Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4, a first look

Lucky Helps Out - Austin, Texas

Lucky Helps Out – Austin, Texas

Careful followers of my other blog, mostlyfotos, may have noticed that I recently added a new lens to my micro 4/3 arsenal. I put EXIF data on most of my photos and if you hover over the photographs with a mouse, on this blog as well as mostlyfotos, you can see what camera and lens I used. Like I usually do with a new piece of gear, I fully embrace it. I’ve shot a lot with this new lens and here are the first set of photographs with my new baby.

Of course Lucky, our family dog, always knows when I get a new lens or camera and tries to help out. Here, he is modeling for my new Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 lens, shot wide open. The first photos I take always seems to be of him. He is more agreeable and complains less than my kids. Inevitably, I needed to take the lens out for a spin in the real world and I decided to walk downtown on a quiet Sunday night.

Lucky Neon and Frost Tower - Austin, Texas

Lucky Neon and Frost Tower – Austin, Texas

Random Blue Neon Circles, Lucky Lounge - Austin, Texas

Random Blue Neon Circles, Lucky Lounge – Austin, Texas

Lucky Lounge Interior - Austin, Texas

Lucky Lounge Interior – Austin, Texas

I’ve eyed this 25mm f1.4 for a while. It consistently gets great reviews but it’s pricy (a list price of $600, though the price is starting to drop) and I already have the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, which is sort of similar. I finally decided to bite the bullet when I found a great deal. So far, no regrets. There is a difference between the two lenses and I’ll go over the pros and cons and compare it to the 20mm f1.7 in a future post.

But for now, take a look at the photographs I shot downtown. The amazing thing is that these were shot at ISO 200 and ISO 400, at night. The f1.4 aperture really helps and it’s fantastically sharp wide open. No comparison to my Canon 50mm at f1.4 which is more dreamy than sharp. This new Panasonic Leica is going to be a great tool for my urban night photography, I can’t wait.

Lights, Truluck's Downtown - Austin, Texas

Lights, Truluck’s Downtown – Austin, Texas

Foosball Table, Buffalo Billiards - Austin, Texas

Foosball Table, Buffalo Billiards – Austin, Texas

Cheap Drinks, Shakespeare's Pub - Austin, Texas

Cheap Drinks, Shakespeare’s Pub – Austin, Texas

So I don’t know what the exact relationship is between Panasonic and Leica. Clearly a $600 plastic shelled lens is not the same build quality as a $2000+ Leica M lens. The lens is made in Japan by Panasonic and maybe Leica shares their secret sauce. Regardless, this is a fantastic lens and I’m really enjoying it.

Busty Pirate, The Jackalope - Austin, Texas

Busty Pirate, The Jackalope – Austin, Texas

Frost Tower from 6th Street - Austin, Texas

Frost Tower from 6th Street – Austin, Texas

Please make sure to click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail.

See more photographs taken with the Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4. Click << Previous Photo to see more.

All of the photographs on this post were shot with an Olympus E-P3 using the Panasonic Leica 25mmf1.4 lens. If you are thinking of buying this camera or lens please use these links. You will get the same low price and I’ll get a small commission, which helps support this site.

4 thoughts on “Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4, a first look

  1. It’s the next m4/3 lens on my list to buy. A friend of mine bought a bargain E-PL1, put this lens on and holy cow. He is kind of a borderline shooter, but even he noticed differences and is now starting to pay more attention to his shooting. One of those rare occasions when gear can make a quantified difference.

    Yes, that lens has beautiful color and contrast and wonderful sharpness. And speaking of sharpness, this may interest you if you have not seen it already 😉

    http://www.43rumors.com/surprise-the-olympus-e-pl5-has-no-low-pass-filter-no-aa-filter/

    I know you have been going back and forth on camera considerations, as have I.

    1. It’s a really nice lens. I’ve been getting nice results from it.

      And yes, thanks for the link. I did notice it too. Data entered into the mix of considerations….

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