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Panasonic roll out Leica 25mm (50mm) f/1.4

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Panasonic has announced a Leica-branded 25mm f/1.4 (50mm equivalent). The lens is Leica designed, but made by Panasonic at the Yamagata lens plant - the factory was said to have been damaged by the recent earthquake in Northern Japan.

Interesting use of Nikon-esqe 'nano' element coating to reduce flare and ghosting. There's no IS as some detractors are bound to point out, but there's absolutely no need for it in a lens like this.

The optical construction consists of nine elements in seven groups, that's unusual as most even high end 50mm's adopt seven or sometimes eight elements in total. Cheaper models, the modern 50mm f/1.8 type, for instance, use six elements. Of those nine, two are aspherical (glass moulded, not ground) and one is made from ultra high refractive (UHR) index glass.

There's no word as yet on price or availability.

UPDATE. A spokesperson for Panasonic has confirmed to the DJP the lens will be available in August at approximately £539.99 (inc VAT), or just $599.95 in the US.

 

Press release:

Panasonic expands LUMIX G Micro System range with light, high performance Leica DG lens
 
The LUMIX G Leica DG Summilux 25mm / F1.4 ASPH lens delivers superb optical performance for use everywhere you go
 
Panasonic today launched the LUMIX G Leica DG Summilux 25mm / F1.4 ASPH Lens, a new light-weight interchangeable lens based on the Micro Four Thirds Standard.  Meeting Leica’s strict standards ensuring high optical quality, the new lens will allow you to take stunning photos and videos wherever you are, even when shooting in low-light conditions.
 
This versatile, compact lens delivers bright, sharp images suitable for a wide range of photographic requirements. From daily snapshots while out and about; to indoor portraits without flash in low light levels; to creative images which take advantage of its beautiful peripheral defocus effect, the Leica DG lens turns everyday moments into works of art.

With this Leica DG mounted, the LUMIX G Micro System is easy to carry with you anywhere. An Ultra High Refractive (UHR) index lens makes it thin and light without compromising image quality. While a newly developed “nano surface coating” on the surface of the lens, means ghosting and flare will be dramatically reduced in your photos, further emphasising the high image quality from Panasonic’s LUMIX G Micro System.

The F1.4 aperture lets you capture the desired parts of an image in sharp focus, while giving other parts a soft focus. This makes the subject really stand out, adding a rich expressiveness to the photo. The lens also incorporates an inner focus direct-drive linear motor, which enables smooth, silent operation of its fast and accurate contrast Auto Focus (AF) system for use in both photo and movie recording.

Despite its extremely compact size and superb optical performance, this lens brings out the full capabilities of the 4/3-type image sensor; achieves smoother Live View performance in combination with the camera’s body; and allows a variety of unique features such as the contrast AF function of LUMIX G Micro System cameras.
 
With the addition of this new 25mm lens, Panasonic now offers twelve lenses ranging from 7mm to 300mm, making sure you have the right set-up for the right job. With the LUMIX G Micro System, there really is no limit to your creativity.
 
 
Key features:
·         Lens Construction: 9 elements in 7 groups (1 Ultra High Refractive Index lens, 2 Aspherical lenses)
·         Mount: Micro Four Thirds mount
·         Optical Image Stabilizer: N/A
·         Focal Length: f = 25mm (35mm camera equivalent 50mm)
·         Aperture Type: 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
·         Aperture: F1.4
·         Minimum Aperture: F16
·         Closest Focusing Distance: 0.30m / 0.98 feet
·         Maximum Magnification: Approx. 0.11x / 0.22x (35mm camera equivalent)
·         Filter Size: ø 46mm
·         Max. Diameter: Approx. ø 63mm
·         Overall Length: Approx. 54.5mm (from the tip of the lens to the base side of the lens mount)
·         Weight: Approx. 200g
·         Standard Accessories: Lens cap, Lens rear cap, Lens storage bag

Additional photos

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More information can be found here.

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