Andy Westlake gets his hands on a premium fast wideangle prime for Micro Four Thirds

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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph

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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review

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£1,199.00

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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review – Introduction

Panasonic introduced its first Lumix G camera and lenses back in 2008, making Micro Four Thirds the longest running of the new breed of mirrorless digital camera systems. As a result, the firm has had plenty of time to build up a comprehensive set of lenses, and all the major bases are now covered by the system – even more so when Olympus’s M.Zuiko Digital optics are taken into account. So, more recently, Panasonic has taken to fleshing out its lens line-up: last year we saw a welcome set of entry-level primes, and this year it’s the turn of some more exotic options. The one we’re looking at here is a high-end, Leica-branded wideangle prime: the Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph.

With an angle of view equivalent to a 24mm lens on full frame, the Summilux is one of just a few f/1.4 autofocus wideangles available for smaller sensors, alongside Fujifilm’s XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR. Its fast maximum aperture means that it gathers fully twice as much light as its most obvious rivals, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2 and the manual-focus Samyang 12mm f/2 NCS CS. But despite this, it’s not the fastest wideangle lens for Micro Four Thirds. That honour belongs to the Voigtländer Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95, which is a manual-focus optic that has at least half an eye on video shooting.

At a launch price of £1,199, the Summilux is not a purchase that will be made lightly, especially with the Olympus 12mm f/2 costing less than half that amount. So it will probably need to be optically spectacular to gain a significant following. With that in mind, let’s see how it performs.

  1. 1. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Introduction
  2. 2. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Features
  3. 3. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Focus
  5. 5. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Image quality
  6. 6. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Resolution, shading and curvilinear distortion
  7. 7. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Verdict
  8. 8. Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 Asph review - Full specification
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