Lens review

Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4

5 June 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Most of the reflex cameras users work on the APS-C/DX sensors now. Many of then have never had the opportunity to work on a full frame camera and as many don’t have any access to a Four Thirds system camera. Such a situation makes creating and fueling different myths, concerning both the Four Thirds and a full frame system. rather easy. One of these myths, often repeated on many forums, is a generalized statement that the Four Thirds system lenses are smaller, lighter and faster than their full frame equivalents. The picture below, showing a full frame Sony 1.4/50 and a Sigma 1.4/30 HSM lenses next to the Leica tested here, proves how much truth, even generalized, is in such a statement. It is also worth notice that the 1.4/50 Pentax and Nikon lenses have roughly the same dimensions as the Sony presented here and bigger is only a Canon because it has an USM motor but still it is significantly smaller than the Leica. It’s not only the matter of dimensions – the Lecia is also about two times heavier than its full frame equivalents.

Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

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The weight is partly a result of a very solid barrel with a workmanship quality difficult to fault. When we look at Summilux we’ll notice a very large front element with a non-rotating filter thread with a diameter of 62 mm. Right next to it, on the barrel, there is an aperture ring which can be set from f/1.4 to f/16. Below there is a big, comfortable manual focus ring, allowing a very precise and smooth work. Next is a clear distance scale window and a metal bayonet, surrounding the back element of impressive size which guarantees no telecentricity problems.

Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

The significant weight is also a result of the inner construction, which consists of 10 elements in 9 groups. Peeking here, we can find out that the typical f/1.4 50 mm lenses usually consist of 7 elements in 6 groups, without any special glass elements whereas the Leica manufacturers weren’t mean with the last element type – we’ve got as much as four low-dispersion glass elements (3of the ED class and one Super-ED) and one aspherical element. All of this is complemented by a seven diaphragm blades aperture, which can be closed down to f/16.

Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

The buyer gets a petal-type lens hood and a soft case in the set. The lens comes with a two-year warranty.

Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 - Build quality