Lumix ƒ2.8 12-35mm Is World’s First Fixed Aperture Mirrorless Zoom

Zoomtastic

Everyone who owns a Micro Four Thirds camera will buy this lens

“Oh. Oh. Oh!” was the ejaculative ‘sentence’ I uttered when I saw the press release for this new Micro Four Thirds lens. It comes from Panasonic, and runs from 12-35mm, or 24-70 in old money, and also packs in image stabilization.

That’s fine. But the reason I’m excited is that the maximum aperture is a constant ƒ2.8 along the whole zoom range — a first for mirrorless systems says Panasonic.

Most zooms change their maximum aperture as you zoom, letting in less and less light as you zoom closer to the subject. Panasonic’s own 14-45 lens runs from ƒ3.5 to ƒ5.6 as you change focal length, for instance. This not only makes it useless for things like taking photos in a dark theater, where you need to zoom all the way in, but also means you lose the great shallow depth-of-field of the relatively large-sensor Micro Four Thirds cameras.

The lens includes other niceties such as aspherical elements and a seven-blade circular aperture diaphragm, but the constant aperture is the big deal here. And considering what it does, the lens is remarkably small.

You know when you see somebody out in the street shooting touring photos on an SLR that has a huge lens on the front? That lens probably isn’t a very long zoom. More likely it’s one of Canon or Nikon’s (very expensive) fixed focal-length zooms.

Which brings us to price. Panasonic hasn’t yet told us what this will cost, but I don’t expect it to be cheap when it becomes available in August. Then again, compared to the 14-45mm lens I own but almost never use, it will be a relative bargain.

  • InternDom

    shut up and take my money!

  • TheKnightWhoSaysNi

    “More likely it’s one of Canon or Nikon’s (very expensive) fixed focal-length zooms.”

    I think you mean “fixed aperture zooms”.

  • Big_DH

    Mirrorless! Zoom lenses don’t use mirrors of any kind

  • Stuart Bell

    You mean ‘lens for mirror less cameras’ not ‘mirror less lens’. And as for fixed focal length zooms? Sheesh. I do commend reading before posting. This article is barely readable because of the use of misleading terms.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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