There’s nothing better than a classic 50mm lens, and Panasonic is announcing just that with its Lumix S 50mm f/1.8. This is the second lens in the f/1.8 S-series lineup, and it represents an ideal blend of weight, size, speed, and contemporary performance. This lens is designed for the L-mount, too, making it perfect for Panasonic’s own S1-series and S5 full-frame mirrorless cameras, as well as mirrorless bodies from the other L-Mount Alliance partners, Sigma and Leica.
A 50mm f/1.8 is a staple of any lens lineup, and Panasonic’s is no exception. The normal focal length pairs with the modestly bright f/1.8 aperture to realize a lens that’s perfect for portraiture and everyday shooting, and will give you good control over depth of field, as well as apt performance in difficult lighting conditions. Optically, it uses a trio of aspherical elements and one ultra-high refractive index element, which aid sharpness, reduce distortion, and benefit bokeh, and there is also one extra-low dispersion element that corrects color fringing and chromatic aberrations to ensure high clarity and color accuracy.
Several months ago, Panasonic also released the Lumix S 85mm f/1.8 lens, which you’ll notice is quite similar in appearance to this new 50mm lens. This is intentional and will also be a design consideration carried onto the forthcoming 24mm and 35mm f/1.8 lenses. Maintaining a common profile and control placement makes switching between lenses much more intuitive and also suits working with something like a gimbal, where setup adjustments will be minimized between lens changes.
Speaking of physical attributes, just like the 85mm f/1.8, the 50mm f/1.8 is weatherproof and splash, dust, and freeze resistant. It also employs internal focusing along with a linear motor to promote responsive and accurate focusing performance. The focusing system has also been optimized to reduce focus breathing significantly, making it a good choice for video work that involves racking focus. Additionally, manual focus control can be personalized to function in either a nonlinear or linear operation, or when used with Lumix cameras, a set rotation angle can be used for improved tactile control and focus indexing.
Lastly, some final specs to mention: The lens measures 2.9" in diameter by 3.2" long, weighs 10.6 oz, and accepts 67mm filters. It has nine rounded diaphragm blades and focuses on subjects as close as 1.5' away.
The Lumix S 50mm f/1.8 is a classic lens built for modern cameras. It’s everything you expect from a simple, normal-length prime with some extra touches to make it even more capable for filmmaking use or for working in harsh weather conditions.
What are your thoughts on Panasonic’s latest L-mount release? Do you already have the 85mm f/1.8? And are you looking forward to the upcoming 24mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/1.8 lenses? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.