Panasonic Lumix S 35mm f/1.8 review

It looks like an ordinary prime at an ordinary price, but there’s rather more to the Panasonic Lumix S 35mm F1.8 than that

5 Star Rating
Panasonic Lumix S 35mm f/1.8
(Image: © Rod Lawton)

Digital Camera World Verdict

It’s easy to be a little disappointed by this lens initially. Its exterior design is stripped down to the point of blandness, and its specifications are unremarkable too. This is a lens you might choose for its value and practicality alone. Actually, though, it’s rather good. Optically it’s perfectly decent for the price being asked, and the lack of focus breathing in video is a pleasant surprise. Perhaps the best surprise of all is the fast and silent AF, which is nice for stills photography but a major advantage for video. It might not be exciting to look at, but the Lumix S 35mm F1.8 is an extremely well-rounded performer at a very good price.


  • +

    Fast and silent AF

  • +

    Good optical performance for the money

  • +

    Focus breathing suppression

  • +

    Weather sealing

  • +

    Light weight


  • -

    No aperture ring

  • -

    F/1.8 is modest by current standards

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Ultra-fast f/1.4 and f/1.2 prime lenses are headline-grabbing ‘dream’ optics for most of us, but the Lumix S 35mm F1.8 lives in a more affordable and practical world and doesn’t carry quite the same glamor. And yet a 35mm f/1.8 prime is a handy lens to have, not just for classic street photography but environmental portraits too.

Modest as it is, the Lumix S 35mm f/1.8 is amongst the best L-mount lenses right now. We tested it on the Panasonic Lumix S5 IIX, one of the best Panasonic cameras in the range, and one of the best cameras for filmmakers too.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mount optionsL-mount
Lens construction11 elements in 9 groups
Angle of view63°
Diaphragm blades9
Minimum aperturef/22
Minimum focus distance0.24m
Maximum magnification0.22x
Filter size67mm

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art is only a little more expensive than the Lumix S 35mm F1.8, but it has a faster f/1.4 maximum aperture, an aperture ring, and fabulous image quality. It’s a big lens for video work, but for stills photographers, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art offers a clear step up in capabilities at a relatively modest extra cost.


The Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary is a little more expensive than the Lumix S 35mm F1.8 and has a slightly slower maximum aperture, but the Sigma is a real class act, both in terms of its build and engineering – which includes a physical aperture ring – and its optical quality. These will make it attractive to stills photographers, but video shooters might prefer the lighter weight and effortless AF of the Lumix lens.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at