Panasonic 10-25mm F1.7 is the fastest Wide-Angle Zoom for MFT bodies…. Panasonic 10-25mm f1.7 lens was introduced in Photokina 2018. It was not until May 2019 when it was officially launched. It [is] the fastest wide-angle zoom for MFT.
Correction: This unique lens is better described as the fastest wide-to-standard zoom lens.
The recent publication by 4/3 Rumors of Peter Forsgård’s intro video about the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric reminded me that I had yet to try one out myself or even simply clap eyes on one in our ever diminishing local camera stores.
Time, I thought, to look deeper into this intriguing lens to determine if I should place it on my documentary stills and video hardware wishlist, or forgo it in favour of that other uniquely fast zoom lens, the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens.
Peter Forsgård has yet to produce a more in-depth video about the lens and his results with it, and there is the fact that he is using it on Olympus OM-D cameras rather the more videocentric Lumix GH5, GH5S and G9 hybrid cameras from Panasonic for which the lens was clearly designed.
Its clickless aperture ring only works on Panasonic Lumix cameras but clickless is of more use for moviemaking than stills photography and Olympus seems to have fallen well behind Panasonic in the video half of the hybrid camera equation.
Australian/American Director of Photography and Olympus Visionary John Brawley is one of the few I have encountered who shoots serious video with that brand’s hybrid cameras but I can better understand his love of Olympus lenses, especially the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality collection with the lenses’ manual clutch focus via retractable ring and hard stops at each end of the focusing scale.
The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric is Panasonic’s very first manual clutch focus lens and not before time.
Focus-by-wire only lenses can be problematic for moviemaking with some more unusable than others although they can work acceptably for stills photography especially when relying on back-button focus in manual focus aka MF mode.
I have not done much video using autofocus on any camera and lens combination, partly because I only had manual focus during the analog era and became comfortable with it, and more to the point because autofocus on video and hybrid cameras was unreliable up until recently.
I still set my cameras to manual focus by default when prepping for a project, and the unpredictability of documentary photography and moviemaking means I often need to snap into manual focus in an instant, easily done by rapidly retracting the focusing ring.
Hard stops in manual focusing mean I can train myself in approximating the right focus point fast without looking at the focusing scale, then refine focus through the viewfinder or monitor.
The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Aspheric, on the other hand, allows its focusing ring to travel beyond extreme left or right of the focusing scale, and I remain unsure as to the usefulness of this behaviour.
A question only firsthand experience can answer.
Gerald Undone: Panasonic 10-25mm f/1.7 Lens Review (vs Sigma 18-35 + Speed Booster)
Mr Undone is currently the first and sometimes only YouTube reviewer I watch these days and his in-depth, fast-talking rundowns amply reward the effort.
The highly adaptable Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art EF-mount fast zoom lens is high up on my wishlist for use with several camera systems and sensor sizes, but the lure of one lens with a focal range from 10mm through 14mm, 17mm, 20mm and 25mm is strong.
In 35mm sensor terms that equates to 20mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm, only lacking my longer favourite focal lengths of 75mm and 105mm.
The lens’ image quality at each of those focal lengths is reportedly almost as good as that of pro-quality premium-priced lenses such as Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro 17mm, 25mm and 45mm primes, a feat only matched by Fujifilm’s shorter Red Badge zooms.
I will keep looking for reviews and videos about Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7, but I found Gerald Undone’s comparison with Sigma’s 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens the most useful so far.
There are pros and cons to both lenses and the choice depends on these currently unanswered questions about the 10-25mm:
- Exactly how much curvature is there at its wide end of lens? I find too much curvature irritating especially when the frame contains horizontal parallels and I am following a figure walking through it.
- How much vignetting is there at all focal lengths but most especially at the wide end?
- How well is skin rendered by it given not all lenses are equal in doing this?
- Does the lens have that classic warm and three-dimensional Leica lens micro-contrast and resolution?
- I love the idea of an emotive wide-angle closeup on a face and upper body using a wide aperture to throw figure and background into stark contrast, but how well does the lens render this look?
- Why did we not have a choice between clicked and clickless aperture ring given de-clicked works best for video while clicked is best for stills?
- Is Panasonic working on the perfect companion for the 10-25mm, a similarly-designed 25-50+mm f/1.7 zoom lens?
- I am accustomed to hard stops at each end of the focusing scale on manual clutch focus lenses, but how useful or not are the 10-25mm’s software stops?
- Although I still rely heavily on manual focus for video and back-button focus for stills, great autofocus in both modes certainly has its uses. Will Panasonic’s reliance on DFD aka depth-from-defocus instead of PDAF aka phase-detection autofocus continue to be its Achilles’ Heel?
Questions remain about the viability of the Micro Four Thirds system given Olympus’ recent sale of its camera and lens division to JIP and Panasonic’s big investment in 35mm SLR-style cameras.
Panasonic staffers say that work continues on the company’s M43 cameras and lenses, but where is the much-requested pro-quality successor to the GX8 rangefinder-style hybrid workhorse, and when can we expect the GH6?
With the Lumix DC-S5, Panasonic has demonstrated it can make 35mm sensor cameras smaller than its M43 cameras.
If Panasonic follows the same path with the successors to its other two first generation S-Series cameras, the S1R and the S1H, will there be less incentive to stick with M43?
Right now I love the choice between the GH-series and G-series M43 cameras’ Super 16 and 35mm film handling and aesthetics, and those of the S-Series cameras’ Super 35 and 120 roll-film look and feel.
But DxO’s PhotoLab raw editing software and Topaz Labs’ Gigapixel AI image enlargement application radically reduce the need for larger sensors to produce better image quality.
Likewise, I wonder how much difference is really noticeable onscreen between Super 16 4K and Super 35 4K.
Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 may be an amazing M43-only lens with an incredibly useful focal range for documentary stills and video, but Sigma’s 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens is adaptable to a range of Super 35/APS-C and Super 16/M43 cameras, helping future-proof one’s investment in lens and adapters.
Furthermore, the 18-35mm already has a longer companion lens in the form of Sigma’s 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom, though there is no obvious companion lens on the wide end though there is that gap between 35mm and 50mm.
- 4/3 Rumors – Panasonic 10-25mm f/1.7 review by Peter Forsgård
- B&H – PolarPro 82mm Peter McKinnon Edition Variable Neutral Density 0.6 to 1.5 Filter (2 to 5-Stop) – also available in a 6 to 9 stop version and in 77mm and 67mm diameters.
- B&H – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens
- B&H – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO Lens – slower, smaller, lighter alternative to the 12-40mm f/2.8.
- B&H – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO Lens
- B&H – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
- B&H – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
- B&H – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
- B&H – Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens
- B&H – Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EF
- B&H – Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EF
- B&H – Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lenses Kit for Canon EF
- Breakthrough Photography – Step-Up Ring – I strongly recommend Breakthrough’s excellent knurled brass X4 UV and ND filters although they do not supply every filter diameter in existence. That is where step-up rings come in handy.
- Gerald Undone – Panasonic 10-25mm f/1.7 Lens Review (vs Sigma 18-35 + Speed Booster) – video
- johnbrawley – website of “John Brawley has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s most talented and sought after Directors of Photography, who works with vision, speed and an inherently collaborative nature.”
- LensTip.com – Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH
- Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions – WOW. A Compelling Case for Micro Four Thirds: LEICA DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 – video – “This is an INCREDIBLE lens. When paired with our 2018 lens of the year (the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200/2.8-4) you have an unbeatably compact, high performance urban landscape, street shooter or all-around video kit.”