Hands On with the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH A new fast and powerful zoom

Panasonic recently announced a new fast zoom lens for micro 4/3 cameras demonstrating once again that it has big plans for the smaller sensor format. The new Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH joins a “sister” 10-25mm F1.7 lens creating a couple of fast and powerful zooms for Panasonic (and Olympus) users.

Background

The Panasonic/Leica 10-25mm F1.7 was first shown (behind glass) on Photokina 2018 (see our coverage here) at the same time as the S1 and S1R cameras. It was important to Panasonic to show at the time that with the new FF cameras it will not abandon its loyal micro 4/3 users and will actually present to them a high-end professional lens.

Since then Panasonic continued to show that it is committed to the micro 4/3 line especially recently with the announcement of the GH5 II and the announcement that it is developing a GH6 that will be released later this year for the same mount.

The new 25-50mm f/1.7 has an angle of view similar to a 50-100mm lens on a full-frame camera (Sigma has a similar FF lens for DSLR which we tested a few years back). With the original 10-25mm which is akin to a 20-50mm lens, Panasonic created two fast zoom lenses that are arguably more attractive to many photographers and videographers than the more common 24-70mm and 70-200mm.

The new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH on the GH5 II camera

The new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH on the GH5 II camera

What you need to know – Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH

The new lens is special in many respects and designed to replace several prime lenses in one. It can fit portrait photographers and different types of videographers and was built with video in mind.

The kens are made from 16 elements in 11 groups, have 9 aperture blades, with a special clutch mechanism (push/pull) for changing between AF and MF, it does not extend and has a dust and water-resistant body made of magnesium.

When it comes to video the lens seems to have very low breathing but is not para-focal (to be fair – very few none high-end CINE lenses are and those are typically very expensive).

A top-down look at the new Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH

A top-down look at the new Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH

Specs

Here are the main specs for the Canon RF 14-35mm F4 L IS USM lens:

  • 25-50mm f/1.7 micro 4/3 mount lens.
  • 16 elements in 11 groups including 3 ED elements, 1 aspherical element, and 1 UHR element.
  • Several advanced coatings including Fluorine, ASC, SSC, and SWC.
  • AF/MF via a clutch mechanism.
  • Dust and water-resistant body magnesium.
  • Linear fast AF motor.
  • 3 rings (aperture, zoom and focus).
  • Min focus distance – 28cm, with 1:4.7 macro magnification.
  • Filter thread of 77mm.
  • Weight of 654g.

Pricing and availability

The lens is expected to arrive on the market at the end of August 2021 and will sell for $1800.

Videos from around the web

A number of videos on the new lens have been released so far and we bring them to you below.

Chris and Jordan from DPR look at the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH

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Wex photographic look at the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 ASPH

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