Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Thread: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Hi all,

    Just gotten the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4 to play with from a friend over the weekend. This is a lens I had always tried not to touch as I also have the Voigtlander Nokton 25/0.95 lens (which I like a lot) - - - I was kinda apprehensive that it would make me ditch the nokton for it But since I have it to play with no harm bringing it for weekend spin! Although it had been launched last year, it seems that this lens hasn't gotten a review yet, the fact that this lens is pretty expensive (though it has Leica branding), that itself deters some from buying this lens, although there are some who will buy this lens just for the leica branding...So hope that this helps some to have a better understanding of it's capabilities.

    The gear I use:
    Olympus OM-D E-M5.

    All pictures are not post processed except maybe simple straighten & crop, which will be mention, and all pictures are out of camera JPEG (OOC JPG)

    Disclaimer, this will not be a lens comparison review between the two lenses, if you are expecting some sort of comparison, sorry to disappoint you. This is purely a user review as I hope to give some insights to those who are undecided about this lens. And this is user review not so much a technical one. In other words, one will see more pictures than words. I will post pictures of different types - portraits, street, food and how this lens looks on the OM-D, and functionality (build and handling, sharpness, bokeh, AF speed, flare resistance) of this lens.

    Pls pardon me if the review is not up to your expectations, as I don't do this often and hopefully this little thread can help to decide if it's a good lens or not for one's usage.

    Thanks for visiting the thread!

    Cheers
    LP

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4, the first brightest/fastest lens of m43 family with autofocus, with Leica branding. Being a 25mm on Micro 43 format, it translate to 50mm normal field of view on a full frame 35mm format. In terms of light gathering though it's fastest, the depth of field is similar to 50mm F2.8 on a full frame due to the sensor size.

    Some specifications:

    Lens Construction 9 elements in 7 groups (2 aspherical lenses, 1 UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens)
    Nano Surface Coating Yes
    Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
    Optical Image Stabilizer -
    Focal Length f=25mm (35mm camera equivalent 50mm)
    Aperture Type 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
    Aperture F1.4
    Minimum Aperture F16
    Closest Focusing Distance 0.3m / 0.98ft
    Maximum Magnification Approx. 0.11x / 0.22x (35mm camera equivalent)
    Diagonal Angle of View 47
    Filter Size φ46mm / 1.81inch
    Max.Diameter φ63mm / 2.48inch
    Overall Length Approx. 54.5mm / 2.14inch (from the tip of the lens to the base side of the lens mount)
    Weight Approx. 200g / 7.05oz

    This is how it looks like on Olympus OM-D E-M5



    & this is how it compares in size against Canon EF 50/1.4 which is a full frame 50mm lens.



    Build & quality is better than EF 50/1.4 (less plasticky), although still won't be as great as old metallic SLR lenses. Manual focus ring is not mechanical coupling but focus by wire like most other m43 lenses, which is a pity. From picture, it doesn't seem much smaller, but it's filter thread of 46mm (vs 58mm) and 200g (vs 290g) and the number of elements is more than 50/1.4.

    No Mega/Power OIS (optical image stabilizer) like the 45f2.8 macro lens or 100-300 telephoto lens. But that's fine for me as I can use E-M5 IBIS (in body image stabilizer).

    Filter size is 46mm and thus filters can be interchanged for Panasonic m43 primes (14f2.5/20f1.7/45f2.8) So kudos to panasonic for thinking of this.

    AF speed is fast, just a wee bit slower than the Olympus 45/1.8 so still fast enough for most usage, at least faster than panasonic 20mm/1,7 pancake, which is likely the most popular m43 panasonic prime. Some users experience rattling noise on Oly m43 body and this is experience on my set as well occasionally, not a big bother to me, its the sound of aperture blades open/closing. Ultimately the picture IQ is more important.

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    At wide open, this lens is outstanding in terms of sharpness and aesthetics out of focus areas (i.e. bokeh). Stop down a little to F2 / F2.8 gets the lens even sharper, of course one gains more depth of field (lesser blur).

    Here's a few wide open Cat portrait shots to share. If 100% crop is required, I can do so later. Cat #1, OOC jpeg. Focusing on right eye. This is almost at minimum focusing distance, that was how close I got to the cat, and an example of the magnification. Shot are resized for to 1028x768. If need full resolution, I can certainly upload to my flickr.



    Slightly above 100% crop of above shot to include edge of eye.


    Purposely chose a harsh background to test the bokeh, and imo, the lens did really well! Stunning to say the least. None distracting (despite a harsh background), creamy and no "nisen/donut bokeh" on the specular highlights. Near to corners, the bokeh are not much distorted, just a wee bit. Certainly bokeh attractiveness is also subjective, so I shall leave to others to decide whether it's to their taste or not. But definitely achieving shallow depth of field is easy with this lens on m43 body, an often misconception that it's difficult to get nice blurry shots with m43 2x cropped sensor.



    Last edited by wonglp; 21st May 2012 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Added in slightly above 100% cropped shot

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    A few more on bokeh and sharpness. All wide open, OOC jpeg as usual.

    With a less harsh background and further distance, a creamy bokeh can be achieved as show here. The details on the peach orange is very good as well.


    Shot below taken in Capella in Sentosa about 5m away, wide open, as can see the furthest pool chair give good blurred background. Wife was working at the conference there, I was snapping away


    Heliconias, a plant I like to take to test bokeh as well because of the colours, and the surrounding out of focus heliconias adds to the picture. Again, excellent bokeh from the lens.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Good effort Wong. You have some nice pics here.

    so are you still hesitating to buy this lens and sell your Voigtlander Nokton 25/0.95?
    or you still prefer Voigtlander Nokton 25/0.95.

    Did you test on the CA for this lens?

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by speedtest99
    Good effort Wong. You have some nice pics here.

    so are you still hesitating to buy this lens and sell your Voigtlander Nokton 25/0.95?
    or you still prefer Voigtlander Nokton 25/0.95.

    Did you test on the CA for this lens?
    Hi speedtest99, thanks for comments and dropping by. Likely won't sell nokton as @ f0.95, its untouchable grounds for this lens. But PL25 is really useful wide open and AF. Hmm. CA test was done will be showing it later, thanks and kindly stay tuned

  7. #7
    Member motionstills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Middle East SG
    Posts
    1,749

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Nice review wonglp, this is my favorite lens for GH2, like to hear your opinion esp on an EM5
    It is an illusion that photos are made with camera...they are made with eye, heart and head - HCB

  8. #8

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Fully agree with the beauty of this lens. TS - hope u dun mind me posting a food pic. This was taken with the Leica DG Summilux 25mm with an E-P3, natural sunlight at a cafe. f1.8, 1/100s. PP-ed.

    Last edited by zapp!; 21st May 2012 at 11:25 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by motionstills View Post
    Nice review wonglp, this is my favorite lens for GH2, like to hear your opinion esp on an EM5
    Hi bro motionstills, thanks for dropping by and comments. It great using with EM5, with tilt and touch screen feature and quick AF, it's good for street photography with 25mm, i like this FOV for street, some prefer wider. I will touch on some other stuff on lens related mainly, but ye, this lens rocks with EM5, only issue is some CA on wide open, not EM5 specific, but Oly body doesn't do CA correction, just lens distortion. Will touch on that next.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by zapp! View Post
    Fully agree with the beauty of this lens. TS - hope u dun mind me posting a food pic. This was taken with the Leica DG Summilux 25mm with an E-P3, natural sunlight at a cafe. f1.8, 1/100s. PP-ed.

    Nice shot, makes me wanna grab an ice cream in this hot weather Stay tuned for more on this lens, maybe you can point out points that I may overlook. Thanks for dropping by
    Last edited by wonglp; 21st May 2012 at 10:18 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by wonglp View Post
    Nice shot, makes me wanna grab an ice cream in this hot weather Stay tuned for more on this lens, maybe you can point out points that I may overlook. Thanks for dropping by
    Hah tks. Makes me want to go for a parfait also man. Looking forward to more of your review . Not sure if you agree with me, but this lens performs brilliantly with natural lighting?

    I love pics shot under natural light with this lens. But one thing bugging most people (for me sometimes) is the infamous rattling sound of the aperture blades.

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    The PL25 has nano surface coating to " prevent internal reflection and flare", I am not sure what internal reflection means, probably if shoot at night shots or birthday candles, sometimes there's some reflection from the flame. Though I did some flare against sun test shots to share here.

    Resistance to flare is very good here, doesn't seem to affect the contrast much. F16 shot, nice star burst is possible with it's 7 aperture blades.



    Another shot to show how well it fare against flare, against a window

    Last edited by wonglp; 21st May 2012 at 10:35 PM.

  13. #13
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Quote Originally Posted by zapp! View Post
    Hah tks. Makes me want to go for a parfait also man. Looking forward to more of your review . Not sure if you agree with me, but this lens performs brilliantly with natural lighting?

    I love pics shot under natural light with this lens. But one thing bugging most people (for me sometimes) is the infamous rattling sound of the aperture blades.
    Brilliant! Plus EM5 has very good Auto WB. Rattling sounds doesn't bug me, had it for year (& counting) with 20/1.7, matters more on the final image. It doesn't happen all the time either.
    Last edited by wonglp; 21st May 2012 at 10:55 PM.

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Was testing wide open on midday sun at Sentosa Palawan beach to see how lens fare against chroma aberrations (CA). OMG, the weather was really hot this May!!!

    Few shots to share: Wide open. OOC jpeg.

    The shot shows visible CA (purplish fringings). One thing about Olympus bodies with Panasonic lenses is that CA is not corrected, whereas it's corrected on a Panasonic body. So it's possible to get CA with this lens on Olympus body. I don't have Panasonic body, I suppose it should be much better. To be fair, i encountered CA (quite easily) on the Voigtlander Nokton 25/0.95 lens as well if used wide open on such high contrast scene, but then again it's hard to use it wide open at such bright light, certainly not without a ND filter



    There are a few ways to get around CA, one is post process. Or stop down till it's gone. Or try shooting another angle, which I did following shot, and much less visible. This shot is wide open as well but did some highlights recovery that's all, there's much blown highlights in the sky shooting wide open.

    Last edited by wonglp; 21st May 2012 at 10:55 PM.

  15. #15
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Some food shots to share. Not a particularly good food photographer, here's a couple to give an idea.

    ISO 200, F3.5, 1/160s, 0 EV, ambient light.
    One of the best Hainanese curry rice in Singapore, according to a Hainanese man *me* hehe. Pasir Panjang food centre, just right beside mrt.


    ISO 2000, F2.5, 1/40s. +0.7EV, auto WB

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Some street shots to share, it's a nice focal length to use. With the tilt and touchscreen makes the lens a real joy & stealth to use as well.

    Sun-flowered, F2.5, ISO200, 1/125s.


    Siblings rivalry, F1.4, ISO200, 1/200s


    Prams allowed, F4, ISO200, 1/160s


    Lens distortion testing F3.2, ISO200, 1/30s
    Last edited by wonglp; 23rd May 2012 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Exif data added

  17. #17
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    Street portraits

    Little English gal. F1.6, ISO 200, 1/2500s


    My terrible 2x2. F1.6, ISO 200, 1/2500s


    A laughing cleaner, he's actually laughing about my son's antics, but also very shy. F2.2, ISO200, 1/50s.


    M shooter. F3.5, ISO200, 1/1000s.

  18. #18
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    A few more cat shots at different aperture too show sharpness. No PP, just OOC jpeg. 100% crops at the eye will follow. From the MTF chart of this lens, it's highest resolution in centre is @ F4, in fact at F2.8 it's already very close.

    For more on the MTF chart, can refer lenstip here

    @F1.4, ISO200, 1/640s


    @F2, ISO200, 1/320s


    @F2.8, ISO200, 1/200s

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    100% crop of the above around the eye of above shots as comparison.

    Left F1.4 Right F2 Bottom F2.8



    The HDB flat and tree gets more detailed from F1.4-2.8.

  20. #20
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm F/1.4 (m43 format) User Review

    A few more to share:

    F1.4, ISO 400, 1/50s


    Creamy bokeh, F1.4, ISO 200, 1/30s


    Last shot night bokeh test, manual focus on "Leica" although it's kinda dark. F1.4, ISO800, 1/5s. With OMD 5-axis IBIS, it's possible to handhold this lens easily 3 stops.


    That's all I have for the review, thoroughly enjoyed playing with this lens, very much addicted to it for the convenience of AF vs my nokton 25/0.95. Was using on last Friday with OMD+25/1.4 for company's annual D&D, whilst 2 were using 5DM3 (including professional) and , there's I was with the puny OMD and 25/1.4 handheld no flash walking around taking candid shots, and I can see the astonishment of the photographer's when they see the picture quality with this lens. Unfortunately, I can't share the DND photos here, though I hope you get the idea of what a beast this lens is at low light wide open or stop down a little to get even sharper pics. Despite some CA (on Olympus bodies), and I dun really like the hood design (it cannot be reversed locked), there's really alot to like about this lens. Too bad have to return this lens. Really missing it already

    For more pictures taken with this lens, please feel free to view my flickr set on this lens.

    Thanks for viewing so far.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •