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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm F/1.7 Lens Review

John Riley has been putting the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 Micro Four Thirds lens for the Lumix G Series through its paces.


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Panasonic have been re-asserting themselves in the MFT market, not least with their new flagship GH6 camera body, recently reviewed. Here we have another new MFT offering, the tiny 9mm f/1.7 lens, labelled with the Leica name to indicate a higher level of aspiration for its performance. Lenses weave their way through many fashions, and the day of the diminutive fast prime is firmly with us, made so much easier to achieve with the small MFT format. The 2x crop factor gives us a "35mm-format" field of view similar to an 18mm lens on a full-frame camera. Let's see how the new lens shapes up as we mount it on the 20MP Panasonic G9 camera body.

 

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm F/1.7 Handling and Features


 

This is a really tiny lens, much more like small primes used to be, weighing in at a modest 130g and measuring just 52mm long and 60.8mm in diameter. There is a compact petal-shaped lens hood provided and this clips nicely into place. Of necessity, the hood is fairly shallow so is limited in the protection it can offer against stray light, but it still offers physical protection against knocks to the front of the lens. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 55mm filter thread.

The only control ring is the manual focus ring, electronic and ultra-smooth in action. It offers an excellent grip. As soon as the ring is moved, even in AF mode, the camera focus can be tweaked, the view magnified and an excellent distance scale appears in the viewfinder. Focusing is down to 9.5cm, or 0.31 feet, for a maximum magnification of 1:4. Focusing down to such close distances does enable an extremely dramatic viewpoint to be achieved. AF is very fast, virtually silent and has no difficulty locking on first time.

 

Optical construction is 12 elements in 9 groups, including 2 Aspherical, 2 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) and 1 UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index). The diaphragm comprises 7 rounded blades. The whole lens is also dust and splash-resistant. There is no vibration reduction built-in, so this feature becomes a property of the camera body.

With a lens so tiny as this one, there is a wonderful sense of freedom from complication. There is nothing to impede the creative process for the photographer, just an ultra-wide view of the world that enables us to immerse ourselves in the view around us. This of course is the key with ultra-wide lenses – get in close, then closer....bold foregrounds, vast vistas. But if the lens is used from the normal distances that every standard zoom might be then the view of those distant mountains might be very disappointing. So using ultra-wides can be demanding of technique and composition needs to be carefully observed. However, the effort repays us with results that can be quite spectacular.

Let's have a detailed look at the technical performance.

 


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Comments


altitude50 18 22.6k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2022 1:32PM
I am intending to buy this lens for my Panasonic GX-7 which is permanently converted to infrared.
However. Until I know that this lens does not suffer from an IR 'hotspot' I will wait for futher reports.
I do not want to invest in it and risk it as it will only be used for IR.
pablophotographer 11 2.0k 428
23 Jun 2022 10:16AM

Quote:I am intending to buy this lens for my Panasonic GX-7 which is permanently converted to infrared.
However. Until I know that this lens does not suffer from an IR 'hotspot' I will wait for futher reports.
I do not want to invest in it and risk it as it will only be used for IR.



Hi altitude. I think you can try renting it s ok you can make a decision before committing yourself to it by a purchase.

pablophotographer
altitude50 18 22.6k United Kingdom
23 Jun 2022 2:22PM
Yes, thank you. I have looked into that but I think that it is too new to be on the rental lists. I will wait a few weeks.

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