One of the great advantages of the Micro Four-Thirds system is the benefit the 2x crop factor brings to wildlife and nature photographers. Effectively doubling the focal length of the lens gets these photographers closer to the action, but this then serves up a dilemma over which lens to use for wider scenarios such as landscape and architecture photography.
Well, Panasonic has looked to solve this challenge by releasing the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm F1.7 which delivers a 35mm camera equivalent of 18mm. This prime optic is designed for use with cameras such as Panasonic’s GH6 or Omlympus’ new flagship camera, the OM-1.
The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm F1.7 features a construction of 12 lens elements in nine groups, including two aspherical lenses, two ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses and one UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens to suppress axial chromatic aberration and chromatic aberration of magnification. The design of the lens also includes a 7-blade aperture, which should lend itself to some impressive bokeh when used with the lens’ fast maximum aperture of f/1.7.
That f/1.7 max aperture will also prove hugely useful for creatives who wish to use the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm to capture video footage, with shallow depths of field instantly attainable. Also important is the lens’ closest minimum focusing distance, which comes in at an incredible 9.cm, enabling photographers to make the most of foreground interest in the frame.
Other features include a filter diameter of 55 mm and a fairly decent level of weather sealing, with Panasonic stating that the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm is both dust and splash-resistant so you won’t have to stop shooting if the rain starts to fall. For those who may use the lens in even more inhospitable environments, the 9mm can even be used in temperatures down to minus 10 degrees Celsius.
Despite all these impressive features, the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm F1.7 is an extremely lightweight and portable optic, tipping the scales at just 130g and measuring only 60.8x52mm, making this lens an excellent choice for those who wish to travel light. Micro Four-Thirds photographers don’t have long to wait to get their hands on the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm F1.7, with the lens due to ship from June.