Panasonic Announces 15mm f1.7 Leica DG Summilux Lens for Micro Four Thirds

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.4

In addition to the smallest Micro Four Thirds camera, the GM1, Panasonic today also announced a new Leica-branded lens, the 15mm f1.7 DG Summilux. While still under development, a first rendering is already available, and it has us scratching our heads a bit. On the one had, it deviates from previous Micro Four Thirds lenses in that it apparently shows a manual aperture ring. Is Panasonic trying to compete with Fuji’s X-system? On the other hand, the focal length is a bit weird, to say the least. It’s pretty close to the already exisiting 14mm f2.5 lens in terms of focal length, and in terms of speed it’s exactly the same as the 20mm f1.7.

What from our point of view would’ve made much more sense is a 17.5mm f1.4 lens, which would not only be deserving of the ‘Summilux’ branding (which traditionally stands for f1.4 lenses only), but which would also fit nicely inbetween the 14mm f2.5, 20mm f1.7 and 25mm f1.4 lenses already available.  So where exactly is Panasonic trying to position this lens? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.