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Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH

6 August 2014
Szymon Starczewski

3. Build quality

The tested lens is most similar to the Olympus 1.8/17. In the following chart we also compared it to the slower Panasonic 2.5/14 and the Sony 1.8/24, designed for APS-C sensors. The physical dimensions and the weight of the Leica and the Olympus are almost the same but still the Leica is slightly better: being a bit lighter it does provide a bit wider angle of view and it comes with a faster aperture. It is also significant that it can focus already from 0.2 of a meter.

The dimensions of the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH are really slight. It is especially noticeable when you compare it to any full frame 1.4/35 lens, for example the new Sigma from the Art series. In the photo below there is also the small Olympus 1.8/45 positioned next to it.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality

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The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding the contacts and a rear element, 18 mm in diameter; the element is just slightly hidden inside the casing.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality


The proper body of the lens is made of metal; it starts with a smooth ring on which you can find its focal length value and the autofocus range. On the left side there is a focusing mechanism mode switch (AF/MF); on the right you see an inscription “LUMIX” and, on the other side, another inscription “Panasonic H-X015 Made in Japan” and the Micro 4/3 badge.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality


The next part is a ribbed manual focus ring, 1 cm wide. It works with an electronic relay but is also well-damped and moves without any problems.

Further on you see a narrow, ribbed aperture ring which moves every 0.5 EV step. Of course from a camera’s menu level you can control the aperture every 0.3 EV step.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality


The lens ends with a narrow ring which can be removed – then you see a hood mount and it is a bit untypical, equipped with its own rubberized cap.

The front element is slightly convex, with a diameter of 23 mm. It is surrounded by an inscription Leica DG Summilux 1:1.7/15 Asph. and a non-rotating filter thread, 46 mm in diameter.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality


When it comes to the inner construction you deal here with nine elements positioned in seven groups. As many as three elements are aspherical. Inside you can also find an aperture with seven diaphragm blades which can be closed to f/16.

Buyers get both caps, a hood with its own cap and a soft pouch.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality