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Panasonic's Leica zoom is longest focal length to date for Micro Four Thirds

Create: 01/09/2016 - 18:57
Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH


  • 100-400mm (200-800mm full-frame equivalent) is longest lens to date for Micro Four Thirds format
  • Lens is just 6.75 inches long
  • Weather-sealed optic has a built-in lens shade and two-part tripod mount

Panasonic has announced a Leica-branded optic that is the longest focal length to date for the Micro Four Thirds format.

Panasonic says the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH is suitable for wildlife photography, such as bird photography. This is a very popular segment, particularly in the U.K. Using the format's 2x magnification, this lens is a 200-800mm full-frame equivalent.

The Vario-Elmar 100-400mm uses 20 elements in 13 groups, including one aspherical ED lens, one UED lens and two ED elements. Nine blades form the lens' aperture.

The Vario-Elmar 100-400mm uses Panasonic's Power Optical Image Stabilization to counter the effects of vibration and camera shake. The lens includes a built-in lens hood and an integrated two-part rotary tripod mount that can be attached to a tripod.

The lens is weather sealed, while using a gapless construction that prevents dust and moisture from entering the barrel.

For movie makers, Panasonic says the lens can be used for 4K videos and zooming uses its high-speed 240fps autofocus motor, which emits almost no sound that will be recorded by the camera.

Like other telephoto lenses for the Micro Four Thirds format, the size of the lens is smaller in size and weight when compared to its full-frame equivalent. The length of the lens is 6.75 inches (171mm), while the weight is 34.7 ounces (985 grams) without the tripod mount attached.

This lens can be used with an Micro Four Thirds camera, including Panasonic's Lumix G system. The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm lens will be available in early April 2016 for US$1,799.

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.