A day earlier than expected, Panasonic announces its $599 85mm f/1.8 L mount lens

Nov 4, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

A day earlier than expected, Panasonic announces its $599 85mm f/1.8 L mount lens

Nov 4, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Panasonic has now officially announced the new Panasonic S 85mm f/1.8 L mount lens. And it does indeed come with a rather reasonable price tag. It looks like Panasonic has listened to the complaints from many users (of all mirrorless systems) about the high prices of mirrorless lenses vs their older DSLR equivalents.

It marks the start of a new chapter in Panasonic’s full-frame L mount lineup, with primes aimed at a lower budget user – something that has been sorely missing thus far. It’s a small 85mm f/1.8 prime lens for L mount mirrorless cameras from Panasonic, Sigma and Leica that costs a mere $599.

YouTube video

YouTuber Richard Wong goes through the whole overview in the video above, but as expected, the specs for the new lens are exactly what this week’s earlier leaks said it would be.

mux

Focal length85mm
CoverageFull-frame
MountLeica L
Max aperturef/1.8
Min aperturef/22
Optical construction9 elements in 8 groups (2 ED elements)
Field of view29°
Minimum focus distance0.8m
StabilisationNone
Filter diameter67mm
Aperture blades9, rounded
Dimensions73.6mm x 82mm
Weight355g

In a world where we’re supposed to be social distancing, I’m surprised that Panasonic went for releasing the more portrait-oriented 85mm before the long-awaited 24mm and 50mm f/1.8 primes – or the recently added 35mm f/1.8. But I suppose one has to start somewhere and 85mm is a versatile focal length for non-portraity things, too.

It adds to Panasonic’s (small) low-budget lineup, joining the variable-aperture Panasonic S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 L mount zoom lens. Panasonic says that they are working on the three other f/1.8 primes and that they’re also developing a 70-300mm zoom lens, presumably also with a variable aperture, aimed at lower budget shooters.

The Panasonic S 85mm f/1.8 L mount lens is available to pre-order now for $597.99 and is expected to start shipping in January 2021.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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