Pre-PMA 2007: Panasonic has today announced the development of a new 28-300mm equivalent wide to tele lens for the Four Third system. The Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH features Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S image stabilization system, but there is no shipping date or pricing information yet.

Press Release:

Development Under Way of New Leica Telephoto Zoom Lens for Digital SLR Cameras

LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-150mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ MEGA O.I.S.

Panasonic and Leica Camera have launched the development of a new Leica D large-diameter telephoto zoom lens designed specifically for digital SLR cameras. The new LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-150mm/ F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ MEGA O.I.S., lens offers an exceptionally long zoom range of 14-150mm (35mm equivalent: 28-300mm) and complies with the Four Thirds System to assure wide compatibility with other camera models.

The new lens provides a considerably longer telephoto range than the previously released LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/ F2.8-3.5 ASPH./ MEGA O.I.S. lens, yet is just as compact and lightweight. This impressive downsizing is the result of incorporating four aspherical lenses in the unit. The aspherical lenses also improve optical performance by minimizing distortion, even at the 28mm wide end.

The new LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR lens incorporates Panasonic’s Mega O.I.S. optical image stabiliser, which makes it easy to shoot super-telephoto shots without using a tripod. When the lens is mounted on the Lumix DMC-L1, Panasonic’s first digital SLR camera, or the LEICA DIGILUX 3, you can use the aperture ring provided and enjoy easy, intuitive shooting.

This combination of an extended 28-300mm shooting range, Mega O.I.S. optical image stabilizer, and an aperture ring for intuitive control makes the LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-150mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ MEGA O.I.S. lens perfect for capturing clear, beautiful, expressive images when shooting a wide variety of subjects and in a host of conditions.

The First Leica D Lens with Zoom Range to 300mm

This powerful, large-diameter 10.7x telephoto zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 28-300mm) complies with the Four Thirds standard and features 15 lens elements in 11 groups, including four aspherical lenses. It also incorporates Mega O.I.S., an optical image stabiliser that Panasonic considers a must-have feature in a lens with such extraordinary telephoto power. Mega O.I.S. helps avoid the blurring that can be caused by shaky hands – a problem that’s particularly severe when taking telephoto shots – so you can capture clear, beautiful zoom shots even without a tripod.

The new LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR lens is designed specifically for the digital SLR camera and meets Leica's stringent quality and performance standards. It delivers high resolution from edge to edge along with low distortion, and it offers exceptional zoom power yet is as compact as a standard zoom lens.

Mega O.I.S. – Panasonic's advanced hand-shake correction technology

With its outstanding stabilisation performance, Panasonic's Mega O.I.S. allows you to use slower shutter speeds of more than three steps. To detect and correct the hand-shake accurately, Panasonic’s Venus Engine LSI is incorporated into the lens. This advanced image stabiliser lets you capture clear telephoto shots or shoot in dim lighting without using a tripod.

Four aspherical lenses and an ED lens for a superb optical performance

The new LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-150mm lens uses four aspherical lenses and an ED (extra-low dispersion) lens to deliver an outstanding optical performance. Across the entire 28-300 mm zoom range, it captures high-resolution, high-contrast images that are clear from corner to corner. One of the four aspherical lenses is a large-diameter 30mm concave-meniscus lens – its mass-production is difficult with conventional glass molding press methods. The ED lens suppresses chromatic aberration, helping you capture accurate, true-to-life telephoto shots with minimum color bleeding.

First Leica D lens with Extra Silent Motor (XSM) Technology

The new lens is the first Leica D lens to incorporate Extra Silent Motor (XSM) technology, which assures quick, quiet, accurate auto focusing control. Supersonic oscillation helps assure silent, seamless operation, while the system’s high torque provides exceptional responsiveness, accuracy and focusing stability. This type of motor is ideal for the auto focusing system in a super-telephoto zoom camera.

Minimum focus distance of 50 cm over the entire zoom range

With its minimum focus distance of 50 cm even at full zoom, the new lens provides a maximum photographic magnification of 0.36x (35mm equivalent). This combines with Mega O.I.S. hand-shake correction to let you capture outstanding macro shots even at tele-end without using a tripod.

Aperture ring for easy, intuitive operation

When mounted on the Lumix DMC-L1, the new lens puts an aperture ring at your fingertips, along with the focus ring and zoom ring. This gives you the kind of easy, pleasant, intuitive operation experienced on a traditional film camera.

Circular aperture diaphragm

Seven aperture blades give the aperture a rounded shape that, when shooting at larger aperture, produces an attractive smoothness in out-of-focus areas.

Multiple lens coatings minimize ghosts and flare

The new lens system uses multi-coated lens elements that reduce ghosts and flare to an absolute minimum, helping deliver an optical performance that meets Leica's exacting standards.

Compact and lightweight, this new lens with an exceptionally long zoom range will extend photographic opportunities.

Specifications: LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-150mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./ MEGA O.I.S.

  • Lens Construction: 15 elements in 11 groups (4 aspherical lenses and 1 ED lens)
  • Mount: Four Thirds mount
  • Focal length: f=14 mm to 150 mm (35mm film camera equiv. 28 mm to 300mm)
  • MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer): Yes
  • Aperture type: 7 diaphragm blades / Iris diaphragm
  • Number of Blades: 7 (Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
  • Minimum aperture: F22
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.50m at all focal lengths
  • Maximum magnification: Approx. 0.18x (35mm film camera equivalent: 0.36x)
  • Diagonal angle of view: 75 degree [W] – 8.2 degree [T]
  • Filter size: 72 mm
  • Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 78.5mm x 90.4 mm
  • Weight: Approx. 520 g

*Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

*Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.

*The LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company’s quality standards.