Panasonic introduces a new wide-angle zoom lens: the Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH


posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 9:00 PM EST


Panasonic continues its partnership with Leica in the creation of the new DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH lens, offering an equivalent field of view of 16-36mm in 35mm terms. The lens is small and lightweight, tipping the scales at just over 11 ounces, while offering advanced features and all the technology that Panasonic can cram into the lens' tiny frame.

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH, mounted on a Panasonic Lumix

The 8-18mm lens is comprised of 15 elements in 10 groups, including an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The intention behind these lens elements is to suppress chromatic aberration and spherical distortion, and maximize contrast. The lens features Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosting and flaring. The 8-18 employs a dust- and splash-proof design and is resistant to temperatures as low as -10℃.

The lens is designed to offer high-speed, high-precision Contrast autofocus. Between the 240fps sensor drive and the micro-step drive system in the aperture control section, the lens is able to offer silent, smooth and quick autofocus operations in both video and still photography operations.

Our senior lens technician Rob Murray had an opportunity to take a beta sample of this lens out into the field while strapped to a Panasonic GX8 to see how it performs in real-world conditions, and below are a few examples he shot at both wide angle and full telephoto.

1/1000s / f/6.3 / ISO 200 / 18mm

1/1300s / f/6.3 / ISO 200 / 18mm

1/640s / f/8 / ISO 200 / 8mm

1/2500s / f/4 / ISO 200 / 8mm

To view all 21 photos that Rob shot with this combination please see our Panasonic GX8 gallery and look for "8-18mm" in the filename. And for more information please see our Panasonic 8-18mm f/2.8-4 page.

According to Panasonic, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series lineup will eventually expand to include an additional 50-200mm (100-400mm, 35mm camera equivalent) telephoto zoom lens.

The Panasonic Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4 has an MSRP of US$1099.99 and is expected to start shipping in late May.

Panasonic Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4 lensPanasonic GX8 Gallery

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH, mounted on a Panasonic Lumix.