When the whole mirrorless camera movement was started, the more experienced lot of consumers asked for small and quality prime lens offerings. And with Panasonic’s announcement of their 15mm f1.7, this need was surely fulfilled. It’s small, has a retro appeal, and offers an attractive focal length with Leica branded quality. During a photowalk over the weekend, we got the chance to play with the new Panasonic 15mm f1.7.
And despite the fact that we spent under 10 minutes with the lens, we are quite impressed.
Specs taken from the B&H Photo listing of the lens
Comparable 35mm Focal Length: 30 mm
|Camera Mount Type||Micro Four Thirds|
|Format Compatibility||Micro Four Thirds|
|Minimum Focus Distance||7.87″ (20 cm)|
|Filter Thread||Front:46 mm|
|Dimensions (DxL)||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
|Weight||Not Specified By Manufacturer|
The new Panasonic 15mm f1.7 was built in collaboration with Leica the same way that Sony does so with Zeiss. With that said, the company proudly totes the Leica name on the front along with the Summilux name. When looking at the lens, you’d believe it to be a pancake, but it isn’t. It’s a big larger than that.
The lens is comprised of three key controls: the aperture ring, focusing ring, and the AF/MF switch. The aperture can be set accordingly via the ring or when set to A the user can also control it via the camera. The A mode can also work swimmingly for Aperture priority, Shutter Priority, Auto, etc.
This is where we feel that the more experienced photographers may really become smitten. When we held the lens, we believed it to feel just like an old Leica M mount lens. Upon feeling the curves of the lens and clicking the aperture ring, we have to say that it puts anything that Fujifilm has produced to shame. With every aperture click, we were falling deeper and deeper in love.
Oh yeah, and it feels pretty solid overall.
We tested this lens on the Olympus OMD EM5 and found its performance to be just as speedy as any Olympus lens on the camera. In fact, if we had to compare it to anything we’d say that we found the lens to focus only a tad slower than the Olympus 25mm f1.8.
We literally got to shoot with the lens for around three minute max around Grand Central. Here’s what we were able to produce. We’re calling in a review unit, and more will come.
We surely didn’t spend enough time with the lens to make a full analysis, but it is so far looking to be quite awesome. The version we played with initially focused quickly, offers punchy colors, feels great, and begs to be attached to your camera all day. But we need to shoot with it in better lighting situations than what Grand Central can offer. And with that said, stay tuned for our full review.