Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma L-mount shooters now have a new ultra-wide lens option. With the addition of the Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8, the brand now has five compact, f/1.8 primes for its full-frame mirrorless mount. The growing line already includes the S 24mm f/1.8, S 35mm f/1.8, S 50mm f/1.8, and S 85mm f/1.8 lenses.
Who’s it for
This new Panasonic 18mm f/1.8 is designed for the full-frame L-Mount. The 18mm focal length results in an ultra-wide angle of view, making it a perfect choice for astrophotographers, sweeping landscapes, and architectural shots. And despite being an ultra-wide-angle, it can focus as close as 7 inches for dramatic detail shots.
The fast f/1.8 maximum aperture also makes this a good choice for lowlight work. That’s another check in the box for astrophotographers or wedding/event photographers looking for a way to document dramatic scenes. And, in keeping with the hybrid trend in the industry, the Panasonic 18mm f/1.8 offers features that should appeal to still shooters and videographers alike.
Design & optics
The Panasonic 18mm f/1.8 consists of thirteen lens elements in twelve groups. These include three aspherical elements, which along with the 9-blade circular aperture diaphragm, should result in beautiful bokeh. The lens also has three extra-low-dispersion elements to reduce chromatic aberration. And lastly, you’ll find one ultra extra-low dispersion (UEL) lens and one ultra-high refractive index (UHR) lens.
In keeping with the other S Series glass, the Panasonic 18mm f/1.8 has the same 67mm filter size and roughly the same center of gravity. This is hugely helpful for filmmakers, as they can get away with only minor balance adjustments on the gimbal when swapping out lenses within the series. Also ideal for videographers is the micro-step aperture control for smoothly adjusting exposure. Panasonic also says it includes a mechanism to reduce focus breathing.
Travel and landscape photographers and videographers will especially appreciate the extremely compact and durable design of this 18mm. It weighs just 12 ounces and is only 3.23 inches long. It’s dust, splash, and freeze-resistant and can operate down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, making it able to withstand some serious adventures.
Price & availability
The Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 is priced at $997.99 and is available for pre-order at Adorama as of today. Panasonic has not specified when the lens will ship or be available for immediate purchase.