A lens that carries all the glamour of the 85mm f/1.2, but with the ease of construction of the 50mm standard is an exciting prospect. Damien Demolder tests Panasonic’s Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Asph Power OIS
Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Asph Power OIS review – Verdict
There is no doubt that in a world of contrast-detection systems, a super-bright aperture helps keep focusing speed high. The amount of light pouring through the lens will also help to deliver a noise-free and crisp image in the EVF and on the rear screen, but no one buys an f/1.2 aperture lens for those reasons. The attraction of this lens is that extreme shallow depth of field – the way we can pick out an eye from a face, a head from the background – and create an atmosphere like no other aperture can achieve. These images suspend reality to an extent, and in the midst of that air of fantasy we might enjoy some vignetting to draw the eye to the subject. Technically, this may not look a very good lens at all wide open, but for the creative photographer it is a delight. And only dull photographers buy a fast lens to use it at f/8.
I have enjoyed using this lens very much, and my pleasure in looking at the images it produces, and the way it can lift a full-sized man from a background only 1-2ft (30-60cm) behind him, is only enhanced by the experience of having it attached to the camera.
While the GX7’s sensor was able to make more of the quality, the surer grip of the GH3, and to some extent the OM-D, make the kit more balanced and comfortable. While pricy compared to the seven-blade iris equivalent that Fuji is soon to introduce, it is a lot less expensive and half the weight of the lens Canon users need to achieve the same effect.