Panasonic has pulled the covers off a new lens that will be of great interest to both stills shooters and videographers. The LUMIX S 50mm F1.8 is a brand new prime optic designed to be paired with Panasonic’s full-frame mirrorless cameras, such as the S1 and S5.
With a focal length of 50mm, the lens is perfect for portraiture, but with a fast aperture of f/1.8, the optic may also catch the interest of wedding photographers, too. What’s more, that max aperture means the lens may also find a home in the kit bags of videographers who want to use their Panasonic to capture footage with a shallow depth of field.
Comprising of nine lens elements in eight groups including three aspherical lenses, one ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lens and one UHR (Ultra-High Refractive Index) lens, the 50mm f/1.8 also uses three aspherical lenses to enhance image quality. The lens also features a 9-blade circular aperture diaphragm, which Panasonic says produces beautiful round shapes in the blurred background areas of open aperture footage.
Despite all this high quality glass, Panasonic has managed to keep the dimension of the 50mm f/1.8 down to a usable level with the optic tipping the scales at just 300g – making it suitable for those photographers who are looking to travel light and save space in their kit bags. The lightweight specification of the lens will also please videographers who are seeking a light body and lens combination to use on a gimbal for ‘run and gun’ shooting.
What’s more, the design of the lens is fairly rugged, with the LUMIX S 50mm F1.8 offering resistance to dust, moisture and cold temperatures as the lens can aperture in environments down to minus 10 degrees Celsius. What shouldn’t be forgotten about this new lens is that the LUMIX S 50mm F1.8 uses the L-mount fitment, which means photographers using compatible cameras from Sigma and Leica can also use this lens, too.
The LUMIX S 50mm uses a common filter size of 67mm, meaning there will be plenty of filters (UV, Polariser and ND) available to users looking to add such accessories and it won’t be the last, fast aperture S lens to come to market as Panasonic is already working on more. In fact, a new 24 mm and a 35 mm F1.8 large-aperture lens are under development.
Other features include a mechanism that suppresses focus breathing, along with a micro-step aperture control for smooth exposure change. Available from the end of June, the LUMIX S 50mm F1.8 will carry a value-for-money price-tag, costing around £430.