Best lenses for Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx in 2024

Best lenses for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx: Panasonic Lumix S5 IIX being held by DCW reviewer Jon Devo
(Image credit: Jon Devo)

The Panasonic Lumix S5 has offered first time full frame mirrorless camera buyers real value for money and has long been one of the best Panasonic cameras. The only thing against it was Panasonic’s dogged determination to stick with its DFD contrast AF autofocus system, which is fine for single-shot stills photography but has definite limits for subject tracking and video.

The newer Lumix S5 II and S5 IIx have changed all that. They both feature a new 24MP sensor with phase-detect autofocus to put them on a par with the best mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony, and they also have improved and extended video capabilities which make them among the best vlogging cameras and the best cameras for filmmakers, while the S5 IIx has features to challenge some of the best cinema cameras – no least Panasonic’s own Lumix S1H.

So while the original Lumix S1 and especially the Lumix S1R seem to have hit the buffers as regards any future development, it’s left to the Lumix S5 range to take Panasonic’s full frame camera range forward. 

And they’re certainly up to the job. At the price, they are amongst the best hybrid cameras for content creators who shoot both stills and video.

Panasonic’s own lens choice is modest in number but covers all the bases, including ultra-wide, standard and telephoto zooms and a good selection of compact and affordable primes. So which are the best? Here’s our list, based on lenses we have used and tested for ourselves.

Rod Lawton headshot
Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews Editor. He has used practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium-format cameras.

Best lenses for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

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Best kit lens for Panasonic S5

(Image credit: Future)
Best standard kit lens for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

Specifications

Mount: L-mount
Stabilization: No
Min focus distance: 0.15m
Max magnification: 0.43x
Filter size: 67mm
Dimensions: 77.4 x 87.2mm, 350g

Reasons to buy

+
Useful and somewhat unique zoom range
+
Relatively compact and lightweight
+
Good, weather-resistant build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly limited telephoto reach

The Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 is often sold as a kit lens with the Lumix S5, Lumix S5 II and S5 IIx, so you may well have this lens already. If not, and you’re currently weighing up whether to invest in the Lumix S range and what kit lens to get, this is a terrific buy. It doesn’t have the constant f/2.8 maximum aperture of the professional Lumix S PRO 24-70mm f/2.8, but it does have a unique, wider focal range that could mean you don’t need to carry around, or even own, an ultra-wide zoom lens. The image quality is very good, considering that this lens does not add a lot to the cost of the camera kit, and as well as being pretty light and portable for a full frame zoom, this lens is also weather-sealed.

See our full Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm review with lab tests

Best fast standard zoom for Panasonic S5

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)
Best professional standard zoom for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

Specifications

Mount: L-mount
Stabilization: No
Min focus distance: 0.37m
Max magnification: 0.25x
Filter size: 82mm
Dimensions: 90.9 x 140mm, 935g

Reasons to buy

+
Fast and constant f/2.8 aperture
+
Advanced autofocus system
+
Dust, splash and freeze-resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly big and heavy

A constant-aperture 24-70mm f/2.8 is a standard professional choice for a full frame camera, and Panasonic’s offering is very good value compared to equivalent own-brand lenses from other camera makers. It is predictably big and heavy, though, and while it works fine on the Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx, it’s probably a better-balanced fit on the larger Lumix S1 and S1R. The build quality is first rate – this is a really solid-feeling lens – and the image quality is very good too, though it does start to fall away very slightly at maximum zoom. This is one of a number of very attractive pro lenses from Panasonic which could help to bring users into the system.

See our full Panasonic Lumix S PRO 24-70mm f/2.8 review

Best utility lens for Panasonic S5

(Image credit: Panasonic)
Best alternative standard zoom for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

Specifications

Mount: L-mount
Stabilization: O.I.S.
Min focus distance: 0.3m
Max magnification: 0.5x
Filter size: 77mm
Dimensions: 84 x 118mm, 680g

Reasons to buy

+
Useful focal range
+
Constant f/4 maximum aperture
+
0.5x 'macro' mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Average optical performance

A 24-105mm f/4 is a popular kit lens choice for full frame mirrorless cameras. It offers a longer focal range than a regular standard zoom and you still get a constant maximum aperture, although it’s f/4 rather than f/2.8. The Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. is a robust and solid feeling example, though as usual for this type of lens, it is quite big and heavy, especially on the smaller Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx bodies. You do get optical stabilization, though, for extra hybrid IS alongside the cameras’ in-body stabilization, and there’s also a half life size 0.5x ‘macro’ mode that can get you closer than usual to your subjects. The optical performance is pretty good, too, though we’d prefer to see slightly better edge sharpness in a lens at this price.

See our Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. review

Best wide zoom for Panasonic S5

(Image credit: Future)
Best ultra-wide zoom for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

Specifications

Mount: L-mount
Stabilization: No
Min focus distance: 0.25m
Max magnification: 0.23x
Filter size: 77mm
Dimensions: 85 x 99.6mm, 500g

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image quality
+
Refined handling
+
Strong, weather-resistant build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Aperture rating is only f/4

If Panasonic does have a gap in its lens line-up, it’s in its wide-angle lenses. It doesn’t have a 16-35mm f/2.8 to complete the ‘trinity’ pro lens setup that other camera makers offer, and you’ll have to make do with this 16-35mm f/4. (There is also the excellent Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art if you don’t mind a third-party alternative.) The payback for the f/4 maximum aperture is a much lower price compared to own-brand f/2.8 alternatives, lighter weight and smaller size. The build and handling are excellent as is the image quality, so you really are getting a pro lens, even if it’s not an f/2.8.

See our full Panasonic Lumix S PRO 16-35mm f/4 review

Best telephoto zoom for Panasonic S5

(Image credit: Panasonic)
Best constant aperture telephoto for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

Specifications

Mount: L-mount
Stabilization: O.I.S.
Min focus distance: 0.92m
Max magnification: 0.25x
Filter size: 77mm
Dimensions: 84.4 x 179mm, 985g

Reasons to buy

+
Solid, sturdy and weather-resistant
+
Autofocus is very fast and virtually silent
+
Removable tripod mounting ring

Reasons to avoid

-
A little pricey for a 70-200mm f/4 lens

Panasonic makes two 70-200mm pro lenses. The Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. was the first to appear and, given its size and weight, the one we would probably choose for the Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx bodies – partly because this f/4 lens is plenty big enough already, and the f/2.8 version is even more of a monster. The body is weather sealed, the autofocus is fast and near silent, and the image quality is remarkably good, only dropping slightly at the 200mm setting, and even then it’s not by much. With optical stabilization built in, it works with the cameras’ own IBIS systems for enhanced stabilization. 

See our full Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. review

Best standard prime for Panasonic S5

(Image credit: Panasonic)
Best 50mm prime for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

Specifications

Mount: L-mount
Stabilization: No
Min focus distance: 0.45m
Max magnification: 0.14x
Filter size: 67mm
Dimensions: 73.6 x 82mm, 300g

Reasons to buy

+
Weather resistance
+
Simple design
+
Image quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Bokeh could be better

If you feel the need for a ‘nifty fifty’ for your Lumix S5, S5 II or S5 IIx, then this is a great choice. It’s a LOT less expensive than Panasonic’s excellent but huge 50mm f/1.4, but still has a real quality feel and delivers optical performance to match – though if you’re really into bokeh you might not like the cats-eye highlights near the edges of the frame. Otherwise, this is a great lens and, interestingly, part of a family of reasonably priced Lumix S f/1.8 primes, which also includes 18mm, 24mm, 35mm and 85mm options. Not only do these share the same maximum aperture, they’re almost identical in size and design, too.

See our full Panasonic LUMIX S 50mm f/1.8 review

Best macro lens for Panasonic S5

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)
Best Panasonic macro lens for the Panasonic Lumix S5, S5 II and S5 IIx

Specifications

Mount: L-mount
Stabilization: No
Min focus distance: 0.2m
Max magnification: 1x
Filter size: 67mm
Dimensions: 73.6 x 82mm, 298g

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly compact and light
+
Near silent autofocus
+
Same balance as other Panasonic primes

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor edge performance

The recently released Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens looks a perfect choice for macro fans and certainly fills a gap in Panasonic’s lens line-up. Remarkably, it’s about the same size as Panasonic’s other prime lenses and is very compact for a full-frame 100mm macro lens. The autofocus is fast and near silent, so you won’t scare away timid insects, and while there is some occasional focus hunting, that’s not unusual at ultra-close distances. The optical performance of our sample, though, left a lot to be desired, with good resolution in the center of the frame but poor edge sharpness. You might think that doesn’t matter much when your main subject is usually in the middle anyway, but it’s bad news for anyone using a macro lens for art or document archiving. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro Art is a lot bigger and heavier, but it’s also cheaper and optically superior.

See our full Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro review

How we test lenses

We test lenses using both real-world sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled conditions using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture height, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing.  You can read our lab test findings, but looking at our full tests (review links are given for all of the lenses in our guide). We find the combination of lab and real-world testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.

Also see our guide to the best L-mount lenses

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