Introduction

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

With a 35mm-equivalent focal vary of 50 to 100mm, the 25-50mm F1.7 may make for a gorgeous – if considerably uncommon – portrait lens for nonetheless photographers. But it surely’s clearly been designed in the beginning for video seize, the place it makes a extremely nice companion for Panasonic’s current 10-25mm F1.7 lens.

Obtainable from August 2021, listing pricing is about at $1799.99.

All photos 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 ultimate 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 development: 16 parts in 11 teams (1 aspherical, Three 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 provided by many producers. It is in all probability not too shocking, then, that there aren’t actually any direct opponents.

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

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

Olympus’ lens can also be much more compact and light-weight as you’d count on given its considerably less-bright most aperture, and it will 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 greatest with, and right here there is a very clear choose. With near-identical dealing with, to not point out related value tags and the identical videocentric design targets, 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
Photograph by Dan Bracaglia

The obvious signal of Panasonic’s intent could be inferred from the truth that each lenses, regardless of their differing focal lengths, share basically the identical physique design, proper all the way down to the dimensions and placement of their management rings. That not solely supplies 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 colour and distinction, making it simpler to match your photographs.

ISO 320 | 1/80 sec | F5.6 | 74mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Photograph 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 somewhat than a stepper motor-based system within the 10-25mm, giving higher 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 F1.7 Olympus 12-40mm F2.Eight Professional Panasonic Leica 10-25mm F1.7

Value (MSRP)

$1799.99 $999.99 $1799.99
Optical development 16 parts, 11 teams 14 parts, 9 teams 17 parts, 12 teams
Aperture blades 9 7 9
Climate sealed Sure Sure Sure
AF drive Linear motor Linear motor Stepper motor
Minimal focus distance / max magnification 0.28 m (11.0″) / 0.21x 0.20 m (7.9″) / 0.30x 0.28 m (11.0″) / 0.14x
Filter measurement 77mm 62mm 77mm
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 shiny most aperture. And its development definitely befits its price ticket, with a strong all-metal design together with metallic management rings.

However regardless of its measurement, strong construct and the sheer variety of glass parts inside, it is pretty light-weight for a lens of its sort, 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.

These three rings present for management of zoom, guide focus and aperture. The guide focus ring features a clutch mechanism, permitting you to shortly shift focus modes just by sliding the ring backwards and forwards.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 supply simply sufficient resistance to permit for simple operation both with a fingertip alone, or with motorized equipment and the like.

The aperture ring, in the meantime, has a near-stepless design that is ideally fitted to cinematography, permitting for clean and gradual aperture adjustments throughout video seize. It is not fairly completely stepless, as that is nonetheless a fly-by-wire system, however Panasonic’s micro-step aperture drive has ample accuracy to make the person steps all however invisible.When it is pulled backwards a scale indicating the focal distance is uncovered. The conduct of the ring concurrently adjustments from its default speed-sensitive management to as a substitute present linear management, permitting for exact, predictable and repeatable focus changes.

Sadly, there isn’t any technique to allow click on detents for the aperture ring, however there’s a easy resolution in the event you want extra exact aperture management. You’ll be able to merely place the ring in its Auto place, as denoted by a purple letter A, after which use the controls in your digicam physique to set the aperture worth as a substitute.The aperture drive can also be silent, and with no clicks from the aperture ring itself, you needn’t concern aperture adjustments being picked up in your audio observe both. And the ring has ample throw to reduce the chance of considerably altering the aperture worth by mistake.

No optical picture stabilization is offered, though you may after all depend on the in-body picture stabilization of your digicam, if obtainable. It is nonetheless a little bit of a disgrace, although, because it means you may miss out on the even higher corrective energy provided by the Twin I.S. programs that make the most of in-body stabilizers in tandem with lens stabilizers that is obtainable on some our bodies.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’ element components. Panasonic describes the 25-50mm F1.7 as each splash and dustproof, and says additionally it is freezeproof to -10ºC (14ºF).

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

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Autofocus and focus respiratory

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 supplies for each very swift and silent autofocus, benefiting from the corporate’s quickest AF programs which may pattern focus distance data a whopping 240 instances per second (when taking pictures stills).

The result’s a lens that may rack from its minimal to most focus distance in below half a second – as a way to be assured of maintaining with the motion for typical topics like avenue images, even making an allowance for the lens’ shallow depth of area.

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

Handbook focus operation, too, is clean, silent and correct. As with most mirrorless lenses, it does 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 in the event you favor swifter shifts in guide focus distance, switching the main target clutch again out of guide mode and choosing guide concentrate on the digicam gives you speed-sensitive management as a substitute.

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

This is not by any means a macro lens, however the 25-50mm F1.7 affords good close-up functionality. The minimal focusing distance varies solely barely from 28cm (11″) on the vast 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 does not finish there. It’s also extraordinarily properly managed on the subject of focus respiratory, which means that you would be able to refocus with out noticeably altering your framing, no matter whether or not you are taking pictures on the vast or telephoto ends of the zoom vary.

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

Actually, the one downsides for video use are the shortage of in-lens stabilization and the truth that this is not a parfocal lens. What which means is that in the event you modify the focal size, it can additionally change the focal distance. Consequently, 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 count on picture high quality to be good to nice, and Panasonic’s Leica 25-50mm delivers. The bokeh is not excellent when specular highlights are current, however is nonetheless good total, and detail-gathering is excellent even when taking pictures wide-open.

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

Sharpness

The 25-50mm F1.7 does an ideal 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 all the way down to F2.8, nonetheless, particularly in the direction of the longer finish of the zoom vary.

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

Bokeh

This lens may ship good ends in 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 on account of noticeable onion ring impact. There’s additionally some noticeable cats-eye impact, seen within the picture beneath, however it’s not too excessive and due to this fact not too distracting.

ISO 200 | 1/1000 sec | F1.7 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5
Photograph 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 unintentional disconnections.

The lens reveals a formidable resistance to each flare and ghosting when taking pictures into shiny mild sources, although you may get some ghosting to look in the event you strive onerous sufficient. However more often than not, as you may see beneath, ghosting simply is not an issue. Sunstars are of the 18-pointed selection, courtesy of the 9 aperture blades the lens makes use of, and so they’re of fine high quality if not the very best we have seen. The spikes could be a little uneven in size and have a tendency to diffuse somewhat shortly.

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

Longitudinal / lateral chromatic aberration (fringing)

Though we did see slightly little bit of longitudinal chromatic aberration or LoCA, which causes colour fringing within the foreground and background and could be onerous to right post-capture, it was fairly common and manageable, and never one thing we would 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 rather well managed.
ISO 200 | 1/ 2500 sec | F1.7 | Panasonic GH5
Photograph by Chris Niccolls

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Conclusion

What we like What we do not
  • Strong, high-quality development
  • Comprehensively weather-sealed
  • Very shiny F1.7 most aperture
  • Very sharp even when wide-open
  • Stepless aperture management
  • Quick and silent autofocus drive
  • Useful focus clutch and exact guide focus management
  • A superb complement to the Leica 10-25mm F1.7 lens
  • Fairly dear
  • Pretty chunky design
  • No in-lens stabilization
  • No on-demand click on detents for aperture management from the lens itself
  • Bokeh reveals 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 unhealthy factor, however it does imply that this is not a lens for everybody, as its somewhat uncommon focal vary may recommend.

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

ISO 200 | 1/1600 sec | F2.8 | 100mm equiv. | Panasonic GH5 II
Photograph 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 structure, however it has additionally matched the look of each lenses properly the place their focal ranges meet. That can imply much less work for videographers each within the area, and when it comes time to get all the way down to enhancing.

We already cherished the sooner 10-25mm F1.7, and this lens is an extension of all the things 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 properly.

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

Sure, it’s fairly dear, 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 sport on the town if you need a extremely quick, native portrait zoom.

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

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Scoring

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DPReview TV overview

See what our crew 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 photos with out prior permission (see our copyright web page).

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

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

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