Panasonic announces a record-breaking macro lens for L-mount cameras

Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f2.8 Macro lens attached to a Panasonic camera held in a person's hands
(Image credit: Panasonic / Piotr Kwasnik)

Lumix had a fantastic 2023 – and according to Panasonic – Lumix is the fastest-growing full-frame camera brand. Wholly unsurprising when last year’s Panasonic Lumix S5 II and Lumix S5 IIX are two of the best cameras the brand has released to date.

However, there are still holes to fill, especially when it comes to lenses – and one major omission to the Lumix roster has been the lack of a standard macro lens. 

Panasonic has finally plugged this gap with the brand new Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, launched at CES 2024 – however, in Panasonic’s usual style, it has done things just a little differently.

Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f2.8 Macro lens (Image credit: Panasonic)

Thanks to a newly developed Dual Phase Linear Motor (the motor used for focusing), Panasonic has claimed the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame macro lens over 90mm with a 1:1 magnification. Not only that – the lens also has the world’s closest focusing distance for a macro lens (same 100mm and 1:1 caveats apply), with a minimum focus distance of just 20.4cm.

This incredible feat of engineering puts the Lumix S 100mm lens at less than half the weight of rival lenses from Canon, Nikon, and Sony, weighing just 300g compared to the heaviest – Canon’s RF 100mm at 685g, or Sony’s 602g FE 90mm – the lightest of the bunch. And at only 82mm in length, this also puts the Lumix S 100mm's total length at between 49-66mm shorter than comparative rivals.

The Lumix S 100mm f2.8 Macro surrounded by other Lumix S lenses (Image credit: Panasonic)

In another remarkable feat of forward planning – the Lumix S 100mm also joins Panasonic's other Lumix S f/1.8 prime lenses in having an identical body size and filter thread, making changing lenses during video shooting smoother than ever, as gimbals shouldn’t need to be rebalanced or camera rigs realigned. Panasonic also claims that these lenses produce a unified performance across the board for smoother post-production editing.

To achieve this reduced size, there is a notable absence of any optical stabilization in the lens, which is unusual for a macro lens and sets it apart from rivals – although with Panasonic’s rock-steady IBIS in its latest cameras, this might well not be an issue. 

The lens also contains fewer total lens elements than other comparative lenses but still squeezes in 3 ASPH, 2 UED, and 1 ED element to match Panasonic's latest sensors' image quality and control over unwanted aberrations.

The lens features what should be a top-notch build quality, offering weather-resistant sealing around the lens, and freeze resistance down to -10ºC for any cold-weather adventurer.

Sample image showing off the macro capabilities (Akihiko Naguomo) (Image credit: Panasonic / Akihiko Naguomo)

Price & Availability

The Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens will be available to purchase from January 24 and will cost $999 / £999 / AU$1,999.

This places it as more expensive than the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro, but around $50 cheaper than the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS and Nikon Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S, and a pretty substantial $400 cheaper than the Canon RF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM.

100mm is also a fantastic length for portraits (Akihiko Naguomo) (Image credit: Panasonic / Akihiko Naguomo)

Specifications

Focal Length: 100mm
Aperture: f/2.8 - f/22
Lens Construction: 13 elements in 11 groups, 3 ASPH, 2 UED, 1 ED
Aperture Blades: 9
Maximum Magnification: 1.0x
Closest Focusing Distance: 20.4cm
Focus System: Double Focus Dual Phase Linear Motor
OIS: B.I.S. only
Switch/Ring: AF/MF Switch, Focus Limiter
Weatherproof: Dust/Splash-resistant, Freeze-resistant (-10°C)
Filter Size: 67mm
Diameter/Length: 973.6 x 82.0 mm
Weight: 300g

Looking for more of the latest and greatest from Panasonic? Check out our top picks for the best Panasonic camera and the best L-mount lenses.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.