What's with those Panasonic Leica lenses?

Darmok N Jalad

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Having just gone from the P12-60 to the PL12-60, I can totally tell the difference. The PL is larger and heftier (mostly metal), has a closer minimum focal distance, a wider aperture throughout, and has so far produced sharper results. The P12-60 is still a great lens, but the PL12-60 is a clear winner in my book. It should be though, since it does cost more.
 

wjiang

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Panasonic Leica is just another label to designate their higher tier offering, just like Olympus Pro, or Canon L, or Sony G Master. It doesn't mean that they are somehow astronomically better, optically - m4/3 lenses are mostly already pretty good as it is. The high tier offerings consistently offer faster apertures and better (usually WR) construction.

The characteristics of each lens should be evaluated for what they are, rather than attributing based on their label. I own Olympus Pro, Panasonic Leica, as well as 'normal' lenses from both brands, and shoot them all interchangeably according to what I need from each lens without feeling like any are distinctly inferior.
 

jacrider

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I encourage people to take a photo at each aperture with each lens of a setting you know. I use an area at the back of our house where there is brick, concrete, wood, doors, etc. Lots of texture, colour change, straight lines, etc.

I did this and when I compare the PL 25mm f1.4 or the Oly 12mm f2 to the Lumix 14mm f2.5, the 'premium' lenses are sharper throughout the range, particularly wide open.

I recently purchased a used PL 100-400mm lens and my standard test showed amazing results. Sharp from wide open to f16 and a bit soft at f22. My Lumix 45-200mm is much softer throughout and again much softer at wide open apertures.

Same results when comparing the PL 8-18mm to the Lumix 14-42mm.

I do think this is a case of you get what you pay for.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I should add that I felt good enough with thePL12-60 that I sold off my P12-60 and P25 1.7, as they felt redundant for my needs. I'm pretty confident this lens and a solid telephoto would get me by, perhaps maybe a fisheye too. However, if the PL12-60 is any indicator, these lenses add noticeable weight, which may pose a concern if traveling light is at the top of your list.

I'll also add that I have a P45-150 mk1, and I get pretty good results from it too. I may just have a good sample.
 
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ToxicTabasco

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Them Pana/Leica lenses are pricey. And for good reason: They use different materials, have the "Leica" brand on it, and they AF very fast and accurate even in low light. Also, the mechanical aspects like the manual focus ring is very accurate without any slop. And that helps a lot for the long reach pricey lenses like 100-400, 200mm f/2.8, and 50-200. They are very snappy with 1-Area AF. But they come at the cost of cost, size and weight.

As for image quality or look or the video, seems the Pana/Leica lenses do hold up well at the largest apertures through their zoom range. And they often have better control over the lens flare and other things like CA, ghosting, and coma. Also, there are some contrast and color dynamics that the Pana/Leica have that make it what it is. But, a skilled photographer can get the same look with non-Pana/Leica lenses in most cases, just by editing their pics and video.

On the other hand they are pricey and heavier. I've had my eyes on a Pana/Leica Telephoto, for a while as MFT has allowed me to explore wildlife video/photo.
 
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ralf-11

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several threads o this already

a Google search on Leicaness will be fruitful

the subject matter will determine the increment of a PL lens over a regular one - I find them well worthwhile for landscapes with clouds
 
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I like the colours which the Leica branded versions seem to deliver. I also think that they are good value, and within reach of many more people than the type of Leica lens which mounts on an M10. The font used for the engraving is a thing of awesomeness, as is the yellow infill.

What's interesting on the other forums, is the amount of people who own Leica M10s, but don't own a range of Leica glass other than the 50mm, instead going for adapted lenses. Doesn't make much sense to me.
 

wjiang

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Just picked up a used PL 100-400. It's a smidgen sharper than the 100-300 II but the biggest difference is the CA control. I think that I need to do micro-adjust for PDAF, however. I guess I lucked out on the 100-300 II in that respect. I also noticed the Power OIS is superior - at 400mm it's more steady than the 100-300 at 300mm. With the 100-300 I found the E-M1 Mk2 IBIS to be superior to the Power OIS. With the 100-400, however, the Power OIS is superior to the IBIS.
 
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JensM

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Dont know, but I do question the mark-up on the freshly released 25 f:1.4 MkII, it at about 50% over the MkI up here and it being WRed as it only clear new feature, as far as I can tell. Then it is borderline insane. :cautious: I do like the rendering in my 8-18, and am eager to get the 12-60 and 50-200 somewhere down the road.

Am also greedy enough to want the 15, 25 and 42.5 for a prime set, but I really cant see that happening for that the cost/benefit doesnt match up for my photography. :)
 

Stanga

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The 10-25mm is a classic example of the sort of Leica quality Leitz owners rave about. As yardsticks go, it's also value for money even at its current price.
 

Brownie

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I guess it depends on what you're comparing. I've never tried a P 45-200, which would be closest to the PL 50-200. I can tell you the PL 50-200 smokes the 45-150 and 100-300 in spades. Focus speed, clarity, diffraction, everything but size on the 45-150.

I have interest in only 2 PL lenses, the 50-200 which I have, and the 100-400 which I plan to add this coming year. There isn't much to compare that one to either. Someday I may look at the PL 12-60, but based on every comparison/review I've seen between it and the P 12-60, there isn't much return for the $.

I wish they'd make a 10-50 f/2.8. That'd be a perfect companion to the 50-200.
 

JensM

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Someday I may look at the PL 12-60, but based on every comparison/review I've seen between it and the P 12-60, there isn't much return for the $.
When I stood in that conundrum, with the money to buy a first class zoom, I got the Lumix 12-35 F:2.8, mostly boiled down to size and long time drooling over it as a classic in its own right (got the MkII). Cant really fault it, but with hindsight I probably should have gotten the PL12-60 for its reach. Have been dabbing with thoughts about the Lumix 12-60, just to see how that particular range fares, albeit as a slightly slower option. Buying one second hand would most likely be somewhat of a zero-sum game.
 

Mike G

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The PLeica 12-60mm is a super lens, one of my favourites. I also have the Panasonic G 12-35mm f2.8 lens and of course I now have a quandary which one to take to partner the Panasonic G 35-100mm f 2.8 which is another cracker! It will probably be the PLeica 8-18mm. Plus I will add the 17mm + the 25mm, I’ll stop there otherwise I will need a forklift truck to move the bag around. What a problem to have. Phew!
 
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