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Is Leica about to teach Laowa a lesson? New MFT 9mm f/1.7 may be on the way

Leica MFT 9mm lens mockup
We just made this picture up – but the rumors about a new Leica MFT 9mm f/1.7 lens do look pretty firm. (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Rumor site 43rumors.com (opens in new tab) has the scoop on a new Leica badged ultra-wide prime for Olympus MFT cameras and Panasonic Lumix G models. This would be an exciting lens for MFT  systems because so far only Laowa has ventured into this market with lenses like its 10mm f/2.

The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm / F1.7 ASPH. will have an equivalent focal length of 18mm in full frame terms, and that will go with a maximum aperture of f/1.7, which is very fast for a lens this wide. With a weight of just 130g, it should also be a lot lighter than current ultra-wide zooms from Olympus and Panasonic.

Perhaps the most surprising feature is the price. According to 43rumors.com, the Summilux 9mm f/1.7 ASPH. will sell for $497.99 (about £403/AU$498). That seems extremely cheap for a Leica-badged Summilux lens.

Other rumored specs include an optical configuration of 12 elements in 9 groups, including 2 aspherical lenses, 2 ED lenses and 1 UHR lens, a 7-bladed aperture, and dustproof/splashproof design.

It will also have a 55mm filter thread, which is modest by APS-C and full-frame standards, but suggests a medium-sized lens in MFT terms. It does sound as if you can fit filters directly to the front, then, which is good news.

We love the Laowa 10mm f/2 Zero-D, but the rumored LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm / F1.7 ASPH. sounds even better. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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This does rather put the Laowa 10mm f/2 lens in the shade, one of our past favourites. This lens is manual focus only, whereas we assume the new SUMMILUX 9mm / F1.7 ASPH. will have autofocus – and with a faster aperture and similar price to the Laowa.

There’s no definite news on an announcement or availability of the new Leica lens yet, but 43rumors.com expects it to be announced in 1-2 months. Let’s hope so, and that all the leaked details are correct. We can’t wait!

Read more:

Best Micro Four Thirds lenses
Laowa 10mm f/2 Zero-D review
Best Panasonic cameras
Best Olympus cameras

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.