Back in April I reported about the new 12mm Leica lens (rumor article here). And now that it has been officially announced let’s check out if the lens is as good as advertised by Panasonic.
CameraLabs compared the lens with the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 and 7-14mm f/2.8 lenses:
The Leica Summilux 12mm f1.4 kicks-off the comparison in isolation as the only lens in the group to open to f1.4. There’s visible vignetting darkening the image, but look beyond this and you’ll see an image that’s still impressive crisp and detailed. Close it to f2 and the vignetting essentially goes away, while the Olympus 12mm f2 joins the battle. The Olympus crop wide-open at f2 suffers from vignetting, but you’ll also see that it’s softer than the Leica Summilux – indeed it’s lacking the crispness and details of the Leica when the Leica is at its maximum aperture of f1.4.
ePhotozine tested the lens on the GX80 and writes:
Regardless of the technical results, this is a lens that produces images that look fantastic. Some might argue that’s actually what a lens is for and we need look no further than that. When we do examine the detail, the overall standard of sharpness is very good indeed, but becomes outstanding at the centre over most of the aperture range. This high standard shows up the effects of diffraction with the fairly soft results at f/16 and it is probably a wise decision not to include the option of f/22.
No lens is perfect, but we have here a very exciting prospect for MFT format users with a lens that provides a unique bright f/1.4 aperture and excels at producing superb images. Lovely.
The Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH is an outstanding ultra-wide-angle prime lens. It’s exceptionally well-built, weather-proof and delivers fantastic image quality at both the centre and edges of the frame, even when shooting wide-open at f/1.4, and the very welcome aperture ring makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure.
12mm f/1.4 at BHphoto. Amazon. Adorama. Panasonic US. WexUK. ParkCameras.