Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 ASPH LEICA DG SUMMILUX
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(From Panasonic lens literature) The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm / F1.7 ASPH. allows you to capture supreme snapshots with beautiful defocus features produced by F1.7 high speed. Certified with the name of world-renowned LEICA, the exceptional high image quality is guaranteed. The new lens system comprising of 9 elements in 7 groups uses 3 aspherical lenses. The aspherical lenses suppress spherical aberration and distortion effectively while realizing downsizing of the lens unit.
High-Precision, High-Speed AF
The inclusion of newly developed stepping motor makes the focusing action smooth and silent for use in both photo and video recording. Notably the performance of AF is by far superior to the phase-difference AF when fast lens with smaller F value is used. When mounted on the cameras of LUMIX G, you can take advantage of the high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF system.
Aperture Ring Control /Metal Finish Design
The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm / F1.7 ASPH. comes equipped with aperture ring and AF/MF switch for direct, intuitive operation.
The sophisticated metal design of LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm / F1.7 ASPH., including the hood, deserves to bear the prestigious LEICA name. Highly reliable metal mount is durable enough for repeated exchange of lens.
Nano Surface Coating
With Panasonic's Nano Surface technology the reflection is dramatically minimized at entire visual light range (380nm-780nm) by applying the extra-low refractive index coating with nano-sized structure on the surface of the lens. It results in the super clear picture with dramatic reduction of ghost and flare.
Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 ASPH LEICA DG SUMMILUX User Reviews
9 out of 10 points and recommended by Thoppa (14 reviews)Sharpness, contrast, AF speed, aperture ring, AF/MF switchdistortion, no OIS
Hard to fault this lens but if I was going to nitpick, the distortion is a little more than I expected for the money. OIS would have been great but then perhaps it would not be so sharp, or small and light.But in fact, I have no complaints at all, and I love using the aperture control. I hope that starts appearing on more m43 primes.reviewed September 22nd, 2015 (purchased for $400)
9 out of 10 points and recommended by Prime Minister (40 reviews)Speed, sharpness, contrast, build quality, size, weight, ergonomics, look and feelVignetting, distortion
When I first heard about this lens, I hoped for better optical performance than the current Micro Four Thirds autofocus prime lenses like the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 and the Olympus 17mm f/1.8. The Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 lens doesn't disappoint.reviewed October 9th, 2014
The lens is compact and lightweight, but it feels solid and well build. The lens barrel, rings and the lens mount are all made of lightweight metal. I think it looks beautiful too. It's a good match for any MFT camera. It has a fairly common 46mm filter thread, which is nice. Maybe it's just my sample, but I find it slightly difficult to attach the 15mm to my Olympus camera. It's a very tight fit and there's not much to grab onto (except for the AF/MF switch, but you don't want to use that).
Straight from the widest aperture sharpness and contrast are very good. The center of the image is sharp and contrasty and totally usable. The edges are very good, the corners are softer, but nowhere near as soft as the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 and better than the Olympus 17mm f/1.8. Apparently it's difficult to design and build a (moderate) wide angle lens for the Micro Four Thirds system that's both compact and optically excellent. Oh well, at this moment it's the best option and I'm happy with it.
The Panasonic 15mm focuses real close. From f/2.8 everything is nice and crisp close-up, but at f/1.7 a large portion of the frame is already decently sharp.
There is some CA, but most of it can be easily removed in post processing and it's not that much. Unfortunately, vignetting is strong at larger apertures. Distortion is rather high for a prime too. However, when I look at the end results, I'd say this is a lens that you can shoot wide open without reservation. And that's precisely why I prefer fast high quality prime lenses to a slower zoom (plus the size and weight advantage of course). On stopping down the sharpness gets better and contrast is slightly higher too.
The first thing I noticed was the typical rendering of this lens. The lens renders like the other Panasonic primes. A different look than Olympus lenses. Higher contrast, very good micro contrast and sharpness. I think it's nice look for a 30mm equivalent lens. It makes photos 'pop'. It helps bring out detail better. Not sure if I would like this look for a short (portrait) tele like the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2. Personal preference of course.
Autofocus works flawlessly. It's fast, silent and very accurate. When I first tried the lens, I thought the autofocus mechanism was broken. I forgot about the AF/MF switch on the lens barrel. It was set to manual focus. The switch works on Olympus camera bodies too. Manual focus is electronic and there are and no hard stops at either end. Nothing new, it works fine.
A feature that sets the Panasonic 15mm slightly apart from many other lenses is the lovely little aperture ring. It allows you to set the aperture manually in 1/3 click stops. You can also set it to automatic. You can then set the aperture via the camera body. It feels very nice. So good in fact, that I find it hard not to play with it, even if it doesn't work (firmware update please) on my Olympus camera body. Weird, isn't it? Maybe it's because I haven't touched a real aperture ring on a high quality lens in a long time. I think it's a very nice feature on a small camera body with limited controls like the Panasonic GM1. On other camera bodies it might be redundant. Well, you can always play with it or just look at it.
Highly recommended lens if you're looking for a 30-35mm equivalent prime. If you have the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, this is a nice upgrade (apart from the size of course). If you have the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 this Panasonic has slightly better image quality and better build quality. It might be worth upgrading. I did.