Panasonic's Latest Fast Wide Lens Coming Soon - 15mm f/1.7

I believe Panasonic and Leica partnership in lens development is the best thing that ever happened for the viable success of Micro Four Thirds format.  Well, it may be the second behind the partnership between Olympus and Panasonic in the first place, giving both companies unprecedented advantage our other compact interchangeable camera formats.

Originally unveiled in October of last year alongside Panasonic's world's smallest ILC, GM1, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 is finally confirmed for release in June 2014.  The lens has an angle-of-view equivalent to that of a 30mm lens on 35mm full-frame, which puts it close to the classic wide-angle focal length of 28mm.

I'm not sure who that focal length will be accepted by most photographers because that's not really wide in today's standard and it's a little to wide for folks used to 35mm.  I personally use Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5 a lot for anything from landscape to street shooting.  It's a pretty decent lens as long as there is decent amount of lighting but it's not a high grade lens like Leica Summilux series.

I'm pretty sure this new lens has superior optics over 14mm version and that low F-stop of f/1.7 sounds so attractive.  Another notable feature of this lens is the aperture ring around the front of the lens barrel, which is reminiscent of Leica’s unique M-mount lenses for their rangefinder camera system.   That design decision was probably intentional.  The exterior design and styling is just as important for premium lenses to become successful.

The ring has an “A” position for automatic control of the aperture, and can be used to manually set the desired aperture value in aperture priority mode. The lens barrel also has a second ring for manual focus, as well as an AF/MF switch. It seems this lens is truly designed for pro users.

It's designed with 9 elements in 7 groups and uses 3 aspherical lenses, which minimizes spherical aberration and distortion. Panasonic used Nano Surface Coating to reduce reflection, ghost, and flare at the lens' entire visual light range.

Another great news is that the lens features a new stepping motor for quiet, smooth focusing while capturing video and still images.  The AF system in the lens uses an inner focusing technology and will be fully compatible with the 240-frames-per-second sensor readout of the latest Panasonic Lumix G camera models.

The front of the lens has a 46mm filter thread for attaching your favorite filters or conversion adapters for macro and fisheye affects.

Leica DG Summilux 15mm / F1.7 ASPH lens will be available in two colors (black and silver) starting in mid June for $599.

Panasonic's Latest Fast Wide Lens Coming Soon - 15mm f/1.7 Reviewed by Brandon on 3/25/2014 Rating: 5

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