Long(er) Lens Car Photography

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Panasonic loaned me a Lumix G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2  lens that’s obviously aimed at portrait shooters, so I decided to use it to photograph cars. It’s an 85mm equivalent lens with a 29-degree angle-of-view and designed for the Micro Four-thirds system of mirrorless digital cameras. I mounted it to a Lumix GX85 and used it to photograph Jaguars at a car show.


1424707258000_IMG_469654Shooting at first under overcast conditions and then later with hard sunlight was a exposure-related challenge and as expected the Nocticron is a bit long of a focal length or this kind of application but I was able to happily create the images shown.

The DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens design uses with one aspherical element to control chromatic aberration and distortion. The f/1.7 aperture is handy for selective focus and shooting in low-light, something I plan to test in my studio real soon now shooting portraits with LED lighting. The 42.5mm Nocticron has a fast AF motor with internal focusing producing smooth, quiet focus. The built-in optical image stabilizer aka Power O.I.S. is also helpful for hand-held, shooting compensating for any camera shake.


etypeThe lens has a 67mm filter thread and a rounded seven-blade diaphragm producing a smooth bokeh when shooting shallow depth-of-field photographs or video.

A well-made, metal lens hood is included and like the lens itself, is built to an extremely high build quality more befitting German-made optics.

The lens has an all-metal lens barrel and bayonet mount and weighs in at a hefty (by mirrorless camera standards) 14.99 oz. By comparison a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L weighs 36.16 oz.

All this wonderfulness is not cheap. Right now, the lens sells for $1,397.99 and to put this price in perspective, I found at least one Jaguar XJ-S for sale online at $1400. As the former owner of an XJ-S I can only add that spending $1400 for a Jaguar is just the beginning of the cost of owning it. The Nocticron 42.5mm lens, on the other hand, should give you years of trouble-free performance.