Panasonic launches Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH Power OIS lens

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens
(Image credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic has announced the new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. lens for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras (opens in new tab). With a focal range of 12-35mm, and a wide aperture of f/2.8 this should be a fantastic upgrade to a kit lens, with this zoom range being equivalent to the popular 24-70mm range on a 35mm camera.

This lens will replace the Lumix G X VARIO 12-35 mm f/2.8 II ASPH. which was previously one of Panasonic’s highest-quality Lumix G Micro Four Thirds lenses. The new lens has been co-engineered with the impeccable team at Leica, and it offers splash and dust-resistant seals and will perform at temperatures as low as 14ºF / -10ºC.

The lens is small and compact, weighing just 10.8oz/306g, and comes with a 58mm filter thread diameter. The lens has a seven-blade aperture in a circular design which should give it a very pleasant bokeh. The lens offers shorter focusing distances than previous lenses, with a minimum focus distance of 5.9in/0.15m (at 12mm) and a magnification ratio of 0.21x (at 17mm).

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. lens attached to a Panasonic GH6 (Image credit: Panasonic)

Inside you will find 14 lens elements arranged in nine groups, this includes four aspherical lenses, one ultra extra-low dispersion lens, and one ultra-high refractive index lens. The ultra-high refractive index lens has been redesigned for claimed higher transmittance for natural color reproduction. 

The lens also has Panasonic’s proprietary 'Nano Surface Coating', reducing reflections across the entire visible light range and, working in tandem with a new light-shielding component, minimizing ghosting and flare.

For video shooters, Panasonic claims to have updated the lens with a new mechanism to suppress focus breathing, and a micro-step aperture control for smooth exposure changes during recording. The lens also features optical image stabilization. All these improvements make it sound like it could be a mean videography lens.

The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. lens is available in February 2023 priced at $899/£879, with some retailers taking preorders now.

For more on Panasonic, read out guides to the best Panasonic camera (opens in new tab)s, the best Micro Four Thirds camera (opens in new tab)s, and the best Micro Four Thirds 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.