For a new and improved PanaLeica 25 1.4

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
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Stan Aron New Member • Posts: 2
For a new and improved PanaLeica 25 1.4

I've had the Panasonic-Leica "Summilux" 25mm 1.4 for a few years now. It's almost constantly on my camera (E-M5 II) and clearly one of my favorite lenses... but I have a love-hate relationship with it.

In terms of size, it's perfect: compact but still manageable. I used to have the 20mm 1.7 pancake but I struggled when using the focus ring which was just too close to the camera body and the fingers of my right hand got in the way of turning the ring.

I love the 25mm (50mm equivalent) focal length, and the f1.4 aperture allows for a very decent bokeh in most situations.

But I never hear people pointing out the amount of glare and purple fringing. Backlit silhouette shots are almost un-useable unless I convert them to black and white.

Here's one of my photos (cropped) without lightroom fringe correction:

Applying the lightroom fringe control isn't a solution either, it just replaces the purple fringe with a grey fringe and affects many other parts of the image:

Also, anything white very easily loses all detail and becomes a white smudge in the photo. When I compare it with the performance of my beloved Panasonic 35-100 f2.8, I just wish I had a 25mm fast prime version of that!
If I'm not mistaken, the 25mm was Leica's first m43 lens for Panasonic. Since then, they've made the beautiful 42.5mm, the new 12mm, and the 15mm, if I just mention the primes (they also have an ultrawide and a variable aperture zoom). Those three primes (especially the 42.5 and 12mm) have a specific style, with the manual aperture ring and build that I guess they hadn't come up with when they made the 25mm. Build quality has also gone up, along with performance and, of course, pricing.

I believe a PanaLeica Summilux 25mm f1.4 Mark II is overdue. They should make a lens consistent in build and performance with the other Panaleica primes and I'll be happy to pay a premium for it.

I'm considering the Olympus 25mm f1.2. I wouldn't mind the extra third f stop, and the performance seems to fit what I'm looking for but it's absolutely huge! It's twice the size of my 1.4! It's bigger than my Olympus 12-40 f2.8, to the point where, if I did buy it, I would almost certainly still keep my "Summilux" 25mm for situations where I need a small camera.

Am I the only one hoping for Panasonic to reissue an improved version of this lens?

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