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Panasonic continues video focus at CES with 5 lenses enhanced for filmmakers

panasonic ces 2017 lenses h es12060 frontslant copy
Panasonic mirrorless shooters will soon have more lens choices. On Wednesday, the company announced the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH, the first lens in a new zoom series, as well as updates to the existing lens lineup.

The new zoom lens line will feature f/2.8-4 glass as part of the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit series.  Panasonic says all of the lenses in the lineup will use a rugged, weather-sealed design. A nine blade aperture will give bokeh a rounded shape while Nano Surface Coatings will help prevent flares and ghosting.

The standard zoom length 12-60mm lens will be the first lens available in the new series, but the company says an 8-18mm (16-36mm full-frame equivalent) and a 50-200mm (100-400mm equivalent) are also in the works.

The company’s new 12-35mm uses five-axis optical stabilization.

The 12-60mm lens, equivalent to a 24-120mm full frame on Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds systems,  is designed as a standard zoom lens to cover a variety of scenarios, from portraits to landscapes. The lens boasts built-in optical stabilization, which can also be combined with the in-body systems on some Panasonic cameras.

The Lecia glass is constructed from 14 elements in 12 groups, and uses four aspherical lenses and two extra-low dispersion elements to reduce distortion and chromatic aberration, as well as colored fringing in high-contrast scenes.

Panasonic says the autofocus system of the lens was designed with video in mind (fitting, since Panasonic also introduced the first mirrorless to shoot 4K at 60 fps on Wednesday). The drive motor operates silently, Panasonic says, while small microstep increases help to smoothly adjust the aperture when the lighting changes mid-recording.

The new 12-60mm lens will be available in March for $999.

Panasonic’s complete lens line-up now includes five new additions. Panasonic

Along with introducing the new lens line at the Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic also updated four favorites with enhanced power optical image stabilization and new video upgrades. The updates use a silent focus motor and the same microstep system as the 12-60mm lens. All four lenses are also weather-sealed, bringing Panasonic’s total Lumix G rugged lens count to nine.

The company’s new 12-35mm (24-70mm equivalent on a full-frame camera) boasts a wide maximum f/2.8 aperture throughout that zoom range. The lens uses five-axis optical stabilization and has upgraded video features over the previous version. The lens will sell for $999, with shipping expected to begin in March.

The Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II Power OIS lens is designed with 16 elements in 13 groups. The bright zoom lens, with a 70-200mm equivalent to full-frame systems, will sell for $1,099 beginning in March.

Panasonic’s upgraded Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II Power OIS lens captures a 200-600mm equivalent, offering telephoto capabilities in a rugged design. The long zoom is expected to go on sale for $649 next month.

A Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 II Power OIS lens will be the cheapest of the four upgrades, selling for $449 starting next month. The telephoto zoom offers a 90-400mm full-frame equivalent while boasting the same weather-sealing and video capabilities as the other four lenses introduced Wednesday.

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