Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Review

July 20, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH is an excellent standard lens that currently offers the fastest maximum aperture of any Micro Four Thirds lens. Such exclusivity does come at a rather literal cost, though, with a high retail price of £548.99 / $599.99.

As you'd expect given that premium price tag, build quality is excellent, with the ability to fit 46m filters on the front of the lens very welcome. As with most other recent Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses, it's very fast to focus on the new DMC-G3 camera and almost virtually silent too, making it well-suited to both stills and video. This lens is also relatively small and lightweight consifering the f/1.4 maximum aperture, although fitting the imposing hood does almost double the length of the lens.

Optically the Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH is an excellent performer. You can safely use it wide open for maximum bokeh and still achieve sharp results in the centre of the frame, or for optimum performance stop down to f/4, where even the edges of the frame look sharp. Chromatic aberrations are almost completely absent, while distortions are automatically corrected on both Olympus and Panasonic bodies. It also doubles up as an effective short portrait lens and importantly plugs the gap between Panasonic's range of shorter primes lenses and its longer telephoto optics.

£548.99 / $599.99 is undoubtedly expensive for a 50mm lens for any system, but given the excellent results, creamy bokeh and snappy performance, we feel that it's just about justified and a good investment for Micro Four Thirds who have patiently waited for a fast standard prime.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 3.5