New: Panasonic 9mm f/1.7 for Micro Four Thirds
Meet him Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 lens for Four Thirds system cameras. Offering an 18mm-equivalent field of view in a reasonably compact body, this lens is poised to become a new must-have for people who shoot everything from landscapes to street photography, videography to astrophotography. It will be released later this summer for $499.99.
Who is the Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 intended for?
Related: The Panasonic GH6 films in unlimited 4K thanks to an integrated cooling system
The new Panasonic 9mm f/1.7 is aimed at both professionals and amateurs. It caters well to those who want a wider angle perspective without the fisheye effect, including architectural and interior photographers, environmental portrait photographers, event photographers, etc. The 18 mm is really a useful focal length!
Its large maximum aperture should allow users to create pleasing bokeh while isolating their subjects from the background. The Panasonic 9mm f/1.7 is also quite lightweight, so travel enthusiasts may want to consider that as well. Plus, it’s dust and splash resistant and can operate down to 10 degrees below freezing. This is a lens suitable for adventure.
And thanks to fast, near-silent autofocus and a generous close focusing distance of just 3.7 inches, the Panasonic 9mm f/1.7 should be a great option for videographers too. Panasonic also promises well-controlled focus breathing (an annoying phenomenon in which the frame shifts when the focus is pulled).
Build quality and optics
At 4.5 ounces and measuring 2.4 inches across and 2 inches tall, this little lens offers a 55mm filter ring up front and a good-sized focus ring around the barrel. The optical construction consists of 12 lenses in nine groups. Two of them are aspherical elements, two are extra-low dispersion (ED), and one is an ultra-high refractive index (UHR) element. The UHR element must provide excellent sharpness from the center to the edges. And the aspherical, ED, and UHR elements should help tame optical ugliness like chromatic aberration.
Videographers will also appreciate that the lens focus ring can be set to linear or non-linear control. The first allows shooters to do repeatable focus at a fixed speed, the second allows users to increase focus speed by turning the ring faster. Users can also adjust the focus distance in nonlinear mode, from 90 degrees to 360 degrees, in 30 degree increments.
Autofocus and aperture
As mentioned, Panasonic promises fast, smooth and (almost) silent AF performance. A diaphragm with seven blades with circular aperture allows a maximum aperture of f/1.7 and minimum of f/16. This diaphragm is capable of adjusting the aperture in “micro-steps”, allowing videographers to change the iris smoothly while shooting.
The minimum focusing distance of 3.7 inches provides a magnification ratio of 0.25x. Although it’s not technically a macro lens, you’ll still be able to get close to your subjects when using it.
Pricing & Availability
Panasonic expects the Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 to be available from late July for $499.99. It exists in one color, black, which as they say, goes with everything.