Panasonic Re-Affirms Nature of 'Panasonic Leica' Lenses - Panasonic Designed with Leica Input and Ap


Mu-43 Veteran
Feb 13, 2012
Manila, Philippines
I think the X lenses (the 12-35 and 35-100) are Panasonic's "experiments" with the Leica design "philosophy and know-how". Reading about those, only the 35-100 is struggling at 100mm... As it stands right now, Olympus looks like the better lens maker (25, 45, 75 f1.8), but Panasonic is catching up. I hope they put out lenses without the Leica branding but equally superb. Leica-branded ones tend to be expensive...

It really is frustrating that a lot of Panasonic lenses have cheaper and better alternatives from either Olympus or 3rd-party manufacturers. With UWA alone, I chose the Samyang over the Panasonic since it's optically better (flare, CA, and sharpness, among other things) and cheaper. I also chose Olympus 45mm over Panasonic's 45mm Macro, and I would've chosen Olympus even with the 42.5mm available. My personal must-have Panasonics are the 12-35, 35-100, and possibly the 25mm (or the 20mm, provided the Olympus one isn't that much cheaper). I know, sorry, I really get frustrated when my favorite brand is struggling with sales and making money....


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Aug 6, 2010
San Jose, CA
Real Name
Thanks for the info, it is topically interesting for sure.

As far as the actual lenses go, I'm not too concerned as it's not like Leica rubber stamps a whole range of merchandise (when is the special Ed Hardy edition Panasonic lenses coming out???) The PL 25 is a just a great lens, regardless of Leica name or not, Leica design or not, etc.

The proof will always be in the pudding (well, in the pictures of the pudding...)

Definitely. The main thing that's unclear is what Leica's criteria is when reviewing the lens designs - 9 of Panasonic's 17 point and shoot models (starting with the $103 SZ3) have Leica-branded lenses. Meanwhile lenses like the 12-35/2.8 and 35-100/2.8 are not branded.

Chuck Pike

Mu-43 Veteran
Apr 3, 2010
Charlotte, NC.
Years ago, I read a book called "Sunk", It was about a Japanese sub during WWll. In it they talked about trading lens and other optics for radar. Now about the quality of these lens I have to say this. I have been shooting since 1959 when I picked up a camera while serving in the Army in Germany. I have over 40 years shooting with Nikon using Nikon primes and the sharpness that I get out of my G3 with the 20 mm and 25 mm are better than anything I have been able to see the past. These are great lens.


Mu-43 All-Pro
May 25, 2012
This reminded of this funny post from another place. I have a feeling there's some truth to it :)

"...Here's how Samsung gets Schneider Kreuznach to make lenses for 'em:

SAMSUNG: "We're making a play, like every other man and his giant-electronics-corporation dog, for the digital camera market. Unfortunately, we have zero credibility in the camera industry, and, well, that's where you come in..."

SCHNEIDER KREUZNACH: "NEIN! Ve are a respected European opticz company, with many years of fine tradition und expertise in the field..."

Samsung drops, with a surprisingly loud thud, a briefcase on the conference table. It pops open, revealing row upon row of shiny Euro notes, neatly bundled in 10000-Euro lots

SK: "...and as such vill not be villing to zell our name for use on some cheap, mass-produced cameras! Our lens are a ground by magic elves, und coated vith ze finest, purest dragon's urine..."

Samsung reaches into its pocket, and pulls out a handful of diamonds, water clear, each the size of a human testicle, and tumbles them onto the briefcase

SK: "Our lenses are hand-assembled by virgins! The lens barrels are polished on zeir thighs!"

Samsung whistles, and a team of sunglass-wearing security guards with earpieces screwed into their ears, wielding submachine guns, enter the room. They briefly check the corners, the faces of those at the conference table, then nod and mutter into their lapels. Seconds later, a powered trolley laden with gold bullion enters the room, and is placed at the head of the table.


Samsung pulls a share certificate from his pocket. Laying it next to the briefcase, it reads: "COCA-COLA: 250,000 Shares".

SK: "I look forward to working vith you, Samsung. Here's the TIFF file of our logo. Stick it vhere you vant. Guten tag!"..."

T N Args

Agent Photocateur
Dec 3, 2013
Adelaide, Australia
Real Name
call me Arg
Very funny. :thumbup: The truth is unknown to outsiders of course, that is why speculation like this can get a foothold.

I'll grant the article some credibility: the Panasonic interviewees seem to be actual technical boffins, and such types usually don't have the nature to spin an elaborate yarn and not trip up. Also they could have run a much more 'impressive' (Leica-centric) story if they were going to lie.


Mu-43 Veteran
Feb 15, 2011
I work in product design. This type of thing happens a lot. We come up with something then use a consultancy with certain expertise to check and improve the design through several rounds. What's unique here is that there are certain manufacturing standards that must be met for use of the Leica certification branding.


Mu-43 Veteran
Feb 6, 2011
Tasmania, Australia
Very interesting conversation. I first shot with a Leica back in '76 with a CL, body made by Minolta in Japan, and the lens had Wetzlar on it, so I assume it was made in Germany. I graduated a year later to an M3 and Dual-Range Summicron 50mm f2, both of which I still have. Since embracing m4/3 in 2010, I have acquired the Lumix/Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 and the Lumix/Leica Macro Elmarit 45mm f2.8, both of which are, to my mind, worth every cent of their price and produce results that are truly Leica-like. I have also acquired the venerable Leica R 180mm f2.8, used via an adaptor on m4/3 bodies — it's an all-manual cannon, but the results are stunning.
I have ordered the Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 to complete my high-speed arsenal [having sold a Nokton 50mm f1.1 in M mount to assist in the purchase — divine lens, but limited by all-manual operation and closest focus of 1m]. I could never afford a $10,000 [new] Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95, and I am sure that the Nocticron will be worth the steep asking price. The premium I paid for the 25mm and 45mm macro has been proved worthwhile in shooting.
I like quality glass but am not such a snob that I demand only Leitz/Wetzlar optics. Some I know even turn up their worthy noses at "made in Canada" optics such as the Summicron 90mm f2 [which I had but foolishly sold 20+ years ago — wish I had it now].
Life is short and photography is to be enjoyed to the max — as long as you don't hurt anyone. And, after all, no matter where it was made and by whom, the "best" lens is always the one on your camera when you sight a must-shoot moment.
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