Panasonic has revealed a new premium standard zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture. The Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 is the first wide aperture zoom designed for use with Micro Four Thirds system cameras and offers a field of view equivalent to 24-70mm on a full frame DSLR, though at just 305 grams it’s a fraction of the size and weight of comparable DSLR lenses.
Key features include Mega OIS image stabilisation to reduce camera shake, and internal focusing so the front element doesn’t rotate as it focuses – ideal for use with filters. The optical design incorporates UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) glass, aspherical elements and Panasonic’s own Nano Surface Coating for superior optical quality, while a built-in AF motor ensures fast and quiet focusing whether shooting stills or video.
The lens is part of Panasonic’s recently released X range of premium optics, which is reflected in its price tag of £999, though this is comparable to similar lenses in other systems. Unlike some previous X lenses, the zoom is not a power zoom but features a conventional zoom ring. It is however the first Lumix lens to be dust and moisture resistant – perhaps a hint that a more professional oriented camera will follow shortly?
What Digital Camera has had a sample for a few days and have been impressed. The build quality feels excellent, with a stylish glossy, metallic finish, a decent sized rubberised zoom ring. When compared with, say the Nikon or Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses the Lumix is impressively small and light, and perfectly weighted with the Panasonic GX1 that we used it with.
Images from our initial tests look impressive. Sharpness and contrast are good across the frame, with little sign or distortion or vignetting, and the Nano surpace coatings have proved effective in preventing flare – further heped by the inclusion in the box of a petal lens hood. The wide maximum aperture makes it possible to achieve shallow depth of field effects, despite the smaller sensor used by the Micro Four Thirds system.
The Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 is available in the UK later this month and we’ll be posting a full in depth review shortly.
Lumix 12-35mm image samples
Image Samples from a pre-production lens
@35mm 1/50sec f/6.3
@ 12mm 1/100sec f/8
@12mm 1/250sec f/8
@35mm 1/320sec f/8
@12mm 1/320sec f/5.6
@35mm 1/320sec f/5.6
@12mm 1/400sec f/11
@ 35mm 1/4000sec f/2.8
@35mm 1/400sec f/2.8
@35mm 1/4000sec f/2.8
@ 25mm 1/40sec f/8
@35mm 1/80sec f/8
@ 12mm 1/1250sec f/2.8
@12mm 1/80sec f/11
Press Release: New Micro Four Thirds Digital Interchangeable Standard Zoom Lens
Panasonic is proud to announce a new digital interchangeable standard zoom lens LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035) (35 mm camera equivalent: 24-70 mm) for the LUMIX G Micro System
Crystallising Panasonic’s optical technologies, the “X” lens features superb image rendering for lifelike textures, crisp edge-to-edge contrast, a unique Nano Surface Coating for minimal ghost and flare and natural atmospheres with remarkable transparency.
The new LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm lens offers a versatile zoom range of 12-35mm (35mm camera equivalent: 24-70mm) featuring F2.8 brightness at entire zoom range. It is suitable for capturing a wide range of scenes, from dynamic landscapes to portraits, taking advantage of beautiful defocus or fast shutter speed.
Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology is adopted to minimise the reflection at entire visual light range (380nm-780nm) by applying the extra-low refractive index coating with nano-sized structure on the surface of the lens. It results in the super clear picture with dramatic reduction of ghost and flare.
The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) which is newly integrated in the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm effectively compensates for not only small, fast movement but also large and slow making it easy to shoot super clear shots even in low-lit situations such as at night time or indoors.
Comprising of 14 lenses in 9 groups, the UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) lens minimises chromatic aberration while the UHR (Ultra High Reflective) lens realises high descriptive performance from corner to corner. It features high contrast and resolution from the centre to the corner at entire zoom range, making it possible to capture the details of scenery and a portrait with rich perspective. The inclusion of 4 aspherical lenses helps achieve the downsizing of the lens unit and boast outstanding compactness with approx. 73.8 mm in length and approx. 305 g in weight for high mobility.
The lens also incorporates a superior inner focus system, which enables excellent resolution and contrast without changing its overall length from full life-size magnification to infinity. The inclusion of stepping motor makes the focusing action smooth and silent for use in both photo and video recording. When mounted on the cameras from the LUMIX G Micro System, users can take advantage of the high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF system.
Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth defocus effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings. Highly reliable metal mount endures long time use.
Designed to stand against splash/dust with a rubber ring on the lens mount, the sophisticated metallic-finished look of the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. suits the profile of a stylish camera body from the LUMIX G Micro System.