Cameras

Panasonic and Leica Announce 300mm Zoom Lens

The Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm lens was announced today as the latest addition into the Four Thirds lens lineup.

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Las Vegas, Nevada, March 7, 2007 – Panasonic and Leica today announced their longest telephoto lens. The Leica D lens has Panasonic’s Mega Optical Image Stabilization technology built into it and complies with Four Thirds system DSLR cameras. The Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm lens will cost $999.

The Leica D 10.7x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 28-300mm lens in 35mm format. According to the press release, the new lens will still be light and compact like the previously released Leica D 14-50mm lens.

The longer lens fits into a smaller space with its 4 aspherical lenses. An ED lens is thrown in the mix to minimize distortion for a total of 15 elements in 11 groups. The new lens will measure 78.5mm in diameter (72mm filter diameter) and 90.4mm in length.

The Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm has max apertures of f/3.5-5.6 and a minimum aperture of f/22. The aperture is controlled by a ring around the lens on the outside and 7 diaphragm blades on the inside. According to the release, the Leica D lens is quiet with its Extra Silent Motor (ESM) technology. It can focus as close as 50cm throughout the zoom range.

Panasonic touts this lens as designed specifically for its debut DSLR, the Lumix DMC-L1. The lens fits onto other Four Thirds cameras though, such as the Leica Digilux 3 and Olympus’ E-series models. Both Olympus and Sigma make longer zoom lenses that can be viewed at http://www.four-thirds.org/. None of those lenses have built-in stabilization though.

"This powerful new Leica D lens will become the ideal lens for shooting with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 in almost any condition because it will combine the lens’ extraordinary zoom power with Panasonic’s Mega O.I.S. technology," said Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager of Imaging at Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, in today’s press release. "With this lens, Mega O.I.S. will deliver unparalleled telephoto shooting performance, especially when shooting without a tripod."

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