Panasonic announced Lumix G Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds

Panasonic announced their new Lumix G Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds. This lens was initially displayed during CES 2012. Shipping will start in August. Pricing was not announced (Panasonic likes to announce their pricing few weeks prior to shipment).

Update: the lens is now listed on Amazon for $1,299.99.

Press release:

Panasonic's Premium LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm Lens Offers Exceptional Design, Achieving Increased Functionality for Spectacular Image Quality

SECAUCUS, N.J., May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Panasonic announced a new digital interchangeable standard zoom lens, the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035).  The newest addition to the company's premium lens brand "X," which is compatible with the Panasonic LUMIX G Series and complies with the Micro Four Thirds™ system standard, this lens offers a versatile zoom range of 12-35mm (35mm camera equivalent: 24-70mm) and features constant F2.8 aperture brightness at entire zoom range.  Suitable for professionals and enthusiasts, this new lens captures a wide range of scenes from dynamic landscapes to available light and studio-lit portraits and features superb image rendering for lifelike textures and crisp edge-to-edge contrast.

The LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens incorporates Panasonic's unique Nano Surface Coating technology which minimizes reflections at entire visual range (380nm-780nm), resulting in a dramatic reduction of ghosts and flare for extremely clear picture quality.  The lens's newly integrated POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) effectively compensates for both small, fast movement and large, slow movement, making it easy to shoot extremely clear photos even in low-lit situations such as at night or indoors.

Boasting outstanding compactness, the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens is approximately 73.8mm in length and 10.76oz in weight, resulting in extreme mobility.  Additionally with a rubber ring on the lens mount, the new lens is designed to stand up against splash and dust making it ideal for outdoor photography enthusiasts. A highly reliable metal mount endures long time use.

The LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens system is comprised of 14 lenses in nine groups.  The UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) lens minimizes chromatic aberration while the UHR (Ultra High Refractive) lens realizes high descriptive performance from corner to corner.  Featuring high contrast and resolution from the center to corner at entire zoom range, the new LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens has the ability to capture the details of scenery or portrait with rich perspective.

The lens's superior inner focus system provides for excellent resolution and contrast without changing the overall length from full life-size magnification to infinity.  Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth defocus effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings.  Adopting an inner focus system driven by a stepping motor, the lens's superior design provides smooth and near silent focusing action which is ideal for both picture and video recording. When the lens is mounted on any LUMIX G Micro System camera body, users can take advantage of the high-speed, high-precisions Contrast AF (Autofocus) system.

The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035) lens will be available in August 2012 .  For more information about Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras and lenses, please visit

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  • chris


    this is only 24-70mm f5.6 (!) in full frame terms..

  • Sven Felsby

    @chris: when comparing to full frame, you double the focal length, but the aperture remains constant. So we are dealing with a 24-70/2.8 FF equivalent here.

    • David

      You do double the focal length, it’s not the same DOF, but it is still as fast as a 2.8 on FF.

      • Harold Ellis

        technically yes, but practically it is like this:

        24-70 equivalent, with DOF of 24-70 f5.6, noise performance of 24-70 f8 (or worse)

        • D.B.

          Can you please provide optical equations that will proof your statement or stfu, because you have no idea

          • Harold Ellis

            iso performance of µ4/3 cameras is three or more stops worse then those of full frame, you need better eye doctor probably, should you think otherwise.

          • Dummy00001

            Harold, m43 was “three or more stops worse” about 2-3 years ago. Time to get from under the rock you’re living under.

            Also being “worse” is relative. From the 3yo GH2 (and some say from the even older GH1), one can extract pretty good IQ at ISO 1600 and passable IQ at ISO 3200 – what is *sufficient* for most purposes. Just announced E-M5 has even better IQ.

            m43 will never be as good as 135 (aka 35mm FF), but it is already in “better than good enough” territory. And I personally (and likewise many others) do not feel like overpaying for the gear I do not use fully nor have stamina to luggage around.

            P.S. Also, for the sake of completeness of the comparison, I’m obliged to mention that 135 sucks horribly compared to 6×6.

            P.P.S. Panny +1. The release tilts my personal scale of mirrorless in favor of the m43. Now please, release the G5 and GH3! I have nothing to compare the E-M5 to!

  • Peter

    The aperture remains 2.8, the focal length doubles, that’s all right.
    But the “Tiefenschärfe” (depth of field?) corresponds to an aperture of 5.6 compared to FF.
    Nevertheless, could be a very good lens.

  • Realist

    Let me get this right. They are going to charge similar prices for an equivalent 24-70mm 2.8 when it uses LESS OPTICAL GLASS. Oh, but you pay more for less but it is lighter. Yeah, a lighter wallet.

  • Twitch

    This is a 24-70 f/5.6 eqivalent lens for what, $1,000. This is the real cost of a downsized sensor.

  • D.B.

    This forum filled by trolls who don’t know what is DOF, “crop factor” and how do they relate.
    Why don’t you just go Wikipedia and learn it?

  • AnnoyingOrange

    focal length: 12mm
    aperture: f/2.8
    aperture opening (light “transmission”): f/2.8
    depth of field (subject at 3ft): 1.72ft

    full frame
    focal length: 24mm
    aperture: f/2.8, f/5.6
    aperture opening (light “transmission”): f/2.8, f/5.6
    depth of field (subject at 3ft): 0.8ft, 1.69ft

    For example, you are at an indoor event. You need to take group pictures. You have a full frame body with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a m4/3 body with a 12-35mm f/2.8 lens.

    You get your full frame camera and shoot at f/2.8 at ISO800 but not everyone is in focus so you set the aperture to f/5.6 but you also have to increase your ISO (or decrease your shutter speed) to get the same exposure. So you either get a more noisy image or risk camera or motion blur.

    Then you gab your m4/3 camera and shoot at f/2.8 at ISO800 and you discover that everyone is magically in focus even at that aperture. You don’t have to stop down to f/5.6 and increase noise (or risk blur) anymore.

    At f/2.8, both lenses have the same opening and amount of light that’s allowed into the sensor. They’ll only vary in the perspective and effective depth of field. If you don’t need shallow DOF, m4/3 cameras actually have a pretty good advantage of giving you fast lenses (especially primes) that you can actually use in low light because of their wider DOF.

    See the advantage?

    Just so you know, I use a Nikon D700 and D7000 for work. The D700 has great ISO performance and coupled with fast primes, it is theoretically great BUT when you use those fast primes wide open, don’t expect to get optimal effective DOF. 🙂

    • Harold Ellis

      no i dont see the advantage, and so you do not when you do not use µ4/3 for pro use.
      i could always stop down those wide angle lenses to get same DOF as with µ4/3 and still probably have better image with equivalently higher ISO.
      All you get is few centimeters smaller body and lenses at expense of EVERYTHING else. Often even price is higher then similar DX setup would be.

      • AnnoyingOrange

        Did you even read? You DO NOT have to use higher ISO because you can use a larger aperture but still retaining wide DOF. Besides, newer m4/3 bodies have ever increasing ISO performance already at par with some DX crop sensors. Of course it does have its disadvantages but it do have some advantages also over FF. You mentioned that the size difference is a “few centimeters” over full frame cameras (and lenses). I guess you’ve never used one since I don’t see and feel just a few centimeters and a few grams of difference.

        The only thing keeping me aways is I’ve already invested in a system and it’s not a good time right now to just totally dump the tools I’m familiar with for another system that can also do a good job. But don’t worry, I probably replace my DX camera with m4/3 sometime this year.

        Anyway, you can just keep complaining and putting down m4/3 as a system and continue using “better” high ISOs with “better” noise.

        I heard something ridiculous that lot of people try to put down the advancement of people or things (in this case, a camera system) just because they’re into something else. I guess it’s true.

        • The Fez


          I remember a day when people use to actually take pictures. The worst aspect of digital is not that it replaced film, but suddenly every eff’ing computer geek speaks specs, but never shoots. And the sad thing is that the ones who do shoot are shooting with nice new shiny cameras that do everything for the photographer anyway so you’ll never know if that geek is actually a capable photographer or just bat shit lucky because the computer in the camera made the decision for him.

          I swear, thirty years ago, I never heard such tripe. My medium format camera is so much better than your 35mm, or my 35mm is so much better than your Disk film camera. I wish people would just STFU and put their money where their mouths are and actually shoot pictures instead of their mouths off over such petty bull shit over a spec sheet.

          And in the end, you show your print or picture of that flower brooding in a shadow to your neighbor, your spouse, some art fag you met a a swap meet, or buddy in the camera club, they are not going to be able to tell an image taken from iPhone from a Hassy H3, and even more importantly, wouldn’t care if they could tell.


    • Twitch

      Harold is irght, there is no advantage, FF has a 2 stop noise advantage over m4/3s

      • Sloaah

        Exactly. All things remaining equal, the the decrease in sensor low-light capability is at least as bad as the light that would be lost in an equivalent DoF aperture on FF.

        FF 24 @ f/5.6 @ ISO 800 will have similar or better noise/dynamic range characteristics vs. m4/3 12 @ f/2.8 @ ISO 200.

  • Anon

    People complain that µ4/3 bodies are not FF bodies? Who let all these monkeys into the internet?

  • The too-shallow DOF is disadvantage for many types of photography. The compact size doesn’t hurt either.
    Anyone who studied optics knows how it’s difficult to create a good quality zoom lens. Fourteen lens elements including four (4!) aspehrical, plus UED and AHR glass. Congrats to Panasonic engineers on designing an excellent lens!

  • Camaman

    FF monkeys are loosing ground and only have one straw left to hang on to and that is occasional lower DOF.
    Its getting harder and harder for them to explain why they have a big honker camera strapped on their chest. 😛 😛

  • Dummy00001

    I have to say for a f/2.8 zoom, 305g is pretty f***ing awesome.

    Kudos Panny!

    Now please release the G5 and GH3 and I might even praise you financially too. 🙂

  • twitch

    I don’t get the ad hominem attacks. Stating this lens is a 24-70 f/5.6 equiv is a statement of fact. Observing that such a lens @ $1,300 seems expensive is an opinion. You may not like that opinion, but I don’t think people who hold it are “monkeys”.

  • Daryl

    The Panasonic lenses are often branded as Leica and command a premium, not sure this is the case here. Seems like a lot of money for it’s construction and materials, maybe the manufacturer is pricing it for capabilities rather than it’s size/weight/cost.

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