Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7 Lens Review: a top-notch, ultra-portable and affordable Nocticron alternative


posted Friday, June 19, 2015 at 3:26 PM EST


Hot on the heels of our recent review of the Panasonic 30mm f/2.8 Macro lens, the other newest member to the Lumix lens family is the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7 OIS lens. Like the earlier 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron lens from Panasonic, this f/1.7 version provides an 85mm-equivalent focal length, making it a perfect portrait lens. Unlike the Nocticron, however, the 42.5mm f/1.7 is significantly smaller, lighter and, perhaps most importantly, vastly less expensive -- at around $400, the f/1.7 version is a whopping $1,200 cheaper! But does this smaller, cheaper portrait prime -- with a mere 1-stop difference in light-gathering capabilities -- sacrifice image quality performance for an affordable price tag?

Turns out, absolutely not.

Indeed, the Panasonic 42.5 f/1.7 lenses produces very sharp photos, even wide-open, plus the other optical characteristics are top-notch, as well. For all the details from our in-depth review, including our analysis of image quality as well as handling, AF performance and image stabilization testing, head over to SLRgear for our Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7 review!

The lens is available for purchase for around $400. Check out Amazon, Adorama or B&H for more info on ordering. Buying this lens, or any other item, at one of these trusted affiliates helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our lens technician Rob Murray using our Panasonic GX1 test camera. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

GX1: f/1.7, 1/4000s, ISO 160, +0.66EV
GX1: f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 160, -1EV
GX1: f/2.0, 1/4000s, ISO 160

Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7 Lens Review