Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sample Photos: PanaLeica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2

 

I got a surprising call from Panasonic to test out their much lusted-over new uber lens, the 42.5mm f/1.2 beast, for a couple of days. In this quick post I will show a few of my favorite pictures taken with this lens. I won't be reviewing it in detail until later, but in short, the lens is extremely sharp, and I didn't come across any weird bokeh issues as mentioned by some sites. All photos shown here are shot wide open at f/1.2, look at those smooth backgrounds!

 

Seriously though, what if I told you that you can get the exact same quality as the $1,600 f/1.2 Nocticron for just $300? Would you believe me?

I was lying, all the pictures shown here are taken with the Olympus 45 f/1.8 wide-open, really. Hurry up and get yours now at it's discounted $300 price on Amazon, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't.

The new PanaLeica will certainly be something special, especially with one complete f-stop wider aperture, and built in image stabilization that will be useful for video shooting on non-stabilized bodies. But for $1,600, it won't be very popular.

P.S. How many of you believed me? Even for one second?

UPDATE:

I got a comment from a friend regarding the price of the Nocticron. He said that for this price ($1,600) one can buy a FF camera with an 85 f/1.8 lens, and benefit from a shallower DoF (42.5mm @ f/1.2 is equivalent to 85mm @ f/2.4), better dynamic range, and better high ISO performance. And while I agree 100% with this, I see that this is only one side of the coin, and there are many more benefits to the 42.5 lens despite the expensive price:

  • There is no 85 f/1.2 stabilized lens for a FF system, so you would get a stabilized viewfinder, and can use slower shutter speeds. Will also be useful for video shooting.
  • The aperture is still f/1.2, which will let in a whole stop of extra light compared to f/1.8.
  • The bokeh as well looks different with f/1.2, I prefer the rugby ball shapes to the round ones (go check Canon's 85 f/1.2 pictures).
  • From the early tests, this lens seems to be extremely sharp at f/1.2, which can't be said about the budget f/1.8 FF lenses, my Canon 85 1.8 was poor wide-open.
  • Size and weight will be much less than full frame equivalent any day.
  • Finally, you get all these benefits with enough DoF to keep the important parts of your subject in focus, sometimes there is such a thing as too much shallow DoF.
That said though, I wish I get to try a FF camera with Canon's 85mm f/1.2.