Leica and Panasonic Lumix Reaping Rewards

Posted Aug. 23rd, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Leica and Panasonic Lumix Reaping Rewards. One of the major benefits of the Lumix system is Panasonic’s cooperative agreement with Leica, the world’s best lens company. I’ve been aware of Leica since my early days in photography. They are world renowned and have been since the beginning of 35mm cameras. When I became aware of Panasonic’s cooperative efforts with Leica, I was never really sure if the two companies were actually working together or just using each other for co-branding. I knew that Panasonic was making many of the very expensive Leica branded digital cameras and I also knew that Leica was allowing Lumix to use the little red Leica ball for many of their lenses. But I was never really sure if there was more to it than just helping each other out.

Early Leica and Panasonic cameras. Photo courtesy of Sound Image Plus

Early Leica and Panasonic cameras. Photo courtesy of Sound Image Plus

Thankfully, based on my extremely positive experience with two of the Lumix/Leica branded lenses, the 42.5mm F/1.2 and the 15mm F/1.7 as well as equally stellar results with Lumix Vario lenses such as the 12-35mm F/2.8 and the 35-100mm F/2.8, it’s obvious there is more going on behind the scenes than just cobranding. I recently read an interesting blog that sheds a bit more light on the benefits of this arrangement, especially when compared to what Sony and Zeiss are doing. It’s quite interesting and a must read for any of you interested in knowing more about the world’s finest lens company working with what I feel is the world’s best electronics company. It bodes well for all. I hope Panasonic will accomplish in the world of serious photography.

Panasonic and Leica by Sound Image Plus

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There are 4 comments on this post…
  1. JamesOn Aug. 26th, 2015

    Hi Daniel. The Pana 100-400 is underdevelopment. What does this mean in terms of release date? One year, two years more? Your thoughts would be most welcome thanks.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 26th, 2015

      James, I’ve not been told when but I’m guessing we may see something first quarter to first half of next year. Just a guess however but I’m confident Panasonic feels this is a good move and will do what they can to bring it sooner rather than later. Cross your fingers. Either way it’s going to be worth the wait.

  2. RICHARD RIVERAOn Aug. 24th, 2015

    Hello Daniel
    I also had the same questions when I heard of the Panasonic/Lumix connection years ago. (I did own an Leica M3 years ago.) For a while I thought Panasonic digital was just using the name brand recognition of Leica to bolster their own brand. I have used the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 Lumix on my Olympus E-M1 and it is sharp. Since you *do* speak to Panasonic executives currently, how forthcoming are they about what involvement Leica *actually* contributes to the joint branding of “Leica” lenses on Panasonic camera bodies? Or it just a matter of objectively using Leica specs to design lenses?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 24th, 2015

      Richard, from the little I’ve been able to glean form incidental conversations with people who should know Panasonic does have a very positive and hands on working relationship with Leica. Panasonic is very proud of this arrangement and I think appreciates and respects Leica very much. I think the proof is in the lenses in the end such as the phenomenal 42.5mm F/1.2 and the 15mm F/1.7. Soon we will get a chance to see if the new 100-400mm F/4-6.7 Leica/Lumix lens is worthy of the Leica Red ball badge. I’m confident it will be. Thanks for your input.

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