Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 Review Part 1 - First Impressions and Comparisons to 45/75m

napilopez

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I've decided to supplement my review as I work on part 2 over at the Sample Image Thread for this lens. There are a lot of samples there to show off some of the things I felt I might've glossed over in this part of the review, and in this case I left all of the images with minimal to no editing. I will post many of the images I shoot throughout my time with the Nocticron there as I work on my final write up. There are also a couple of comparisons with the Voigtlander too.

https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=60916&page=13
 

LowriderS10

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Thank you for your excellent and well thought-out review.

However...I see nothing in here (or anywhere else) that would convince me that the PL 42.5 is the lens for me. I have the O45 and the O75, and I think they're perfect. The PL 42.5 is too big, too heavy, too expensive, and has too many drawbacks on the E-M5 (pointless OIS, aperture ring non-functioning, etc). It's good to have options out there, but I'm happy that there's absolutely nothing here that would tempt me into wanting to drop that kind of cash! :)
 

hankbaskett

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Thank you for your excellent and well thought-out review.

However...I see nothing in here (or anywhere else) that would convince me that the PL 42.5 is the lens for me. I have the O45 and the O75, and I think they're perfect. The PL 42.5 is too big, too heavy, too expensive, and has too many drawbacks on the E-M5 (pointless OIS, aperture ring non-functioning, etc). It's good to have options out there, but I'm happy that there's absolutely nothing here that would tempt me into wanting to drop that kind of cash! :)

Yeah, I can't tell the difference between it and the O45 in most of these shots. But then the O45 is a great lens...
 

napilopez

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Looking through the images in the OP again, it does seem compression is significantly degrading fine detail... Not sure if it's flickr or my own compression settings. That might explain some discrepancy about what I say in the comparison text and what is seen in the pictures. Seeing if I can fix that. Not to say performance would be drastically different, but worth an update.

*EDIT: Updated first post now with a higher quality comparison image and some other changes. That should make the differences more noticeable, although of course how much they matter is up to you!*
 

tomO2013

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Hi, Thanks for giving us your opinion on this lens!
I've also picked up the lens and have so far been blown away by just how good it is. Like yourself I did not notice much CA aborration.
Probably the only part of your review that I didn't quite agree with was the build quality. The voigtlanders are fantastically well built. But the Nocticron while not quite as heavy is on another level again and is the best built lens in the m43 line up presently IMHO.
Please keep your shots coming in the sample image thread. :)
As for choosing between the Oly45 and Nocticron - they are entirely different animals. The oly 45 is a phenominal lens, particularly when you consider the price. It's (Oly45) sharp from wide open and lots of constrat and can focus extremely close. The release of the Nocticron does not change the fact that the Oly45 is a great buy. However from an IQ perspective it is not in the same ballpark as the Nocticron, nor would you expect it to be given the pricing differential. The big difference that immediately jumps out at me between the two is the level of micro contrast that the Nocticron pulls. It really is something else.
When I picked up the Nocticron I had originally planned to sell the Oly45, but now I'm planning on keeping both. They both just deliver entirely different looks and ignoring the size advantage of the Oly45, the super close focus ability does make it fun for creative experimental shots! So anybody sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to sell the Oly45 or not, my advice don't. Keep both!!
 

BobbyTan

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Which raises a point: I hope Napier tested the lens on a modern Panasonic body? Something it is actually made to be used on?

I think the Nocticron balances well on the GH3 and GH4 bodies … and the E-M1. Not so much on the other OM-D and Olympus and Panasonic bodies.
 

T N Args

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I wasn't thinking specifically of the size, although that's an important point. More that Panasonic made this lens for use on Panasonic bodies with Panasonic firmware and other technologies, so it would be nice to see the review conducted on that basis.

I am also giving Napier an excuse to get his hands on a GH4! :2thumbs:
 

MAubrey

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While I would generally agree, look at the SHG lenses for 4/3. Not really a continuing market.

On the contrary, people are buying them again. There are fresh reviews of many of the SHG and HG lenses on Amazon from E-M1 users. You used to be able to pick up a used Olympus 150mm f/2 for between $1200 and $1600 on Ebay or Amazon. Now you rarely see them for eve $1800. My greatest lens-buying regret is not jumping at the opportunity I saw a year and a half ago with a $1100 But it now price for the 150mm f/2. Those days are gone. People are buying them and using them. The market continues.
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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:mad:
While I would generally agree, look at the SHG lenses for 4/3. Not really a continuing market.
Most of the SHG lenses came out in 2005, what's your point?
That folk were dropping the system in 2005? False.
That SHG lenses became irrelevant nine years later?
Sure, about as on-topic as saying this 42.5mm lens will be causing such a stir in 2023 ... as I said ... longevity.
 

Cruzan80

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No, my point was that even high end lens do not imply longevity, especially in the consumerist I-want-it-now market. Wasn't trying to point out that they were dropping the system when it came out, just that even some of the sharpest lenses made (from what I have read) were not enough to keep Olympus in the 4/3 market. After the E-5 was out, there was no new development. Same with saying Minolta had great systems, great AF, but the system hit its bumps and the longevity ended. How many great FD lenses were made, but Canon chose to go to EOS mount?

I am not saying anything bad about this lens. I think it is a great lens, at a reasonable price for what it is. However, I see Panasonic developing it due to the maturity of the system, not about its planned longevity. I wonder how many of the people buying the really high grade lenses are going after NOS, vs Oly making money out of them.
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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No, my point was that even high end lens do not imply longevity, especially in the consumerist I-want-it-now market.
I'm saying high end lenses DO imply longevity, and that your examples do not show your point.

And then you go and do this! ;
Same with saying Minolta had great systems, great AF, but the system hit its bumps and the longevity ended. .
Still going!
Or did you mean something entirely different to the now renamed Sony lineup?
 

Cruzan80

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I meant the maxxum lineup, which I know had legal trouble. Agree to disagree (or possibly same idea, different wording)?

Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
 

Cruzan80

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So you don't think my examples prove my point. Fair enough. I will choose to disagree with you then, even if you don't agree.
 

gonzalobroto

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Nice write-up and very good images to exemplify all the points you mention! I agree that this lens is fantastic, as sharp as it can get and it delivers images full of character and vibrancy. Since I bought it 2 months ago it hasn't abandoned my camera at all, and it has actually replaced my wide-to-normal zoom as my all-around lens.
You can read my full impressions and see plenty of images at my blog:
http://gonzalobroto.blogspot.com/2014/12/a-friend-nobody-called-review-of.html
 

T N Args

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You know, someone who is interested in a traditional set of prime lenses for general photography, 28, 50, 90, would be pretty well served by the Leica DG trio that equates to 30, 50, 85:


  • 15mm f/1.7 Summilux
  • 25mm f/1.4 Summilux
  • 42.5mm f/1.2 Noctricon

Yum!
 
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