Panasonic announces new LUMIX S 35mm F1.8 wide-angle prime for full-frame mirrorless cameras
posted Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 9:00 AM EST
Panasonic has finally rounded out its set of four F1.8 prime lenses for full-frame L-mount cameras with the introduction of the new Lumix S 35mm F1.8 lens. Panasonic has had a series of four different F1.8 lens varieties on their L-mount roadmap for some time now, and the company has slowly, but steadily rolled out new prime lenses over the course of the past year or so. This "F1.8 family" of prime lenses all share a similar size and weight, making them easy to swap around on camera rigs as well as more easily share accessories, such as screw-on filters. This latest 35mm wide-angle prime joins the wider 24mm F1.8 lens that debuted back in August, as well as the earlier 50mm F1.8 and 85mm F1.8 lenses.
Much like the earlier three lenses, the new Panasonic S 35mm F1.8 lens shares a similar overall footprint in terms of physical dimensions as well as a similar weight. This is particularly useful for video creators who often utilize camera rigs that are calibrated and balanced for the body and lens as well as use add-on accessories such as follow-focus gears. Having a set of lenses that share a common size and center of gravity is very convenient, making it much faster and simpler to change lenses to a different focal length without spending time re-balancing camera rigs and gearing. For still photographers, this is less of a critical feature, but you still get the added bonus of easily swappable screw-on filter compatibility -- all four lenses use the same 67mm filter size -- as well as an all-around compact and very lightweight set of prime lenses.
The new Lumix 35mm F1.8 S lens weighs in at just 295g (0.65 lbs.), which is ever-so-slightly lighter than the 24mm F1.8 sibling, which weighs around 310g (0.68 lbs.). The dimensions, as you might expect, are essentially identical with a 73.6mm (2.9 in.) diameter and a length of 82mm (3.23 in.), with the only differing factor the overall sizes of these lenses being their respective lens hoods. Like the 24mm F1.8 lens, the 35mm uses a petal-shaped lens hood, whereas the two longer focal length lenses use solid barrel-shaped hoods. The lens hood of the 35mm F1.8 is a bit longer than the one on the 24mm lens, adding about two inches or so in additional length to the lens.
Like its other counterpart lenses, the new 35mm F1.8 is constructed almost entirely out of durable and sturdy-feeling, yet very lightweight plastic. Despite the plastic construction, the lens feels very solid and nicely constructed. The lens mount, however, is metal, and the lens is also weather-sealed against dust and moisture and cold temperatures down to -10 degrees C (14 degrees F). There is a weather sealing gasket around the lens mount.
In terms of optical layout, the Lumix S 35mm F1.8 lens is comprised of 11 total elements situated into nine groups and includes three aspherical elements and three Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements. The aspherical elements help ensure sharp image quality performance across the frame, while the ED elements help suppress chromatic aberrations. The aspherical elements, along with the 9-bladed circular aperture diaphragm, help ensure pleasing bokeh performance.
Much like the other F1.8 primes, the 35mm F1.8 S lens uses a linear AF motor, offering fast and silent autofocusing performance. Like many Panasonic Lumix lenses, the 35mm F1.8 S lens supports Lumix cameras' high-speed contrast-detection AF system with sensor drive at up to 240fps. In the field, AF performance feels very fast and very precise. The lens can also focus quite closely, with a minimum focus distance of 0.24m (0.79 ft.) -- which enables nice, dramatic close-up wide-angle shots. With manual focus, the lens supports both a linear and non-linear manual focusing behavior, a setting that can be adjusted in-camera. In non-linear mode, the focus ring responds to how quickly you rotate the focus ring, whereas in linear mode, focus responds to the rotational angle of the focus ring. You can adjust the sensitivity of the linear focusing mode in-camera as well. In other words, how much focus changes per unit amount of ring rotation can be adjusted, from 90-degrees to 360-degree in 30-degree increments.
Pricing & Availability
The Panasonic LUMIX S 35mm F1.8 lens will be available at the end of November for a retail price of $699.99.
In addition to the debut of the 35mm F1.8 lens, Panasonic also announced the development of yet another F1.8 prime lens, an ultra-wide 18mm F1.8. No other product specs or availability details have been released. Additionally, Panasonic has also announced firmware updates for several full-frame lenses, including the 70-200 F2.8, 70-300mm and 24-105mm F4, which "improves stability of the image stabilizer during video recording." The firmware update also boosts the performance of Dual I.S. 2 in the 24-105mm F4 lens from 6.5 stops to 7.5 stops for still photos when used with the Lumix S1H, S1R and S1 cameras.