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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 sample gallery

By dpreview staff on Jun 20, 2011 at 10:05 GMT

Just Posted: Our samples gallery from the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 ASPH. We've had the chance to borrow a production example of this fast 50mm-equivalent lens and have prepared a samples gallery to show some of what it can do. We've also shot a couple of comparisons against the popular Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH to see how the two lenses compare when used wide open, and give some idea of what the slightly longer focal length and wider aperture mean in terms of background defocus and subject isolation. Updated with additional comparison shots.

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Sample Gallery:

There are 24 images in the samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images processed using Adobe Camera Raw at default settings. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples

Panasonic Leica Summilux 25mm F1.4 ASPH sample gallery

Compared to the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH

In addition to our gallery shots we've also shot a couple of (very) quick comparisons with Panasonic's popular and highly-regarded 20mm F1.7 pancake prime - one of our favourite lenses of the past few years. We've shot the same image with both lenses set to their maximum aperture, using the Panasonic DMC-G3 at ISO 160. In both instances we've attempted to recreate approximately the same framing - meaning the 20mm shots were taken closer to the subject.

Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4
Panasonic 20mm F1.7
Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4 Panasonic 20mm F1.7

We also shot two scenes from the same position, to show the effect of the Leica's longer focal length. In addition, we shot one of these scenes with the Leica 25mm set to F1.8 to see how it performs against the 20 F1.7 at comparable apertures.

Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4 (@ F1.4) Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4 (@ F1.8) Panasonic 20mm F1.7
(@ F1.7)
Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4
Panasonic 20mm F1.7

Comments

Total comments: 41
ulfie
By ulfie (Apr 12, 2012)

OK, here's a nit-picked, pixel-peepering criticism. Click on each chest-upwards portrait twice to enlarge to fullest size, peeping size. Look at the edges of the 3 white stripes on his jacket's left shoulder. The Leica's show obvious purplish chromatic aberration while the Panny's is basically zilch. Now do the same for the small metal piece at the top end of the left-side zipper. The Leica's is blurry (out of the f1.4 focus field maybe) but very chromatically aberrated. The Panny's is clean. Of course this is wide open but it nonetheless says something about the lens quality in the much-valued wide open mode. Also the skin fissures in his lips are more clearly defined or resolved by the Panny though the Leica's is still very, very good. Peeper's verdict: The Panny wins value wise and has enough resolution to still be considerably cropped and yet retain very good detail. Differences in hues can be altered pp so this is a moot point. Your mileage/kilometrage may vary.

0 upvotes
ulfie
By ulfie (Apr 11, 2012)

Both of these lenses aren't very good at all. They are both excellent. The hue differences can be altered in post processing. Pixel peepers can split pixels comparing-contrasting them but imagers would be pleased with both/either.

0 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (Jul 23, 2011)

PS-- can we see a comparison against the old Summilux-D? (I have one, am in Portland if your Seattle guys want to come to my shop (Shutterbug) and do some testing :D

0 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (Jul 23, 2011)

I already have the 25mm 1.4 Summilux-D (regular Four Thirds version). It is absolutely phenomenal. All of you who blather on about "crop" -- you are full of crap. This lens is full-frame relative to the 4/3" sensor... No cropping is occuring. Quit using 2004-era terminology. I expect this new Summilux will even outperform the old one, and you get two stops better depth of field at equivalent angle-of-view compared to the dinosaurs. Plus, on any PEN it's *stabilized*... can't do that on a Brontosaurus.

1 upvote
Loga
By Loga (Jul 3, 2011)

Okay, this lens is good, but BIG. I want this for m4/3:

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_25_2p8_o20/

This is an 50mm eqv pencake. If it had f2.0 that would be the ultimate lens for me.

1 upvote
MP Burke
By MP Burke (Jul 1, 2011)

Having used 50mm lenses, including a 50mm f1.4, for many years, the PanaLeica is just what I was after. Being able to shoot at f1.4 is useful and will enable selection of a lower ISO value, but isn't compulsory. Provided this lens gives the excellent performance I would expect of it at around f2.8, it should make a nice complement to the m-zuiko 9-18mm I already have.
I don't see why anybody would want to photograph out in the street and obtain minimal depth of field. Anybody who has the opportunity should visit the exhibition of street photography at the Museum of London, in which you generally see that the photos all have a high depth of field. If you are really interested in portraiture then the 45mm Olympus will provide a better option.
Overall though, I am pleased that there is now a reasonable range of fixed focal length lenses for MFT, with rumours of more in the pipeline.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Jul 1, 2011)

German manufacturers sell high-quality goods at exorbitant prices. They have captured 90% luxury car market (yes, they not only own Benz, Audi and Porsche but Rols and Bentley). As long as we perceive that German products have cachet and quality... they will keep selling us products at twice their actual value. I would buy the Panasonic 20mm f1.7... it is just as good and costs "a lot" less, but then again, some of you feel better with the Leitz Wetzlar brand around your neck.

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jun 28, 2011)

f1.4 is kinda of a big deal since we are already losing a lot of DOF on 2x crop. Now we have 50mm f2.8 DOF vs 40mm f3.4. It will be noticeable for subject isolation, but likely not worth upgrading if you already have the Panasonic.,

0 upvotes
ulfie
By ulfie (Jun 26, 2011)

Wide open both are vg to excellent, the Leica a bit sharper in the middle, the Panny sharper in the corners. The Leica's bokeh is a bit busier, lless smooth. Stop down to f4~5.6 the sweet spot & I doubt one could tell any difference. The Leica portrait hues are more saturated. We don't really know the true, in-person colors. It's preference here. You can pump up the Panny's or scale back the Leica's in post-processing. It's not the Panny's fault the subject's face is distorted; it's the photographer's for using a (semi-)wide angle lens not meant for tight portraiture. Back up & that is moot, then crop to tighten. Panny's advantage more in the image while the Leica's "normal" view is impossible to do unless one moves back. Again, preference. I'd take either if someone gave one/both but if I have to buy I'd go for the Panny since money is an issue. We can split IQ hairs all day but in the end, either/both will deliver IQ better than most of us are capable of.

0 upvotes
Loga
By Loga (Jun 26, 2011)

Anyway, IMHO in this case someone should choose rather based on FOV, taste of image (color, contrast), size, AF or price issues, not on DOF control - simply because the difference in this dimension is almost non-existant. This Leica 25mm seems to be a good performer, however, not a real portrait lens (and I don't think it has been intended to be). You can take environmental portrait with the 20mm too, and take a little closer with 25mm, but I suppose (maybe I'm wrong) you can't take head portrait with the 25mm either due to perspective distorsion (at least 45mm needed).

And one more thing with DOF: don't be disappointed because the new oly is 1.8 and not 1.4. It seems almost the same DOF. But in terms of shutter speed (and therefore ISO settings) it does matter.

0 upvotes
cbmn
By cbmn (Jun 28, 2011)

My guess is that at 45mm or 50mm, Panasonic/Leica felt they would have to put in OIS, adding another couple hundred dollars. Also, they would ave their own 45mm and Oly's 50mm m43 offerings to compete against.
So, probably a rational choice for them, but ... Maybe to have pushed it a bit to 35mm? Ah well, things are what they are.

0 upvotes
Loga
By Loga (Jun 26, 2011)

This DOF comparsion (if it is intended to be) is simply a lie. To get the same framing with the 25mm you should step back a little (or more, depending on the subject distance). But if you do this, the DOF changes because the subject distance changes.

With the same framing the DOF difference will be noticable, but quite small despite the slightly wider aperture and the slightly longer focal length.

I understand the intention of Dpreview to show the difference in field of view, but they should have been so ambitious to make a correct comparsion in terms of DOF.

Dpreview, please take some photos with the same framing, with short subject distance to see the _real_ difference in DOF. Thanks :)

1 upvote
Loga
By Loga (Jul 4, 2011)

I found a test with the correct comparsion of DOF. With the same framing the DOF is _almost the same_. For anyone who wants to replace his 20mm because of shallower DOF: DON'T! You will get nothing.

The real difference: different FOV, 25mm is a slightly faster lens (0.5 EV), has faster and quiet AF, is better for closer portrait, but 20mm is smaller, and cheaper.

0 upvotes
MatsudaMan
By MatsudaMan (Jun 26, 2011)

25mm has better contrast - deeper and richer colors. The 20mm looks a little washed out in comparison. The shallower depth of field is cool, but is this enough difference for me to get it?

0 upvotes
cbmn
By cbmn (Jun 25, 2011)

The 25mm will be a bit better for portraits, the 20mm for scenery. If you have a preference there, that could and should heavily influence a decision. I like both.

The 25 has a coating to help keep the glare down, and so contrast up, easily seen in the outside photos. A lens hood would help with that too, however.

The difference between 20mm and 25mm, coupled with the wider aperture necessitates more/wider glass in the 25mm. That and the coating makes for a more expensive lens.

In comparison with the other Pana-Leica lenses, this one is the least expensive yet. I think they're learning - not so 'telephoto' so as to require in-lens OIS to keep the cost down.

0 upvotes
photo perzon
By photo perzon (Jun 24, 2011)

they look so similar and the 20mm is so much more compact

0 upvotes
picsnmorepics
By picsnmorepics (Jun 24, 2011)

Interesting images. Looking at the chair picture, I like the color saturation of the Leica better. However, I find the bokeh of the Panasonic a bit less complex than the Leica (looking at the structure of the pencil-point bright reflections on the background light and table edges and the right-wall picture frame).

The portrait reveals the focal length difference in the face distortion, but I get just the opposite bokeh-readings. I find the bokeh-detail in the tiny blossoms at the right of the subjects head to be more pleasing on the Leica. I do see more color contrast in the Leica image (e.g. orange shirt vrs shadow skin tones)

0 upvotes
ginsbu
By ginsbu (Jun 23, 2011)

Thanks for the update to add the comparison shots with the same framing. Not to be too demanding, but could we see the wall shot from the 25/1.4 at f/1.8 in addition to wide open? That would provide the most direct comparison between them.

2 upvotes
Tim in upstate NY
By Tim in upstate NY (Jun 26, 2011)

Yes I'd like to see that as well. Some say the corners of the 25/1.4's wall shot aren't as sharp as the shot with the 20/1.7 but I'm thinking that it's just the difference in DOF causing this.

1 upvote
Loga
By Loga (Jun 26, 2011)

If the wall is normal to the field (or: parallel the lens, and it is I suppose) then every brick or none of them should be in focus or out of focus - at least at this subject distance. Just my 2 cents.

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Jun 23, 2011)

I like the results, the 25mm 1.4 have deep colors, good contrast, they look very natural, the 20mm is close and it is smaller and cheaper

I found the deep of color from the 25mm similar to the 45mm macro

The good is that Panasonic have all lenses in a very good level of IQ

2 upvotes
Petographer
By Petographer (Jun 23, 2011)

I seem to be agreeing with most of these observations. I have been pixel peeping for hours trying to decide which lens might best suit my needs. IMHO if your usage will consist mostly of portraiture the 25mm is clearly the better choice. If you lean mostly toward shoot from the hip style street stuff the 20mm would be an excellent choice. And then of course there are the differences in size and price to be considered.
The times are getting very interesting for those of us who are interested in MFT cameras. I can’t wait to see what new delights Oly reveals on June 30th. Oh, how I love more choices.
I want to thank DPR for the excellent real world comparison of these 2 fine lenses. Keep up the great work.

1 upvote
jkrumm
By jkrumm (Jun 22, 2011)

The 25 looks quite a bit better for closer people shots if you want normal looking faces. Would be nice to have both, of course. Looks like some m43 users are going to be carrying around a 12 f2, a 20 1.7, a 25 1.4 and a 45 1.8 if the rumors are right. Those blazer pockets are going to be a little bulky. : )

2 upvotes
fransams
By fransams (Jun 22, 2011)

Too expensive and not enough focal/iq difference to add it to my gear which already includes the 20/1.7. For a non-pro it seems that I will have more fun buying an adapter to use my old Canon FD 50 1.4. If I would not have the 20/1.7 I would be hesitating, but finally would go for the 20/1.7 because of size. If that was not important to me, why should I have bought a m4/3?

2 upvotes
datiswous
By datiswous (Jun 25, 2011)

I have to warn you that older lenses (with a different mount system) sometimes don't give the full amount of light on newer bodies. For example I bought an OM 50mm 1.4 lens but only gives me around a half stop more light in comparison with my nikon E 50mm 1.8 lens on a E520 (four thirds).

0 upvotes
Bob Meyer
By Bob Meyer (Jun 28, 2011)

Maybe that's because f1.4 is only half a stop faster than an f1.8. F2 to 1.4 is a full stop.

0 upvotes
ulfie
By ulfie (Jun 22, 2011)

Both lenses have produced very good to excellent image quality, IMHO. The deciding factor for many will probably be price and size.

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Jun 22, 2011)

Not dramatically different IMO. A bit harsher with some lighting in exchange for a shallow DOF improvement.

0 upvotes
mintbro
By mintbro (Jun 22, 2011)

Any chance of a Voigtlander Nokton comparison?

0 upvotes
Tim in upstate NY
By Tim in upstate NY (Jun 22, 2011)

Looking at the two chair photos, The 25/1.4 has a smoother looking OOF background in the back of the room and the overall contrast/color is a little better. I see deeper colors with better contrast and saturation in the other shots as well. Taken with the same camera and presumably with the same settings and processing with ACR, this clearly shows better optics.

The 20/1.7 is still a tremendous value at $400 vs $600 but I'm thinking that the 25/1.4 might be my next lens purchase. I've pre-ordered it at Adorama but may cancel if the upcoming reviews find any major faults in it.

1 upvote
Noogy
By Noogy (Jun 22, 2011)

Does shrinking the body always have to come bundled with higher prices for accessories and lenses? This to me in the biggest turn off to smaller bodies with interchangeable lenses. At the end of the day, the incentive to give up my bigger DSLR is dampened by prohibitive cost, limited availability and image quality that is still not in the same league as a "full-bodied" DSLR.

2 upvotes
DrEnergy
By DrEnergy (Jun 23, 2011)

I think you hit the nail on the heasd here Noogy.

0 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (Jun 23, 2011)

I don't think so.

I bought the E-PL2, 14-42mm, 40-150mm and 20/1.7 for less than $1100 + tax and all where new from online/local stores. My dad spent more for a T2i 2 lens kit and 50/1.8.

I have a small Lowepro bag that fits all of that plus other accessories. My tripods (with ballhead) are the smaller kinds too. These smaller accessories are cheaper. The bigger DSLR bags and tripods are more expensive and are obviously bulkier.

True that PanaLeica 25/1.4 is not cheap especially that it is equivalent to a normal lens (50/1.4) and normal lens are cheap on FF bodies. Then again, the 25/1.4 is still technically a fast wide, and fast wides are expensive (e.g. the Canon 24/1.4 on FF is $1700). Also, the Canon 50/1.4 is $400 requires the 5Dmk2 $2500 body; this combo is way more expensive than Pany G3 + 25/1.4 but both have the same FL and max aperture. Don't forget that the 50/1.4 FF are all old design, so less R&D and lower price.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Jun 22, 2011)

What I see is:
Leica 25 mm @f1.4 is softer than Pana 20 mm @f1.7.
Leica 25 mm @f1.4 has a more shallow DOF than Pana 20 mm @f1.7.
Leica 25 mm @f1.8 has similar Bokeh as DOF than Pana 20 mm @f1.7. (both are a bit harsh with the busy highlights in the trees).
The Leica 25 mm isnt a groundbreakingly better lens than Panas 20 mm.
The differences are what one must expect given the differences in aperture and focal length.No surprises really.
What you do get is the brighter aperture which you can use to isolate the subject, or to shoot in low light situations.

2 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Jun 22, 2011)

Nice lens, but it costs WAY to much. (over 1000 Euro)

0 upvotes
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Jun 22, 2011)

Where did you see that? I've seen it quoted at around GBP 550.

0 upvotes
bat0u
By bat0u (Jun 23, 2011)

?? $600 adorama preorder

0 upvotes
ginsbu
By ginsbu (Jun 22, 2011)

Thanks for the update. The comparison I'd like to see is same aperture and same dimensional FOV, i.e. step closer with the 20mm to get the same area in both shots. The brick wall would do nicely for that.

3 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Jun 22, 2011)

I'd have the same wish - to go a step closer with the 20 mm for identical areas covered. Could also be the chairs in the very last comparison. Should be exactly same area. Anyway interesting shots, thanks.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Jun 22, 2011)

Looks like the extra 5mm/f/-.3 = BIG DOF or the lack their of. :) I wonder if how the Oly 45mm F2 do compared to the leica as far as DOF (i know its not apples to apples)

1 upvote
Zuzullo
By Zuzullo (Jun 23, 2011)

+5mm +f/0.3
LOL so much $$$ for so few

1 upvote
Total comments: 41