The brand new Panasonic Leica 35-100mm f2.8 is a beautiful collaboration

Panasonic’s 70-200mm f2.8 equal is up for an improve — however this time, the lens has Leica’s stamp of approval. The brand new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 35-100mm f2.8 Energy OIS retains the compact kind issue of Panasonic’s earlier lens, however upgrades the optics and joins the listing of Panasonic Leica branded lenses for Micro 4 Thirds. The 70-200mm equal comes shortly after the announcement of the Panasonic Leica 12-35mm f2.8 II, a 24-70mm equal that’s typically thought-about the companion to a 70-200mm.

Does slapping the phrase Leica on a lens barrel robotically make it higher? No, however there are a couple of adjustments to the lens in addition to the title. The most important change to the brand new Panasonic Leica 35-100mm f2.8 over the sooner lens is the Leica collaboration. However in addition to taking over the outside feel and look of a Leica, the optics additionally see an improve with extra coatings and suppression for ghosting and flare. 

The coatings and new look aren’t going to sway Micro 4 Thirds shooters that already personal the sooner lens. The brand new lens has the identical 18 factor building, the identical 7 aperture blades, the identical Energy OIS and is barely heavier than the sooner lens. However it’s an attractive possibility for photographers available in the market for a 70-200mm equal — and photographers that don’t care in regards to the Leica look or coatings can search for reductions on the sooner glass.

Whereas the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f2.8 II retails for $1,098, the brand new Panasonic Leica lens sells for $1,149, a minor $50 blip. With the Panasonic G9 II—launched on the identical day—additionally seeing a small worth bump over the predecessor, it’s unclear if the lenses’ worth bump is as a result of Leica branding or inflation. Contemplating the standard price of a Leica lens, the latter appears extra probably.

The lens isn’t the primary to hold each Panasonic and Leica’s title, however it’s an indication of continuous collaboration strengthened by the L Mount Alliance. Together with the rising listing of Panasonic-Leica lenses for Micro 4 Thirds, the Panasonic G9 II introduced as we speak additionally adapts the Leica Monochrome coloration profile. The collaboration is a good factor for photographers as a result of it each makes some Leica options extra inexpensive and will increase the choices for Micro 4 Thirds shooters.

Leica is thought for its luxurious worth. Whereas the $1,900 G9 II and $1,150 35-100mm f2.8 lens aren’t precisely low-cost, each are a far cry from Leica-luxury pricing. Do you get all the pieces you’d from a Leica? No, however you get a beautiful excessive distinction black and white profile, a steel lens barrel with basic styling, and a few of Leica’s coatings and high-end design.

I’d a lot somewhat see extra imaging firms working collectively than seeing extra firms copying lens designs and pretending in any other case. We don’t want extra of the identical factor. We’d like extra character, extra ergonomically pretty lenses. Hopefully, the brand new Panasonic Leica 35-100mm f2.8 is simply that.