Panasonic has unveiled revised versions of two of its most popular Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses, the 35-100mm f/2.8 and the 100-400mm f/4-6.3, in addition to the new Lumix G9 II Micro Four Thirds camera, the first G Series camera to feature phase-detect AF.
The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 35-100mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S. (H-ES35100) lens has a fast f/2.8 aperture and a focal length range of 35-100mm (70-200mm equivalent). While the lens’s tiny and lightweight design remains unaltered, Panasonic has increased the zoom’s image quality. The lens features Nano Surface Coating to further reduce ghosting and lens flare, and promises improved image quality throughout the zoom range.
Panasonic claims that the lens, which is now a Vario-Elmarit zoom rather than just Vario, better meets Leica’s exacting image quality criteria.
Despite the anticipated improvements in image quality, the new lens’ optical construction is identical, with 18 components divided into 13 groups. The Vario-Elmarit zoom, like its predecessor, has two extra-low dispersion elements and one ultra-low dispersion element. The lens still has a circular aperture diaphragm with seven blades.
The lens is still 99.9 millimeters long and weighs nearly the same (360 grams rather than 357g). The lens likewise has the same 0.85-meter minimum focusing distance.
The updated 35-100mm f/2.8 lens will be available for $1,149.99 at the end of October.
The new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 II ASPH. Power O.I.S. telephoto zoom lens is identical to the previous version, except for including a 2x teleconverter. While the 200-800mm equivalent lens has long been a popular choice for wildlife photography, the new version, when combined with Panasonic’s 2x teleconverter, means that the Mark II lens will provide photographers with a 400-1600mm equivalent zoom lens, providing extreme reach for photographing distant and difficult-to-approach subjects.
The revised 100-400mm lens is otherwise unchanged. It still has 20 elements in 13 groups, a nine-bladed aperture, and a 1.3-meter close-focusing distance. The lens will, however, provide full life-size macro shooting in 35mm equivalent terms when used with the 2x teleconverter. The lens weighs 985g and is 171.5mm long, making it just as comfortable to hold as previously.
The new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens will be available for $1,599.99 by the end of October.