Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Eric Kim goes micro four-thirds and scoops a Leica DG lens

Eric Kim goes micro four-thirds and scoops a Leica DG lens

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  The Macfilos Lumix G9 and Leica DG 12mm now have good company— the outfit has become Eric Kim
The Macfilos Lumix G9 and Leica DG 12mm now have good company— the outfit has become Eric Kim’s favourite tools for street photography. Whatever next?

I had two surprises when I read one of Eric Kim’s latest blog posts. One was that he had forsaken his trusty Ricoh GR as his street camera of choice — it broke at last — and the second was the arrival of a brand new Leica DG 14mm Summilux. I perked up on this and had a second take, then a third. Surely Panasonic hadn’t slipped in a 14mm ‘Lux under my radar? 

I needn’t have worried about the lens. The alarming text was the first edition which came via the RSS feed system and, by the time I’d clicked the link, the 14mm had resumed its rightful description as the 12mm Leica DG f/1.4 Summilux that I know and love. It’s easily done, Eric, as I know to my cost in the past. At least it grabbed my attention as I flicked through the news feeds. But I hope you’ll enjoy this lens because it is a cracker of a 24mm-equivalent prime and is an oddball but sensible choice for street photography. 

  Wide open spaces — while 35m or even 28mm are considered ideal focal lengths for casual about-town photography, the 24mm-equivalent Leica DG 12mm has great charm provided you are prepared to get close enough (Image Mike Evans)
Wide open spaces — while 35m or even 28mm are considered ideal focal lengths for casual about-town photography, the 24mm-equivalent Leica DG 12mm has great charm provided you are prepared to get close enough (Image Mike Evans)

Maxitog: The G9

The big surprise isn’t that Eric has chosen micro four-thirds as his new platform. It’s the specific camera he has opted for that caused me to raise my eyebrows. Eric went for the new Panasonic Lumix G9, which I also own, and does indeed make a wonderful combination with the Leica 12mm. But it is hardly street photography material because of its size. Convention wisdom is to go for a body that is no larger than, say, a Fuji X100 or a Leica M whereas the G9 is definitely small DSLR territory.

After all, Eric the Streettog is coming straight from a Ricoh GR. That camera (another excellent choice by the way) is tiny by comparison with the G9 and yet sports a much larger APS-C sensor. Might he have been happier, from a size point of view, with the Olympus PEN-F, I wonder? or even the Fuji. Purely in size alone, I would prefer to marry the Twelve with the smaller GX8 or, even, the yet smaller GX80,

  The re-opening of the Regent Street Apple Store captured through the Leica DG 12mm (Image Mike Evans)
The re-opening of the Regent Street Apple Store captured through the Leica DG 12mm (Image Mike Evans)

Reasoning

What is for sure, though, is that Eric’s endorsement of the G9 (and the Leica DG 12mm ‘Lux) will not harm Panasonic’s chances in the marketplace. You can read Eric’s reasoning for his choice of the Panasonic outfit here. I’ve borrowed his unboxing video which is useful, if typically Eric, if you haven’t fondled the G9 or the Leica lens. 

So is the G9 going to be the new street photography camera de rigueur? Far be it from me to carp in the light of Eric’s obvious enthusiasm. But there’s only one way to find out — take the G9 and 12mm Leica out for a day in London. Something else to try. 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting! I love his approach of always challenging himself. That’s a great spirit. It’s been a while since I’ve visited his blog, but I see some good stuff there to catch up on.

    Now I’m inspired to take out my own G9 more often. I have not used the 15mm lens in a while so perhaps I’ll do that this weekend. I’ve also been looking for the right 50mm equivalent lens, so I wonder if I should give one of the M4/3 25mm lenses a try.

    • Oh the Olympus 25/1.8 is great, I just bought it this week. Will be trying out in Valencia next week on my holiday. I have that and panny 15 with Olympus em10 iii that I got recently with Olympus promotion. I was thinking of a zoom such as leica 12-60 but maybe some other time.

  2. Strangely, I just unboxed my 12mm 1.4 and can hardly wait to take it for a test drive on one of my G9s. The G9 is turning out to be my favourite street camera ever. I cannot wait to see the rendering of this lens. Hopefully I got a good copy. I must go – the 12 is calling me and keen to see the local sights.

    • I had the G9 and 12-60mm out today as part of a back-to-back comparison with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II and 12-40. I was impressed with the sharpness and general IQ shown by the 12-60mm Leica DG lens. It’s hard to imagine that the 12mm prime is better, but I am sure it must be. Let us know how you get on with the 12mm on the G9 and perhaps send some shots and a short story. Mike

    • I like Eric too. What you see is what you get. And if Panasonic did give him the camera and lens (which I don’t know, he could have bought it) then good luck to him. They have already had more than enough value out of it to more than recoup the cost. Eric has remained loyal to the Ricoh for a long time and, although he tries other cameras from time to time, he hasn’t adopted them long term. Yet he says that the LUMIX is to be his main camera in future. It’s interesting.

  3. "What is for sure, though, is that Eric’s endorsement of the G9 (and the Leica DG 12mm ‘Lux) will not harm Panasonic’s chances in the marketplace."

    Yes and that’s why they bought him.
    How stupid does he think we are, why not just be honest and tell us he got it all for free with perks?
    We’d respect him a little more then.

    • At least no one gives Macfilos anything for nothing — other than loans of equipment occasionally. But, that said, I have absolutely no idea whether Eric bought the Panasonic equipment or got it free or at a discount. It’s a good camera, I’m not worried one way or the other. Good luck to him.

  4. Interesting… I wondered if I had to choose between a Lumix G9 and Leica DG 12mm and a Q which would I choose…for me, the Q, albeit 3yrs old….which would be youre choice for Street…? Or would you prefer something else…? Food for thought📷

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