Panasonic patents new 70-200mm, 70-300mm and 100-400mm full-frame zoom lenses

Mar 9, 2022

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.

Panasonic patents new 70-200mm, 70-300mm and 100-400mm full-frame zoom lenses

Mar 9, 2022

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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If there’s one thing Panasonic’s famous for, it’s inexpensive full-frame lenses. Oh, wait, no, the other one. They’re not famous for inexpensive full-frame lenses. The L mount has proven popular, but when we look at something as ubiquitous as a 50mm f/1.8, the Panasonic Lumix S 50mm f/1.8 costs more than double the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM and almost double that of the Sony E mount 50mm f/1.8.

But it looks like Panasonic might actually be starting to focus a little more on less expensive lenses. Not less expensive than their 50mm f/1.8, no, but new patents suggest that we might see some low budget alternatives to their 70-200mm f/2.8 and f/4 offerings, a potential replacement for their 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Macro and maybe even a new 100-400mm.

Three lenses are shown off in the patents, one of which shows what is possibly a new lower budget 70-300mm f/4-5.6 without the macro option, another suggests a variable aperture 70-200mm f/4.5-5.6 that is likely to be less expensive than existing Panasonic 70-200mm L mount options and the third is a long 100-400mm f/4-5.6 lens presumably aimed at wildlife and sports shooters.

Example 1 (70-300mm f/4-5.6)

  • Zoom ratio 3.95600
  • Wide-angle / intermediate / telephoto
  • Focal length 72.8000 / 144.7974 / 287.9970
  • F number 4.54605 / 5.43172 / 5.85441
  • Angle of view 16.6501 / 8.3925 / 4.2458
  • Image height 21.6330 / 21.6330 / 21.6330
  • Lens total length 165.8343 / 195.6045 / 225.2331
  • Back focus 22.63464 / 43.83449 / 61.26739

Example 2 (70-200mm f/4.5-5.6)

  • Zoom ratio 2.76922
  • Wide-angle / intermediate / telephoto
  • Focal length 72.8000 / 121.1461 / 201.5992
  • F number 4.65792 / 5.48858 / 5.90664
  • Angle of view 16.7488 / 10.0452 / 6.0901
  • Image height 21.6300 / 21.6300 / 21.6300
  • Lens total length 145.8293 / 170.8178 / 198.1246
  • Back focus 22.62963 / 38.74736 / 49.82147

Example 3 (100-400mm f/4-5.6)

  • Zoom ratio 3.80486
  • Wide-angle / intermediate / telephoto
  • Focal length 102.5002 / 199.9999 / 389.9983
  • F number 4.09951 / 5.30329 / 5.87210
  • Angle of view 12.0879 / 6.1702 / 3.1648
  • Image height 21.6330 / 21.6330 / 21.6330
  • Lens total length 235.4476 / 262.8697 / 302.5516
  • Back focus 19.91983 / 57.70275 / 82.14551

Whether or not all or even any of these lenses will actually come to fruition is anybody’s guess. A patent does not necessarily mean that a lens is on the way and out of those shown in this particular patent, I think only two of them might actually be viable options for Panasonic.

A 70-300mm lens in the f/4-5.6-ish region is a pretty common and popular kit lens. It has been for years. Historically, such a lens has typically been fairly low cost, but at $1,247.99, “low cost” isn’t exactly the phrase you’d use to describe the current Pansonic Lumix S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Macro OIS lens. So, perhaps we’ll see a less expensive option that doesn’t have macro capabilities coming in order to convince more people to jump on the Panasonic full-frame train.

Another one that would fill a great big gaping hole in Panasonic’s lineup would be a 100-400mm f/4-5.6 lens. I don’t expect this one’ll be that inexpensive (probably at least $2,000 – Sony’s and Nikon’s are both around $2,500 or more) but it is one that would prove popular amongst at least hobbyist sports and wildlife shooters, even if the slow variable aperture won’t keep all the pros happy.

The 70-200mm f/4.5-5.6 seems the least likely option to me, given that Panasonic already has both 70-200mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/4 L mount lenses in their lineup. Adding another 70-200mm option would just fragment things too much, I think, especially right now when Panasonic isn’t exactly attracting many low budget shooters to their full-frame system.

But, I guess we’ll see. They might release none of them, or they may release all three. You can see the full patent here.

[via Lens Rumors]

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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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