The Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 A.S.P.H. Power O.I.S. Lumix G is a bright lens. It is a very fast short telephoto portrait lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. This is the most robust, built like a tank lens that Panasonic has ever created. It looks and feels – Leica. This lens is for those who want great out of focus backgrounds. With this lens Micro Four Thirds finally has a lens that competes directly with larger sensor cameras and has that low focus plane with that pleasing out of focus background. On a 35mm sized sensor camera the focal length is equivalent to a 85mm with a aperture of about F2.5.
The lens features optical image stabilization, a special Nano Surface Coating to minimize ghosting and flare, and an iris diaphragm with nine rounded aperture blades for better out of focus circles. The lens is fairly compact fitting in the palm of your hand. For a lens that offers a portrait focal length although it's quite weighty for a Micro Four Thirds lens. It makes the GH3 feel a little heavy but balanced.
The traditional manual aperture ring on the lens barrel is new for Micro Four Thirds. With aperture markings from f/1.2 to f/16 it allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 step. As you change the aperture, it is also shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. Put the lens in A and the camera controls the aperture.
The Nocticron is a high-quality lens with an impressive all-metal construction. Panasonic does not claim any sort of weather resistance for this lens, and there is no rubber seal around the mount.
The metal manual focusing ring is well dampened with a nice feel to it. Like most Micro Four Thirds lenses the ring turns freely. There are two small switches on the side toggle between auto/manual focus and turn Power O.I.S.
The Nocticron comes with a large metal lens hood and a cloth storage bag, and it uses 67mm filters, same as the 100-300mm lens.
I have found this lens to be a stellar performer with wonderful characteristics. On the GH3 it is a match made for each other. This is the best portrait and interview lens around. If you can afford it, this lens will not disappoint.
I have posted at Flickr some photo samples from this lens.
The video I have created is a review at this amazing new lens for Micro Four Thirds.