Panasonic launches duo of Micro Four Thirds lenses

Panasonic's 42.5mm, f1.7 lens
Portrait focused: Panasonic’s 42.5mm, f1.7 lens. Image: Panasonic.

Panasonic has unveiled two new lenses for the Micro Four Thirds camera system.

The 42.5mm f1.7 is billed as a portrait lens, but will lend itself, too, to medium close or tight shots for film making. The f1.7 aperture should give defocused backgrounds, as well as helping with filming in low light conditions.

The 42.5mm gives the equivalent of a 85mm field of view on 35mm, when used on a Micro Four Thirds camera for either stills or HD video. The crop will be slightly tighter on cameras such as the GH4 in 4K video mode, reviewed here, or on Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera, which has a 2.6x crop.

The second launch is a 30mm, f2.8 macro lens. This gives an equivalent field of view of 60mm, and a close focus distance of 10.5cm, with 1:1 magnification. The 30mm f2.8 can also double as a portrait lens or short telephoto for film making or stills.

The 30mm f2.8 uses Panasonic’s Mega IOS stabilisation system, and the 42.5mm, Power IOS. The 30mm macro joins Panasonic’s Leica-branded Macro Elmarit 45mm f2.8, which has a 15cm close focusing distance.

The 42.5mm f1.7 adds to a growing range of Micro Four Thirds lenses in the mid-telephoto range.

As well as the slower, 45mm macro, Panasonic also offers the Leica-branded 42.5mm f1.2 Nocticron, which benefits from a manual aperture ring as well as a faster widest aperture.

In addition, Olympus offers the 45mm f1.8 M.ZUIKO lens, although unlike the Panasonic units this is not internally stabilised, as Olympus builds stabilisation into its camera bodies.