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Panasonic Leica DG 9mm Lens First Look

Our Panasonic Leica DG 9mm Lens first look provides sample photos, together with a more in-depth look at the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens. As Panasonic’s widest prime lens ever designed for micro four thirds cameras, we explore who it’s for, ideal subjects and why you might want this compact, affordable MFT lens for your collection.

Panasonic Leica DG 9mm Lens First Look

Where does the Panasonic Leica DG 9mm lens fit in the range?

Panasonic has designed numerous lenses for the micro four thirds system and this latest compact 9mm arrives as their widest prime ever, aside from the Lumix Fisheye 8mm f/3.5. Where that model captures Fisheye images, this 9mm captures more natural, ‘standard’ photos and videos. The next widest prime is the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm F/1.4 ASPH Lens, which also adheres to strict Leica optical guidelines. The DG in the name refers to Digital G-series, with Summilux referencing the bright aperture, which is f/1.7 in this case.

Sample photo Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens sample photo 1 - ultra-wide skies in B&W

What subjects is the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH lens good for?

MFT sensors are half the size of a full-frame camera sensor, which provides a 2x crop factor for interchangeable lenses. This results in an 18mm equivalent focal width, placing the Panasonic Leica DG 9mm firmly in the ultra-wide category. Aside from the focal width, other characteristics which impact subjects it’s good for include the wide maximum aperture, aspherical lens design, 1:2 macro and video-specific features. Taking all of these features into account we would see this lens being used for the following subjects to a greater or lesser degree:

  • Landscape photography
  • Interiors
  • Architectural photography
  • Cityscapes
  • Video
  • Vlogging / Live streaming
  • Environmental portraiture
  • Macro
  • Food photography
  • Astro photography

lens mounted on camera body

With an 18mm (equivalent), this would be considered a classic landscape focal width with a wide FOV, which in the case of this Panasonic is a 100º field of view. Dust and moisture weather resistance helps to make this a great choice for outdoor photographers, whether capturing mountains, rivers, or architecture in the city. As with most Panasonic lenses, you can operate this down to -10ºC, providing latitude for colder environments, astro photography, aurora and anywhere else you may get to below freezing temperatures.

An exceptionally short focusing distance of 0.095m, together with 0.25x magnification ratio (35mm camera equivalent of 0.5x) provides 1:2 macro capabilities. This adds an ever greater degree of versatility to this lens, ensuring you can use it for even more subjects when inspiration strikes. You can expect exaggerated perspectives with large backgrounds and soft fall-off when using the lens for macro or close-ups.

seascape photo sample Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm

Sample image of seascape from this fast prime lens

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm for video

Panasonic cameras offer legendary video performance with their range of micro four thirds bodies widely used by videographers, content creators and hybrid shooters. The release of the Lumix GH6 camera just a few weeks before this lens was definitely a strategic move from Panasonic, demonstrating their firm commitment to the MFT system. In fact, this pair were made for each other, as the lens capitalises on the camera’s ability to set the focus throw between 90 to 1080 degrees, which is 90º - 360º with other camera models. This type of lens customisation is ideal for videographers, together with the ability to switch between linear and non-linear focus ring operation to suit your style of focusing, or for strong follow focus system compatibility.

The Panasonic Leica DG 9mm also shows extremely well controlled focus breathing – maintaining subject size from near to far, which is ideal when pulling focus during video capture. Lastly, the lens offers micro-step aperture control, which results in extremely smooth exposure changes when recording movies, all of which add up to a highly competent lens for moviemakers and for vlogging.

Ultra wide macro sample photo with 9mm lens (18mm equivalent)

Sample macro photo showing smooth fall-off and an extremely close focal distance with this 18mm equivalent (full-frame) lens

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens key features

A combination of high quality optics, compact design and excellent features make up this lens, with some of the key features for real world use including:

  • Ultra lightweight design weighing just 130g so you can bring this anywhere
  • Optical design featuring 12 elements in 9 groups (with 2 aspherical lenses, 2 ED lenses, 1 UHR lens)
  • Circular diaphragm with 7-bladed design
  • Sub 10cm minimum focus distance
  • 1:2 macro magnification (35mm format)
  • Compact 55mm filter thread, ideal for adding cost effective lens filters for stills and video
  • Measures 52mm long
  • Dust and moisture resistance

Capturing an environmental portrait with the Leica DG Summilux 9mm

Capturing an environmental portrait with the Leica DG Summilux 9mm lens

Summary

Panasonic is gunning for a wide audience with this ultra wide angle lens. It packs a comprehensive series of features to ensure it’s both versatile and extremely competent, with a high quality optical design delivery excellent results for photos and videos. Whilst an 18mm prime lens isn’t designed for every subject, it is extremely versatile for what it is, especially when you add-in useful macro and video capabilities.

Weighing just 130g is also an aded bonus, as you can bring it along and mount it to your camera as inspiration hits when scouting for photos, videos or macros. The launch price also makes the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm extremely appealing for a range of users, and ensures we’ll see many content creators donning this lens out in the field.

Watch our video review of the Panasonic Leica DG 9mm Lens here

Using the lens for macro out in the field

Shooting macro with the lens out in the field

To reserve your copy, visit the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens page and for more in-depth camera and lens reviews browse our blog, where you’ll discover more Panasonic reviews including the Lumix GH6 Camera Explored.

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By Nick Dautlich on 17/05/2022

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