The specs of the Panasonic Lumix 35mm F1.8 may not be dramatic by modern standards, but it’s an important lens for owners of L-mount cameras, partly because it’s an affordable fast prime when so many full frame lenses are very expensive, and partly because it’s the last addition to Panasonic's set of four f/1.8 prime lenses deliberately designed to offer similar size, handling and center of gravity.
With near-identical size, features, controls and design, these four primes are designed for both photographers and videographers but with a special eye on gimbal users. By designing these lenses with similar sizes, operation and center of gravity, Panasonic hopes to make them attractive to gimbal users who want to swap lenses at will without having to keep rebalancing their gimbal.
Panasonic Lumix S 35mm F1.8 key features
The optical construction consists of 11 elements in 9 groups, with three aspherical lenses and three ED (extra low dispersion) lenses to produce high “descriptive performance” and beautiful bokeh, a design aim with all four lenses in this group.
The minimum focus distance is 0.24m for effective close-up photography, and the AF system is designed to be both fast and silent, and is driven by Panasonic’s 240fps contrast AF technology.
Other features include a customizable linear focus control, micro-step aperture control and focus breathing suppression, where subject can appear to change in size as they move in and out of focus.
The Lumix S 35mm F1.8 has a weight of just 295g – Panasonic remarks it’s especially suitable for use with the compact Lumix S5 – and yet is also dust and splash resistant. The 67mm filter size is shared with the other three lenses in this group.
A new Lumix S 18mm F1.8 is coming!
Details are scant at the moment, but Panasonic says it is developing a new 18mm ultra-wide L-mount prime with an F1.8 maximum aperture. It’s not clear yet if this will have the same dimensions as the four F1.8 primes so far released – but that does seem unlikely given the extreme angle of view.
Panasonic is also working on firmware updates for its existing S-R70200, S-E70200, S-R70300 and S-R24105 lenses to improve the stability of Image Stabilizer during video recording. In addition, the image stabilization performance of the company’s Dual I.S. 2 system has been increased from 6.5 stops to 7.5 stops when the S-R24105 is mounted on the LUMIX S1H, S1R or S1.
Panasonic Lumix S 35mm F1.8 price and availability
The Panasonic Lumix S 35mm F1.8 is scheduled to go on sale from the end of November at a price of $699.99 / £579.99 / AU$1,099.