Previous news story    Next news story

Panasonic shows 12-35mm F2.8 and 35-100mm F2.8 concept lenses for Micro Four Thirds

By dpreview staff on Jan 11, 2012 at 20:22 GMT

CES 2012: Panasonic is showing mockups of two large-aperture zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds. The Panasonic stand plays host to mockups of a 12-35mm F2.8 and a 35-100mm F2.8 lens, prominently badged 'Concept' lenses. Next to the models is a lens roadmap confirming the company's intentions to build a 12-35mm (24-70mm equiv) and 35-100 (70-200mm equiv) 'X' grade zooms, but with a note that the maximum apertures are 'to be determined.' The diagram appears to suggest both lenses will arrive later in 2012.

Panasonic Lumix Vario X 12-35mm F2.8 and 35-100mm F2.8 mockups

Comments

Total comments: 199
12
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Jan 11, 2012)

Very nice. Wish I could afford them, especially the 35-100. It's a reasonable size and f2.8 out to 100mm would be splendid. As nice as the other is, I'm still lusting over the 14-42 PZ. In chilly San Francisco I almost always wear a jacket with pockets big enough for one of those on any MFT body.

1 upvote
Sabatia
By Sabatia (Jan 11, 2012)

This is exactly one of the directions Pana needs to go to have a fuller system. If the lenses are as fast as 2.8, sharp, and with high color resolution, that would be almost perfect. Having sold all my Canon gear this fall, the two lenses I miss most are the 17-55 EFS 2.8 and the 70-200 f4 L, which between them probably took 75% of my favorite shots over the last dozen years. I suspect that I am not alone in terms of 30/40/50/7D shooters in loving these lenses. So Yeah! Now get them done, glitch-free, and into the stores. And if the 35-100 is f4, but smaller and lighter than the Canon f4, I will be still be very happy.

Canon's comparable lenses at 2.8 cost $1,000 and over $2,000 or $1,400 for the 70-200 f4 IS. I think if Pana can get these out at $1k to $1,200 they will be winners.

PS: While the aperture size on m4/3 will cause loss of a little depth of field compared to crop cameras and more to FF, the brightness is not similarly affected.

3 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jan 11, 2012)

12/2.8 on fourthirds is equivalent to 24/5.6 on "FF": Same DOF, same number of photons per second.

3 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Jan 12, 2012)

whats not affected is exposure. a comparable FF lens will bring in 4x more light at the same aperture.

0 upvotes
Josh Dahlberg
By Josh Dahlberg (Jan 12, 2012)

"And if the 35-100 is f4, but smaller and lighter than the Canon f4, I will be still be very happy."

That would be a no-go for me. At f2.8 they should still be markedly smaller and lighter than the Canon f4 (the pics with 58mm threads indicate this)... at f4 you really will lose DOF control and low-light/indoor shooting potential. They've just released slower X zooms so I'm hoping these will be f2.8 at the very least.

I'm sure Panasonic has half an eye on the video market with these lenses - the AF100 (and whatever replaces it) is in dire need of fast zooms.

1 upvote
Schira
By Schira (Jan 11, 2012)

Good job Panasonic!

0 upvotes
Claudio Pinchi
By Claudio Pinchi (Jan 11, 2012)

I really don't understand all these complaints about DOF of M43. I recently bought a GH2 and (among others) the Leica Summilux 25 f1,4 and I can honestly say that DOF and bokeh are absolutely first quality, also compared to the same lens on my 5D (Canon ef 50 f1,4). Seems that many people ignore that DOF is influenced not only from aperture but also distance from subject. I will not buy these new lenses probably... but honestly who can say a 24-70 f2,8 is not an interesting lens? Kit lens in m43 is really poor in quality. People that look for more image quality (at the expense of portability) will surely buy this zoom. What make IMHO m43 still a little lower step to DSLR is the small choice of high level lens. If I look to the shots of my GH2 compared with ones took with DSLR with APS sensor and standard lens... i can say... NO GAME! The small m43 lens make more simple to reach high optical quality.

P.S: i beg your pardon for my poor english ;-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Josh Dahlberg
By Josh Dahlberg (Jan 11, 2012)

Spot on Claudio. I too have a 5DII and GH2 - the GH2 is the camera I carry around with me these days (along with 14/25/45 primes) because I hardly notice it's there.

On a pixel level the images are of course noisier than the 5DII and there's much less dynamic range, but I love using the m43 system... it's a lot of fun and I'm simply taking a lot more shots. The three primes I have are superb, as sharp as any Canon prime... almost too sharp, even wide open. The m43 zooms I don't even bother with... but these two mock ups look great: f2.8 on m43 is fine for subject isolation if you have reasonable technique, and for video it's spot on (these overly blurred backgrounds in video - much more than seen in feature films - are rapidly becoming passe). Can't wait for these lenses to arrive, especially after carting a 5DII with 24-70 and 70-200 2.8 around city streets, these will be a breeze!

While f2 would be nice, their physical bulk would defeat the point of the system somewhat.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jan 11, 2012)

This is not a 24-70/2.8 lens. This is a 12-35/2.8 lens, that behaves like a 24-70/5.6 would on "FF".

And of course position influences DOF, but for a correct comparison you need to maintain the position and hence perspective - otherwise you are not comparing the same things.

2 upvotes
John855
By John855 (Jan 12, 2012)

This is a very good point that few people understand: to get an equivalent DOF on m43 you must also double the aperture. The panny 20mm f/1.7 has about the same depth of field and light gathering ability as a cheapo full frame kit lens.

Tangentially, this is also the real reason larger format sensors have better low light performance (for an equivalent aperture, the hole is bigger).

2 upvotes
nikkor35f2
By nikkor35f2 (Jan 12, 2012)

this is the same issue between medium format vs 35mm in film days. FOV is different due to film size and now sensor size. ppl who came from 35mm would always refer to FF as if it is the largest format around. you definitely get better quality from a bigger film, but are you willing to carry so much?

try packing 35mm FF with 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 and compare to a m4/3 body with 2 equivalent m4/3 lens. you will sacrifice DOF for sure, but gain increased portability.

this lens does increase possibilitiesin low light, again of cos better lens also needs better hands n brains to produce better results.

2 upvotes
bbbinohio
By bbbinohio (Jan 12, 2012)

Everyone on the Nikon Lens forum is saying that most everyone here is incorrect.

They are saying that a F/2.8 is still a F/2.8 on a cropped sensor camera.

That a F/2.8 does NOT become a F/4 on a 4/3rds body. It stays a F/2.8.

Now, which is it????

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Larry MacKinnon
By Larry MacKinnon (Jan 12, 2012)

The best I can figure it is for exposure sake, f/2.8 = f/2.8 regardless of format. But in the case of depth-of-field f/2.8 on FF behaves like f/5.6 on 4/3.

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jan 12, 2012)

There is absolutely no reason to insist on that silly equivalence thing. It's just pointless pedantry. We know that DOF is not as shallow on µ4/3, and that the sensors are noisier than FF at the same ISO, and we are perfectly fine with that. Whatever we have is quite sufficient for most creative purposes.

Finally, with the 35-100 f/2.8 the DOF is already too shallow wide open, so the only real benefit to f/2.0 would be faster shutter speed or the ability for forfeit some light to a teleconverter.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Larry MacKinnon
By Larry MacKinnon (Jan 12, 2012)

I think I've got something reveresed on my above post. That concerns depth-of-field. It should be f/5.6 on FF yeilds close the same depth-of-field as f /2.8 on 4/3.

1 upvote
JensR
By JensR (Jan 13, 2012)

Nikkor:
There are no _equivalent_ 4/3 lenses to a 24-70/2.8 - this would be a 12-35/1.4.
Otherwise, I agree, horses for courses, just make sure to compare properly.

Vlad:
Equivalence is not pedantry. It accurately predicts the behaviour of lenses regarding light transmission, angle of view and DOF. These are crucial ingredients to a photo and calling this pedantry is wrong.
If you find DOF too shallow, that is your right, but you are in no position to decide for anyone but yourself.

bbb:
The lens does not change. That is correct. But you know how people talk about that a 12mm lens on FT behaves like a 24mm lens behaves on FF? Okay, the same physical formula needs to be applied to the f/#. The same formula can also be used to say how one and the same lens behaves if attached to different sensor sizes (assuming it covers that sensor size).

Larry: Your corrected post is #umm# correct!

0 upvotes
Claudio Pinchi
By Claudio Pinchi (Jan 15, 2012)

Justo to make some brightness: The focal length must be calculated considering the multiplication factor of any sensor. In the m43 is x2 so it means that 25 mm is a 50 mm equivalent on 35 mm.
Aperture is not affected from any multiplication factor. A lens which is f2.8 can capture the same light of a f2.8 on a 35 mm.
The depth of field is affected from many parameters: Distance from subject and sensor, distance from back lens to focal plane, circle of confusion dimension on the sensor etc. If you use any DOF calculator you can see this. I think that DOF change also from lens to lens on same format a little bit... I would like also to spot on another fact. While lower ISO on FF is normally 50 or 25, and on m43 is 160... with near similar result in terms of global noise. WHat to say about the almost 3 stops you gain at same aperture? It is not an advantage to m43? How many of us really need a FF? Are we all professional photographers that shoot for money and can afford a 6000 camera?

1 upvote
Artistico
By Artistico (Jan 11, 2012)

Perhaps the Panasonic guys are psychic and decided to make the exact 35-100 f2.8 lens I was thinking of very hard that I wanted for my MFT system. Let's hope the quality is on par with something like the Canon 70-200 f4, in which case it might just be my favourite lens when I get it.

2 upvotes
SaltLakeGuy
By SaltLakeGuy (Jan 11, 2012)

I would hate to hazard to guess at the price they will ask for these lenses :-(

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jan 11, 2012)

$1200 is a "lot of money". However, this is "a lot of lens". Atleast when compared to other m4/3s zooms.

1 upvote
CAClark
By CAClark (Jan 11, 2012)

That's the issue as I see it, everything is being aimed to high, nothing for people devoid off bottomless pockets. If I could find a buyer for my G2 I'd ditch it right now.

2 upvotes
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (Jan 12, 2012)

That's one of the reasons why I sold my G1 and GF1 - everything was way too expensive. For a Nikon, you can pick up a 28 - 75mm Tamron with a constant 2.8, brand new for 350 Euros (plus a 5 year guarantee). New lenses are quite affordable but second hand you can get amazing bargains. But your G2 will fetch zilch, I'm afraid...

2 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Jan 12, 2012)

@mpgxsvcd
Same lenses for Nikon/Canon would cost less than a half.

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jan 12, 2012)

@ZAnton, and what about same lenses *from* Canikon?

Approximate street prices from a web search:

Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8 L USM - $1400
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM - $2000
Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S - $1600
Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VF - $2200

So, please.

2 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jan 12, 2012)

@ThePhillip
That list proves nothing. The m4/3 lenses being offered aren't 70-200 they are 35-100. A 35-100 f/2.8 is a lot smaller and than even a 70-200 f/4 and should be a lot cheaper. The only reason it should cost $1200 is if it's 35-100 f/2, but it's actually equivalent to a 70-200 f/5.6 for FF.

m4/3 is supposed to be about smaller cheaper lenses. They price them like they are really FF lenses of twice the FL and half the aperture.

0 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Jan 11, 2012)

Meh. That 12-35/2.8 is basically equivalent to the Nex kit lens. It has the same physical aperture as a f/3.5 on APS.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 11, 2012)

except it is 24mm equivalent at wide angle and is still f2.8 at 70mm equivalent. It would be like a 16-45mm f3.6 on a NEX.

Most cheap lenses start out at f3.5, which is really not much more useful that f2.8, but they only stay at f3.5 for about 10% of the zoom range, so that's the difference.

1 upvote
Solarcoaster
By Solarcoaster (Jan 11, 2012)

Wrong, this is a constant aperture where as the NEX goes to f/5.6, and it's not the same in terms of light gathering ability, only in depth of field. So it's a much better lens than the NEX lens, and that is to say nothing of the advantage of a 24mm wide angle.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 11, 2012)

f.3.5 only in APS-C in terms of depth-of-field. It's still as bright as any f2.8 lens.

9 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (Jan 11, 2012)

@marike6: although arguably the larger sensor gathers the same /total/ light at the smaller aperture — so you may be able to use a higher ISO, given similar sensor technology. But we're talking about less than a stop of difference here — I think the constant max aperture is the bigger deal.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 11, 2012)

@Matthew Miller I was responding to those who are incorrectly saying the new 12-35 2.8 is like the NEX kit lens in terms of aperture. It is not.

6 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jan 11, 2012)

Actually, the physical aperture (=diameter) of 12/2.8 on FT and 16/3.6 on APS-C are the same. The F-number is different, though (obviously).

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Jan 12, 2012)

Well mostly FF below f3.5 is very useless ... in terms of DOF
you have to pump up ISO to make it useable and then the noise came in .. that make it roughly same as 4/3 at wider apperture.

Physical aperture can be bigger or smaller, doesn't mater for gathering light. Its not how many photons enter the camera shell, its their intensity that hits the sensor surface. think about it ...

0 upvotes
fenceSitter
By fenceSitter (Jan 11, 2012)

F2.8 on an m43 camera doesn't sound like "large aperture" to me, as far as Bokeh is concerned. If I'm not mistaken, it will be the same as with a F5.6 lens on a Nikon D700.

6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 11, 2012)

True. But compared to what else is available for the mount, it is a great option.

Comparing to FF is a bit odd considering the size and price differences here.

10 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jan 11, 2012)

While I would have preferred these to be f/2, the cost would have been prohibitive or at least unacceptable to most people. Given the abundance of molasses slow kit zooms for m4/3, these are still a vast improvement. Maybe as a compromise they could make them f/2.4, certainly the 12-35.

Also we now have Sigma making native m4/3 mount lenses, so things are finally starting to look up.

1 upvote
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Jan 11, 2012)

Your argument is flawed on 2 counts.
1. These are zoom lenses, not primes so F2.8 is good in anybody's language. If I want good bokeh effect i would use a prime anyway.
2. Comparing apples with oranges when talking about FF. We would all love to own a FF if we could afford the camera/lenses and were happy to carry them around.

8 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jan 11, 2012)

Comparing to FF is not odd or flawed.
If the prices stay as announced, the FT f/2.8 lens is more expensive than a "FF" f/4.0 (or f/5.6) lens that has better (or the same) DOF control due to the larger (or same) physical aperture diameter.
Just because primes generally offer more DOF control does not invalidate that people also want DOF control from their zooms - or else we would all run around with f/11+ zooms...

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jan 12, 2012)

Aperture alone, in this case, means the same for both FF and m4/3 camera. The amount of light an f/2.8 lens sends through towards sensor is same, if you use both this lens or some Nikon FX f/2.8 lens. So shutter speeds for available light at the same ISO and all else works same, for Nikon FF and a m4/3 camera.

Since lenses are primarily made for their light-gatering ability, an f/2.8 lens in m4/3 mount has every right to be as expensive as it's required.

Only difference is that aperture in conjunction with sensor size also defines OoF (out of focus) area in a photograph, and in that case this lens, in conjunction with m4/3 sensor, creates an OoF equivalent to an f/5.6 on an FF camera. It's just a matter of physical scale, not of light-gathering ability.

Which then, depending on subject, distance from the subject, available background, type of background, type of light, etc, can mean — aesthetically speaking — absolutely nothing.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jan 12, 2012)

Also, considering the smaller sensor size, and desired resolvable resolution, glass used for construction of this m4/3 lens can be even more expensive and of higher quality, found in smaller stocks. That rises the price of the lens too, which in some cases may negate the price difference of the physically larger glass required for a lens of the same aperture for a FF camera, but not of such optical quality.

3 upvotes
zyran
By zyran (Jan 12, 2012)

Do FF cameras have the mobility of a mirrorless camera? I think not. Please compare apples with apples.

1 upvote
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Jan 12, 2012)

Excellent summary Zvonimir. Thanks. I thought I was going crazy reading some of the other input on "photons" and "quantity of light".

I am a bit suprised by the fixation on superfast apertures these days. Probably a backlash of too many years of f5.6 as standard kit.

We needed f1.4 (or even better) in the film decades because of the sensitivity parameters of film. 800 ISO or 1600 ISO colour film (especially slides) was not useable for magazine work at required print sizes. It was barely useable for your 13x18 cm minilab prints (mushy mushy) and fugly on the projection screen. A bitch to scan as well.

In this day and age, those sensitivities (and higher) are useable out of the box, even with some of the smaller compact camera sensors, and much easier to manage in PP as well. With 4/3 and APS-C, we now access 3200 ISO routinely, with good results. So f2 or better are really not required anymore on that basis, except in the most extreme situations. Black cat running in tunnel anyone?

3 upvotes
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Jan 12, 2012)

Also, shallow DoF was a PROBLEM we had to deal with in the fim days as a consequence of being forced to use large apertures, not something at the top of the list of desirable things. Having to work at f2.8 or larger was a punishment, not a bonus.

Even in telephoto portraits (let's say head and shoulders or waist up), we would not want to use anything more open than f2.8, as you do NOT want to choose between blurry nose or blurry eyes.

Same for objects.

Single plane in focus against mushy background becomes annoying and gimmicky after 5 images anyway.

Smaller film sizes were not conceivable as a way to extend DoF at the time because of granulation.

With smaller sensors of current generation, you have the ADVANTAGE of larger DoF at a great level of quality even at high sensitivities. A blessing.

With 4/3 and APS-C, you get shallow DoF very easily with any f2.8 lens. And a 100mm at f.2.8 is extremely shallow. Hell: it is plenty shallow at f5.6 as well!

4 upvotes
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Jan 12, 2012)

Finally, the main benefit of a f1.4 lens on a SLR (besides available darkness photography) was of giving a better view of critical MAP before pushing on the trigger (with appropriate groundglass). That is mainly why people loved 85mm f1.4 as a portrait lens. Especially in the manual focus days or when AF was a bit unreliable. But nobody in his right mind would have actually used that f1.4 aperture in a heads and shoulder portrait.

4 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Jan 13, 2012)

No, Jacques, this was not an excellent summary by Zvonimir.

The distinction between "total light" captured (number of photons) and "light density" (photons per area) is crucial with sensors of different size, even if you dislike it. Along with that it is important to know the distinction between aperture diameter (in mm) and f/number (a dimensionless measure).

You also need to consider that a lens for the smaller sensor needs to be sharper in linepairs/millimetre to give the same resolution of linepairs/image (the really decisive measure). It is not a "desire" as Zvonimir puts it - the higher lp/mm of 4/3 glass is a necessity.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Jan 11, 2012)

Very nice additions to m43 lineup of lenses.

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jan 11, 2012)

So how does the “power zoom” work for these lenses if there is no power zoom switch? I guess the GH3 will have a zoom lever like a compact camera that controls the electronic zoom?

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Jan 11, 2012)

If it's anything like the way the focusing mechanism works on all these types of lens', then the more you spin the zoom ring the more it zooms. Basically fly by wire zoom. The other option would be a rocker style, but using the zoom lens, but it would need to be spring centered which is unlikely.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jan 11, 2012)

It's my error - I forgot the X designation is about quality. It just so happens that the first two 'X' lenses are power zooms.

1 upvote
kchen88
By kchen88 (Jan 11, 2012)

no, only the lens that has PZ (power zoom) will have the power zoom, this is like L series from Canon in panasonic version.
don't know about the optics, but sound expensive to me at around $1200 u.s. even with F2.8 constant aperture.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 11, 2012)

If you watch a lot of well done, professional caliber videos, say on Vimeo, you almost never see anyone zoom WHILE filming. Nothing screams amateur more than the old camcorder zoom-in shot. So I am hoping Panasonic doesn't waste time implementing a "power-zoom" switch on the GH3. 1080/60p, uncompressed HDMI out like the D4, yes. Power-zoom rocker, please no.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Jan 12, 2012)

@ marike6 sez: "you almost never see anyone zoom WHILE filming. Nothing screams amateur more than the old camcorder zoom-in shot."

But I would say this:

You almost never say anyone zoom while filming when they only have a single focus lens on their camera. Nothing screams "still photographer" more than a "video" that is full of static slide-show shots of sun-tanning ducks idling on a still pond.

0 upvotes
diforbes
By diforbes (Jan 11, 2012)

Who cares about concepts. Either make the lens or move on.

8 upvotes
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (Jan 11, 2012)

I'm excited about this announcement. I hope still that they can get to F/2, but I guess to make this marketable and keep the price point down, the realistic number is F/2.8

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jan 11, 2012)

Well, F/2.5 would be nice too :)

2 upvotes
ntsan
By ntsan (Jan 11, 2012)

Remember the 14mm pancake when it was first shown it have F2.8 as well

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (Jan 11, 2012)

If you look closely, the numberings are just stickers on the lens so there's a possibility final specs may change for the better... hopefully

1 upvote
micksh6
By micksh6 (Jan 12, 2012)

This is not an announcement. You are excited by mock up of a concept. The specs may be worse when (and if) these will be announced.

1 upvote
nikkor35f2
By nikkor35f2 (Jan 12, 2012)

imagine if panasonic comes up with 12-35/1.4. then imagine the price and the size.
then ppl will say for this price might as well get FF wtih 2.8 zoom etc.

it good that more m4/3 companies are coming up with more lens and different lens.

consumer can buy what suit their needs or pocket...boh financially as well as what that can go into the pocket, i know d3 with 24-700/2.8 such cnt go into any small bag, let alone a pocket.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Grisby
By Grisby (Jan 12, 2012)

I want that 12-35 on the right!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 199
12