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Lumix Leica Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm zoom promises premium imaging, features for videographers

Create: 04/22/2017 - 08:14
Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmarit Professional Lens f/2.8-4.0 8-18mm ASPH

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 16-36mm full-frame equivalent zoom range
  • Fits Micro Four Thirds bodies from Panasonic or Olympus
  • Aperture, autofocus, zoom specifically design for quiet operation to benefit video

Leica has lent its name to another lens for Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds system – the Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmarit Professional Lens f/2.8-4.0 8-18mm ASPH.

In addition to having one of the longest names in recent memory, the lens should appeal to videographers and photographers who like to shoot with wide-angle lenses. Because it’s a Micro Four Thirds lens, it fits either Panasonic Lumix or Olympus bodies. These bodies have a 2X crop factor, which means this lens has a full-frame equivalent zoom range of 16-36mm.

Leica is one of photography’s oldest names, producing its own line of film and digital cameras and lenses. Its alliance with Panasonic in digital photography began in 2001 (read more).

The Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm uses 15 elements in 10 groups and includes an aspherical extra low-dispersion element, three aspherical elements, two extra low-dispersion elements and one ultra high-refractive element.

Seven blades form the aperture, and the lens accepts 67mm filters. A petal-shaped lens shade, front and rear caps and a storage bag are included.

Panasonic says the lens is built to Leica’s “strict quality” standards and is splash-, freeze- and dust-proof.

Videographers will appreciate Panasonic’s efforts to make this a lens that they will want to use. The lens has no aperture ring. The aperture is controlled electronically. Panasonic said aperture changes are done smoothly to ensure that the brightness in a captured scene doesn’t change suddenly. Autofocus and zoom also are damped and suppressed so that lens noise doesn’t intrude in the captured video. The autofocus mechanism uses a 240 fps autofocus drive.

The lens is 2.9 x 3.5 inches (73.4 x 88mm) and weighs 11.1 ounces (315 grams). It will cost US$1,099.99. The shipping date hasn’t been announced.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.