First Look: Panasonic Unveils a 10-25mm F1.7 Micro Four Thirds Lens for Video & Stills!

Panasonic has announced a new Micro Four Thirds mount standard zoom lens, the LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm / F1.7 ASPH (H-X1025). The device is set to be the world's first lens of its type to achieve full-range F1.7.

Geared toward stills photography and videography, the 10-25mm F1.7 zoom features a dust/splash-resistant construction and an optical design consisting of 17 elements in 12 groups, with three aspherical lenses and four ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses, reducing axial chromatic aberration, chromatic aberration, spherical aberration, and distortion. In addition, the lens offers a large F1.7 aperture throughout the entire 20-50mm equivalent zoom range. Likewise, the unit's high-speed aperture and rounded 9-blade shape enable pleasing bokeh.

X-H1025 Manual Focus Clutch

When it comes to video recording, the lens supports high-speed and high-precision auto-focusing with an inner focus drive system for silent operation. Likewise, the aperture control section incorporates a stepless aperture ring and micro-step drive system, helping the camera to smoothly adjust to brightness changes during zooms and pans. Meanwhile, a focus clutch mechanism offers support for accurate manual focusing and the ability to instantly switch from AF to MF. Finally, a mechanism to reduce focus breathing has been employed as well, further enhancing the unit's video performance.

A view through the X-H1025 mounted to a Panasonic GH-5

X-H1025 Key Features
  • Mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Focal Range: 10-25mm (20-50mm full-frame equivalent)
  • Max aperture: F1.7 Constant
  • focus clutch
  • 9 diaphragm blades
  • 77mm filter
  • Dust/splash resistance
  • Cold resistant down to -10C
  • Length: 128mm
  • Weight: 690G
  • 128mm length, 690g

First Impressions

While we've yet to shoot with the new 10-25mm F1.7, I did sit down with Panasonic reps yesterday for a quick hands-on experience and demo presentation.

In person and in the hand (attached to a GH-5), the X-H1025 lens looks handsome and feels as rugged as its splash and dust resistance imply. The focus, zoom, and aperture dials turn with a constant resistance that feels more like a cinema lens, which makes sense given Panasonic's dual focus on videography and photography. Panasonic promises linear focus pulling as well as minimum focus breathing. The manual-auto focus clutch is another nice feature -- one I love on Olympus lenses -- snapping the camera in and out of full auto mode with a satisfying click.

Panasonic also showed various sharpness & resolution charts, comparing the 10-25mm F1.7 with their 12mm F1.4, 12mm F1.7, 20mm F1.7, and 25mm F1.7 prime lenses. And, in each case, the 10-25mm F1.7 zoom matched or exceeded the primes' performance, making this lens an enticing all-in-one solution for Micro Four Thirds shooters who own one or more of those primes.

Lastly, we watched a demo video created with the 10-25mm F1.7 and it was, in a word, stunning. Various settings included close-ups of rain on a window, a man standing in the window looking outside, various oil painting supplies, an extreme closeup of the man's blue iris, a pomegranate, swirling ocean water, swimming goldfish, a lush green forest, and beard hair. Sharpness is excellent, showcasing the finest details and textures. You can definitely create high-res still images as well as 4K HDR video. Colors and contrast are above average too, revealing vivid primaries and deep, inky black levels. The whole video looked like one of those demo reels you see playing in a TV store, showing off the best TVs.

In short, if our testing reveals images and video as good as the demo reel, the Panasonic 10-25mm F1.7 zoom will be a must-own lens for Panasonic Micro Four Thirds videographers.

Pricing & Availability

Pricing for the Panasonic LEICA DG VARIO-SUMMILUX 10-25mm / F1.7 ASPH lens has not been announced yet, but we should know more soon as this lens will be launching in July.

H-X1025 lens.jpg
Source: Panasonic