Panasonic is adding a high-end super telephoto zoom lens to the Micro Four Thirds lineup: the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 ASPH. This lens has the longest focal length of any MFT lens, and Panasonic promises fast autofocus thanks to its 240 fps AF drive speed.

This lens is equivalent to a whopping 200-800mm when attached to a Micro Four Thirds body and features much-needed 'Power' optical image stabilization to keep things steady. It has has one aspherical, one UED, and two 'regular' ED elements, as well as a nine-bladed circular aperture. The minimum focus distance is 1.3m, with a magnification of 0.25x. 

A cool feature of this lens is its compact tripod collar which rotates with the camera body, taking the buttons with it. The collar has a tripod screw mount built into it, into which a longer (included) 'foot' can be added if additional clearance is need. The zoom lock is built into the lens barrel, as is a small pull-out lens hood (a full-sized hood is available as an optional accessory). The 100-400mm is also sealed against dust and moisture.

The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400 F4-6.3 will be available in early April at a price of $1799.99.

Press release:

Panasonic Launches LUMIX G 100-400mm Telephoto-Zoom, LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR Lens

Las Vegas, NV (January 5, 2016) – Panasonic has today introduced a new telephoto lens for its LUMIX G range of Micro Four Thirds System cameras – the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH. Telephoto-Zoom (H-RS100400) with Power Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.).

Small, light and highly durable, the latest addition to Panasonic’s range of interchangeable lenses is perfectly suited for photographing birds and other wildlife in all types of environments.

The lens is constructed of 20 elements in 13 groups and incorporates a number of aspherical and extra low dispersion elements to assure best quality and avoid flaring. The advanced construction of the new Telephoto-Zoom leads to highest quality standard earning the LEICA Logo for a LUMIX Lens once again.

Outstanding image quality and Telephoto-Zoom performance

Elegantly designed with a metallic black finish, the new 100mm-400mm LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR lens from Panasonic provides superb image rendering across the entire zoom range. The lens’ 200-800mm focal length (35mm equivalent) and 0.5x Magnification capability provide highly detailed shots from distance, as well as stunning close up capability– ideal for subject matter regardless of shape and size.

In order to capture steady, vibration free images across the entire zoom range, the lens also incorporates Power O.I.S. to keep unwanted shaking under control and ensure pictures look crisp and clear. 

The 100mm-400mm lens is also suited to a variety of photographic styles – with nine diaphragm blades providing a circular aperture to produce a smooth and beautiful bokeh.
Smaller and lighter than other Telephoto-Zoom lenses

When compared with conventional super telephoto DSLR lenses, the latest addition the LUMIX G line up offers outstanding mobility – perfect if you’re travelling and don’t want to pack too much. Similarly, the lens also boasts a durable, gapless construction so you no longer have to worry about unwanted dust or light rain damaging your equipment.

In addition to the lens’ practical size and weight, a compact, two-part tripod mount has also been incorporated to enable faster conversion between landscape and portrait orientation. While conveniently and speedily turning to the 90° angle, the levers for Focus Limiting, Power O.I.S. and the manual focus switch remain right at your fingertips as they do not move when you turn the lens. 

The lens also incorporates an integrated, hide-away hood to help you capture that perfect shot, without having to worry about sun glare.

Stunning 4K video capability

Panasonic’s new LEICA Telephoto-Zoom lens is perfectly suited for 4K video recording with its construction assuring the best contrast and colors. Furthermore the Telephoto-Zoom incorporates Panasonic’s high speed and precise 240 fps AF-motor. Due to the modern design, filming can also be conducted silently, so you can get up close to the subject without drawing attention.

As well as high resolution video, the lens’ 4K capability also enables you to take photos like never before. Panasonic’s 4K Photo function – found on LUMIX G cameras including the LUMIX DMC-G7 – lets you extract an 8-megapixel still from 4K video (30fps) easily right on the camera’s screen with a simple fingertip touch.

Key features:

  • Longest focal length for Micro Four Thirds
  • Compatible with Dual Image Stabilization
  • 240fps AF Drive
  • Zoom ring lock
  • Weather Sealing
  • Integrated Quick Shifting Tripod Mount
  • Integrated shift-away lens-hood

Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format sizeFourThirds
Focal length100–400 mm
Image stabilizationYes
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Maximum apertureF4–6.3
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesCircular blades
Special elements / coatings1 aspherical ED, 1 UED, 2 ED elements
Minimum focus1.30 m (51.18)
Maximum magnification0.25×
Motor typeMicromotor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodExtending front
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Focus distance limiterYes
Weight985 g (2.17 lb)
Diameter83 mm (3.27)
Length172 mm (6.75)
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockYes
Filter thread72 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarYes