Portraiture is a popular genre regardless of the camera system in question and 85mm/90mm lenses (35mm format) have always given photographers the perfect field of view with which to work. As of late 2017, there are a number of Micro Four Thirds lenses that fall into this category but today we are comparing the oldest offering with the newest addition to the system.
Two of the most logical competitors within the Micro Four Thirds lens range are the Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm f/2 and Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 due to the fact that they share the exact same field of view. The former, released in 2011, has been around almost as long as the system itself whereas the latter arrived on the market in mid-2016.
Although we had plenty of experience with both lenses in the past, we never had the chance to test them side by side until now. Of course, the question on all of our minds is: does the larger and more expensive Leica 12mm provide superior optical quality in comparison to its Olympus counterpart, and if so, is it worth the extra money? It’s time to find out!
When we compare lenses, the general rule is that we pitch primes against primes and zooms against zooms. But the fun thing about rules is that every now and then you can break them!
In this article, we’re doing just that by comparing the M.Zuiko 12mm f/2 prime to the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 constant aperture zoom at its widest angle. Both offer a 24mm field of view (35mm format equivalent) but where the 12mm is fixed at one focal length and is very compact, the 12-40mm is larger and offers more versatility due to its focal range.
The Lumix G 14mm and Leica DG 15mm are both wide-angle primes from Panasonic. In addition to having a similar field of view, they both offer a relatively bright maximum aperture in a compact lens body. There are, however, quite a few differences that set them apart, starting with the ‘Leica’ designation of the latter and of course, the price. In fact, the 15mm is approximately twice as expensive as the 14mm at the time of writing.
In this comparison, we’re going to be looking at how these two primes compare, and more importantly, whether the 15mm is worth the extra investment. Let’s get started!