We photographers have known for quite some time that the content doesn’t necessarily correspond to what it says on the label. After all renowned companies, such as Leica and Hasselblad, have been selling cameras made by other companies under their own brand for years. The situation regarding lenses is a bit different: companies, which don’t have a long-standing tradition of manufacturing photo gear, delegate the design of their future lenses to renowned companies. The manufacturing is subsequently done in-house. Sony, for example, leaves the design of its high-end lenses to Zeiss – or at least that’s what we are led to believe -, while Panasonic relies on Leica.
What makes the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH unique – should the rumor turn out to be true – is that this is the first case of a “love triangle” kind of situation. Leica provides the brand, Sigma provides the lens design and Panasonic takes care of manufacturing. Just take a look at the lens design, which was patented by Sigma some time ago and which was dug up a short while ago by hi-lows-note.blog.so-net.ne.jp, and compare it to the design of the said Panasonic 12mm F1.4 embedded below. Do you notice something? 😉
It wouldn’t be the first time for Sigma to design a high-end lens for micro 4/3 for another manufacturer. The legendary Olympus 75mm f/1.8 is said to be a Sigma lens in Olympus’ clothing. The difference compared to the situation at hand is, that Olympus doesn’t claim that their lens has been designed by Leica/Zeiss. One has to ask oneself why Panasonic didn’t just call the lens Panasonic Sigma DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4? After all, with its Art/Sports/Contemporary lens series Sigma has proven to be a lens design powerhouse. 😉