I took some photos with the Leica SL and the new-ish Panasonic 20-60mm zoom lens. It was encouraging.

When I decided that I'd probably never use a two pound, 20mm f1.4 prime lens; no matter how good it potentially is, I sold it and replaced it with a lens I'm getting a lot more use from. In my humble opinion it's an overlooked product. It costs $600, feels like it's made mostly of nice plastic, and it's slow with a variable aperture that starts at 3.5 and goes to 5.6. It usually comes bundled as a "kit" lens with the Panasonic S5 which, if you part them out, drops the price of the lens to $500. 

I imagined that the lens would be "adequate" but at least acceptable for my wide angle uses. I conjectured that if I needed a little better performance I could always bring out the 24-105mm Panasonic zoom which I've used a lot over the last year and never been disappointed. But I thought I should give the new lens a shake out and so I did a couple of week ago and I posted the results here

But I was at loose ends yesterday morning and it started out cool and crisp so I decided to get a few fast walked miles in and grabbed the recently acquired Leica SL and paired it up for the first time with the Panasonic 20-60mm. 

So, it's a fine lens. Really, really nice to have along when shooting and walking for hours. It even helps offset the weight of the SL pretty well. I've looked at the images very carefully and they seem nicely sharp and largely without the usual foibles of wide zooms. No discernible vignetting. No LoCa. No sloppy unsharpness in the corners. But, of course I cheated and used f6.1 which should be the sharp point for most of the focal lengths provided by the lens. While a Leica 24-90mm zoom might have been a smidge better I doubt I want to carry it on a heavy camera, on a strap, over a shoulder. So it probably would not have been invited along. 

The 20-60mm is nice. I bought mine used for $400 and now consider it a bargain. A $400 zoom lens on the front of a Leica --- and it was the star of the show. An odd photographic universe but that's why it stays interesting...

The city of Austin can be...odd. This is a big, metal, community picnic table.
the faux tablecloth is part of the design. This assemblage of lights and the table sit out
in the middle of a green space just north of Lady Bird Lake. 
I like how eccentric it all is.

Not seeing much distortion with this lens.

NOT my favorite BBQ restaurant. Not.

Leica SL does red. And blue.


TMJ said...

In the digital era, 'stepping down' and using an apparently more modest lens, makes a lot of sense. I like everything to be in focus with wide angles, one reason I dislike the Fuji GFX-50R, as I don't want to spend my time focus stacking!

Unknown said...

Sharp, saturated colors, vignette free, what's not to like?
It won't be handed down to generations of photographers as
a $5000.00 zoom might be. It just has to make the current owner happy.

I'm sure the SL has something to do with the wonderful picture quality-
along with the lens and the photographer.

Bob F. said...

“Y’all means all”. What a terrific slogan, even without a rainbow. Sometimes I think Austin would be a great place to live.