We’ve seen this lens behind glass at many a trade show in the last 12 months, the first of a pair of high end weather sealed Panasonic zoom lenses for the Micro Four Thirds System.  Today Panasonic finally confirmed the last piece of the puzzle, that the maximum f-stop is f2.8 and they officially announced the lens.  No word yet on the second of the two but it could possibly come fairly shortly with the expected GH-3 which should also be a weather sealed body to match the lenses.

Being a higher end product, and having seen this lens myself at CES 2012 where I was quite impressed, I thought this was worth a mention.  With so many mirrorless cameras and lenses being released these days, it’s nice to see a product aimed at the higher end of the market that could conceivably be used for professional work. The price is high though at about $1,500 so this is going to have to be a sharp when performer when it comes to stores in August.

Both of Panasonic's high end zooms at CES 2012

Press Release

SECAUCUS, NJ (May 21, 2012) ? 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.

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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 http://www.panasonic.com/lumix.

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