Best Panasonic Leica DG Vario Elmarit 8-18 mm f / 2.8-4 ASPH Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
An ideal complement to the 12-60 mm f / 2.8-4 , the Panasonic DG Vario Elmarit 8-18 mm f / 2.8-4 ASPH also signed Leica will delight fans of landscapes and reportage. Ultra-wide angle, it is equivalent to a 16-35 mm.
Relatively bright, this zoom has variable maximum apertures f / 2.8-4. It is composed of 15 lenses divided into 10 groups with many aspherical elements, ED and 1 UHR glass. We also find the Nano Cristal treatment. Very light, the lens weighs a little over 300 g and measures almost 9 cm in length and a little more than 7 cm in diameter.
It is designed to be able to cope with extreme shooting conditions (humidity, dust, temperature). Note, it has no optical stabilization (not necessary on such wide focal lengths); it will therefore be necessary to settle for the 3-axis stabilization on board the Panasonic Lumix boxes concerned.
This zoom will compete directly with the Olympus 7-14 mm f / 2.8 M. Zuiko PRO , whose qualities we have praised and which offers the undeniable advantage of a constant f / 2.8 aperture.
Best Panasonic Leica DG Vario Elmarit 8-18 mm f / 2.8-4 ASPH Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
1. PANASONIC LUMIX Professional 8-18mm Camera Lens, G LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT. F2.8-4.0 ASPH, Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds, H-E08018 (Black)
2. Panasonic Lumix DG Leica Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 Asph. Zoom Lens for Micro Four Thirds Mount – Bundle with 67mm Filter Kit. Cleaning Kit, Capleash, Lens Wrap, LensPen Lens Cleaner, Software Pack
4. PANASONIC LUMIX G LEICA DG MACRO-ELMAR LENS, 45MM, F2.8 ASPH. PROFESSIONAL MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, MEGA OPTICAL I.S., H-ES045 (USA BLACK)
5. PANASONIC LUMIX G MACRO LENS, 30MM, F2.8 ASPH. MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, MEGA OPTICAL I.S., H-HS030 (USA BLACK)
This 8-18 mm is very beautiful. The design is elegant, neat and discreet. It incorporates certain aesthetic codes of Leica (orange color, font of the inscriptions) and enjoys a 100% metal construction of the most beautiful effect. It is therefore a very beautiful object, pleasant to look at and to take in hand. All things considered, it is quite imposing: count a little less than 9 cm long for a little more than 7 cm in diameter. In terms of weight, however, it is very light: around 300 g on the scale, which makes it perfectly calibrated for the format of Micro 4/3 hybrids.
It has a constant bulk design. Indeed, Panasonic decided to provide a fairly clear barrel outward, which allows the lens to keep the same dimensions, regardless of the focal length used. Thanks to this, it is possible to screw a filter (67 mm) into it, despite the presence of a domed front lens. The lens is naturally equipped to face the worst shooting conditions thanks to its resistance to dust and humidity.
The zoom ring is a great success. It is wide and comfortable to use. The race is moderate; it will therefore be very quick to go from 8 to 18 mm. Its fluidity is close to perfection, which gives it good precision. The outward manual focus ring is narrower. Its fluidity is excellent, but unfortunately it has no markers, neither end stops nor focusing distance.
Very good despite lack of homogeneity
The notion of dive is quite delicate to deal with. This is what we can assimilate to the “feeling of sharpness” and / or to the “precision” that we observe on an image. It can be very different from one lens to another, from one focal to another and from one aperture to another. It can also vary between the center and the edges of the image. We usually say that the sharpness is optimal in the center and at the average openings: f / 8 or f / 11 for example.
In addition, the sharpness will depend on the size and definition of your device’s sensor. The smaller the pixels, the more the system will show its limits due to diffraction. This phenomenon increases as you close the lens diaphragm.
We tested the lens with a Panasonic Lumix GX8 with a 20 Mpx Micro 4/3 sensor (5,200 x 3,904 px). Each pixel therefore measures 3.3 micrometers (µm) aside. The minimum aperture recommended to avoid diffraction problems is f / 11.
The performance of this wide-angle zoom is very good. The lens benefits from a very good behavior, consistent with all focal lengths. The sharpness, already quite high at the largest aperture, rises as the diaphragm is closed up to f / 8, aperture at which the lens gives the best of itself, then gradually decreases. After f / 11, diffraction requires, the images become unusable. However, the lens suffers from a lack of homogeneity between the center, two-thirds and the extreme edges of the images; this defect settles as the diaphragm is closed.
Compare the performance of this new 8-18mm with that of its main competitor, the 7-14mm f / 2.8 Olympus. At the time, it had been tested with an Olympus OM-D EM-1 (2013) and its 16 MP sensor (a little less defined than that of the GX8, therefore). In addition, in the meantime, we have changed our visual comparison test scene. We therefore only compare here the measurements made with Imatest.
In the end, this 7-14 mm is the missing link in the infernal trio of f / 2.8 constant aperture zoom lenses. Olympus is the first brand to offer compact lenses with interchangeable lenses and to have the famous three zoom lenses in its range of optics! There is a version of the trio of f / 4 zooms at Sony for its A7 and it lacks the wide-angle zoom at Panasonic and Fujifilm, which only offer an f / 4 version.
The 7-14 mm has a remarkable quality of construction and finish, like all PRO optics from Olympus. On the program, there is a constant size, an all-weather design, a customizable touch, a great system for switching to manual focus and a discreet satin black finish all in metal. It is therefore a very beautiful object that we take pleasure in handling and using.
We are however a little disappointed with the optical quality it provides, and more particularly with its lack of homogeneity between the center and the edges of the images. By comparison, in the world of 24 x 36 mm SLR, we do much better. However, the center and sides of the images are well stitched and teeming with fine details. We also greatly appreciate the very good control of distortions.
A focal length corresponds to an angle of field – or viewing angle – covered by the camera equipped with the lens. The larger the focal length, the smaller the field of view: we speak of a long focal length. Conversely, the shorter the focal length, the wider the field angle: we speak of wide-angle.
Here is what we get with the 8-18 mm mounted on a hybrid equipped with a Micro 4/3 format sensor. Considering the conversion coefficient of 2x, it is an equivalent 16-36 mm.
This lens is ideal for landscapes and photo reporting, for example. Be careful, you quickly tend to be seduced by the field proposed at 8 mm and not to leave it too much. Indeed, the latter is very attractive and allows you to make images that you are less used to seeing. Remember that this is indeed a zoom, with all the advantages that it brings!
All the lenses give an image whose periphery, and particularly the corners, are darker. The vignetting is measured in IL (Lumination Index): the value indicated measures the difference, in IL, between the amount of light received by the edges and that received in the center.
This thumbnail zoom. The phenomenon is mainly observed at the largest openings and it is at 8 mm that it is most marked. We still barely feel it at f / 4 and it becomes negligible from f / 5.6
Objectives tend to “twist reality”. Geometric aberrations appear when one moves away from Gauss conditions. There are two types of geometrical distortions: distortions in bearings and distortions in barrels.
The bokeh is to be related to the depth of field. We can compare it to the “quality” of the blur or to the way in which the objective goes from the net to the blur – a very subjective notion, even if certain elements make it possible to predict things – on images with shallow depth of field. It depends on many parameters including mainly the design of the lens, the shape and size of the diaphragm.
An ultra-wide-angle lens associated with sliding and modest maximum apertures and mounted on a camera equipped with a “small” Micro 4/3 sensor: this is an association against beautiful bokeh effects. There is not much you can do about it, these are the laws of optics. To put the odds on your side, prefer a short focus distance, the largest aperture and a well defined foreground and background.
Recommended without hesitation
It is impossible not to recommend this ultra wide-angle zoom which combines qualities from all points of view. Its focal range to start: equivalent to a 16-36 mm, this zoom will delight landscapers and reporters. Good point, the distortions are fairly well controlled, even at 8 mm. Regarding the opening, it is true that we would have preferred a constant f / 2.8 (like the 7-14 mm of Olympus). Here we will have to settle for slippery openings f / 2.8-4, which will nonetheless be bright enough to capture freehand photos in low light with the help of the mechanical stabilization of the case.
Then let’s talk about the lens itself. The weight is very contained, the grip is excellent, as are the adjustment rings. We would have liked a third to manually adjust the diaphragm. The build quality is perfect and the design is very successful.
Finally, on the optical quality side, it’s very good. The lens delivers images rich in fine detail to all focal lengths, from the largest apertures. In addition, the lens has a nice homogeneous behavior. However, it suffers from a lack of homogeneity between the center, two-thirds and the extreme edges of the images.
- Design, handling and quality of construction
- Movement of the adjustment rings
- Large 8 mm opening
- General behavior of optics
- High dive from the largest opening
- Low vignetting
- Well-controlled distortions
- No focus distance mark
- Maximum sliding openings
- No manual diaphragm ring
- Lack of homogeneity of sharpness between the center, 2/3 and the extreme edges of the images
If the 12-60 mm did not convince us, the 8-18 mm, yes, certainly! This ultra wide-angle zoom provides excellent image quality from the largest apertures (f / 2.8-4). The build quality is close to perfection and the handling, very pleasant. We do not have much to reproach with this objective which will make the happiness of the photographers of landscape and report.
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