Panasonic 42.5m f/1.2 lens review: There’s a new king of sharpness, bokeh and brightness in town, and its name is NOCTICRON.


posted Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 1:20 PM EST


Micro Four Thirds portrait and low-light shooters rejoice! There's a new king of sharpness, bokeh and brightness in town and its name is NOCTICRON (actually, it's Panasonic 42.5mm ƒ/1.2 ASPH POWER OIS Leica DG NOCTICRON, but that's a mouthful). We only had a brief hands-on session with the lens at CES last week, but we've now run it through the paces in the lab and published our full review on the new Panasonic 42.5mm ƒ/1.2 NOCTICRON.

The results? It's a show stopper; one of the best lenses we've ever tested -- outstanding sharpness, even wide-open with practically zero distortion.

This new portrait prime, announced at CES 2014, is another lens forged in the partnership between Panasonic and Leica.  It's definitely a high-end lens squarely aimed at professional photographers or advanced amateurs in need of a pro-level portrait or low-light lens (video shooters should take note, as well). The 42.5mm focal length equates to 85mm in standard full-frame 35mm terms, making it an ideal portrait lens. The super-wide ƒ/1.2 aperture provides for razor-thin depth of field shots and superb low-light shooting as well. It also includes other niceties such as Power O.I.S. image stabilization; a manual, click-detented aperture ring; and Panasonic's Advanced Nano Coating to help reduce ghosting and lens flare. 

Despite the "Micro" in the Micro Four Thirds name, the Panasonic 42.5mm ƒ/1.2 is anything but. With 14 elements in 11 groups to provide an ƒ/1.2 aperture, plus an all-metal construction (including a large metal push-on lens hood, locked via a setscrew), this lens is a fairly beefy hunk of awesome. That said, it feels right at home on the larger Micro Four Thirds cameras such as the GX7, GH3 and E-M1.

Jump on over to SLRgear to read our full Panasonic 42.5mm ƒ/1.2 ASPH POWER OIS Leica DG NOCTICRON lens review to see our test results and read our final verdict.

The Panasonic 42.5mm ƒ/1.2 ASPH POWER OIS Leica DG NOCTICRON lens is currently available for pre-order for $1,599 at AmazonAdorama and B&H. By purchasing this lens, or any other product, through our affiliate links, you help keep these reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos below. You can view more of our sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.