days in every photography sessions. The forgetful me after a long week of work did not bring home the M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ pancake zoom lens, hence I shall be doing the kit lens only shoot some other time. When I asked myself what else I could do differently this time for my shutter therapy session, I looked at the "fringe" lenses that I have. M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 is not exactly a lens which I would use as my first choice, and I will find every excuse to use any other lenses that I have. I have explained before why I am not the classic 35mm shooter, and I will not do so again, but lets just say using the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 is quite a big challenge for me, and I am taking that challenge up today. Nope, no 45mm F1.8, no 25mm F1.8, just sticking to ONE lens for all day. 

The day started with Pudu Wet Market, and it was extra wet today, due to heavy rain during our shoot. I was with Joseph and Nik, both awesome photographers whom I have known from my active days shooting with the Sony gang. We had a coffee break, rather long one actually, until the rain tamed down a little before we continue clicking our shutters away. Thankfully the rain did gave way and we still had plenty of chance to grab some shots. I was armed with the PEN E-PL7, which unfortunately is not weather sealed. I would have worried less if I was using my own OM-D E-M5, which I decided to leave resting at home. 

I did not have any agenda or anything particular I wanted to achieve in this shooting session. Heck, I was not really doing any tests or further review for the E-PL7. This was my weekend, my only time free, and I wanted to do something for myself, and my shutter therapy has only one purpose, to make me happy!

Noodles and Seafood


Light and Shadow

Shops Not Open



Mother and Child


The last time I posted photographs from a 17mm F1.8 which I mentioned I was trying my best, I have gotten comments like "oh you should have done this, oh you should not have used this way, or oh it is better if you considered that". Honestly, I do not see how all that apply to my photography. Yes, MY PHOTOGRAPHY. I am not trying to sound rigid or being narrow minded here, but I do choose to shoot my photographs a certain way, and I like it that way. I like to go near to my subjects, regardless of what lens I use. I like my composition to be clean, and I dislike clutters in the background. No matter which focal length I choose I will still observe these few simple framework which you will see in all my shots. Not that I do not appreciate feedback, I do really, but sometimes I do have to decide what works for me, and what not. 

So what am I doing with the 17mm F1.8?

One of the steps to improve in anything we do, is to step out of the comfort zone. And believe me this will not be my last attempt with the 17mm. I intend to get better at it and I want to make it a lens that I can use if I have it with me. There are so many things I want to try out and explore in photography, but I do not have the luxury of time to do everything at once. And I should not be forcing myself and push too hard, as always photography MUST be enjoyed first. I will take all in one step at a time, and at my own pace. Now, it felt like the right time to explore the 17mm lens further. 

Like everything else, it is easier said than done, and surely I need a lot more practise until I can utilize the 17mm F1.8 like how naturally I can compose with the 45mm and 25mm lenses. 

Nevertheless, I do enjoy myself thoroughly shooting with the 17mm!



Beautifully Organized


A Fishy Nap

Hold it up



On the Table


The Shortcut

Plastic Sheets

Hadi Nik and Joseph Cheung figuring out the Sony A6000

Hadi Nik and OM-D E-M10. And that awesome M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 lens

Lets do a SELFIE!!!  This image was taken with 9mm F8 Fisheye Body Cap Lens. 

Just when I thought the day has ended, later in the afternoon, I accidentally bumped into Ruby! It has been centuries since I last saw her, and she told me that on the same evening she would be performing live on stage at Panggung Bandaraya, for MudKL! I have not heard of that production before, and surely I had other plans for the evening (UPDATING THIS BLOG!) but then I made a quick shift of plans, and made it to the show. Thankfully I had my gear with me, so the shooting with M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 continues!

Suddenly Ruby appeared! 9mm F8 fisheye body cap lens used. 

MudKL is a theatre show entailing the history of Kuala Lumpur (Mud Estuary), and the performance format was mostly musical. The performers (actors) were all extremely talented, the storyline has traces of Kuala Lumpur history, mixed with intertwined fiction of locals living their lives back in the old days.  The overall tone was full of emotion (there were moments that could have been tear-inducing for some) and overall, I like the strong sense of hope, and the main message of "NEVER GIVE UP" which seem to reiterate itself again and again throughout the show. I will not put too much description here as they would be spoilers for those who have not seen it, but if you are in Kuala Lumpur, or visiting Kuala Lumpur, please do make time for this entertainingly epic musical performance with beautiful historical twist. For more info kindly visit www.mudkl.com. GO SEE IT. 

Do take note that photography or video recording was not allowed until the very last chapter of the musical, but that was good enough for me to satisfy my itchy fingers and make use of the 17mm F1.8 lens. Knowing that 17mm is on the wide side, I bought tickets as close as possible to the stage, and where I was sitting the 17mm focal length coverage was just sufficient.  

At the end of the show the cast allowed the crowd to go up and take photographs with them. How amazing!

So I did a SELFIE with the cast instead. 9mm F8 Fisheye Body Cap Lens was used for this. 

And the last shot of the night was a Selfie with Ruby, this time with 17mm F1.8 lens. 
To Ruby, it was great seeing you on stage!!!

A few things I have learned today. 

M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 lens is a great lens, I just need to use it MORE. 

I have to keep my mind open, and be flexible to changes. I bumped into Ruby and decided to make quick changes to my plans, and watched the MudKL show, which was super awesome!! GO WATCH IT if you are in KL.

And finally, I actually did not use the electronic viewfinder for all of the photos in this blog entry. I understand how some people cannot survive without some kind of a viewfinder, but honestly, shooting through the LCD screen was not as bad as most people think. It was quite a practical solution, allowing you to compose differently, not just through your eye level all the time, which could lead to some interesting perspectives. And yes, I was using the Touch Screen AF most of the time. 

And if you have not figured out by now, that Olympus PEN E-PL7 is awesome. 


Please support me by liking my Facebook Page (here)


  1. Love the stories and the pics Robin. Selfie with the cast is like caricature could have been on movie poster. I love the exagerated perspective of the body cap.

    1. Thanks Johan! It was a fun-loving group of people, great cast indeed.

  2. Awesome pics!! Thanks for inspiring me & million others with your cool approach towards shutter therapy :) Cheers!!

  3. Great job! Love the pictures of the cast and the play. Isn't it fun to take pictures?

  4. Thanks for your experience with this lens.
    It would really be helpful if you could put the f stop and shutter speed under each image....

  5. Also a few 100% crops...
    Many thanks,

  6. Hi Robin, thanks for the great review! If you were to pick just one favorite lens for the E-PL7 for an all around carry/street photography use, what lens would it be?
    Best regards!