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Does my Pan/Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 need repair/servicing? Pictures included.


Michael Ma
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My wife accidentally knocked my camera with the Pan/Leica 42.5 f/1.2 Nocticron attached from about 100cm (3.5ft) to the floor.  It was carpet so there was no signs of physical damage.  I originally thought the camera and lens were OK.  However, I'm starting to see that the center is not "tack sharp" at f/1.2.  Actually, quite the opposite.  It is still tack sharp at f/1.8, but as for right now, this lens behaves like a $400 lens, not a $1400 one.  Because this lens is fairly new, and I never got a chance to test it at f/1.2 at any controlled settings, I'm not sure if I'm overreacting, or if it certainly requires servicing.  I'm wondering if any owners could chime in?

Here is 100% crop from the center of the lens, touch focused in a small box at about 1/250s with stabilization enabled (same results with stabilization disabled).  This is the sharpest I can get anything in focus at the center at 1.2 on my GH3 or GX85 at the center.  But when I stop down to 1.8, it's very sharp.  Any comments would be appreciated.

[P1180308]112809h58m47.jpg

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Very sorry to here that, Michael. I can assure you, this is not normal. I wouldn't describe the Nocticron as tack sharp wide open, though it gets spectacular results when stopped down to F/2.8. I don't shoot stills, but if you check out my video, most of the shots of the woman getting her hair done were shot at or around f/1.2. There is also a video  shot wide open on YouTube of military exercises in Poland, but I don't know if sharpening was added in post. You can also check out LensTip's sample images at f/1.2 for comparison.

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40 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Very sorry to here that, Michael. I can assure you, this is not normal. I wouldn't describe the Nocticron as tack sharp wide open, though it gets spectacular results when stopped down to F/2.8. I don't shoot stills, but if you check out my video, most of the shots of the woman getting her hair done were shot at or around f/1.2. There is also a video  shot wide open on YouTube of military exercises in Poland, but I don't know if sharpening was added in post. You can also check out LensTip's sample images at f/1.2 for comparison.

Thanks for the reassurance Jon!  I will take my lens to Panasonic asap and see if I can get it serviced under warranty.  The more I think of it, I don't think Panasonic would be selling too many of these at this price with that kind of performance.

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  • 3 months later...

Just an update.  I finally got my Pan Leica 85mm 1.2 Nocticron back from Panasonic.  It was a long process (took approximately 10 weeks).  Initially, they did tests and thought nothing was wrong with the lens and on my second visit, I had to show them the difference with a floor model and how all the edges were excellent except the very center which looked fuzzy at 1.2 although it cleared up very quickly when stopped down to 1.8.

Before. 100% crop at the center at f/1.2:

[P12806]031822h25m47.jpg

Now, 100% crop at the center at f/1.2

[P14107]031822h25m48.jpg

 

Definitely very happy with the replacement lens.  Maybe even slightly sharper than their floor model.

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14 minutes ago, Michael Ma said:

Just an update.  I finally got my Pan Leica 85mm 1.2 Nocticron back from Panasonic.  It was a long process (took approximately 10 weeks).  Initially, they did tests and thought nothing was wrong with the lens and on my second visit, I had to show them the difference with a floor model and how all the edges were excellent except the very center which looked fuzzy at 1.2 although it cleared up very quickly when stopped down to 1.8.

Before. 100% crop at the center at f/1.2:

Definitely very happy with the replacement lens.  Maybe even slightly sharper than their floor model.

I think you meant to say 42.5mm. :) Good to hear you stuck to your guns and got the lens replaced. Terrible customer service. I took my Panny 12-35mm f/2.8 into an authorized Panasonic service center here complaining that it didn't seem as sharp as it used to. I'd brought the lens in with a Hoya ND8 filter on it, forgot to remove it before going to the repair center. So the guy holds the camera up, looks through the EVF in the dark shop and tells me there's nothing wrong with it! 

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12 minutes ago, jonpais said:

I think you meant to say 42.5mm. :) Good to hear you stuck to your guns and got the lens replaced. Terrible customer service. I took my Panny 12-35mm f/2.8 into an authorized Panasonic service center here complaining that it didn't seem as sharp as it used to. I'd brought the lens in with a Hoya ND8 filter on it, forgot to remove it before going to the repair center. So the guy holds the camera up, looks through the EVF in the dark shop and tells me there's nothing wrong with it! 

 

Ah yes, 42.5mm!  The repair guy did the same type of subjective test initially.  If it wasn't for your assurance that it wasn't normal, I might still have the blurry center.  Thanks!

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47 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Wow that is sharp for F1.2, the replacement

What focus distance was the panasonic logo shot at?

 
 
 

I'm going to roughly guess about 7 meters.  I've attached the raw file if you're interested.P1410745.RW2

As a side note, I exported to jpg with Adobe Camera RAW, which adds 25 sharpening by default.  But the blurry image was processed the same way.

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