Panasonic Announces a New Ultra Telephoto Leica 100-400mm Lens

Panasonic just announced the new Leica DG Vario-Elmart 50-200mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. It's the third lens in their DG Vario-Elmart F2.8-4.0 Series and has a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 100-400mm making this the perfect lens for sports or wildlife photography. It's also stunning and looks like a vintage cinema camera lens. It's sharp, metallic black color accentuates the heavy rugged look of the lens. It's coated with Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating technology which helps reduce ghosting and flaring and has a powerful optical image stabilizer to reduce hand-shake movement when not on a tripod. It's also durable enough to handle splashes/dust and the cold up to -10 degrees C.

Owners of Panasonic Lumix GX9, GX8, or GX80/85 can also take advantage of Dual Image stabilization and GX9, GH5, or G80/81/85 owners can get Dual Image Stabilization 2.

The lens features 21 elements in 15 groups with 2 ultra-extra-low dispersion, 2 extra-low dispersion, and 2 aspherical lenses. It has an inner focusing drive system to make it quiet enough to use on video shoots and its 400mm length can be doubled up to 800mm with a 2x teleconverter.

This is a beast of a lens that could be used effectively for both stills or video as it has a micro-step drive system in it to smoothly change the aperture while you're moving the lens from a dark subject to a light one. That's a big deal. Although most modern DSLR and Mirrorless camera lenses have the ability to capture great video, their versatility might be limited. When you don't have the three big rings on the outside of the lens like cinema ones do for the T-stop, Aperture, and Focus, you need all the internal ones to work with the same efficiency as if they had a paid camera assistant moving them, and this new lens seems to have that in spades.

The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm will go on sale at the end of June
2018 for a suggested retail price of $1699.99.

The full press release is below:


Newark, NJ (February 26, 2018) Panasonic introduces a new telephoto zoom digital interchangeable lens, the compact LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 50-200mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. (35 mm camera equivalent: 100-400 mm), the third lens to be introduced from its LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series. And like all lenses in the series, includes Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating technology to minimize ghosts and flaring, plus a rugged, dust/splashproof design that is freeze-proof to -10℃.

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 50-200mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. has a zoom range of 100mm to super telephoto 400 mm (35mm camera equivalent) to cover shooting situations from wildlife and indoor sports to portraits. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) effectively compensates for hand-shake movement to shoot even without a tripod. The lens works with Dual I.S.*1 (Image Stabilizer) and Dual.I.S.2*2 when mounted on compliant Panasonic LUMIX DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) cameras.

Comprising 21 elements in 15 groups, the lens system features two UED (Ultra Extralow Dispersion) lenses, two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses and two aspherical lenses. The sensor drive at max. 240 fps takes full advantage of cameras with high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF for exceptional video recording performance, and an inner focus drive system ensures smooth, silent operation. A micro-step drive system in the aperture control helps the camera smoothly catch up to brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design provides exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming.

By attaching a filter (67mm) such as ND or PL, the lens provides a wider range of expression in photos and video. A 1.4x Teleconverter DMW-TC14*3 extends focusing distance to 560mm (35mm camera equivalent) and the 2.0x Teleconverter DMW-TC20*3 to 800mm (35mm camera equivalent) for more close-up shots.

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 50-200mm will be available in stores at the end of June 2018. Suggested retail price is $1699.99 Available in sharp, metallic black.

*1 Dual I.S. can be used with LUMIX GX9, GX8 and GX80/85.
*2 Dual I.S.2 can be used with LUMIX G9, GH5, G80/G81/G85.
*3 To be sold separately as optional accessories. •Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.
•LEICA is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
•ELMARIT is a registered trademark of Leica Camera AG.

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series covers 16 to 400mm (35mm camera equivalent) with three outstanding lenses - LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. (H-E08018), LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm/F2.8-4.0 ASPH. (H-ES12060) and LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 50-200mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. (H-ES50200), to provide versatile, superb picture quality. News Release Panasonic Corporation of North America

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