Finally, the microFourThirds system got a new, much-needed super-wide-angle autofocus prime lens from a first-party manufacturer – Leica DG Summilux 9mm F1.7 Asph.
First, let’s cover the basics — what is it?
It is a Leica-branded super-wide-angle lens, 18mm-equivalent in 135 format (“full-frame”). It has a bright F1.7 aperture, it’s relatively compact, and light lens at 130 g. It uses 55mm filters, it’s on a bigger size for the system. It can focus down to 9.5cm, it is weather, cold and dust resistant. Leica branding means premium build quality, as well, and optical quality should be high, also.
The price, for the Leica-branded lens, and the super-wide lens is surprisingly affordable – approximately $500. Let’s see if that translates to 500€ as well. That’s not really cheap, but it is still affordable, in a world of four-digit lenses practically everywhere.
My emphasis on finally is because this is the first wide-angle lens announcement after the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12mm F1.2 ED Pro lens, and that lens was announced in 2017., five years ago. There were quite a few wide-angle lenses announced since then, but all from third-party manufacturers, meaning there are no autofocus capabilities, and only some of those lenses have an aperture controlled by the camera.
This new lens is also the widest autofocus prime available in the system. Until now, the widest lens with autofocus stopped at a mere 12mm. If you wanted to go wider, you had to make compromises and lose something – either dimensions and/or aperture, or autofocus.
This lens finally adds some alternatives for the wide-angle, for the first time since the beginning of the system, does it with (unexpectedly) bright aperture, premium branding and a reasonable price – a positive surprise.
The first video reviews are out, and all information so far points towards the video market – it’s really sharp in the centre, but the corners aren’t so great. That’s a bit disappointing, but not surprising – for video, extreme corners get cropped out in 16:9 mode, the lens is small and light enough for stabilized gimbals. Let’s wait for a few more in-depth reviews for a more educated conclusion. In any case, it should be a pretty popular lens, despite its potential flaws.
Was this lens the best choice for users, photographers? Probably not, an even more affordable and smaller lens would probably be a better choice for most of users, F1.7 aperture wasn’t something anyone really expected, the price could have been reduced by Lumix G branding, no weather resistance, and less bright aperture. F2.8 would have been perfectly acceptable for anyone, and 46mm filter thread would have been preferred by anyone having a lens with filter threads in that size, to be able to mix’n’match lens caps and filters, alike. With seven lenses sharing the same size, that would have been great.
But, let’s finish this post on a positive note — long waited super-wide-angle prime lens is here, brighter than expected, and for an affordable price. Finally.
The Leica DG Summilux 9mm F1.7 Asph is a super-wide-angle autofocus prime lens for the microFourThirds system. It has a bright F1.7 aperture, weather resistance and a relatively affordable price of approximately $500. It delivers sharpness in the centre, but the corners aren’t that great. Despite potential flaws, this lens should be popular due to its features and relative affordability.
|Focal length||9mm (18mm-equivalent)|
|Number of aperture blades||7, curved|
|Optical construction||12 elements in 9 groups, 2 aspherical, 2 ED, 1 UHR|
Last update: 26. 6. 2022.