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New Leica 8-18mm lens from Panasonic

Panasonic continues to expand the family of lenses for its G system cameras. Right before NAB 2017 they announced a new model, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH.

New Leica 8-18mm lens from Panasonic

The new wide zoom digital interchangeable lens, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH, will be available at the end of May for $1099.99.

Offered in sharp, metallic black, the new lens stylishly matches the LUMIX G Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras. The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. (35 mm camera equivalent: 16-36 mm) is well suited for both photography and video, as expected for a lens that Panasonic wants users to pair with their Lumix GH5.

Compact, the lens boasts a rugged, dust/splash-proof design and is freeze-proof down to -10 to deliver professional use under harsh conditions. As usual the lenses take advantage of Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosting and flaring.

Comprised of 15 elements in 10 groups, the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The use of these lenses effectively suppresses spherical distortion or chromatic aberration to achieve high resolution and contrast from center to corners.

For photographers, the lens is a versatile choice, as it covers a variety of daily shooting situations, from dynamic landscapes to street photography. Taking advantage of the F2.8-4.0 high-speed performance, it is suitable for capturing starry sky or a night scenery. With a filter (67mm) such as ND or PL, this lens provides various expression in both photos and videos.

The sensor drive at max. 240 fps enables to take full advantage of cameras with high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF. It also helps to reduce wobbling. Notably, claims Panasonic, the new lens excels in video recording performance. In addition to the silent operation achieved by the inner focus drive system, the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section helps the camera to smoothly capture brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design achieves exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming. The AF tracking performance when zooming is also improved thanks to high-speed frame analysis for focus control.

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. is the second lens introduced in a series started  in January, with the launch, at CES, of the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.. The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series lineup will expand with an additional 50-200mm (100-400mm, 35mm camera equivalent) telephoto zoom lens. The trio will allow users of the Lumix G cameras system to cover everything from 8 to 200mm (or 16 to 400mm if you prefer the 35mm equivalent) with the same family of lenses.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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