Panasonic Leica 25-50mm F1.7 ASPH discipline evaluate: Digital Images Overview

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Introduction

Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm F1.7 ASPH is a vibrant zoom lens aimed toward photographers utilizing Micro 4 Thirds digicam our bodies.

With a 35mm-equivalent focal vary of fifty to 100mm, the 25-50mm F1.7 might make for a sexy – if considerably uncommon – portrait lens for nonetheless photographers. Nevertheless it’s clearly been designed firstly for video seize, the place it makes a extremely nice companion for Panasonic’s present 10-25mm F1.7 lens.

Out there from August 2021, record pricing is about at $1799.99.

All photographs edited in Adobe Digital camera Uncooked 13 with changes restricted to white steadiness, publicity, highlights, shadows, white and black ranges. Sharpening and noise discount at ACR defaults. Photos had been captured utilizing lenses that had been bodily pre-production, however closing optically.



Key specs:

  • Focal size: 25-50mm (35mm-equivalent: 50-100mm)
  • Aperture vary: F1.7 – F16
  • Stabilization: No
  • Filter thread: 77mm
  • Shut focus: 0.28m (11.0″)
  • Most magnification: 0.21x (35mm-equivalent 0.42x)
  • Diaphragm blades: 9
  • Hood: Included
  • Weight: 654g (1.44 lb)
  • Optical building: 16 components in 11 teams (1 aspherical, 3 ED, 1 UHR)

With 35mm-equivalent focal lengths starting from 50 to 100mm, the Leica 25-50mm F1.7 stands out from extra frequent focal lengths like the broader 24-70mm or extra telephoto 70-200mm zooms supplied by many producers. It is in all probability not too stunning, then, that there aren’t actually any direct opponents.

The closest we might discover for the Micro 4 Thirds mount is the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 Professional, which is successfully a 24-80mm, however that is nonetheless an excellent deal wider than Panasonic’s lens. And whereas it carries Olympus’ Professional designation, it is nonetheless solely slightly greater than half the value of the slightly extra area of interest 25-50mm F1.7, regardless of providing comparable ranges of weather-sealing and the identical autofocus drive kind.

ISO 400 | 1/1600 sec | F1.7 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5
Picture by Jordan Drake

Olympus’ lens can also be way more compact and light-weight as you’d anticipate given its considerably less-bright most aperture, and it might probably focus even nearer to ship a greater most magnification. The Panasonic / Leica lens has a nine-bladed aperture, versus the seven-bladed iris of the Olympus, although.

With no actually shut opponents, it in all probability makes extra sense to focus as a substitute on which lens the 25-50mm F1.7 will pair finest with, and right here there is a very clear decide. With near-identical dealing with, to not point out comparable value tags and the identical videocentric design objectives, this optic is clearly meant for use alongside the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm F1.7 ASPH lens.

ISO 200 | 1/5000 sec | F2.8 | 50mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Picture by Dan Bracaglia

The obvious signal of Panasonic’s intent might be inferred from the truth that each lenses, regardless of their differing focal lengths, share primarily the identical physique design, proper right down to the scale and placement of their management rings. That not solely offers for muscle-memory familiarity when switching between the pair, however for videographers particularly, additionally makes them better-suited to make use of with the identical follow-focus system setup as you swap backwards and forwards between lenses.

Each lenses are additionally very closely-related when it comes to their weight and steadiness, which ought to be sure that gimbals can settle for both lens with out want for changes to compensate for the optic in use. And at their shared 25mm focal size, each lenses additionally present near-identical coloration and distinction, making it simpler to match your pictures.

ISO 320 | 1/80 sec | F5.6 | 74mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Picture by Richard Butler

And naturally, since they share the identical total physique design, each lenses additionally settle for the identical 77mm filter sizes. They’re additionally each weather-sealed and share nine-bladed apertures. The largest distinction is in the usage of a linear motor-driving AF system for the 25-50mm slightly than a stepper motor-based system within the 10-25mm, giving larger AF efficiency to the extra telephoto lens of the pair, the place it is extra more likely to be wanted.

In comparison with…

Panasonic Leica 25-50mm F1.7Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 ProfessionalPanasonic Leica 10-25mm F1.7

Value (MSRP)

$1799.99$999.99$1799.99
Optical building16 components, 11 teams14 components, 9 teams17 components, 12 teams
Aperture blades979
Climate sealedSureSureSure
AF driveLinear motorLinear motorStepper motor
Minimal focus distance / max magnification0.28 m (11.0″) / 0.21x0.20 m (7.9″) / 0.30x0.28 m (11.0″) / 0.14x
Filter measurement77mm62mm77mm
Diameter x Size
(no hood)

87.6mm x 127.6mm (3.5″ x 5.0″)

69.9mm x 84mm (2.8″ x 3.3″)87.6mm x 127.6mm (3.5″ x 5.0″)
Weight

654g (23.1oz)

382g (13.5oz)

690g (24.3oz)

Dealing with

The Leica 25-50mm F1.7 is a reasonably chunky lens, with a barrel diameter of 87.6mm (3.5″) and a size of 127.6mm (5.0″), however that is to be anticipated given its vibrant most aperture. And its building actually befits its price ticket, with a stable all-metal design together with steel management rings.

However regardless of its measurement, stable construct and the sheer variety of glass components inside, it is pretty light-weight for a lens of its kind, tipping the scales at round 654g (23.1oz). And we discovered it to steadiness properly on cameras with a decently-sized handgrip just like the Panasonic GH5 and GH5 II with which we shot our pattern galleries.

In all, there are three nicely-knurled rings encircling the physique of the lens, and these function the one bodily controls. All three flip very easily and provide simply sufficient resistance to permit for straightforward operation both with a fingertip alone, or with motorized equipment and the like.

These three rings present for management of zoom, guide focus and aperture. The guide focus ring features a clutch mechanism, permitting you to rapidly shift focus modes just by sliding the ring backwards and forwards.

When it is pulled backwards a scale indicating the focal distance is uncovered. The habits of the ring concurrently modifications from its default speed-sensitive management to as a substitute present linear management, permitting for exact, predictable and repeatable focus changes.

The aperture ring, in the meantime, has a near-stepless design that is ideally suited to cinematography, permitting for clean and gradual aperture modifications throughout video seize. It is not fairly fully stepless, as that is nonetheless a fly-by-wire system, however Panasonic’s micro-step aperture drive has adequate accuracy to make the person steps all however invisible.

The aperture drive can also be silent, and with no clicks from the aperture ring itself, you needn’t worry aperture modifications being picked up in your audio monitor both. And the ring has adequate throw to reduce the danger of considerably altering the aperture worth by mistake.

Sadly, there isn’t any option to allow click on detents for the aperture ring, however there’s a easy answer when you want extra exact aperture management. You possibly can merely place the ring in its Auto place, as denoted by a pink letter A, after which use the controls in your digicam physique to set the aperture worth as a substitute.

The lens can also be comprehensively weather-sealed, not simply with a gasket on the interface between the lens and physique, but in addition on the particular person controls and seams between the lens’ part elements. Panasonic describes the 25-50mm F1.7 as each splash and dustproof, and says it is usually freezeproof to -10ºC (14ºF).

No optical picture stabilization is offered, though you may after all depend on the in-body picture stabilization of your digicam, if accessible. It is nonetheless a little bit of a disgrace, although, because it means you may miss out on the even higher corrective energy supplied by the Twin I.S. techniques that make the most of in-body stabilizers in tandem with lens stabilizers that is accessible on some our bodies.

Up entrance, you may discover 77mm threads with which to connect your selection of filters, and a locking hood (proven above) is included with the lens.

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Autofocus and focus respiration

Though guide focus was clearly a precedence for the Leica 25-50mm F1.7, Panasonic hasn’t uncared for autofocus within the least. A linear autofocus motor offers for each very swift and silent autofocus, benefiting from the corporate’s quickest AF techniques which may pattern focus distance info a whopping 240 occasions per second (when taking pictures stills).

The result’s a lens that may rack from its minimal to most focus distance in beneath half a second – so as to be assured of maintaining with the motion for typical topics like avenue pictures, even taking into consideration the lens’ shallow depth of discipline.

ISO 200 | 1/800 sec | F2 | 80mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Picture by Dan Bracaglia

Guide focus operation, too, is clean, silent and correct. As with most mirrorless lenses, it would not function mechanically, however though it is a fly-by-wire system it operates precisely as if it had been mechanically coupled when the focusing ring is within the guide place, offering good repeatability.

And when you favor swifter shifts in guide focus distance, switching the main focus clutch again out of guide mode and deciding on guide concentrate on the digicam will provide you with speed-sensitive management as a substitute.

ISO 200 | 1/60 sec | F1.7 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5
Picture by Jordan Drake

This is not by any means a macro lens, however the 25-50mm F1.7 gives good close-up functionality. The minimal focusing distance varies solely barely from 28cm (11″) on the huge finish of the vary to 31cm (12.2″) at telephoto. The latter interprets to a most magnification of round 0.21x, which equates to 0.42x magnification on a full-frame digicam.

We have already mentioned the 25-50mm’s bodily design, stepless aperture management and focus clutch, all of that are boons for videographers, however the excellent news would not finish there. It’s also extraordinarily nicely managed on the subject of focus respiration, which means that you could refocus with out noticeably altering your framing, no matter whether or not you are taking pictures on the huge or telephoto ends of the zoom vary.

ISO 200 | 1/3200 sec | F1.7 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5
Picture by Chris Niccolls

Actually, the one downsides for video use are the dearth of in-lens stabilization and the truth that this is not a parfocal lens. What which means is that when you alter the focal size, it’ll additionally change the focal distance. In consequence, zooming in or out will necessitate an adjustment to focus.

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Picture high quality

At this value level and given its measurement, you’d anticipate picture high quality to be good to nice, and Panasonic’s Leica 25-50mm delivers. The bokeh is not good when specular highlights are current, however is however good total, and detail-gathering is excellent even when taking pictures wide-open.

ISO 200 | 1/1250 sec | F3.2 | 60mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5
Picture by Chris Niccolls

Sharpness

The 25-50mm F1.7 does an incredible job on the subject of central sharpness. Even when taking pictures wide-open, picture facilities are very, very sharp throughout the zoom vary, and stopping down slightly can ship no enchancment on that sharpness. We did see slightly enchancment within the corners when stopping right down to F2.8, nevertheless, particularly in the direction of the longer finish of the zoom vary.

ISO 200 | 1/50 sec | F2.8 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5
Picture by Jordan Drake

Bokeh

This lens may also ship good leads to the bokeh division, giving nice alternatives for topic isolation when taking pictures wide-open, particularly at nearer focal distances. The one actual draw back is with specular highlights, which could be a bit busy because of noticeable onion ring impact. There’s additionally some noticeable cats-eye impact, seen within the picture under, however it’s not too excessive and subsequently not too distracting.

ISO 200 | 1/1000 sec | F1.7 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5
Picture by Chris Niccolls

Flare, ghosting and sunstars

Panasonic features a fairly deep, tube-style lens hood within the product bundle, which attaches to the entrance of the lens with a button-released catch that properly prevents unintended disconnections.

The lens exhibits a formidable resistance to each flare and ghosting when taking pictures into vibrant mild sources, although you will get some ghosting to seem when you attempt onerous sufficient. However more often than not, as you may see under, ghosting simply is not an issue. Sunstars are of the 18-pointed selection, courtesy of the 9 aperture blades the lens makes use of, they usually’re of fine high quality if not the most effective we have seen. The spikes could be a little uneven in size and have a tendency to diffuse slightly rapidly.

ISO 200 | 1/400 sec | F16 | 50mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Picture by Dan Bracaglia

Longitudinal / lateral chromatic aberration (fringing)

Though we did see slightly little bit of longitudinal chromatic aberration or LoCA, which causes coloration fringing within the foreground and background and might be onerous to appropriate post-capture, it was fairly common and manageable, and never one thing we might be involved about.

As for lateral chromatic aberration or LaCA, we did not discover this to be a problem.

Coloration fringing in areas in entrance of and behind the airplane of focus is very well managed.
ISO 200 | 1/ 2500 sec | F1.7 | Panasonic GH5
Picture by Chris Niccolls

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Conclusion

What we likeWhat we do not
  • Strong, high-quality building
  • Comprehensively weather-sealed
  • Very vibrant F1.7 most aperture
  • Very sharp even when wide-open
  • Stepless aperture management
  • Quick and silent autofocus drive
  • Helpful focus clutch and exact guide focus management
  • A superb complement to the Leica 10-25mm F1.7 lens
  • Fairly expensive
  • Pretty chunky design
  • No in-lens stabilization
  • No on-demand click on detents for aperture management from the lens itself
  • Bokeh exhibits some onion-ring in specular highlights

With the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm F1.7 ASPH, Panasonic has clearly targeted on an unanswered hole within the Micro 4 Thirds lens market. That is no dangerous factor, however it does imply that this is not a lens for everybody, as its slightly uncommon focal vary would possibly counsel.

But when you end up in that area of interest – maybe already proudly owning the externally comparable 10-25mm F1.7 and craving a bit extra telephoto attain for video taking pictures or portrait stills – then this lens has loads to supply.

ISO 200 | 1/1600 sec | F2.8 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Picture by Dan Bracaglia

Panasonic’s consideration to element in designing these two lenses to work hand-in-hand is each spectacular and considerate. Not solely has it given each optics the very same physique and management format, however it has additionally matched the look of each lenses nicely the place their focal ranges meet. That can imply much less work for videographers each within the discipline, and when it comes time to get right down to modifying.

We already cherished the sooner 10-25mm F1.7, and this lens is an extension of every thing we cherished in regards to the earlier one. Like that optic, it is a pleasure to shoot with whether or not utilizing autofocus or pulling focus manually, and it delivers nice picture high quality in most respects as nicely.

ISO 200 | 1/400 sec | F2 | 76mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Picture by Dan Bracaglia

Sure, it’s fairly expensive, however that is to be anticipated in a distinct segment product, and doubly so in a videocentric lens like this one. And even for photographers who’ll by no means shoot video, it’s just about the one recreation on the town if you need a extremely quick, native portrait zoom.

Can it justify that price ticket? That can rely upon what you are taking pictures, however for videographers particularly, we predict you may be thrilled with it.

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Scoring

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DPReview TV evaluate

See what our staff at DPReview TV has to say in regards to the Panasonic Leica 25-50mm F1.7 ASPH.

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Pattern galleries

Please don’t reproduce any of those photographs with out prior permission (see our copyright web page).

Panasonic GH5 II (DPReview HQ gallery, pre-production however optically closing lens)

Panasonic GH5 (DPReview TV gallery, pre-production however optically closing lens)

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