Panasonic Goes Ultra-Wide with The Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH

05/17/2022Link15

Panasonic is launching its widest-angle prime rectilinear lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras in the form of the new Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH with the 35mm equivalent field of view of an 18mm lens. This ultra-wide lens is also the widest Micro Four Thirds Panasonic prime optic to wear the Leica badge.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH

This new lens is designed to capture expansive vistas and is created for photographers and videographers who are looking for the unique perspective afforded by ultra-wide-angle lenses. The wide f/1.7 maximum aperture allows shallow-depth-of-field photography, even with its 100° angle of view. Panasonic designed the lens to create smooth bokeh with its 7-blade rounded aperture diaphragm. Adding to creative capture possibilities, the lens has a close-focusing capability of 0.31', allowing the camera to do half-size (1:2) macro photography.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH Sample Photos

The lens is designed to be friendly to videographers with smooth exposure changes courtesy of the lens's micro-step aperture control. The focus ring features non-linear and linear control and the lens also suppresses focus breathing. Focus-ring sensitivity can be adjusted in 30° increments from 90° to 360° on some cameras.

The ultra-wide-angle lens has 12 elements in 9 groups and includes two aspherical lenses, two ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses, and one UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens to suppress both axial chromatic aberration and chromatic aberration of magnification. Astigmatism is also corrected with the aspherical elements. The UHR element is designed to achieve uniform image quality from the center of the frame to the edges.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH

Rounding out the specs for this new Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 is a fluorine coating that is splash, dust, and freeze resistant with an operating temperature range of 14-104°F. The lens's compact barrel and weatherproofing are designed to complement contemporary Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Are you ready to go ultra-wide with the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH? Let us know in the Comments section, below!

Comments

15 Comments

Does anyone know if this lens has an autofocus motor or is it just manual?

John, it has auto-focus capabilities, "near-silent autofocus performance", according to the description on the sales page.

The Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH does offer an autofocus motor. 

Olympus (now OM Digital Solutions, I guess) also makes a 9–18mm ultra-wide zoom. And I own one of the Oly 9mm ƒ/8 fisheye lens caps ($99 optical candy; tons of fun). But neither of those lenses competes directly with this fast ƒ/1.7 prime.

A lens this big might overwhelm my PEN Lite, but other than the 55mm filter size, I can't find a nit to pick with it. I'm quite surprised Panasonic has new a Leica-badged optic at this price point! Looks like serious competition for my Olympus 12mm ƒ/2. Think I have room in my hiking bag for both?

Hey Artie,

I figured Olympus shooters might be drawn to this Micro Four Thirds lens as well. I honestly don't how how many Micro Four Thirds shooters out there swap lens brands regularly. Do you have a guess?

Room in your bag? Of course! That is why you sometimes shoot Micro Four Thirds (and I shoot APS-C)...tiny cameras and tiny lenses!

Thanks for reading!

Best,

Todd

I have the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm, 2.8-4. A wonderful wide zoom for M 4/3. It is wider than this 9mm lens, it is a Pany-Leica, and B&H has it in stock. So the commentator is wrong in his assertion that “This ultra-wide lens is also the widest Micro Four Thirds Panasonic optic to wear the Leica badge”. It maybe the widest prime, but not the widest optic. While the 1.7 is tempting, the 2.8 at 8mm suffice for my purposes.

Very true. And I have the 8-18 as well. BUT, for those looking for low light capabilities, this extra stop just may make the difference between the money shot, and the one that got away.

You might be right, Floyd!

Thanks for reading!

We’ll, the extra light will be a bonus, but if I had had the 9mm, instead of the 8 mm (16mm), I would have miss a great shot of the eclipse and the interesting ground last Sunday. With the high iso capability of the new cameras, the low light is not so much a problem. The new OM1 is a high iso monster. I was shooting at 25600, and at 51200, and with post processing I got rid of the noise. Technology is great!

Hey Luis,

Awesome to hear how well that OM1 is handling high ISOs!

I will say that an under-publicized benefit of wide-aperture lenses is that you get to the sharpness "sweet spot" a stop or two earlier than smaller-aperture lenses. Many wide-aperture primes get sharp, corner to corner, around f/4 whereas an f/3.5 or f/4 lens might start that sharpness at f/5.6 or f/8. The low-light and/or shallow(er) DOF advantages might be a was for some, but if you are doing astro photos or handheld low-light shooting, that faster trip to edge-to-edge sharpness can be advantageous.

Thanks again for reading!

Best,

Todd

Hi Luis,

My bad! I will have the text corrected. I did mean prime lens, but must have been thinking faster than I was typing.

Thank you for pointing out my error!

Best,

Todd

Todd, that is what I thought, that you meant prime.

I like your articles. Keep up the good work.

Luis