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Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH

11 July 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the tested Panasonic, two other 12 mm lenses designed for the Micro 4/3 system and the Fujinon 1.4/16 which on its sensor provides the same angle of view. Still, as the lenses, shown in this chart, differ in basic parameters, it would be difficult to draw any serious or binding conclusions.

In the photo below the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH is positioned next to another Panaleica device so the DG Vario-Elmarit 8–18 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH model and the Olympus M.Zuiko 45 mm f/1.8.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which goes round a contact plate and a rear element. The element is 20 mm in diameter and it doesn’t move so the construction is sealed from this side.

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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Build quality

The proper body of the lens is made of metal; its first part is an immobile ring with a red dot, making an alignment with a camera easier. Then you see the focusing range (0.2m/0.66ft–∞) of the lens, and inscriptions: „LUMIX” and „Made in Japan” along with a switch controlling the focusing mechanism mode (AF/MF).

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Build quality

Further on you find a manual focus ring, as wide as 22 mm. Most of it is occupied by metal ribs. The ring moves smoothly, is properly damped but you have to remember it’s a focus-by-wire construction. Running through the whole distance range needs a turn through an angle of about 180 degrees; still it’s difficult to state a precise value because it depends on the speed of your turning.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Build quality

A manual aperture ring, 8 mm wide, is the next part, with slight ribbing and aperture marks for integral values from f/1.4 to f/16. The ring doesn’t cooperate with Olympus bodies – in their case the aperture is controlled by the camera.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Build quality

The lens ends with a casing part which doesn’t move, as wide as 18 mm, on which you can find a hood mount. The front element of the tested Panasonic is 50 mm in diameter, surrounded by an inscription stating the name and parameters of the lens and a non-rotating filter thread, 62 mm in diameter.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 15 elements positioned in 12 groups. Two of them are aspherical, two others made of low dispersion UED glass and one is made of low dispersion ED glass. Inside there’s also a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/16 at the maximum.

Buyers get both caps, a hood and a soft pouch in the box.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Build quality