Caffeine Priority: Panasonic Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 on the GX8 impresses in all situations


posted Monday, November 2, 2015 at 6:07 AM EDT


I've been using the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron lens with the Panasonic GX8 that I am field testing and wow, this lens is impressive! The lens itself has an all-metal construction, a very smooth focus ring, and even a built-in aperture ring near the front of the lens barrel. The lens has a nice 67mm filter thread. While a good-quality filter thread may not seem like a big deal, but if you use filters as often as I do, a durable filter thread is really important. The only downside to the physical construction of the lens itself is the lack of a built-in focus scale. The 42.5mm f/1.2's excellent construction does come at a cost as the lens' street price is currently just under $1600 USD. 

1/2000s, f/1.2, ISO 200

While the build quality is superb, the image quality is what really makes the 42.5mm f/1.2 shine. With 14 elements in 11 groups, Nano Surface Coating, a couple aspheric elements, an extra-low dispersion element, and an Ultra High Refractive Index element, there's a lot of sophisticated glass in the 2.91 in. (74mm) x 3.03 in. (77mm) lens. All of this sophisticated glass leads to very sharp images with excellent color, contrast, and an absence of aberrations. Even at f/1.2, light falloff is pretty well-controlled and it essentially disappears as you stop the lens down a stop or two.

1/1600s, f/1.2, ISO 200

Autofocus performance with the 42.5mm f/1.2 mounted on the GX8 is very quick in good light and the f/1.2 aperture helps make it an impressive performer in even very low light. The optical image stabilization (O.I.S.) is good as well, allowing you to handhold the lens in some pretty challenging situations. In fact, with the f/1.2 aperture and impressive O.I.S., I was actually able to handhold an image of the night sky and get a usable result. Overall, the lens is superb across the board and I have had a lot of fun shooting with it. Look for my GX8 field test, along with more images captured with the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 lens shortly.

1/4s, f/1.2, ISO 6400, hand-held

And in the meantime, head over to for William Brawley's excellent review of the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 lens.

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Caffeine Priority is a new series of short photo-tidbits to ease you into your day, and give us a chance to share a bit more of what life’s like here at IR. We're more like a group of friends testing and talking about cameras and lenses than the buttoned-down, big-corporation world that some of our photo-friends at other companies work in; hopefully these little snippets will share some of that. So... grab another coffee and join in the conversation with us down below!

1/30s / f/1.4 / -0.3 EV / ISO 800