Buying into the new Panasonic S1R camera was a bit unnerving due to the limited native mount lenses available. Having owned Sony, Nikon and Leica M cameras in the past, the selection of lenses for any of these cameras was like going to the grocery story. Many flavours and many options were available. However, the new kid on the block was the Panasonic S1 and S1R.
Only three native Panasonic lenses available at the time and none of them really made me jump with excitement. I gave the 50 1.4 S Pro a shot but found it to be just to large. The others just did not meet my needs or requirements. With Sigma ready to release many new lenses in native L mount, that opened up the possibility of having a decent selection of lenses. However, nothing is still out that works with continuous auto focus or not requiring an adapter. I tried the MC-21 adapter with the 35mm ART. Great lens. Great price. Slow focus :( Needless to say. I am still waiting for the native Sigma versions to be released. Tried my Zeiss 35mm ZM 1.4 with the M adapter. Outstanding lens on the M, great on the Panasonic but only at f4 and higher. Tried my Zeiss milvus 50mm 1.4 with the Fotodiox adapter. Great lens. But, don't like focusing with the lens already stopped down and manual focus is getting old for my tired old eyes. Last resort, native Leica SL lenses. In my case, the 75mm Summicron. Holy Grail found !
I just got back from a trip to Europe were I took the S1R, 35mm ZM and the 75mm L. After shooting with these lenses, I decided to just leave the 35 at home and just make do with the 75 for whatever subject I had to photograph. Do it the old fashioned way. One lens, one camera just make it work out.
After about 3 weeks with this combo. I have come to the conclusion that the 75 is in a league of it's own. In my years of shooting professionally and for pleasure, I have never ever come across a lens that delivers the goods like the 75 L. I kid you not. This lens performs like no other I have ever used. The colors, rendering, bokeh, sharpness and contrast are untouched by anything else on the market. This is truly a lens sent down by the Lens God himself. It is the perfection of German engineering brought to fruition. If you own an L mount camera and can afford the 75 Summicron, don't even finish reading this. Just buy it now and be done. You will never get rid of it!
The 75 on the S1R was exteremely effective in nailing spot on focus. It was fast and accurate. Only failing me when I had some quirckyness going on with the camera which I am still trying to understand. For the most part, I used eye auto focus and single point. Both methods yielded results that were better than anything expected.
The colors coming out of the camera when used with the 75 were pleasant and natural. Very little if any post processing was needed. Indoor and outdoor, the colors just popped with a natural look. No complaints here whatsoever.
For an F2 lens, the bokeh from the 75 is spectacular. As you can see in some these sample images, transition between foreground and background is smooth and constant. Just a beautil. I never thought I would say who needs a 1.4 or faster. This baby delivers beyond expecation.
Simply put, I have never seen a lens deliver crisper images than this 75. I don't know exactly what it is but the level of detail and sharpness on the point of focus is ridiculous. You have probably heard about those Sony Zeiss lenses which are supposed to be clinically sharp. They are. But thie 75 cron takes it to the next level.
With the 75 being so good and practical, the 35 Summicron L should complete a system which will render the best images possible. Looking forward to the availability of the 35 so I can add that to my bag and be done.
If you would like to see a huge panoramaic image of Kings Landing :) or Old Town Dubrovnik, stiched from 3 files shoot me a PM and I will share the link.