Low light comparison between Fuji X100 and GH2 plus Summilux f/1.4

Panasonic GH2 Summilux 25mm f/1.

I've got both my Panasonic Leica D four thirds lenses up for sale on ebay. While the quality of the Summilux 25mm f/1.4 and Vario Elmar 14-150mm lenses is undisputed they are somewhat bulky, and I do have lighter alternatives. However since I'm not prepared to sell them cheaply, I may well end up keeping them, as they are both expensive, and fairly specialist lenses. This is obviously no hardship!! Its the usual case of guilt about having too much gear. I never actually want to sell anything, but room to move and the avoidance of bankruptcy are compelling reasons!

Panasonic GH2 Summilux 25mm f/1.

With the possibility that the Summilux 25mm f/1.4 might be staying around I decided to give it a try in low light at f/1.4 on the GH2.

Panasonic GH2 Summilux 25mm f/1.4

The main problem with this is the high ISO performance of the GH2. While the best that m4/3 can offer, its certainly nowhere near as good as the X100. However with some work in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw, involving a fair amount of luminance smoothing, I can get a very decent result up to ISO 3200 with the Summilux. 

Olympus E-PL2 Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

This produces a very "smooth" looking file which is not unnatractive. It does work very well for portraits as people like the flattering result. I used this "luminance smoothing" for weddings on my Canons and people liked it a lot. It takes out all sorts of blemishes without looking like soft focus is used, as the edges stay sharp. It also has the advantage of smoothing out the bokeh at the same time.

Panasonic GH2 Summilux 25mm f/1.4

Converting to black and white also reduces the noise. On the GH2 the green channel is the cleanest and converting to grayscale using just this channel produces an excellent result.

Panasonic GH2 Summilux 25mm f/1.4

An advantage of the GH2 / Summilux combination over the X100 is the 25mm f/1.4 is sharper wide open than the Fuji f/2 lens, which is somewhat soft at its widest aperture. The extra stop also gives an advantage and with the smaller sensor meaning that DOF is not too narrow the GH2 becomes a useable camera in low light, though I still prefer the X100.

Leica M9 Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar T

I'll see whether I still have the lens in a few days / weeks time. As I said I'm not going to be upset if I have to keep it. However there is a Panasonic AF 25mm f/1.4 on the horizon, which I'm sure I'll be getting, so what the future of the Summilux is in the long term I cannot say.