Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Review
If you’re a Micro Four Thirds shooter, you know that the system is filled with a plethora of lens choices from Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, Leica and more. The standard focal lengths are pretty well covered at this point.
However, the exotic lens category is lacking. Extremely fast zoom lenses are wanted and needed by professionals as well as the serious enthusiast. The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 gives us just that.
Panasonic and Leica have teamed up to give us this truly unique and ultra-fast wide to medium-wide lens that delivers the full-frame equivalent focal length of 20mm to 50mm.
Low-light photographers and videographers will rejoice at the f/1.7 light gathering ability and the shallow depth of field it provides.
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Specs
- Fastest aperture zoom lens for the mount
- Unique focal length
- Tack sharp at all apertures
- De-clicked, silent aperture ring
- Splash, dust, and freezeproof design
- Large size
- Focal length – 10-25mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 20-50mm)
- Minimum focus distance – 11.02″ / 28 cm
- Optical design – 17 Elements in 12 Groups
- Diaphram blades – 9, Rounded
- Focus type – Autofocus
- Image stabilization – None
- Filter size – 77 mm (Front)
- Dimensions – 3.45 x 5.04″ / 87.6 x 128 mm
- Weight – 1.52 lb / 690 g
Build & Ergonomics
The de-clicked aperture ring is a nice, old school addition for photographers, and video creators will love the convenient manual focus clutch.
It’s solidly built and weather-sealed, making it perfect for all-weather outdoor shooting.
While I’m primarily a wedding and portrait photographer, I do get caught out in the rain quite often and I live in an area where winter is quite brutal. So having a splash, dust, and freeze-proof lens like this is a must.
There were absolutely no focus issues with this lens mounted on my Olympus OMD EM1 II – even in backlit situations. It’s perfect for environmental portraits as well as nature and landscape photos.
One of the pleasant surprises of this lens is its close focusing ability. At 28cm / 11.02″ of distance, this lens can act as a pseudo-macro if need be.
The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 is a Lumix lens with a Leica design and it is super sharp at all apertures, including wide open.
While some diffraction occurs at f/16 on an m4/3 sensor, a slight boost in clarity and contrast in post does the trick. I found no color fringing while shooting with this lens.
I’m not a credible nature photographer by any means, but one of the uses I found for this lens and its fast aperture was shallow depth of field landscapes. My area of focus was still tack-sharp wide open just as if I’d shot at a traditional landscape f-stop of f/8.
Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7 Sample Images
Check out these sample images taken with the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7:
Value for Money
At around US$1,700, the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 is on the higher-priced side of Micro Four Thirds lenses. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is an exotic lens and the only one of its kind in the format.
Many Micro Four Thirds shooters mount the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens via an adapter to achieve this type of fast aperture zoom. It may be less money to do so, but a native lens from Panasonic with Leica design is going to provide you with superior autofocus, reduction in size and overall better image quality.
Panasonic Leica DG f/1.7 Review | Conclusion
If you are a Micro Four Thirds user looking for a very fast zoom lens to help keep your ISO down or achieve a shallower depth of field, this lens was made for you. At this writing, it’s your only choice unless you want to mount old Olympus DSLR lenses or Sigma APS-C DSLR lenses via an adapter.
I’ve used this lens at a number of weddings and it was invaluable for me as a stills shooter and perfect for adding hybrid coverage to your business.
Videographers using the Panasonic GH5 (or any Micro Four Thirds) body will simply not be taking this lens off.
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.