"For NZ$2,400.00 a pop, surely there must be a cheaper optics that give similar results?"
That question got me going to compare this well made 12mm or 24mm Eq optics with 2 of my own Panasonic lenses.
To make sense of my comparison, we must only compare a focal length of 24mm Eq and f/5.6. Pointless to compare f/1.4 on the Panasonic/Leica with a cheaper lens on f/4, most likely the expensive Leica will loose! So lets standardise our test aperture at f/5.6.
Some of my friend think I am loosing it because the first lens I choose is the tiny Lumix G Vario 12-32, the kit lens that came with my tiny GM1.
The ultra compact Lumix G Vario 12-32 f3.5/5.6 zoom have a 24-64mm equivalent focal length. I will just set it to it's 24mm Eq to compare with the 24mm Eq Summilux.
My test target was my favourite Oriental Bay vista that I use for all my lens test.
10 exposures were made with each lens at f/5.6, shutter speeds were 1/640 to 1/1,000.
The top picture was shot with the Panasonic/Leica 12mm and the bottom, with the Lumix 12-32 at 12mm. Both were taken at f/5.6.
They both look good and look similar, lets look at their 100% crop...
It was really hard to tell the difference even with the 100% crops from the two lenses, zooming in even further, I can see the Summilux IS SHARPER than the little Lumix kit lens at 12mm.
The million dollars question, since the little Lumix cost less than NZ$250, is that extra sharpness worth an extra NZ$2,000?
The Summilux 12mm was put against my favourite Lumix super-wide zoom!
My Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH zoom have a Eq 14-28mm zoom range, it was set to its 12mm range for this test. Again both lens were shot at f/5.6.
Test site was the Karori Valley vista from our deck.
The top picture was shot with the Panasonic/Leica 12mm and the bottom, with the Lumix 7-14 at 12mm. Both were taken at f/5.6.
They both look good and seems similar, lets look at their 100% crop...
Both lenses gave a top notch performance! Costing NZ$1,500 the Lumix 7-14 gives you an ULTRA-WIDE zoom range of 17-28mm Eq, it looses out in low light performance because the maximum aperture of this zoom lens is only f/4, two stops less than the Summilux which is ultra bright at f/1.4 but cost NZ$1,000 more.
More samples taken with the Panasonic/Leica 12mm f/1.4 lens..
Famous Last Words...
My casual comparison revealed that there are cheaper alternatives to capture somewhat visually similar results what this NZ$2,500 super lens can.
The extra money you are paying for is for the very "bright" optics that allow you to capture in low available light condition, the delightful aperture ring that allow you to set your f-stop "Leica way", the solid built and the weather sealed feature.
If money is not a problem, I will love to have one of this Summilux!