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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux H-X012 a fast, wide-angle lens for pros

The 12mm f1.4 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras is made for group, event and nature photography.

Panasonic has a new fast wide-angle lens to sell you, but its aperture isn't the only thing that's big.

The H-X012 Leica DG Summilux 12mm f1.4 lens (a 35mm equivalent of 24mm) is brighter than the competing 12mm f2.0 lens from Olympus but comes in at $1,300 (approximately £900 and AU$1,800) compared with just $700 (£550, AU$850) for the Olympus.

It is a professional-quality lens designed for Micro Four Third cameras, though, and is comprised of two aspherical lenses, two UED (ultra-extra-low dispersion) lenses and an ED (extra-low dispersion) lens -- 15 elements in 12 groups. Panasonic says the combination suppresses flare, allowing for high resolution from the center to corners.

Using a quiet inner focus-drive system and a stepping motor, the lens is suitable for both photos and video and can take full advantage of cameras with high-speed autofocus.

Other features include:

  • A rugged, splash- and dustproof design
  • An aperture ring for direct, intuitive aperture control
  • A nine-blade aperture
  • A metal lens mount, barrel and hood

The H-X012 can be ordered now, but it isn't expected to ship till July or August.