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Panasonic announces its widest MFT prime lens, the Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4

By Shawn Knight ยท 13 replies
Jun 15, 2016
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  1. Panasonic on Wednesday announced a brand new ultra-wide lens for the micro four thirds (MFT) format, officially known as the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH lens. It’s the widest prime (fixed focal length) lens the company offers if you don’t count fisheyes.

    As PetaPixel notes, this new lens is a bit larger than MFT users are probably accustomed to, tipping the scales at 335 grams (11.82 ounces) with a 62mm filter thread. If you’re like me, the very first thing you do with a new lens is screw on a UV haze filter to protect the front glass.

    Inside the dust- and splash-proof lens, you’ll find 15 elements in 12 groups which includes two aspherical elements, two Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion (UED) lenses and an Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) element. Panasonic claims the elements help meet the stringent Leica standard for exceptional image quality.

    The lens also features a nine-blade aperture with a dedicated aperture ring as well as an internal focus drive and stepping motor for smooth, silent operation. The fast f/1.4 aperture also makes it ideal for shooting in low-light environments.

    As you may know, MFT features a 2x crop which means this 12mm lens offers the equivalent focal length of 24mm on a full frame camera.

    Panasonic says the lens will be available this summer priced at $1,299.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,390   +3,779

    Most lens makers will have a variety of mounts for their new lenses. With just two primary camera makers now (for this type of lens) I am surprised they don't specify they will be making compatable's for them. As a Pentax user, we're always waiting for the scraps tossed our way, but when will they announce?
    madboyv1 likes this.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,218

    Why would you spend that much money on a lens for a micro 4/3s sensor? Only reason I can justify the cost of lenses with my Sony APS-C sensor is that they work on their full frame cameras and I hope to upgrade to one of them in a few years.
    mbrowne5061 likes this.
  4. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 187   +44

    Primes are a waste of time to use except for very few specific applications. Zooms are the best. And primes aint worth the price when a zoom lens has half the value and can do triple the functionality a prime cannot do
  5. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    1) Prime lenses tend to be cheaper than zooms
    2) You will always get sharper images with fewer distortions from a prime lens than from a zoom

    The only point of a zoom lens is for travel and hiking photography, where weight is critical. But in literally any other situation, use a prime. Your feet work perfectly fine as a zoom, and you'll pay more attention to the composition.
  6. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 187   +44

    show me a prime lens that is cheaper than a zoom lens and I will show you the adominable snowman
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,969   +4,003

    Well,the lens is fast, granted. But, I hope the powers that be at Pentax realize a 24mm lens on a 35mm camera, is a pitiful excuse for an extreme wide angle lens.

    Here's a 14mm Nikkor for full frame DSLR: (It's only an F2.8 though)
    Hell, 40 years ago, I had a Canon FL 19mm 3.5. IIRC, it was stop down to meter. Ah, those were the days. You had to focus the camera yourself and everything. :D
  8. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    Three similar lenses for similar purposes. All prime, all considered a 'staple' focal length, and all some of the cheapest lenses that Nikon produces. The first two are full frame lenses, the last one is a cropped sensor. Range is $125-$220

    Meanwhile, Nikon's cheapest zoom lens for a full frame sensor and can achieve the 50mm is $500. But it cannot hope to even come close to the speed of the AF-S 50 1.8G:

    But let us ignore all but the full-frame requirements - because weird things happen when you put full frame lens on crop sensors and vice versa. Nikon's cheapest full-frame zoom is $175
    This is the ONLY zoom lens Nikon offers that is cheaper than another Nikon prime lens within the range of the offered zoom. It is the exception, not the rule. Because this is the first telephoto you buy - and unless you specialize in nature or sports photography it is probably the only telephoto you buy. Because you can always find a prime that shoots at the speed, focal length, and size you want, for less than the cost of zoom.

    Since I found three prime lenses cheaper than their zoom counterparts, I expect three adominable snowmen in return. Not abominable snowmen, adominable.
  9. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 187   +44

    You forgot to mention tokina full frame zoom lenses which are far cheaper than prime lenses and are as good or better than most lenses from canon, nikon, sony and even pentax lenses
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,969   +4,003

    Maybe the samples you've had are good. The Nikon mount 28-80 F2.8 I had was pure trash. It had pincushion distortion so bad at the long end, it would practically snap your head back from the viewfinder.

    It does weigh a ton though. IMO, the best use for it would be to keep it in your pocket, as something to use to bash in a would be camera thief's head.
    Jack007 likes this.
  11. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    Tonika lenses are far from the quality of Canon or Nikon. Pentax is better than all of them (if only their prices weren't outrageous and had a wider selection). Even Rokinon are better than Tonika - if only because experience has taught me that you're more likely to not get a defective lens from Rokinon.. Rokinon and Tonika excel at providing cheap glass to hobbyists on a budget, nothing else.

    Regardless, I'm still waiting for my "adominable" snowman. I found prime lenses cheaper than their 'equivalent' zooms, and showed that they are usually cheaper. The point wasn't that one budget producer has cheaper zooms, but that primes are general cheaper (as long as you aren't talking about specialty lenses, that are more expensive primarily because of small batches)
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,969   +4,003

    You would lend yourself a whole lot more credibility if you could actually spell, "Tokina". That said, as you can't come up with a, "Tonika" lens, and he can't come up with an "adominable snowman", let's call it a draw and move on.....Kay...?
  13. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    Would you believe mild dyslexia?
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,969   +4,003

    "Lysdexia"? Sure, why not.
    mbrowne5061 likes this.

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