Panasonic introduced Tuesday a new Leica large-aperture ultra-wide fixed focal length — the Leica DG Summilux 9mm F1.7 (35mm camera equivalent: 18mm) — for its Lumix G Series cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds sensor standard.

The Leica DG Summilux 9mm (H-X09) is an ultra-wide-angle lens with a large aperture, featuring an exceptionally short focusing distance of 0.095m (3.7 inches) with a magnification ratio of 0.25x (35mm camera equivalent: 0.5x).

Panasonic said the lens optimal for both still and video shooting and is positioned for use by professionals and advanced amateur photographers.

The Leica DG Summilux 9mm F1.7 will be available at authorized Lumix retailers for $499.99 suggested retail price in late July.

The company said the combination of lenses makes it possible to distinguish a subject’s presence against the background, and offers high descriptive performance and smooth, blurred background bokeh, in alignment with “stringent Leica standards.”

The Leica DG Summilux 9mm F1.7 provides smooth, silent operation, complementing the camera’s high-speed, high-precision contrast AF system with the sensor drive at max.240 fps.

For non-linear settings, focus is shifted with a variable amount according to the rotation speed of the focus ring while focus is shifted with a designated amount according to the rotational quantum of the focus ring for the linear setting, the company said.

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Sensitivity (the amount of focus shift per rotational quantum) can be selected from 90 to 360 degrees by 30 degrees to enable intended focus operation. For video, the Leica DG Summilux 9mm F1.7 suppresses focus breathing, which is a major problem in many interchangeable lenses designed for still image photography.

Together with a micro-step aperture control for smooth exposure change, professional quality video can be recorded.

The lens features a rugged dust/splash-resistance design that can withstand high mobility and harsh conditions, including temperatures down to 10 degrees below zero. The filter diameter is 55 mm, with a 7-blade circular aperture diaphragm.

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By Greg Tarr

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