Lumix Releases the New Leica 8-18mm Super Wide Zoom

Posted Apr. 19th, 2017 by Daniel J. Cox

A few months back Panasonic announced the intention of bringing us three new lenses, the 12-60mm Leica, the 8-18mm Leica, and the 50-200mm Leica. The 12-60mm was released with the new GH5, and today Panasonic announced the ability to preorder the 8-18mm.

Photo courtesy of ePhotozine. Thank you for being at the show. Click on the image to be take to the ePhotozine site for more Lumix info.

It doesn’t have Optical Image Stabilization, but I don’t see that as a problem with the superb in-camera IS we now have in the G85 and GH5 bodies. Its front element is 67mm and has threads for screw-in filters which will be a huge bonus for landscape folks. The size and weight are going to be another major benefit, especially compared to what I used to shoot, the Nikkor 14-24mm F/2.8, that I loved, but almost never carried due to its size and weight. Below are additional details on specs.

The new Leica 8-18mm F/2.8-4 zoom lens. Can’t wait to get one.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

Micro Four Thirds System
16-36mm (35mm Equivalent)
Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
One Aspherical ED and One UHR Element
Three Aspherical and Two ED Elements
Nano Surface Coating
Splash, Dust, and Freezeproof Design
Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm

I had a chance to briefly hold and feel this lens this past February at our annual Lumix meeting. It has the fit and finishes all Leica/Lumix lenses are now known for.  Lumix is really hitting their stride in producing stunning optics, and I predict this one will be no different. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one and will report back after having the chance to shoot it.

The next one on the list that I’m really excited to see is the coming 50-200mm F/2.8-4. This will give us a traditional 100-400mm equivalent reach with an F/stop of F2.8 for goodness sake. If they can give us the optical quality of my past Nikkor with this new lens I will be off the chart with enthusiasm for this lens. Can’t wait to see it.

If you want one yourself you may want to give your business to one of my favorite camera shops, Bozeman Camera in my hometown. You can call either Marshal or Tanner at (406) 586-8300 or email them at bozemancamera@gmail.com.

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There are 5 comments on this post…
  1. David GaronOn Apr. 24th, 2017 (4 months ago)

    Hey Dan, I’m guessing you already know this, but my first “fish-eye” Nikkor was rectilinear – entire frame with zero distortion at the edges. I also had that with a lens on my Rolleiflex 6×6, and man-o-man, I wish I had that setup today (digital, of course)! The saturation, particularly in the sky with both of these was tantamount to having a polarizer on, without actually having one and losing the 2 or more stops of light!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 27th, 2017 (4 months ago)

      Thanks for your input David. Maybe we’ll get something similar as time goes on for MFT. Always love hearing from you. Hope this finds you well

  2. Portrait of Christine Crosby

    Christine CrosbyOn Apr. 20th, 2017 (4 months ago)

    Thanks Dan! This is exciting! You know I’ll be MOST interested in a 50-200mm at TWO POINT EIGHT!!! Gah!!!!! But this looks fun too. Is the distirtion at 8mm as much as the “straight” 8mm fisheye?? I would assume not but wanted to check with the Boss! Have a great time in Africa!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 21st, 2017 (4 months ago)

      Thanks for checking in Christine. Not sure about distortion but would guess it will be similar. However, what is strange about Olympus calling their version a “Fish Eye” lens, is that their fish eye actually shows the entire frame, not the circular look of a true fisheye lens. The advantage we’ll have with the new Leica will be it’s zoom capabilities. The Olympus will be a bit smaller, faster maximum aperture but lack the ability to zoom. Pluses and minuses as we lack to say.

  3. Jim RestleOn Apr. 19th, 2017 (4 months ago)

    Hello Daniel,
    I’ve been looking forward to this lens since it was announced. I shoot with Olympus bodies, but have a mixture of Oly and Panasonic lenses. I’ve been looking for a lens with better image quality than Oly 9-18 and something smaller than Oly 7-14. The reports of “purple blobs” from the combination of Olympus bodies/Panasonic 7-14 kept me from purchasing that lens, so I’m hopeful for this one.

    When I shot with the regular Olympus 4/3 system, their 50-200 lens was my favorite. It is so versatile, so you are right to be eagerly expecting Panasonic’s 50-200.
    Regards, Jim

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