The Micro Four Thirds universe gained two quality, fast-aperture, prime focal-length lenses Tuesday that go along with the new Lumix GF1 camera and its retro rangefinder styling cues: the Lumix G 20mm f1.7 ASPH and the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8 ASPH Mega O.I.S. As with the GF1 itself, they are a reminder of times when compact rangefinders with fast prime lenses ruled--and they're lenses photo purists will love.
Being in the Micro Four Thirds format, the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8 ASPH Mega O.I.S. is compact, at 2.46 inches in length and only 7.9 ounces.
It has a 35mm equivalent of 90mm, effectively making it a fast f2.8 90mm macro lens with full, life-size reproduction ability and a 6-inch closest focusing distance. There is a two-position focus limiter switch on the barrel for controlling the range of focus. The lens features a stepping motor in the auto focus drive system for smooth, silent AF operation while recording video.
The Lumix G 20mm f1.7 ASPH with its pancake design is amazingly lightweight and compact at only 1 inch in length and a mere 3.5 ounces in weight. You would barely notice it was on the camera.
Its very fast f1.7 aperture makes it ideal for low-light shooting and the corresponding soft focus that can be achieved. With its 35mm equivalent of 40mm, it's suitable for a wide range of shooting, and reminds one of the "fast fiftys" that were standard fare for so long.
Both lenses can make use of the contrast auto focus system allowing for use of Panasonic's Face Recognition functions. They each have seven bladed apertures for a smooth background blur at wide apertures, as well as a metal lens mount for durability, and multi-coated lens elements for improved image quality and reduced lend flare.
They will be available in October with the Lumix G 20mm f1.7 ASPH lens going for about $400, and the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH Mega O.I.S. lens going for about $900.