Hands-on with the new Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens (plus sample images of beautiful people)


posted Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 8:37 PM EDT


At CES, we got some hands-on time with the new Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 APSH OIS lens and ran around the show floor to put it through its paces on the GM1 and GH3. As we reported on Tuesday, this new portrait prime is another lens forged in the partnership between Panasonic and Leica. The 42.5mm focal length equates to 85mm in standard full-frame 35mm terms, making it an ideal portrait lens. The super-wide f/1.2 aperture makes it excellent for razor-thin depth of field shots and superb low-light shooting. 

GM1, f/1.2, 1/125s, ISO 200 - Click here for full resolution

While the lens overwhelms the diminutive Panasonic GM1, it is surprisingly light given its solid, metal barrel and lens hood. It matches the styling of the GX7 and GH3 perfectly, and feels very balanced. Despite the size difference, it was a pleasure to use on the smaller GM1.

Unlike traditional Leica M-mount lenses, the new Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 not only has autofocus (and pretty snappy AF at that), but also features Panasonic's Power O.I.S. to help steady things at slower shutter speeds. 

Check out some sample images below, which are un-touched, straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. From our limited hands-on time with the lens, the sample photos we took showed excellent sharpness -- even wide-open -- with nice smooth background blur. While this lens commands a high price of around $1,600, it looks to be a stellar, professional-level performer. Be sure to click through to the full resolution versions for all your pixel-peeping pleasure. 

Left: full size | Right: full size