(FT2) Lens update: 12-50mm lens is SILVER? (FT4) Two tele lenses from Panasonic.

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The chrome-silver color from the Sony NEX 18-55 kit

I am still “struggling” to get info about the price and availability of the new Panasonic 12-50mm f/2.5-3.3 zoom lens. The only new thing we heard form a new source is that the lens will come in SILVER. To be more specific I have been told that the lens color is close to the Sony NEX lens (Chrome). As you know all current Panasonic lenses are Black. A wonder why Panasonic should change the color. The only thing that came into my mind is that this is the very first Panasonic “pro” zoom lens and maybe they want to mark it with the new color. Sounds like that lens is going to be very expensive!

I also have a small update about the Panasonic mirror lens. I have been told that Panasonic will announce not one but two mirror tele-lenses. One has a 500mm focal length (it’s a redesigned Minolta 50omm f/8 lens) and the focal length of the second lens is still unknown. One lens will be announced late 2011 and the other lens by early 2012.

As usual. Feel free to contact me at 43rumors@gmail.com if you have some info to share. You Can also contact me anonymously using the contact form on the right sidebar. Thanks!

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  • Duarte Bruno

    Any word whether it will be sold in camera+lens kit?
    My guess is this will be too expensive to buy outside of a kit deal… :(

  • Mr. Reeee

    Oh boy, new Panasonic lenses that might be announced next year! I can hardly wait. ;^P

    Meanwhile they struggle to ship supposedly shipping products.
    Hopefully it’ll all be worth the wait.

  • HMR

    It could be orange or purple and I’d still want

  • twoomy

    Does it sound like the 12-50mm will still be announced early Feb? I’ll take it in black or silver or pink or whatever else. :)

    Funny if silver means pro; I’ve always been very happy with plain boring black. And I thought the 7-14mm and the 45mm Leica macro were pretty much “pro” lenses.

  • thom

    makes sense to me – the panasonic lenses look cheap and plasticy compared to the sony nex ones (whether it reflects their actual quality or not)

    • WT21

      I’ve got both a NEX and Panny lenses. I like the NEX cameras, but continue to be baffled by this “build quality” perception about the NEX. Their lenses have practically a tin foil wrapping, and do not have a great build quality, IMO. In fact, the inner barrel of the kit zoom is such cheap plastic that the plastic seam is quite obvious, and the barrel is quite wobbly — it wobbles more than my Oly 14-150, which has a barrel of substantially longer length. I think the “metal” parts of the NEX lenses are just window-dressing.

    • http://m43photo.blogspot.com M43Photo

      It’s too bad that the manufacturers feel the need to put metal on the surface of their products to make them look high quality.

      This also goes for the Olympus E-P1 and E-P2, which has a thin layer of metal outside the plastic body. It serves no purpose, other than to change the feel of the camera.

      Honestly, I don’t believe that Panasonic is going to put shiny metal on the outside of their pro spec standard zoom. Based on their historic products, I would say that they don’t usually do things like that.

      On the other hand, the competition with Sony is fierce indeed.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/dummy00001/ Dummy00001

    “The only new thing we heard form a new source is that the lens will come in SILVER.”

    I’m secretly hoping that Pannay prepares to release Pro cameras and lenses – and they are going to make them distinctive by the silver finish. (A-la red ring on the Canon L lenses/etc.)

  • http://www.bmupix.com/ Björn Utpott

    It suspect the new 12-50/2.5-3.3 will come in more than one color, one of them being silver. Olympus often releases both black and silver lenses, maybe Panasonic will start to do the same. Already there are two versions of the Lumix 14/2.5 around.

  • Eric

    I thought they distinguished their high end lenses by making them solid black like the 45mm f/2.8 macro. All their other lenses are metallic dark gray with some black parts. I love the solid black ones, I would prefer them stick with that. Silver plastic doesn’t sit right with me; why try and make plastic look like metal? Same goes for cars and faux wood paneling.

    • http://www.bmupix.com/ Björn Utpott

      Eric, there is in fact another all black lens from Panasonic: there’s an all black 14/2.5 that’s sold as the kit lens with the black and the red GF2. The silver and white models have a two tone gray/black 14/2.5. I agree 100% with your thoughts about fake wood paneling and fake metallic plastic.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/jimramk/ Jim Ramsey Khoury

    Technially, the mirror lenses shouldn’t be zooms :p

    • Wife

      then don’t buy one. pretty easy solution there for you.

      • http://www.43rumors.com/members/jimramk/ Jim Ramsey Khoury

        This was a note for @admin to correct the title.

        • admin

          Thanks Jim! I had other zooms in my mind while writing the rumor :)

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/jimramk/ Jim Ramsey Khoury

    Hmm I wonder if the bottom part of the lens that is normally gray will be silver on this lens. I think that would be a good analog to Canon’s red ring (or green for DO glass). I believe the higher end Olympus lenses also had a blue ring. Pentax’s DA* lenses have a gold ring. Any other distinctive features?

    • Wife

      yes, outrageous price tag hanging from it.

      • http://www.43rumors.com/members/jimramk/ Jim Ramsey Khoury

        Quality doesn’t come cheap. But I meant to ask regarding Nikon, Sony lenses etc…

        And honestly, we’ve seen all the m43 lenses’ prices getting slashed. Already, the 100-300 sells for $540. The 45mm macro is now about $750 and the 7-14 just dipped under $850. I’m hoping for the 20mm to reach under $300 if possible.

        • Wife

          i hear you. sadly, i got the 20mm when it was $400.

    • cL

      Yes, Canon’s L line of lenses are in ugly dull grayish white. Sony’s higher-end telephoto lenses also copycat Canon’s “pro cue”, except they’re in silver. I think Panny then copycat Sony and makes their pro lines silver also.

      I’ve recently borrowed some Olympus SHG lenses, and I can tell you, they’re in black. The distinguish features are very subtle and has class. For example, Olympus’s signature blue-and-silver band are in matte finish for SHG lenses. The HG lenses in contrast, are in glossy finish (but it’s a good quality glossy finish, and the silver band has very subtle ripples on them, probably an anti-counterfeit feature). SHG’s lens hoods have velvet lining inside (anti-glare purpose, Leica lenses also have that), and outside has the matching texture as the body (that fiber-reinforced plastic texture, classical to traditional SLR cameras). I don’t know how they fused the band onto the lens, but there is no seam or gap whatsoever. 7-14mm though also SHG, probably from an older generation of SHG, does not have blue-and-silver band, but the un-removable lens hood is in metal, so is the snap on cap, in very heavy gauged metal, even. They do not have flashy look, but when you touch them, you know they belong to a totally different class. They’re entirely made in Japan, end to end, from front cap all the way to rear cap. Only lens pouch is made in China. But then, Zuiko 50-200mm is also cap-to-cap made in Japan.

      Zeiss lenses have that blue logos, obviously. Leica lenses have the red dot. Pentax, as mentioned, gold band. Sigma also gold band. Canon red band, except for L line, which has that ugly gray colored barrel. Nikkors don’t have special distinguishing features, except for really high quality coating, like Zuikos. That’s all I can think of.

  • Matt

    If the 12-50 were to be only available in silver I would sell my GF1 and leave the m43 system. Not joking. A silver version would look horrible on the black GF1 or GF2.

    Hopefully this is just an /additional/ color they’ll be making it in.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/upnorthjeeper/ Jeremiah

      This is probably the most ridiculous comment I have come across in quite some time. For one, I highly doubt they are targeting “GF” users for this lens. Secondly, style and functionality have NOTHING in common. If you are concerned about “looks” then maybe you might want to reconsider a bit more than just your choice of camera system! 😉

      • Esa Tuunanen

        You got that one right about style and functionality having nothing in common:
        Silvery/flashy/shiny colour&surface is probably the most common method of selling cheap junk so couldn’t go much more wrong in choosing it as “pro” colour.

        • safaridon

          How come nobody is considering that Pany may not in fact be manufacturing this new lens with all metal (aluminum or SS) barrel so would be silver? For black they would have a colored version but that could scratch.

      • Eric

        While it is a bit ridiculous that someone would get out of the system because of this, I wouldn’t discount that the design does matter. If I’m going to pay $1000+ for a lens I want to be happy with my purchase, and part of that is the way it looks and how it feels. Image quality is obviously most important, but design also matters.

        One of the reasons I’ve chosen Tamron lenses over Sigma in the past is because I hate the dull texture Sigma uses and tacky gold stripe around the barrel. It’s one thing to put a dull gold ring around a barely ala Nikon, but if it looks like a piece of cheap jewelry from Chinatown then I’d be embarrassed to be seen with it. Silver plastic would be another non-starter for me. Silver metal lenses fine, but silver plastic? Uh, who are they trying to fool?

    • cL

      Most likely just an addition option. I hope…. I really don’t mind having color options, as long as they look good (e.g., Panny G1 red looks light years better than G2 red, G1 blue also looks better than G2 blue…). Black lenses look good on silver bodies, but no the other way around.

      In any case, I hope it’s matte silver, not shiny silver. That would be terrible for wildlife and the glare is not going to be good for photography anyways.

  • WT21

    For me, what a complete waste.

    I know some want that zoom, but I’d rather have portrait fast prime, and a 25/1.2 or something more similar to the Nokton. Mirror lenses with beautiful donut bokeh? Leave that up to the eBay crowd.

    Ugh!

    I hope Oly releases some thing more useful (like a 12mm prime or the rumored 50/2 macro for m43)

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/jimramk/ Jim Ramsey Khoury

      I don’t know why there will be TWO mirror lenses but I agree with you regarding primes. However the fast zoom should be very helpful particularly for video.

      • safaridon

        The two mirror lenses will be the projected 500/F8 for G and GH series and a much smaller 250/F5.6 for the compact FG series. Both lenses were formerly made by Minolta but now pany will be adding AF and OIS to the systems. These lens will be much more compact and less expensive to build than their normal lens counterparts.

        • WT21

          And they’ll still present lovely donut bokeh. Blech.

  • YeahYeah

    When the hell will they understand that we want uber fast primes and not stupid slow zoom (I never buy a lens that is less than f2)??
    We need a 40/1.2 to have a portrait lens!

    • twoomy

      Well actually some of us DO want this lens. A high quality mid-range zoom would fancy me and several others just fine as a great travel kit.

      But yes a portrait lens would be wonderful as well as an ultra-wide angle prime.

      • Kevin

        YES there are ppl that want bright zooms! I really don’t get the bright-prime lens hype – it’s a pain in the rear switching lens for diff focal lengths outdoors and risking the chance of getting ur sensor polluted.

        For those “pros” out there that are bashing on this lens and asking for super-expensive-fast-primes of every focal length, go get a full frame! m4/3 was never target at you guys anyways.

        • YeahYeah

          but if you want a bright lens, get a 5D2 with a 24-70/2.8. The point of m4/3rds cameras are precisely to be small. This means no zoom since a zoom lens will not be significantly smaller whether it is designed for DSLRs or EVILs…

          • Kevin

            your right…but a F1.2 50mm prime isn’t going to be all that small either. And u just need one bright zoom to fit into most focal lengths u need at decent quality, but many primes to make up a complete lens setup (12mm, 50mm, 85mm, etc…)! oly will be announcing at least 2 primes soon, w/ pany adding the 25 1.4. what more do you prime folks want?

          • YeahYeah

            It’s a shame they all announce the same thing.. We will have two to three normal primes, two wide angle (ok that’s important but 24mm is definitively too wide for me) but… No portrait lens! Whereas it is a basic need!

            I’m blaming Pana for making expensive lenses that nobody (except an elite) while they could extend their line up for poor photographers…

          • e

            What, now? Have you looked at (for example) the Panny 100-300 next to a 100-300 for a DSLR? It’s tiny!

            If you want a fast portrait prime, buy a legacy lens and adapter. Tell me you weren’t going to manually focus on the eyes anyway.

    • Mr. Reeee

      These are same Panasonic people who consider the GH2 a niche camera and cut functionality from the GF2. so, given those “standards” it wouldn’t surprise me.

      Anyway, before people sell their gear, fall on their virtual swords, or start wringing their hands over possible lens colors and whatnot…. remember, these are only RUMORS.

      Sure there’s fun in speculating, but as a longtime Mac user, I learned to believe ONLY in shipping products. Apple even sends out fake rumors to keep people off balance and to find sources of leaks.

      There’s too much fantasy and Xmas list BS flying around rumor mills to bother getting cranked up over. So, wake me up when the stuff is for sale and I can actually get it. 😉

  • Snowbird_UT

    Silver and Pro do not mix. A working pro would not want a flashy looking chrome lens, IMO. No, I’m not a pro but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Panny better make it in black also!

  • Firefox23508

    Perhaps the silver model is only to better match the silver version of the GH2 and there will be a black/dark grey version to match the black GH2. Or, perhaps, there is an entirely new silver appointed special edition camera coming as well like the various Leicas! I’d prefer to stick with black, but whatever color it comes in I’ll be buying it!

  • carl

    I’m expecting the second mirror lens to be the famous Minolta 250mm F5.6…

  • aaron

    the silver shown above is more darker, gunmetal – however, what of the possibility of a shade of silver such as used on the fuji x100 or Leica x1 to hint at the introduction to a retro stylized mft body?

  • MikeS

    Just what we need: Panasonic trying to be more like NEX.

    I like black, myself. I hate the bright silver ring around the base of Olympus m4/3 lenses.

  • MP Burke

    I find the rumours of a mirror lens (or two) intriguing. I remember 300mm f5.6 mirror lenses from the 1980s that were very light and compact (compared to a conventional 300mm lens) and it may be thought that a mini-telephoto at 250 to 300 mm focal length (500-600mm full frame equivalent) would match the aspiration to be a compact system. Such a lens could be of interest to birdwatchers etc. who want to carry as little gear as possible.
    Mirror lenses were far more common in the early 1980s (Pentax did a 2000mm and 400-600mm zoom and third party 500mm f8 lenses were very common) and I thought that the difficulty of implementing autofocus largely killed them off. The only AF mirror lens I recall was the Minolta 500 mm f8.
    I would be surprised if Panasonic releases a mirror lens, unless they have technical solutions to enable both auto focussing and image stabilisation.

  • stonebat

    Silver might work out nicely. See the silver color on Panasonic’s M43 kit zooms. It’s dark silver, not like the shiny bling bling NEX5 kit zoom color. I kinda like the dark silver.

  • snowflake

    Another potential advantage the m4/3 sensor size may have is that the disturbing bokeh issue can be reduced when using mirror lenses.

    The size of the light cone for a full frame sensor is 1/2 the size for m4/3, which potentially allows the secondary mirror to similarly smaller, so long as the primary mirror does not similarly shrink in size. This will reduce the donut bokeh. For example, if the secondary mirror was just a dot, the “donut” reduces to the standard bokeh with a small dot in the center, which would be lost in the blur.

    If manufactures of mirror lenses for m4/3 are reading this. Please

    1. Make the secondary mirror as small as possible.

    2. Offer awesome image stabilization, (The smaller size for m4/3 should theoretically make it 4 or more times easier to adjust or make mechanical adjustments to compensating lenses. Reduce the size of an object by 1/2 and its mass is 1/8th as much, which is therefore easier to move around)

    3. Allow for good focus control, ie quick auto focus with a means to make manual fine tuning adjustments.

    Thanks
    snowflake

    • jlev

      what does it mean to have a mirror lens??
      thanks!

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/paulusmayero/ Paulus

    +1
    I hope the professional m.Zuiko-lenses will not be in silver – that would be a fatal mistake!
    For wildlife photography and working in dangerous situations only black is suitable!
    Perhaps Olympus can gain a considerable market share from Panasonic in the Pro-segment.
    One reason could be the fact that more Panasonic-war correspondents are shot in the trench and more wildlife photographers are eaten by beasts of prey due to their silver reflective Panasonic-“Pro”-lenses.

  • Miroslav

    As many others have said, I hope silver is just one of color options. Manufacturers should give people the same lens colors as those of camera bodies. I still prefer all black though and I’m happy Olympus has given up on silver-only 17mm.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/paulusmayero/ Paulus

      +1

  • Nathan

    Heck, I’m just glad SOMEBODY is building an f2.5-3.3 standard zoom. It’s the thing the system needs. We don’t need a 2000 dollar F2 zoom, we need an 800 dollar fast, sharp standard lens.

    Then, we need some 400 dollar fast primes in the 25 to 100 mm range. Something like 25mm F2, 35mm F2, 42mm F2, 50mm F2 and 75mm F2.5. Or, a 25-70mm F2-F3.5 zoom.

    Then, make a 70-210mm F3.0-f5.6 or thereabouts for those who insist on birding with a miniature camera. 700 bucks ought to cover it.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/frosti7/ frosti7

    Just shows you how sony wiped the floor with their NEX
    It will probably will come out in silver – followed by black after 6 months

  • Robbie

    While I agree that a bright prime is seriously needed, the introduction of a bright zoom is equally important. This is like carrying a 14-54mm or 12-60mm on my 43 gear. They are highly versatile (wide to small tele) and it’s one of the reasons 43 distinguishes itself from other systems.

  • shutterwill

    Panasonic is taking the term “Bright Zoom” too literally, I would prefer a black one instead.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/panasonic/ panasonic

    I prefer orange (amber) color. orange = vitamin c 😀

  • at

    It would be the best couple for GH2 silver if the lens is having the same color (maybe Panasonic is developing another camera product line which will be based on silver color).

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/dcap/ dCap

    aluminium?

  • http://www.50mmlens.org 50mm Lens

    There a lot of really good and affordable 50mm lenses out there, it really just comes down to which brand your prefer. They are all quite good.

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