Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH

23 September 2019
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

It would be difficult to find direct rivals of the Panaleica 10-25 mm because its parameters are truly unique. In the following chart we compared it at a push with the Panaleica 8-18 mm and much older 20-40 mm constructions of Sigma and Tamron. Still, because of huge differences in parameters and also the time gap, we are completely aware it would be really difficult to draw any binding conclusions.

I suppose it would be more convenient just to look at the photo below where the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10–25 mm f/1.7 ASPH is positioned between two Micro 4/3 lenses , the Olympus M.Zuiko 12–40 mm f/2.8 ED PRO and the Voigtlander Nokton 25 mm f/0.95.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds a contact plate and a rear element, 22 mm in diameter, which doesn't move. On the black ring with embedded contacts you can find an inscription „Made in China”. It is interesting, by the way, that such a top-of-the-range, expensive instrument with the renowned Leica logo, was produced in a country where the cost of work is noticeably lower than in Japan or in the European Union. Well, as long as the quality control remains on a very high level cost optimization is all right I suppose.

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality

The proper body of the lens is made of metal and it starts with an immobile ring on which you can find a red dot, making the alignment with a camera easier. Then you see several inscriptions: focal range, focusing range (0.28m/0.92ft–∞), „LUMIX” and „Panasonic H-X1025”.

The next part is a zoom ring, 27 mm wide. Most of its surface is covered by metal ribbing and below you can find focal length markings at 10, 12, 14, 18, and 25 mm. The mechanism moves smoothly and is well damped across the range.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality

Further on you see a manual focus ring, 23 mm wide, most of its surface covered by metal ribs. The ring can work in two modes: focus-by-wire or mechanical. In order to get the second mode you have to press the ring toward the mount – then a distance scale, expressed in feet and meters, will be revealed. In the mechanical mode running through the whole distance range needs a turn through an angle of about 90 degrees.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality

The next part is an aperture ring, 13 mm wide, which turns very smoothly. If you attach the lens to the Olympus O-MD E-M5 II its aperture can be controlled from the camera menu independently, no matter what value you set with the ring.

The lens ends with a part of the barrel almost 2 cm wide on which you find a hood mount. The front element of the tested instrument is 61 mm in diameter, slightly convex, surrounded by an inscription with the name and parameters of the lens, and a non-rotating filter thread, 77 mm in diameter. The front element, along with the whole front element system, is movable – the lens is the shortest at the 13 mm focal length and the longest at 25 mm.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality

When it comes to the inner construction you deal here with 17 elements positioned in 12 groups, including four ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) lenses, three aspherical elements, and one made of ultra high refractive index glass. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16.

Buyers get in the box both caps, a petal-type lens hood, and a lens bag.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Build quality