Spanning a useful wide-angle to short telephoto range, the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens from Panasonic is a 24-120mm equivalent zoom designed for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Designed in collaboration with Leica, this versatile lens utilizes four aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion elements to deliver well-corrected, sharp image quality that is void of color fringing and distortions. The lens also makes use of a linear motor for fast, quiet, and precise autofocus performance, and the POWER Optical Image Stabilizer system helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting. Additionally, the durable metal body of the lens renders it splash, dust, and freezeproof to suit its use in trying environmental conditions.
- Micro Four Thirds System
- 24-120mm (35mm Equivalent)
- Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
- Four Aspherical Elements
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.... Overview
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.... Specs
12 to 60mm (35mm Equivalent: 24 to 120mm)
f/2.8 to 4
Micro Four Thirds
|Lens Format Coverage|
Micro Four Thirds
|Angle of View|
84° to 20°
|Minimum Focus Distance|
7.87" / 20 cm
14 Elements in 12 Groups
62 mm (Front)
|Dimensions (ø x L)|
2.69 x 3.39" / 68.4 x 86 mm
|Length at Maximum Extension|
4.72" / 120 mm
11.29 oz / 320 g
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)|
7.1 x 5.4 x 4.5"
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.... Reviews
This is an early impression, which may change with more use. This is an amazing lens. Build quality is impressive. Images are clear and sharp. Shooting slightly below max aperture produces some very, VERY good results. I agree with other reviewers that the aperture closes down very quickly as the focal length extends, but I won't call it a 12mm f/2.8 with a 14/60 f/4 attached. There's enough headroom here for f/3.5 to carry on almost to 25mm. But it's still a short run, and anyone using it should be ready for f/4 almost across the range. It is heavier, and bulkier, than other MFT lenses with portions of its range. The kit 14-42 is barely half its size and substantially lighter. But that extra heft brings so much that it's hard to say the mass makes enough difference. This is fast becoming my first-choice lens for most outdoor and portrait work.
Linear focusing fixed
I have found this lens to be OK for video with my prior main complaint being the very nonlinear focusing on the ring. The latest firmware update for the Panasonic BGH1 seems to have fixed this, as it can linearly focus now, no speed sensitivity associated with focus speed. I wish manufacturers would just look at legacy lenses, say the Zeiss lenses from 1920 on and even the Olympus lenses from 1980 onwards. The depth of field, focus, and even zoom could use a lot of human interface design from studying these old school lenses. I wish this had an aperture ring, but it generally is good for video, not suffering a lot from focus breathing or other issues. Depth of field is nice and controllable and not out of hand. The zoom is a little nonlinear with respect to aperture, but it is what it is, an adaptable, high-quality lens and arguably very good lens for the money.
Firmware Linear Focusing Makes It So Much Better
Light. Sharp. Versatile. But past reviews are correct in saying that focus-by-wire is difficult on this lens. But the latest firmware updates (v 1.5) gives this lens linear focusing on certain Panasonic bodies, and it is an absolute joy! It takes me back to my ENG camera days when manually pulling focus was a breeze. Makes a great lens even greater!
Falls Short for a Pro Lens
Panasonic promotes the PL elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 as a professional quality lens. The lens sells at a premium price. The colors and contrast of images from the copy I purchased recently were indeed very good. The autofocus was snappy, but not exceptional. However, after extensive testing of the lens with resolution charts and real world photography, I was disappointed in the acuity of the lens, which fell short of my exectations for a “professional level” lens. By comparison, the image quality was definitely not in the same class as my G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 lens or my G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 lens, both of which I already own. The image quality was much more comparable to that of my G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6, which sells at almost half the price. Since I could not justify the premium price of the 12-60mm lens, I have returned it for a refund.
The best M43 lens I own
This is a bit more expensive, but in every way it seems worth it: image clarity, build quality, AF and OIS performance all outstanding. AF seems faster and more precise than other lenses and OIS seems smoother, especially with a body that has IBIS for Dual OIS: best walking video I've had without a gimbal. I will be using this a lot.
Very good lens
Panasonic Leica 12-60mm lens is a very good lens. I have a couple of issues. Firstly it is pricey for what it is. I know I know. Most expensive lenses are crazy expensive. Secondly the hood has an odd way of attachment to the front of the lens. Very minor complaint but being used to the usual way, I put a lot of force trying to turn the hood to attach it. Doesn't seem to be damaged at all though.
This lens is what I would expect from anything bearing the Leica name. It's fast, focusing is consistent, and it delivers sharp images. The feel is solid, with excellent haptics for the controls. It's not light, especially after a kit lens, but the weight is comfortable for anything but extended handheld use. Other reviews have commented that the color palette skews very slightly red: I cannot confirm that yet but first impressions are that is correct. This is easy to offset (or exaggerate, depending on your style) in-camera with color profiles. My one peeve is that the aperture narrows so quickly: by 20mm or so 4.0 is as wide as you can get. Bokeh from this lens is next to impossible. It's leaps and bounds above the kit lenses, though, and the OIS goes a long way toward offsetting the aperture shortcoming. I would recommend this for any MFT shooter.
Super-fast and quiet for video on GH6
The Pana/Leica 12-60 is super-fast focusing and silent for video on the GH6. Well worth it. Yes - if you want to take a still portrait for Vogue - use the Pana/Leica 42.5 f/1.2 (possibly the best lens in micro four thirds - just phenomenal - Leica for $10k), but for video it is slower focusing, so the 12-60 is a good one to go with. This is one to have, if you use Panasonic micro four thirds.
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