Collaboration with Leica Camera AG and LEICA DG Lenses
Panasonic concluded a collaboration contract with Leica Camera AG at the time it launched into the digital camera business in 2001. Then, in 2014 the two companies agreed to expand the scope and magnitude of technical cooperation. Since then, Panasonic has been providing high-performance, high-quality digital cameras and lenses that combine Leica’s reputed optical technology backed by 100 years of experience and Panasonic’s state-of-the-art digital technologies such as image processing technology.
Notably, the LEICA DG Lens Series covers a broad range of focal lengths, from 8mm ultra-wide angle to 400mm super-telephoto (35mm camera equivalent: 16-400mm). Panasonic presently offers 11 lens products in total: six single-focus lenses and five zoom lenses, as of July 2019. All these 11 lenses are produced under strict control using measurement equipment and quality assurance system certified by Leica Camera AG, from optical designing to manufacturing.
LEICA DG Lenses’ optical performance
The following three are the most basic factors in Leica’s quality standards. First is to suppress distortion including spherical distortion effectively to achieve high image quality. Second is to keep high resolution with sharp, high-contrast description without color bleeding even to the corners. Third is to suppress ghost and flare. By making diffuse reflection occur and end up within the coating layer, ghost and flare caused by backlighting or light that enters obliquely are minimized. Panasonic has developed a variety of technologies to clear these three factors.
In addition, an lens axis alignment device is adopted to position all lens element precisely. Manufacturing deviations are strictly controlled to achieve high lens quality.
1. Low distortion
Distortion aberration refers to the image distortion that occurs at the lens periphery. Distortion toward the periphery is referred to barrel distortion and distortion toward the center is referred to bobbin distortion. LEICA DG lenses clear extremely stringent standards, and their distortion aberration is reduced to the lowest possible level.
2. High peripheral resolution
In an ordinary lens, image resolution decreases gradually from the center of the frame toward the edges. The MTF value is an indicator of resolution and an benchmark index of lens performance. The user can see the contrast and expresses performance of the lens from the center to the corners. The Leica’s quality standard requires high resolution across the entire frame but the LEICA DG lenses clear the standard by adopting composition of lens elements.
3. Suppression of ghost and flare
Leica’s many years of research led to the development of the superb multicoating technology used on LEICA lenses. Reflection ratio is precisely prescribed depending on the major wavelength. The coating decrease reflection ratio of light that enters obliquely. Multi-coating is applied even on the joint area of cemented lens. Nano Surface Coating provides highest-ever level of antireflection for the lens to suppresses ghosts and noise that degrade image quality, thus further enhancing the resolution.