Panasonic goes faster, wider & longer

Panasonic just confirmed details of its Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 ASPH zoom for Lumix G Micro Four Thirds cameras – as well as launching two teleconverters for its new S1 full-frame system.

The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 ASPH gives a full frame equivalent of 20-50mm

Setting the standard

Claimed to be the world’s first standard zoom achieving a constant f/1.7 aperture across its range, the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm lens gives an equivalent of 20-50mm, so is going to prove highly versatile on all sorts of subjects. At the short end, it’s wide enough for landscapes and group shots, while it’ll also gobble up reportage and portrait work at the long. And of course it’s going to be handy when working in low light.

Despite its quality spec and fast maximum aperture, the lens is reasonably small and light

Panasonic says it’s like having the benefit of five classic fast primes all in a single package – a 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm and 50mm – and that seems fair enough. The lens also promises the first-class image quality that you’d expect from the Leica name, with a nine-blade aperture design for smoothly defocused areas and perfectly rounded bokeh.

The Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 ASPH has a construction of 17 elements in 12 groups, including three aspherical lenses and four ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses with the task of defeating aberrations and distortions. And despite all that fancy glass, and the wide maximum aperture throughout, it’s actually fairly small and light – just 690g, 128mm long and 88mm wide – which should all work out fine on bodies like the G9GH5 and GH5S.

The lens uses a stepless aperture ring making it highly suitable for video work

With Panasonic’s pedigree in video, the 10-25mm f/1.7 is most certainly designed for movies as well as stills. It has an inner focus drive system providing what’s claimed as silent operation, and there’s also a stepless aperture ring and aperture control to allow for smooth changes in exposure, whether you’re shooting manually or semi-automatic. To top off the video friendly features, there’s minimal breathing in focus, so composition should remain just as you framed it when pulling focus.

Completing the lens’s appealing set of features is some decent weather sealing that promises dust and splash resistance, and operation down to -10ºc. It’ll focus down to 28cm, has a 77mm filter thread and will hit stores in the middle of July with an RRP of £1,799.99.

Teleconverters: you wait for ages, and two come along at once

Teleconverters ahoy!

Also from ‘The Big P’ come 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, specifically designed for its new Lumix S cameras. These will complement the mount’s telephoto lenses including the already available S Pro 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S., and upcoming 70-200mm f/2.8 S Series lens to be launched later this term.

The DMW-STC14 uses a seven-lens, four-group construction, including two Ultra High Refractive Index (UHR) elements, while the DMW-STC20 uses eight lenses in four groups, again with two UHR elements. Both are also dust and splash resistant, promising shooting down to -10ºC, and available now at an RRP of £489.99 and £579.99 respectively.

The STC14 and STC20 will expand the range of Panasonic’s S Series telephoto lenses