Panasonic 15mm F1.7 For Wide Angle Street Shooting

I have been shooting with wide angle more and more for my street photography recently and I found myself loving the Panasonic 15mm F1.7. I made a video to talk about the reasons why I love the Panasonic 15mm (you can find the video here). I have had the lens for a while, I used the Panasonic 15mm mainly for video making, one of the main lenses to create content for my YouTube channel, as I use it alongside the Olympus 45mm F1.8. The two lenses setup works very well, compact and easy to carry around. The other reason I got the Panasonic 15mm a while ago was to use it as a wide angle prime for my street shooting, which I have been doing more lately. 

All images in this blog entry were shot with Panasonic 15mm F1.7 on Olympus OM-D E-M10

After trying different wide angle primes available for Micro Four Thirds, I find the Panasonic 15mm to work the best for what I want to do for my wider street compositions. The focal length is just right, it is close to equivalent 28mm which is quite popular for street shooters, if you see some well received cameras like Ricoh GR III or Leica Q series, they all feature 28mm or equivalent focal length. While the Panasonic 15mm is not exactly 28mm equivalent, but it is close enough and I find it working better than other Micro Four Thirds options out there. The Panasonic 14mm F2.5 pancake gives true 28mm equivalent, but the AF is just too slow and unreliable for quick grabs while shooting action on the street and the purple fringing issues were breathtaking. Then the Olympus 12mm F2 is just too wide, I find it easier to frame my subjects with the Panasonic 15mm. 

I really love the image rendering qualities from the Panasonic 15mm F1.7. Shooting wide open it is really sharp, the images pack plenty of fine details and great contrast. They look life-like, and close to what I remember seeing in reality. That is my main issue with Olympus 17mm F1.8 lens, I can't quite put my finger on what is wrong with the lens but the images from the Olympus 17mm just doe does not look right, there is something wrong that I cannot explain. Maybe it is due to excessive distortion correction or software processing, I don't know, but such issues were not present with the Panasonic 15mm F1.7. I understand it isn't fair to compare Olympus 17mm F1.8 to the Panasonic15mm F1.7, because both carry very different focal lengths, one is closer to the classic 35mm, one is much wider at 28mm, and both lenses should be used to compose differently, giving unique outcomes. Nonetheless, I just prefer the look and output from the Panasonic 15mm more. 

The compactness of the Panasonic 15mm lens is something I really appreciate. Weighing only at 115g, the lens weighs almost nothing at all, used with any Micro Four Thirds camera! I pair the Panasonic 15mm lens with smaller camera bodies, eg Olympus E-M10 or the Panasonic GM1, and they work great together, giving me very compact combo to work with. I like smaller gear setup especially when I am shooting on the street, this allows me to be more agile, handle the camera better and have less stress and strain on any of my body parts. Smaller cameras on the street are also safer, people would not question your intentions, unless you have a professional and intimidating gigantic gear setup. 

I just love the Panasonic 15mm F1.7, and I shall be using the lens more!

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