Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Review

July 20, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Michael

Great review, but there really should be a comparison here with the 20mm 1.7.

7:25 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#2 Jakubbo

Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 is the fastest 4/3 lens. Please don’t misinform your readers.

10:41 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#3 Nick

WHat Jakubbo said, this isn’t the fastest native Micro Four Thirds lens….

12:23 am - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#4 mma173

1- What about distortion?
2- How about adding some portrait samples? I am sure that there are people who consider buying for this purpose.

Thanks’ for the great work you are doing

1:00 am - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#5 zebarnabe

This is the ‘fastest’ (some people might not get the term, it means brightest) auto focus lens for micro four thirds, while, like said before me, Voigtlaender Nokton 25mm f/0.95 is the fastest micro four thirds mount lens (not counting with unofficially adapted CCTV lens with brighter apertures).

1:52 am - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#6 Gary

In you recent Panasonic G3 review, you rated the image quality at 5 stars with the 14-42mm lens.  When you attached the new Panasonic 25mm lens to the G3 (sample images taken with 25mm) you rated the image quality at 4.5.  Are we to infer that the G3 takes higher quality images with the 14-42mm lens?

Any insight would be helpful.


2:15 am - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#7 Fausto

Nice Review, some portraits among the samples would make it even better, though.

Some thoughts about the lens itself:

- I’m surprised the reviewer doesn’t find CAs to be an issue. Sample pictures on other sites suggest it’s quite easy to provoke the lens to produce quite pronounced CAs.

- Edge/corner sharpness is disappointing up to f/2.8. The 20mm pancake seems to perform much better in this particular area. Ok, so its max aperture is half a stop slower but it’s half the size, weight and price of the summilux… I guess something’s gotta give.

- The hood is much larger and deeper than the one of the 45mm leica dg macro. I wonder why. Especially considering the slightly wider field of view of the 25mm.

- The bokeh is beautiful. It makes me think the lens was designed mainly for “one subject in focus, lots of creamy bokeh all around” kind of shots.

- The price tag is ok. You probably pay some extra for the leica branding but 50mm 1.4 lenses (same field of view on full frame) from canikon aren’t much cheaper and the Zeiss 50mm Planar 1.4 is actually a bit more expensive (lets not even talk about leica m summiluxes).

My personal conclusion:
After seeing the first image samples on omuser (this guy really knows how to get the best out of a fast lens) I wanted to buy this lens immediately. After seeing some samples on other sites which despite beeing technically good (although not stellar) images were just horrible pictures in terms of composition and meaning I was not so sure anymore. Now when I compare the 25mm to my 20mm pancake I see I’m not missing too much anyway. I guess I’ll just stick with what I’ve got. But if I didn’t already have the pancake the decision between the two of them would indeed be a difficult one.

7:30 am - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#8 Jorge

I just made the decision between the 20mm and 25mm three days ago, and it was a hard one. In the end I had the chance to get the 20mm quite cheaper thanks to a relative coming back from the US this week (where taxes and prices are considerably lower), so it was 270€ against, say, 600€.

But what really made me take that step was that I am just an average amateur photographer (though an enthusiast one) and, though I was really craving for the 25mm lens, I am not really taking so many pictures and with so quality that justifies the additional expensive.

But it was hard, and I still have doubts. It is just too easy to get caught in this gear attraction.

8:26 am - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#9 bert

sorry but : 
even at f 4 the borders are not really sharp…;

complete absence of chromatic aberrations? even in the crop with this comment it´s clearly visible…

just a little light fall-off? the sample doesn´t look good…

the price? for me it looks overpriced, because I think that this lens category is easy to design;

9:08 am - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#10 iracasillas

Is it a Leica lens made by Panasonic or a Leica lens made by Leica? Made in Germany or made in Japan?

4:47 pm - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#11 zebarnabe

From microft official website: “Certified with the name of world-renowned LEICA, the exceptional high image quality is guaranteed.”

In a similar way, the “LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT
45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.” is described as “Outstanding Image Quality of Leica lens with High Mobility”

It’s designed by Leica and Leica approves the use of its name on it, where it is made, I really don’t know :/

7:36 pm - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#12 stuffguy

I understand the comment about gear attraction. Have the same problem myself.

Having said that, as a 20mm pancake owner, I just can’t part with the coin for this lens. In reality, the 20mm is going to give very similar results, and OA performance is better.

As Fausto indicates, in the end composition is the key, and either of these lens put one in the position where getting a good frame is up to the photographer’s skill.

I really think Panny should have come out with a real (read - 45-50mm, 90-100mm eq.) portrait lens with a fast aperture.

I’m checking out the new Oly 50mm f1.8

8:57 pm - Thursday, July 21, 2011

#13 ulfie

Too expensive period.

8:49 pm - Saturday, July 23, 2011

#14 Howard

I agree, this lens is too expensive for me.  I will stick with my Panny 20 1.7. I love it and happy to have it.  The gear attraction thing is very real. So I’m trying to stay focus ;-) and just enjoy taking pictures with what I own. 
As always, this was a great review and good pics.  By the way I also enjoy your pics of everyday London since I cannot afford a visit.

H Tyree

2:40 pm - Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#15 Jonas Mikle

The sample images are very informative and of great help towards a buying decision; have to admit though, I’m stumped by the lack of detail / sharpness on the images [across the river-ICBM showing on both] taken at 1/500 f/4 ISO 160 and 1/400 f/8 ISO 160. Must have been a misty-foggy-dog day afternoon. Would love to find out before the lens arrives to our shores [Calgary-AB-Canada].

8:29 pm - Thursday, July 28, 2011

#16 Alan

I’m sure those readers that use/think in inches will appreciate the metric/imperial equivalents, but for filter size? Would anyone go into a camera shop and ask for a 1.81 inch filter?

10:05 am - Monday, August 1, 2011

#17 gusda

You only live once what’s a couple hundred dollars more for some beautiful gear that could last a lifetime… but
I can see there’s not really a big difference compared to the 20mm 1.7 and it’s half the size and almost half the price better to travel with

1:19 am - Sunday, August 7, 2011

#18 Calvin Chann

Mine arrived today. Can’t wait to get it home and onto a body to try it out.

I have the 20 pancake too, but you only live once right. My only query is because m43 correct in body, will there need to be a firmware update to get the most out of this lens. Thinking more about my GF1 than my G3, which is newer.

3:47 pm - Friday, August 26, 2011

#19 John

This lens is very Nice, bur I think I’ll stick with my 20mm f/1.7. I just can’t justify the price difference and I just love the size of the 20mm. Size and weight are of major importance, because those are the reasons I went for the micro 4/3 system anyway.

11:38 am - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#20 Mike

Two words: expensive, big. This lens is just to big and expensive for what you get! The image quality is not dramatically better then the 20mm pancake. I see no reason to buy this lens, especially if you already own the great little pancake. if you’re looking for a compact portrait lens, get the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. Forget about the Panasonic Leica 45mm if you don’t need macro capability. This Leica lens, like the 25mm is big and expensive. What is panasonic thinking?

5:35 pm - Sunday, September 4, 2011

#21 Marc

Although the AF speed on the Pana-Leica is better and the sharpness might be marginally better, I don’t think that’s enough for me to choose it over the ‘classic’ 20mm f/1.7 lens. The price is absurd.

10:50 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#22 George

25mm focuses instantly compared to 20mm sluggish 1 second focus

25mm gives you smooth blurred background, 20mm is not great bokeh

25mm does AFC and video, 20mm does not

Pictures look brighter, colors are better

25mm will do better portraits

7:29 am - Friday, October 21, 2011

#23 zebarnabe


Yes, 25mm is a lot faster in focusing (20mm is hilariously slow).

Also, 25mm as it has a longer focal length and brighter aperture provides shallower depth of field, however, bokeh quality itself (something that is a bit subjective) it’s really good on both.

My 20mm does AFC in video, if yours doesn’t you have some issue with it, it doesn’t do AFC on photo though. Also big changes on focusing with be slower and noisier on the 20mm.

Pictures will never look brighter if exposed properly, but with a brighter aperture, low light shots might come out with faster shutter speeds and/or lower ISO values. Colors rendition is subjective, and as far as I can tell they are both great.

25mm will do better portraits than 20mm, but lacks a bit of wider angle useful in street photography, however the 50mm equivalent field is great for a natural view angle. For portraits something like 45mm (90mm equivalent) is more suitable.

If that is worthy of the price tag and the extra bulkiness, that is up to a person to decide, however, if one has the 20mm, I don’t see a reason to buy this lens.

6:28 pm - Friday, October 21, 2011

#24 iGonzoid

I bought this lens [25mm f1.4] 3 weeks ago and am utterly satisfied. It complements the 45mm Lumix macro on my Olympus E-P2 nicely — both having 46mm filters means they share one B&W circular polarizer and even the lens hoods are swapable. Unless I am doing macro work, the 25mm f1.4 is rapidly becoming my favourite on-camera lens. The speed and wide-open optical qualities are great for available light shooting. Wide open, the lens renders that liquid glow beloved of Leica M-series owners. With the EVF2 on my E-P2, low-light AF is fast and quickly fine-tunable manually. It works well on the Olympus [no probs] and benefits from the E-P2’s image stablization, which is lacking on the 25mm. I love going back to having an ultra-fast lens that has that “normal” [50mm as 35mm eq] perpective. And the colour rendition is as good as the 45mm macro — that is to say “very Leica”. Shop around — I got both the 45 and 25 about half-price by going off-shore. I have always been a believer in the optical qualities of single-focus lenses, rather than zooms. For me, both these lenses prove the point.

3:57 pm - Sunday, November 20, 2011

#25 Ronald

The Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 focusses very fast and silent, unlike the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. The latter is rather slow and the AF is often useless for a quick reaction. You have to prefocus or use the hyperfocal distance. Also the field of view is much wider then the 25mm f/1.4. Accuracy is great on both lenses, but that has everything to do with the camera contrast detection AF system. I love that system. Size and weight are different too. It all boils down to what you value most and of course how much money you can (and are willing) spend. I’d say that if size, weight and costs are no problem and if you like the 50mm field of view, the 25mm f/1.4 really is the best choice.

7:52 pm - Sunday, January 22, 2012

#26 mimstyle

After I read this review , i got mine and is an awesome lens really Waaaouuwww crazy fast

+ Lumix GX1

7:49 pm - Friday, March 9, 2012

#27 James

Quick questions, I know this is a 4/3s lens, am I able to use this on the Fuji X-Pro 1? Do I need a converter/mount of some sorts? Thank you for taking the time to answer this question.

1:04 am - Tuesday, April 3, 2012

#28 Klappernoot

The only real reason to get this 25mm over the 20mm is AF speed. I think both are equally sharp and contrasty. I find the corner sharpness of the 25mm a little disappointing though. You pay premium for faster AF and a slightly larger aperture. Aslo, I find the wider FOV of the 20mm more useful.

10:14 am - Saturday, April 21, 2012

#29 Roy

As usual the addition of the word “Leica” to a product also adds a huge chunk of additional cost whilst affording only a marginal improvement over a well chosen near-equivalent - like the Panasonic 20/1.7. The same ludicrous price hike occurs when identical P&S cameras are re-branded “Leica” from “Panasonic”. How I laughed at the “CA-free” sample supplied in this woefully inadequate test.

7:17 pm - Tuesday, September 4, 2012

#30 Danny Del Vito

I can’t believe how poor the sample photos are! Whoever took them seems to have very little flair for actually taking photos - it’s shocking! Really undermines the credibility of this blog.

8:29 am - Tuesday, September 11, 2012

#31 Sjaan van den Oudenbroek

Ik heb deze lens speciaal gekocht voor het maken van familiefoto’s. Het eerste wat me opviel toen ik buiten een aantal foto’s nam, was het klikkende geluid van het diafragma. Om gek van te worden! Heeft niemand anders hier dat ondervonden? Zodra het contrast een beetje hoger wordt, begint de lens te ratelen als een typemachine. Teleurstellend, voor zo’n duur apparaat. De hoekscherpte is ook niet geweldig, maar dat is het geval bij de meeste micro 4/3 lenzen. Ook de Panasonic 12-35mm heeft hier last van. De 25mm f/1.4 doet het echter net iets beter. Afgezien van het grotere maximale diafragma zie ik overigens geen opvallende verschillen. De enige lens die geen last lijkt te hebben van onscherpe hoeken, is volgens mij de 75mm f/1.8 van Olympus. Maar dat is dan ook een professionele lens met een stevig prijskaartje net als deze 25mm f/1.4. de 20mm van Panasonic is leuk en best goed, maar zoooo traag met scherpstellen. Dat is echt niet meer van deze tijd. Volledig onbruikbaar voor elke vorm van beweging. Ik kan er mijn tachtigjarige oma met rollator nog niet scherp mee op de sensor krijgen.  Bovendien is het op en neer bewegende frontelement een beetje fragiel. Zeker als je er een zonnekappen op wil schroeven. Dan vangt het steeds als eerstebde klappen op. Ik denk dat je het beste nog de Panasonic 12-35mm kunt kopen. Dan heb heb je ongeveer dezelfde beeldkwaliteit in een veel flexibeler lens.

11:36 pm - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

#32 Raj

The 25mm is a little disappointing. Lot’s of CA and corner sharpness is rather low. The only thing it’s got going for it is it’s classic field of view. There simply is no alternative. The 20mm field of view is much wider and it’s focussing system is too slow. I hope Olympus or Panasonic will develop a new 25mm with better performance then the 20mm and 25mm. Both have serious design flaws.

8:53 pm - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

#33 Lee

Quite pricey but to be expected, I was surprised it doesn’t have stabilization on it for the price, making me think it is definitely aimed at the picture takers and not for video at all. 
I would like to see some panasonic primes with stabilization like the kit zoom lens, I don’t know why there are none, as it makes an unbelievable difference to any shot, helping eradicate high frequency vibrations when on a lower price tripod(I can’t afford a £3000 tripod) and also help steady handheld shots and video, it beats any postproduction software stabilisation on video where motion blur is still evident after processing, I’ve used almost all of them.
No stabilisation, I’ll save some more money and get the nokton for it’s manual exposure and focus it’s the right choice for video, auto focus is pointless unless your just shooting weddings.

1:30 am - Monday, January 7, 2013

#34 Peter

I own the 20mm 1.7 and the 25mm 1.4 and without getting into hair-splitting pixel peeping, find them both to be fabulous lenses. Yes the 20mm is a bit slower to focus but easy to live with and the compact size and sharpness more than make up for it. The 25mm might have its weaknesses but under normal circumstances it is a performer and its fast, sharp focus is a pleasure to work with.

In the old days of 35mm primes your 50mm lens (25mm equiv)was the normal lens - the reason for that is that it captures medium distance subjects with minimal distortion, so a good all around lens. Another useful lens was your 35mm (17-20mm equiv) - and was good for capturing a wider range of view albeit with a bit of distortion. So in the absence of zooms, these two lenses were essential ingredients in every photographers camera bag. The same principal applies to Micro 4/3, impossible to choose one over the other as they each serve completely different purposes - save up and buy both or else stick with the inexpensive 14-42 zoom.

11:19 pm - Saturday, March 9, 2013

#35 Mike

I think the rating should be in .1 increments. 4.5 does not do much for me. it means grade of B. This is a really pricey lens so not sure if it would be worth it for 4.5

3:44 am - Friday, October 4, 2013

#36 keekimaru

Review DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Micro 4/3 Lens.

DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Micro 4/3 Lens is designed for use with Lumix G Micro 4/3 cameras. It provides an angle of view similar to a 50mm lens on a 35mm or full-frame digital camera, and the wide f/1.4 maximum aperture can deliver beautiful, bright photos and videos with softly out-of-focus backgrounds. Built to Leica’s usual high standards, this lens delivers excellent image quality with minimal distortion or chromatic aberrations, with a sturdy metal mount.

Read More :

9:32 am - Friday, December 20, 2013

#37 Zlatan

Many people are comparing this lens to 20mm f1.7. Do not, the sharpness and Bokeh is not the important points although good. The lack of image distortion at close portrait and extra speed is worth the extra money, not to mention fast AF and noiseless operation. If you dont worry for this, buy cheap lenses and have fun. There is not much between 70-300 Tron and Canon L, but it is worth pay 14 times more for the little difference.

6:47 pm - Monday, August 31, 2015

#38 diamond laser sawing machine

Thanks for sharing this nice article.It have some great use full information.

5:28 am - Friday, September 18, 2015

Entry Tags

lens, compact system camera, micro four thirds, lumix, panasonic, standard, 25mm, leica, 25mm lens, panasonic 25mm review, summilux, Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 ASPH Review

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