Fresh from celebrating 20 years of the Lumix brand, Panasonic introduces a redesigned version of its classic LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-35mm for the LUMIX G Series.
It’s either a 12-35mm or, according to some, a 24-70 mm, as the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S, made for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras, is the equivalent of the classic 24-70mm on the 35mm format. The lens barrel does have 12-35mm engraved, but you can refer to it whichever way you prefer… as long as you understand the differences.
The new version of the lens appears at a time when Panasonic is fresh from celebrating 20 years of the Lumix brand. In fact, it was in 2001 that the first codeveloped two Panasonic cameras – DMC-LC5 and DMC-F7 – carrying the new LUMIX brand name made it to the market. Photographers had to wait until September 2008, though, when the pioneer LUMIX DMC-G1, the world’s first DSLM camera which was unveiled at photokina in Cologne. I still have around my red (bordeaux?) G1, which I acquired as soon as it was available.
The LUMIX DMC-G1 marked the launch of the Micro Four Thirds System standard which Panasonic developed together with Olympus Imaging Corporation. The open Micro Four Thirds System standard offers users maximum freedom when choosing their equipment. By doing without the mirror box, the new system allowed much more compact and lighter bodies and lenses than classic DSLR cameras, combined with optimum image quality and input from other manufacturers.
The 14th lens in the LEICA DG Series
More than a decade after the G series was introduced the redesigned lens, which is built to work with the LUMIX G Series of cameras is a display of Panasonic’s continued commitment to the development of Micro Four Thirds lenses to fulfill the needs of its customers. Ideal for virtually any shooting situation thanks to its large aperture, O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) integration, compact size, and lightweight profile, the lens, which is the 14th lens in the LEICA DG Series, is a redesigned replacement for the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35 mm / F2.8 II ASPH., widely considered one of Panasonic’s best LUMIX G Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. is comprised of fourteen lens elements in nine groups, including four aspherical lenses, one UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) lens and one UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) to achieve high optical performance. The glass material of the UHR lens element is newly updated with higher transmittance to achieve greater natural color reproduction.
Panasonic’s unique nano surface coating provides effective antireflection and produces clear description. Due to its thin coating with nanometer-level microstructure and an ultra-low dispersion ratio, the reflection of the entire wavelength of 380-780 mm, including visual light range, are reduced. Together with a newly adopted light-shielding part, occurrence of ghost and flare is minimized.
Rugged dust/splash-resistant design
For more versatile use, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. features shorter focusing distance of 0.15m (at wide-end) with a larger magnification ratio of 0.21x (at 17mm), compared with the conventional LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 II ASPH. with 0.25m of focusing distance and 0.17x of magnification ratio.
The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. offers smooth, silent operation with the camera’s high-speed, high-precision contrast AF system, with the sensor drive at a maximum 240 fps. It also excels in video recording performance with a mechanism that suppresses focus breathing and includes a micro-step aperture control for smooth exposure change. Combined with the camera’s body I.S. and the lens’ O.I.S., Dual I.S. 2 provides effective hand-shake correction.
The external design has also been refined compared to the previous lens. The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. features stunning mobility with its approximately 306 g compact size, light weight, and rugged dust/splash-resistant design that withstands use under harsh conditions even at 10 degrees below zero centigrade. The filter diameter is 58 mm, with a 7-blade circular aperture diaphragm.
The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-35mm will be available at valued channel partners at the end of February 2023 for $899.99.