New Leica 12-60mm zoom announced alongside LUMIX lens quartet updates

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At the same time that Panasonic was unveiling the specs of the new GH5 camera it also increased the potential optical power for the G-series models. Heading this up is the new Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 lens (equivalent to 24-120mmm in 35mm), which will work in tandem with the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 image stabilisation system within the new GH5 or the G80.

The new standard zoom should be of interest to those shooting video with G-series cameras (especially the GH5 or G80) as it is said to have silent operation thanks to an inner focus drive system, thus minimising any unwanted motor noise on audio tracks. A micro-step drive system in the aperture control section should help the camera to smoothly catch up with any brightness changes when zooming or panning during shoots.

Zoom duo in development
Whilst the 12-60mm zoom is already announced Panasonic also revealed that the G-series compatible Leica DG Vario-Elmarit F2.8-4.0 lens line-up will soon be expanded further with an 8-18mm super wide zoom and a 50-200mm tele zoom – both of these zooms are said to be “currently under development” with no clear release date as yet.

Lens quartet upgraded
As well as the new 12-60mm Panasonic has updated four of it LUMIX G Vario lenses – they are as follows:

• The LUMIX G VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 II ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.
• The LUMIX G VARIO 35-100mm F2.8 II / POWER O.I.S.
• The LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm F4.0-5.6 II / POWER O.I.S.
• The LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm F4.0-5.6 II / POWER O.I.S.

All four zooms comply with the advanced functions of the G-series digital cameras, such as POWER O/.I.S (Optical Image Stabilizer), Dual I.S. (with the GX8), 5-axis Dual I.S. (with the GX80) and 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 (with either the G80 or GH5).

The 45-200mm and 100-300mm zooms now comply with the sensor drive at a maximum of 240fps to help to deliver high-speed, precision Contrast AF. The AF tracking performance in zooming has also been improved in these Mark II lenses thanks to high-speed frame analysis for focus control.

Leica lens firmware update
The final piece of optical news from Panasonic was the announcement of firmware update (due in February 2017) for the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. lens, which will make it compatible with the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 image stabilising function seen in the GH5 and G80 cameras.

Find out more…
To find out more about the new lens line-up from Panasonic just click on the video window at the top of this article to watch a short film with Panasonic UK’s Barney Sykes explaining the latest lenses.