So, a while ago I showed you a photo of the second lens I bought for my little E-P2. I was all excited … between the “standard” 17 mm and that 50 mm, I had a nice combo for general shooting and quick portraits. The maximum aperture of f/1.4 on the old 50 also gave me two stops more reach into the shadows. (I am really hoping Olympus creates a 17 mm f/2.0 or f/1.4 soon … then I’d be in pixel heaven, I think.)

Problem was … it just wasn’t that sharp. And tended to flare out quite a bit. And not just because of light sources within its field of view, almost anything bright would cause it to wash.

So I did some more research and found that there were three different iterations of that lens, the first (which I got) had a single lens coating on it. Great for black and white, terrible for shooting in color. And my world, well … it’s in color.

After a few weeks, I sent it back. Found another one elsewhere and ordered that up. Except … it was a first generation one, too. In much better shape, with no flaring problems, but still not what I wanted. (The danger of buying used stuff online – sometimes, the descriptions are vague.)

I found one on eBay, so I bid … and the price went insane, so I lost that. Knowing my big trip was coming up, I took another look at my old friends, KEH.com. They had a couple. I now knew the serial number range I wanted and asked if they could check.

Unfortunately, their warehouse and sales offices aren’t in the same place, so I took a chance … maybe, just maybe, the one at the high end of the scale would be a third generation. If not, I could live with a second generation … but, please God, not another single coated first generation.

It showed up today. I sliced open the box and started unwrapping … no silver outer ring, that meant it wasn’t a first generation … the serial had seven digits, I wanted one above 1.1 million … DAMN.

So close. I missed by 22,000 units … but it was pristine, and it is sharp. This one feels like a solid piece, no play in the aperture ring, focus is like pushing through warm butter.

Maybe I found the right one … a few shots around the house seem good, but all in low light and higher ISOs. Will test more this weekend.