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Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH

11 July 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH was based on RAW files from the Olympus E-PL1. In the case of that reflex camera the decency level is situated near 44-45 lpmm and the best fixed focal lenght lenses can reach as high as about 80 lpmm (the record holder is currently the Sigma C 1.4/30 with a result of 83.8 lpmm, with the Voigtlander 0.95/25 and the Olympus 1.8/75 not far behind).

Let’s glance at a graph below and check how the tested lens performs in the frame centre and on its edge. .

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Image resolution


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The results in the frame centre are very good indeed. Already at the maximum relative aperture the MTFs are high, reaching near 64 lpmm; on stopping down the lens they are able to exceed 75 lpmm. It is a bit short of record values but still this performance remains better than that of the Panasonic 2.5/14 of the Olympus 2/12.

The lens fares sensibly well on the edge of the frame. At the maximum relative aperture the values are just slightly higher than the decency level and the peak of the performance, meaning about 55 lpmm, is reached near f/5.6.

One thing is worth noticing here. The graph shows averaged out results taken from the left and the right side of the edge of the frame. Still, in the case of the tested lens there was a distinct difference between the sides; we decided to present it in a form of another graph which can be found below.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Image resolution


The left side looks splendid. Already at the maximum relative aperture the MTFs get to 56 lpmm and on stopping down they are able to exceed 65 lpmm. On the right side you see quite different values – by f/1.4 and f/2.0 the image is below the decency level and maximum MTFs are just getting near 56 lpmm.

The following crops show the situation as captured in photos of our testing chart.

Olympus E-PL1, RAW, f/1.4, left Olympus E-PL1, RAW, f/1.4, right
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Image resolution Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Image resolution


One thing is sure: it is not an image you would expect from an expensive lens produced by a renowned company. Quality control should have intervened and stop the distribution of the tested specimen.

As we’ve been preparing to move our testing procedure to a new body, the Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II, below you can find resolution values we got with the help of that camera.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Image resolution


The results might be by about 1-3 lpmm higher than those from the E-PL1 but the overall situation is in accordance with the one described above.

At the end of this chapter traditionally we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing scene saved as JPEG files along with RAW files, used for the analysis above.

Olympus E-PL1, JPEG, f/1.4
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Image resolution
Olympus E-PL1, JPEG, f/4.0
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH - Image resolution