We've been fans of Panasonic's G Series Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera range ever since it debuted with the G1 back in 2009. However, the range of accompanying lenses has always been somewhat less desirable, until now.
Panasonic has just officially unveiled the latest addition to its premium X range of lenses, in the shape of the 12-35mm /f2.8 X wideangle zoom. First spied by us in prototype form at IFA last year, it's taken quite some time for the official announcement to come.
Compatible with Panasonic's G, GF and GX series of cameras as well as Olympus' PEN and OM-D range, this is the first MFT zoom lens to sport a constant fast /f2.8 aperture. As such it will be desirable for its prowess in low-light and high-speed shooting scenarios, as well as for the artistic bokeh effect it will be able to achieve.
Its 12-35mm focal length range is equivalent to the 24-70mm range lenses common on 35mm film cameras and 'full frame' digital SLRs, making it a useful everyday lens that provides a good balance of wide angle and telephoto.
Although it is part of the X range this lens doesn't sport the motorised zoom of previous X series lenses but instead has the standard manual twist-the-barrel-to-zoom action. It does, however, have the same premium metal build and is weather and dust proof too, and unfortunately it has a similarly premium price as well. Set to cost in the region of £1,000, it's more expensive than the aforementioned 24-70mm lenses, which are much larger and contain more expensive glass.
Hopefully the price will drop once it hits the market, which will happen from the end of June.