A cheap, bright, f/1.7, standard lens has been one of the last gaps in the extensive range of Panasonic micro-43 lenses. That is less strange than it seems, because Panasonic already has two lenses in this range. On the one hand, you can choose from the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 II ASPH LUMIX G pancake lens, which is cheap, super small and light. On the other hand, there is the Panasonic Leica 25 mm f/1.4, which - certainly considering the high f/1.4 brightness - is certainly not expensive and offers very high image quality. I can hear you thinking, "Then why a Panasonic 25mm f/1.7?" That is because there is a considerable space between the bright 25 mm and the pancake 20 mm in terms of price, dimensions and image quality. And the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 fills that gap perfectly.
The lens design of the Panasonic 35-100 mm f/2.8 II is identical to the lens design of the Panasonic 35-100 mm f/2.8. But the appearance has changed slightly. More importantly, the image stabilization has improved considerably!
Panasonic's newest ultra-telephoto zoom lens is the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 50-200 mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH (~100-400mm on a 35mm sensor camera), the third lens in the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 series. This series of bright and compact zoom lenses now has a range from ultra-wide angle to super telephoto, and each one offers exceptionally beautiful image quality for photo and video shots.
Is a subject too far away, even though you have a Leica 200mm f/2.8 on your camera? Then a teleconverter offers a solution. You first think of the Panasonic 1.4x converter, which is sold together with the 200mm lens. But if there is enough light, and the subject is too far even for the 1.4x teleconverter, then a 2x converter offers a solution. At the cost of 2 stops of light, you bring your subject twice as close, for a modest extra price and negligibly more weight. That makes a difference! How about video quality? Is a Panasonic 2x teleconverter just as good as the 1.4x converter from Panasonic, which we tested previously?
The Panasonic Leica 8-18mm distinguishes itself on two very important points from practically all other wide-angle zoom lenses. First, this super-wide angle does not have an extremely convex front lens, so that you can use 67 mm filters, without having to resort to any tricks or being afraid of vignetting. And a weight of a bit more than 3 ounces and a length of 9 cm is a pleasure to walk around with, for a wide-angle zoom. Add in the high brightness, rock-solid build quality (dust- and splashwater-tight and freeze-resistant!) and very good image quality, and it should be clear that this zoom is a real winner.
If you buy a Panasonic Leica Elmarit 200mm F2.8 Power IOS, the 1.4x converter (DMW-TC14) is included in the price. With this included 1.4x teleconverter (DMW-TC14), the field of view can be increased to 560 mm equivalent (for a lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor), to bring a subject even closer. How good is this combination? Very good.
A few years ago, Panasonic had plans for a high-end 150mm f/2.8. After the appearance of the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO, the 150 mm f/2.8 disappeared from Panasonic's plans. And then at the end of 2017, an even more spectacular professional fixed-focal length telephoto lens was unexpectedly announced: the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200 mm f/2.8 Power OIS. According to Panasonic, this lens offers the sharpest image quality - from corner to corner - in the history of Lumix G cameras.
The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 II Power O.I.S. is the update to the old, familiar 45-200mm. It is a telephoto zoom lens with a big range and modest dimensions. The new version is improved on many small points, although the optical design is unchanged, and this zoom lens now works optimally with Panasonic’s newest cameras.
The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. is a new, high-quality all-around zoom from Panasonic. The lens has a very nice 5x zoom range, can focus very close up and has good brightness. What more could you want?
Professional photographers with an Olympus or Panasonic camera have waited painfully for a bright, dust- and splashwater-tight wide-angle lens. For the Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4, that is. Micro-43 cameras and lenses are attractive for those who aim for high image quality and simultaneously want to keep the size and weight of the camera equipment limited. In comparison with full-frame cameras, the focal depth with micro-43 is, however, larger, so that you cannot play as much with background blur. That is particularly a stumbling point for advanced photographers who make deliberate use of background blur with micro-43 lenses, with a maximum aperture starting at f/2.8. The Panasonic Leica series offers dust- and splashwater-tight lenses, that are so bright that you can create a nice bokeh with them. To what extent does the Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4 differ from the Panasonic Leica 15mm f/1.7 and the Olympus 12mm f/2?
Panasonic has again succeeded in making attractively priced kit lenses with good image quality for their G-series cameras. I first think about the professional Panasonic 12-35 mm f/2.8. The Panasonic 14-140 mm, with its fast and quiet AF, is also nearly indispensable for amateur photographers and videographers who do not want to change lenses, or as little as possible. And the inexpensive and super-compact Panasonic 12-32 mm is an absolute must for starters and amateurs. These zoom lenses are sold as a kit in combination with Panasonic cameras and in that case offer a great deal more value for the money. All three of these kit lenses are equipped with built-in image stabilization, and they offer high image quality for the price. “What else could you wish for in new micro-43 lenses?” you might think.
The Panasonic Leica 100-400 offers what Leica cannot offer
The Panasonic LUMIX G 100-400 mm LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR telephoto zoom lens is probably a sensation that many photographers dream about. With a list price of 1699 euros, it will remain a dream for some. But that price is also an indication of the high quality that we can expect. The designation LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR indicates that this lens meets high quality requirements. Even so, this is not a copy of a Leica lens, since a similar Leica lens does not exist. This is a lens developed by Panasonic and built in Japan—with the collaboration of designers from Leica. A zoom range of 200-800 mm (equivalent for a 35 mm camera) is exceptional. Combine that with a light (less than 1 kilo!), compact, dust- and splashwater-tight lens body with built-in image stabilization, and you can’t believe your ears. If the image quality also competes with that of much more expensive lenses, then you’ll fall off your chair.
What does the Panasonic 42.5 mm f/1.7 portrait lens have to offer? The Panasonic 42.5 mm f/1.2 Noctilux is brighter, has the same focal distance and is, where build and image quality are concerned, perhaps the best micro-43 lens of today. But it is also the most expensive. If you are searching for a less expensive alternative for making great portraits, with which you can also isolate the subject from the background, then you'll do well with the much less expensive Olympus 45 mm f/1.8, which offers an exceptional level of quality for its relatively low price. What does the Panasonic 42.5 mm f/1.7 have that those other two do not?
The Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 Asph Mega O.I.S. is designed for macrophotography with a Micro Four-Thirds (Olympus or Panasonic) camera. The minimal focal distance is just 10.5 cm, and that delivers a scale/enlargement factor of 1:1. The image on the micro-43 sensor is then the same size as the original. That is perhaps even more macro than you expect, since a scale of 1:1 on a micro-43 camera corresponds in terms of field of view ("what you see in the picture") with the field of view from a 60 mm macro lens on a camera with a full-format sensor.
Many new lenses with revolutionary, modern lens designs appear—and with clearly higher image quality, as it appears from our tests. There are so many great lenses coming out that we unfortunately have to make choices about what we will and will not review. But what do you do when so many requests keep coming in from readers for a review of a lens from 2009? Do you keep trying to keep up with the current releases? Then you know for sure that you will never succeed. Or do you take your readers seriously? We chose the latter. All those requests made us curious as well. How good is the Panasonic 45 mm f/2.8 Leica macro Elmarit? Can this PanaLeica handle all the new lenses? Is this high-end macro still worth its price?