Photography / Hands-on Review

Panasonic G-Series Optics (Wide Angle, 3D-Capable and Super Zoom)


Panasonic has added a trio of new guns: a Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH wide-angle, a Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 OIS super zoom and most intriguing of the three, a "two-eyed" Lumix G 12.5mm f/12.5 3D lens designed to capture 3D imagery when used with Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras.

The hottie of the trio has got to be the Lumix G 12.5mm/f12.5 3D lens, an interchangeable, 4/3-format  dual-optic lens specifically designed to capture in-camera 3D imagery. When used on a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 digital camera, the new lens has the equivalent field of view of a 65mm lens (in 16:9).

As part of Panasonic's 3D "ecosystem" of 3D-capable VIERA HD TVs and Blu-ray 3D disc players, the Lumix G 12.5mm f/12.5 3D lens makes it possible to easily capture and view 3D images that can be viewed hassle-free on Panasonic 3D VIERA HD TVs.

For wide-angle aficionados, Panasonic is wheeling out the Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH, a relatively fast 28mm-equivalent lens containing 6 elements in 5 groups (including aspheric lens surfaces), close-focusing down to 7", and a low profile (it's only 20.5mm "thick"), that should prove to be quite popular among street shooters, frequent "carry-on" flyers and backpackers alike.

For Lumix shooters with longer-distance needs, Panasonic is introducing the Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 OIS, which when used on a Micro Four Thirds-format camera, packs the effective range of a 200-600mm super zoom into a package that measures less than 5" in length. The new zoom contains 17 elements in 12 groups (including an ED element), a contrast AF system, multicoating, close focusing down to 4.9', and Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization technology to smooth out the bumps when shooting under low lighting conditions.