- Incredibly solidly built lens with a beautiful finish and well damped focus ring
- Brilliantly sharp at all apertures, providing good cross frame sharpness at f/1.2 and tack sharp performance corner to corner stopped down
- Beautiful bokeh with uniform specular highlights and a creamy rendering
- High contrast and rich color at all apertures
- Low spherical aberration
- Excellent resistance to flare
- Stabilization is good to about 3 stops of extra handholdability
- Very fast and accurate autofocus
- Quite large for a Micro 4/3 lens: the width actually prevents use of the E-M5 accessory grip
- Longitudinal chromatic aberration is apparent at wide apertures
- Aperture ring only works on Panasonic bodies
Overall, the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron OIS is one of the finest lenses I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. Only some longitudinal CA keeps it from being effectively flawless optically. Honestly, the biggest issues are physical and monetary. The lens is quite large and notably fat for a Micro 4/3 lens, and can cause handling issues on certain bodies. At $1600, the lens is also going to put a very large dent in your pocketbook.
However, one can’t help but be impressed by this lens. Having shot with multiple systems and hundreds of lenses, the Nocticron is right there at the top among the best lenses I’ve ever shot with. It is extremely sharp right from f/1.2, has gorgeous bokeh, low distortion, incredibly high image contrast for a fast lens, super fast autofocus, optical stabilization and a pro-grade build. If you are a Micro 4/3 shooter and want speed, background blur and optical quality, you can’t do much better than the 42.5mm Nocticron.
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