Panasonic has reinforced its commitment to the Micro Four-Thirds system and its cameras such as the GH5 II by launching a very special new lens. The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm F/1.7 ASPH is the world’s first telezoom to feature a maximum f/1.7 aperture throughout the entire focal range.
Of course, it’s worth remembering that when used with Micro Four-Thirds cameras from Panasonic like the G9 or GH5 or with Olympus cameras that also use the Micro Four-Thirds mount such as the E-M1 Mark III, the equivalent focal length switches up to 50-100mm thanks to that 2x crop factor found on Micro Four-Thirds cameras. This makes the lens suitable for a huge range of photo genres; from portraiture to wildlife to long lens landscapes and even travel photography.
The lens is built around a ‘16 elements in 11 groups’ design and features an aspherical lens and three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses that aim to suppress the axial chromatic aberration and chromatic aberration of magnification. Despite the impressive construction, the lens is compact and lightweight, measuring 87.6x87x127.6mm and tipping the scales at just 654g.
The advantages of that maximum f/1.7 aperture throughout the focal range mean that not only will the lens be able to create a very shallow depth of field at any focal length, which will be useful for portrait photographers aiming to make their subject standout in the frame, but also means that photographers will be able to capture sharp shots in low light conditions.
The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm F/1.7 ASPH is also set to be a great lens for photographers who like to get up close to their subjects as the lens boasts a closest focusing distance of just 31cm at the telephoto end (28cm at the wide end) and features a 0.42x maximum magnification, enabling photographers to capture frame-filling images of smaller subjects.
As you’d expect from a professional-level optic, the 25-50mm F/1.7 features a rugged build and offers a dust and splash-resistant construction so photographers shouldn’t have to stop shooting if the rain starts to fall. What’s more, this is a lens that can perform in cold conditions – in fact the 25-50mm F/1.7 can operate down to -10 °C.
Panasonic also explains that the 25-50mm F/1.7 not only features fast, accurate autofocus, but also offers smooth aperture changes and this makes the lens suitable for video work, with the quality of the glass suitable for filming high quality 4K footage. Lastly, the focus ring is equipped with a manual focus clutch, allowing photographers to pull the focus clutch and quickly switch between auto and manual focus (AF/MF).
The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm F/1.7 ASPH will be available from August and carries a fairly premium price-tag, with the optic priced around £1800.