2014年10月15日 星期三

Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 Test and Review (English version)


中文版請點擊這裡.

Introduction:
Panasonic announced the new M4/3 lens “Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7” in the first of 2014. This is the 4th M4/3 lens announced with Leica brand from Panasonic. The first 3 lenses are:
 
Leica DG Macro 45mm F2.8
Leica DG 25mm F1.4
Leica DG 42.5mm F1.2
 
All of these are fast and high optical quality fixed prime lens.

Appearance of Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7

Speification of Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7

 

Optics:
Let’s see the optical structure and MTF. The optical is 7 groups 9 elements. There are 3 aspherical elements. The diameter of the elements seems a little small. The MTF is decent, just as the other Leica branded Panasonic lenses. The tangential curve is as smooth as sagittal. Which means the detail rendering will be very consistent. (Understanding about MTF)






First Impression:
This is a metal lens include metal mount, thread, focus ring and iris ring. Only the decor ring and switch are plastic. The optic is small. The diameter of front element is 23mm. I wonder it has a good image rendering ability at first. But it will be proved after testing. There are black and silver versions. Filter thread is 46mm. In the box include lens, front cap, back caps, hood, hood’s cap and soft punch. Retail price is US$599. A little higher than Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 US$449 and lower than Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm F2.0 US$799. 

Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 in the box


The size looks just as the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8. The metal body is with a good build quality. The color of silver one is a little different to Olympus silver camera body. Anyway the difference is less than the plastic lens such as Olympus M.zuiko 25mm and 45mm etc.

Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 vs. Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8


The Iris ring with 0.3EV step is one of the excellent design. Switching to “A” the camera body will take control the iris otherwise the iris is in manual control(since this function has been living for 20 years in 135 film system but just appears in M4/3 system till today). Maximum iris F/1.7 is the fastest wide angle lens in M4/3 system. AF/MF switch is the other wonderful design let user take over the focus control instantly(It's pity for never seen such good function in Olympus M4/3 prime lens). It has the seven blades diaphragm. Following is the appearance of Panasonic Leica DG 17mm F1.7 mounted on Olympus E-PL6.
 
Panasonic Leica DG 17mm F1.7 mount on Olympus E-PL6

 

Test start:
This testing is based on Pnansonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 lens with Olympus E-PL6 camera body. Some of the test result will be compare with the other lenses with similar focal length. If you want to know about the detail of the test procedure please refer “Basic of lens test on Olympus E-PL6”.


Vignetting:
The vignetting on maximum iris is around 1.5EV. There are no vignetting after F/4.


F/1.7


F/2

F/4

F/8


Distortion:
There is a little barrel distortion and it is higher than common standard lens. We rank it “Average”.


Distortion before lens correction


    
Distortion after lens correction


Resolution:
Here is the sample chart for this resolution test.
 

Sample chart for resolution test


Here are the crops of center resolution on iris F/1.7, F/2.8, F/5.6, F/11 and F/16(from left to right). The optimum resolution is at F/4. In general It’s pretty good from F/2.8 to F/8 and a little loss show up at F1.7 and after F/11.

Sagittal resolution on center


 Tangential resolution on center


Here are the tangential(right) and sagittal(left) resolution at 1/4, 2/4 and 3/4 from center on iris F/4. In general the tangential is a little worse than sagittal, and a very little degradation at 3/4 from center.


 1/4 from center


 2/4 from center


 3/4 from center


 Resolution at corner of Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7


 Resolution at corner of Olympous M.Zuiko 12mm F2.0


Go through all about the resolution. We rank it “Good”.


Chromatic:
Here are the chromatic at corner on F/1.7, F/2.8, F/5.6 and F/11(from left to right). We rank it “Good”.



 Chromatic at corner on F/1.7, F/2.8, F/5.6 and F/11


Flare:
The flare we rank it “Average”.



Flare under light source in the room


Sun Star:
Here are the sun stars at indoor simulation light source. Pretty good all over the frame. We rank it “above average”.



 Sun star of Panasonic Leica DG 17mm F1.7 at indoor simulation


Here are the same condition on Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm F2.0. Obviously it is not good for a lens cost US$799.







        Sun star of Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm F2.0 at indoor simulation


Sun star of Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 at indoor simulation


Coma Aberration:
Here are the comas at center(left) and corner(right). We rank it “Average”.


 Coma at the center and corner of Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7


 Chromatic and Coma effect of Panasonic G 14mm F2.5


Magnification:
The magnification of this lens is (17.3mm/140mm)=0.124.

 



Details of picture:
There are little detail loss at maximum iris but not serious.


F/1.7

F/4

F/16


Defocus Aberration or Bokeh:
In general the wide angle lens is not easy to get the bokeh. But this one seems not bad.


F/1.7

F/2.8

F/5.6

F/11


Conclusion:
At market we can get these lenses for wide angle of view with M4/3 mount:

Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F2.8
Panasonic G 14mm F2.5
Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8
Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7
Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm F2.0

The list price of these lenses are US$249, US$319, US$449, US$599 and US$799. They all have its weak point such as chromatic, coma, resolution and sun star. The truth is the fast wide angle lens is not easy to get the excellent picture quality. We still not found any excellent or good M4/3 lens with focal length form 24mm to 35mm(
equivalent to 135 film system) till now. Regarding this lens “Panasonic Leica DG 17mm F1.7”, the ranking for each item is

Vignetting: “Average”
Distortion: “Average”
Resolution: “Good”
Chromatic: “Good”
Sun star: “Above Average”
Coma: “Average”

To sum up each test item our ranking for this lens performance is “Above Average”. Considering the market of M4/3 lens today. Although this lens is not good enough but it is still worth to buy.

      

More sample pictures are at "Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 Sample Pictures".

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