(FT5) Panasonic announcement at 6am London time! X lens with nano surface coating.

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A collage made by “Aless” (Thanks!) shows the real 14-42mm X lens on the Panasonic GF1.

Tomorrow (Friday) at 6am London time Panasonic will unveil the new X lens series and two new zoom lenses. We were never that excited about upcoming zooms! I have been told the image quality of the new and very first 14-42mm X lens is impressive (much better than the actual 14-42mm kit lens). It has Nano Surface Coating, aspherical lens, inner focusing, powerzoom (with button on lens), in lens image stabilization. All this is packaged in a tiny pancake with 1.5x the length of the 20mm f/1.7 lens! The aperture of the lens is f/3.5-5.6.

A new anonymous source sent me this (take it as FT2!): “The new kit lens will be available with the GF3 in a special kit package, and Panasonic is also going to offer it with the G2 at some point. Had a try with the lens last week at the press event, the way it pops out by itself is actually pretty impressive, and I can see being really useful for slipping into your bag or just dumping the camera somewhere quickly. But it’s $250/200 Euro more than the standard kit lens – will consumers want to cough up that kind of money?” P.S.: The current Panasonic kit lens price can be checked here Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay (around 200 dollars/pounds/euro).

I have no reliable info yet about the second lens, the 45-175mm zoom. I have been told it is also small but I don’t know yet if it is an X lens or not.

More: It will be interesting to see how Panasonic will introduce the new “X” pro lineup. Will there be more “X” lenses coming this year? Will there be fast zoom “X” lenses too? Will there also be “X” cameras?

Be online tomorrow at 6am London time. As usual I will make  a useful summary of all news/reviews/interviews and so on!

Will you buy the 14-42mm X lens id image quality is on top and price is around 400-450 Euro/dollars?

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Was it a good idea from Panasonic to create the "X" marked Pro lens series?

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  • Duarte Bruno

    2 more Zooms?
    Did I read it right? :) :) :)

    Oh wait a minute!!! Wasn’t this lens supposed to be cheaper???

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/dthawks27/ Bruce

    i honestly think $450 is reasonable. $400 would be a great price! anything lower would be a steal.

    but honestly….. when will this lens ever even be shipped? i mean, look this the God Dang Leica 25mm DG. it aint even out yet and theyre releasing new lenses! -__-

    seriously.. im excited. but knowing Panasonic, im not gonna get anywhere near this camera for at least a good 4-5 months. maybe longer. even if i have the money, which i do… sorta?

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/dthawks27/ Bruce

      …. anyways, back to the point. with better image quality and the tiny pancake size. i would pay the extra $200-250 bucks. if you dont care about the size, they just stick with the old zoom lens. nuff said

      • Cteve

        Too bad to hear that where you guys live you can’t get the Panasonic lenses because here where I now live (Korea) those lenses are quite easy to find in Seoul: Panasonic 25mm f1.4 / Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f0.95 / etc.

        Maybe they are doing that on purpose for the Western market??? who knows?

        • http://www.43rumors.com/members/dthawks27/ Bruce

          nope. no where. they only way is through third party japan sellers, who are selling them for double the price. B&H’s site says that it will be available next month. -__-

          i pre-ordered 2 months ago.

          • Cteve

            Arg! that sucks.

            I think there is some priority in Asia for cameras, at least for some products and companies as those lenses like I mentioned are available here in Korea and of course Japan, I wouldn’t be surprise if China (Hong Kong, Shanghai) got a few as well.

            I remember when I got my Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 3 months ago in Seoul the shop where I bought it told me only 60 copies got to Korea. But the price I paid for it was 950000w (which is roughly 900$ u.s.).

            The PANASONIC 25mm f1.4 is available here for about 775$ tax inc. (http://itempage.auction.co.kr/detailview.aspx?itemNo=A567290308)

      • oluv2002

        it ain’t out yet? it is available in any photo-store here in vienna, i have also seen many sample photos in various german forums. might be a US-problem though.

      • Odin

        Available in Norway too…
        But, the gear is expensive and I guess Pana may prioritize markeds with good margins.

  • Duarte Bruno

    What do you mean by X cameras???

  • Mr. Reeee

    Hmmm. $450? Not too bad. If this thing can beat the 14-45mm zoom’s IQ, I could be tempted by size alone. But, it would have to be pretty damn good!

    Bundling it with the GF3 would be perfect, but it would be about $700 or $800 at current pricing. No way will their target market spend that much.

    • Zaph

      I don’t know about that. $700-800 isn’t *that* much more than an LX5, XZ-1, G12, S95, etc. I’d love to see a size comparison when it comes out against the XZ-1 and G12, on the GF3 and EPM1.

  • Ardi GF2

    I won’t buy it. Yet I think it is a good idea to develop X lens. Good for the industry, and good to be bundled as kit lens.

    • Cteve

      “…but it would be about $700 or $800 at current pricing. No way will their target market spend that much.”

      Why not? the same people spend more for a NEX and get their tiny body with a huge crappy lens. Here you can both the tiny body and a good tiny lens (probably twice smaller) for the same price and as a bonus (for the average soccer mom) the lens got a powerzoom so it sounds “easier” to use.

      • Mr. Reeee

        Yes, that’s true. And upgraders will be expecting to pay more for better optics and image quality. So, I take it back. 😉

        This lens, (who knows what size) the new Panasonic 40-175mm (?) and the 9-18mm on any of the GFs or the new smaller Oly’s would be pretty nice little kits.

  • http://www.bikerag.com Bikerag

    No filters??… No Manual Zoom ring?? Lens Cap?? Might still consider it for my GF2

    • Mr. Reeee

      I can’t believe there’s no way to attach filters. That would be a pretty glaring omission.

    • Chez Wimpy

      37mm thread… says so on the front

    • fta

      There is another “Focus” lever under the “Zoom” lever, look at the bottom right photo of the lens.

      • Duarte Bruno

        That’s probably the stabilization On/Off switch!

      • Thierry

        I’d expect that to be the OIS switch, but we’ll know for sure tomorrow I guess.

  • oliver twist

    Yes more more!

    The more lens they produce, the more their prices will come down and the more our options!

    drool drool drool… :)

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

    “Press event” last week? Hmmm… sounds suspicious.
    Anyway, there is nothing “pro” about this lens. Not even for videographers, who need a manual focusing option. “Pro” means (to me) ergonomic viability, not miniaturization above all.

    • Cteve

      Who said it was pro? The “X” marking?

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

        admin refers to it as “X pro”.

        • JeremyT

          Yeah, I don’t think admin should keep referring to it as “pro” – there’s nothing on the lens itself that makes these claims and looking at the specs they’re just going to be kit zooms. Even if they’re super *good* kit zooms that’s a far different thing from pro.

          These lenses are an excellent idea and a great technical achievement, but “pro” they certainly are not…

          • admin

            It’s not me saying that those are high end lenses. You will read Panasonics press release tomorrow and than you can blame on them for saying that those are high-end quality lenses. In my opinion it is NOT necessary for a TOP lens to be fast.

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

              Indeed, a fast aperture is not a prerequisite, but full functionality and high build quality are.

              • Cteve

                I think that “X” line is a bit confusing as Panasonic didn’t explain what it was related to. But the big “HD” on the side of the lens let me believe that those lenses will be tailored for video, although just like you Sneye I prefer a manual zoom for video.

        • TempTag

          I still wonder if the X stands for a crossover P&S pop-up style lens for an interchangeable lens system and not “pro”.

          • EddyKilowatt

            I am betting ‘X’ will mean ‘eXtending’ or ‘eXtendable’, or whatever terms apply to a two-group lens with the ability to collapse to ~50% of its focal length.

  • Alexander

    Oly is now under pressure (or where they who build the lens?…). Usually Oly is 4-5 Month later with new announcements after Pana

    • oluv2002

      oly already have their “collapsible” lenses (the first 14-42 is 2 years old now). this one now is panasonic’s answer.

  • Bengt

    I sincerly hope that this will not be marketed as “Pro”, pro means large aperture and in some cases also weathersealing in my world (image quality also of course!).
    Anyway the lenses look interesting, question to admin: Will they work with Oly cameras too or will the powerzoom destroy compability as aperture ring did on 4/3? I’m guessing that if it can’t powerzoom then it’s useless. How much will the powerzoom drain the battery?

    • Mr. Reeee

      Real professional gear NEVER says “pro” on it. Any “pro” label comes direct from the marketing department.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        And the more something has “pro” markings the more probably its quality is mediocre/below average because only consumers are fooled by such markings.

        Bengt, there should be nothing incompatible with m4/3 standard because zoom button on the lens means camera body doesn’t have to do anything related to zooming except providing some electricity… and as autofocus motor and lens based IS require power its already there.

        • Bengt

          Well, we can clearly see that the lens doesn’t have any “pro” marking, it’s admin that is calling it pro, not Panasonic (so far).

          Esa, regarding the powerzoom the same thing could be said for the aperture ring on the original 4/3 lenses or am I wrong?

  • Mike

    @Cteve what is the price in Seoul for the Leica 25 1.4? I’ve found it on interpark for 800,000. But that is for an imported Japanese model and I think that is too much. If I make the bus trip to Seoul will I be able to find it for under 750,000???

  • Zonkie

    I wonder if there will be another series of lenses after the X line which are really pro. Could be a Y series using the same technology for size and optical quality, but removing the powerzoom and instead making it faster. Imagine a 12-45 f/2.8-4 with about the same size (probably the lack of powerzoom motor can’t compensate for the larger aperture in size, but it shouldn’t be too much bigger either).

    I mean, they won’t release the rumored 12-50 (12-75?) f/2.8-? under the same X label as this powerzoom lens, will they? So there must be a Y series coming too.

    • safaridon

      Since the new Nikon ILC is reportedly coming with 4 small slow aperature lenses including an effective 20-35mm/f3.5-5.6 and 28-85/f3.5-5.6 I think that Panys answer will include a smaller 7-14mm as already rumored along same design.

      However as others have mentioned this maybe the only X power zoom because of small lens elements and lower power consumption and less need to change focal lengths than with either a wide or tele zoom? So look for these other zooms to use similar design elements and high IQ but manual zoom?

      My hunch is Pany is designing a whole series of new lenses based on this design only with a stop faster lens speed and w/o the power zoom ie the 12-50/f2.5-3.3?

      From previous rumors would be safe to conclude that one of the other lenses will be a small mirror lens.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/lanturlu/ Lanturlu

    When forced to buy a lens with a body, this is a good option. Prior to that, the only good option for me was the 14mm pancake as the old 14-42mm is way to big and goes against the main strength of m43 system: portability. So this is a good lens to be bundled with a new body. This lens should have come out at the same time as the GF2! Although I would not buy that separately, I wouldn’t mind having it in my collection. I would not carry the old, non-X version though.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/nicofoto/ Nico Foto

      That’s exactly what i was saying yesterday. Most users already have some sort of 14-4x lens in their lineup because of bundles. I don’t see a lot of existing users rushing to buy yet another kit lens, no matter how “cool” it is. Most people would rather spend the money on something that broadens the shooting options. If they had created a UWA like oly 9-18 using this tech, or a 12-50, that would have been a very different and much more interesting proposition…

  • observer

    Pany has shown leica the exit with this?

    What will be leica’s answer? Interesting…

  • Sven

    The lens is not a pro lens with aperture 3.5-5.6!
    A pro lens would have f/2.8

    • http://www.joesiv.com joesiv

      A pro lens’ can be an F4 lens’, look at canon, they’re L series are pro, and they have many f4 zooms which are really popular too.

      And in most cases pro would be constant aperture, but olympus’ high grade lens’ were all variable aperture 2.8-3.5 or 4.

      So really aperture has nothing to do with “pro”, and I agree “pro” is just a marketing term.

      I don’t believe this X lens is professional in any way though, as it appears to be all plastic, and profesionals often will give up size for image quality.

      However, this lens’ does seem to fullfill some of the promises of the mFT system for small body + lens. it’s going to be very popular.

  • Henrik

    I would consider it if image quality is on par or equal to the old 14-45. And then i would consider to put it onto an Olympus E-PL3 – the smallest m43 camera with folding lcd.

    I would even more consider it if it had
    – built-in lens cover
    – built-in lens hood.

  • Lars

    ….will consumers want to cough up that kind of money?”…..

    no .. face it .. most m43 user hardly buy a second lens.
    most m43 users step up from compacts but dont know much about photography.

    yeah yeah there are enthusiast also.. but overall it´s a minority.

  • Miroslav

    “It will be interesting to see how Panasonic will introduce the new “X” pro lineup. Will there be more “X” lenses coming this year? Will there be fast zoom “X” lenses too? Will there also be “X” cameras?”

    Why don’t you check at x-rumors.com 😉 ?

    One other thought: there have been numerous rumors about rework of 7-14 mm lens. I wonder if it’s going to have an X-rated version soon. I’d like to own small 7-14 mm OIS pancake zoom.

    Btw, if rumors about Nikon mirrorless lenses with power zoom are true, than Panasonic targeted Nikon and not Sony with this announcement.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/nicofoto/ Nico Foto

      +1 on a reworked 7-14…The lens is great, and I’m willing to pay what they ask for it…but the size has been a show stopper for me so far (even if its not *big* its not on the same league as the pancakes i have and love)…

  • Bob B.

    We all want more fast primes, we all want a NEW improved sensor…majorly improved…and we all want in-camera viewfinder for a GF-style camera.
    This was not on the list. It’s very cool….but just a side show.
    I would be interested in the 45-175mm if it is better image quality than the current 45-200…this is what this format is all about…compact. Sony missed it. :-)

    • a_lesss

      +10
      M43 USP = best compromise of compactness & quality.
      That is why I bought the Gf1+20mm in the 1st place.

      But when you want to add a telephoto (say 45-200mm) it looks kind of silly. Yes it is a 400mm equivalent, but you will have hard time to convince a Bridge owner that it’s compact when he has a 600mm equivalent which is smaller. Yeah, you can put up the factor sensors, but to you really want to waist time trying to convince the guy?

      Now, judging by the design, the 45-175, should be in the size range of the 14-45mm. I think that would convince a lot of Bridge owners. That is why I thing that these new zooms are a brilliant move from PANA.

      My personal wish, is a bit different though.
      Here is what I would like to see:

      A 10x zoom in the same form factor:
      A 12-120mm or a 14-140mm. I am even OK if you make it f4-5.8

      Pancake primes and a versatile zoom, that is all I need. And I think for the gh3, PANA has to make it: I do not think that the basic customer who wants to shoot video likes to change glass, it has to have a wide to telephoto glass… At least, I hope!

      • Bob B.

        I just hope that the 45-175mm is sharper than the 45-200…which is actually great for the price, but….
        The 7-14mm, (the Oly 12mm), 20mm, 25mm & the 45mm are all great lenses!!!! I would like to see the image quality in that class with this lens. I hope that that happens..but I know it is asking a lot. I would REALLY like to see a quality telephoto…and if that can be delivered in an extremely compact design then Panasonic is really getting it. That is what MFT has over all of these other mirrorless cameras. A varied, small, quality lens selection with an overall extremely compact design. Bump up the dynamic range on the sensor a little and it is ALL there.

  • Sören

    Don’t believe in the superb Image Quality.
    Panasonic replaced the great 14-45 Kitlens because it was just too good, so why should the build a superb IQ-Kitlens now?

    • Martin

      That’s an easy question. Because they get more money for it!

    • admin

      To sell it for a lot of money? :)

  • Milt

    If the IQ of the new compact 14-42mm is as good as Admin says, wonder if it will be bundled with the GH2 instead of the old 14-42mm. That would be an attractive package…and encourage me to upgrade from my G1 with the 14-45mm which I am enjoying very much.

    Looking forward to news about the 45-175mm. That might be a killer lens. We shall see.

    • Lars

      admin knows a shit….. he did not have one in his hands.. did he?

      • admin

        Some friends of mine had it 😉

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

    Everything sounds good, i can even swallow the 400$ price tag
    the only thing that really concerns me is the usage of an automatic zoom, thats the main reason why people even like SLRS or want to “step up from P&S” so they can have a manual zoom which is more accurate and WAY faster,

    whats the use of having a fast AF if it takes me an hour to zoom in where i want? or if the zoom just cant keep up?
    I’d love for it to have a manual zoom link (you can loose the manual AF, but not manual zoom)

  • http://www.paragonprovideo.com Jesse

    Remember how we all hoped there would be more HD lenses like the 14-140? But there aren’t. This will likely be the only X lens.

  • Mike

    Factor 1.5 longer than the 20mm pancake? 38mm? Thats not that small. The old collabsible Zuiko is 43mm long a costs muuuuuuch less. I am a little disappointed, the first news were about equal length. But it looks small on the photos

    • safaridon

      If the photos are real, then I would guess the 1.5X longer than 20mm lens refers to extended ready to take pictures as looks shorter than the Oly one collapsed?

  • Physica

    What I think is … X Lens are a good match with GF-3 , the tiny size of GF-3 is quite hard to hand held with traditional way, but it will be very good if you handle it like the japs commercial…. (maybe I found the link at youtube later?) , powerzoom is very good fit if using that kind of method of handling…..

    also , what’s the most attractive point for a M4/3 is a reasonable size of sensor with a tiny enought body , so the lens is also tiny enough to made the overall size reduce , then it will be great!

    • safaridon

      Given Panys slow delivery to US I would expect Pany plans a GF3 bundled with pancake zoom by Xmas and a new GF5 with G3 sensor and processor and pancake zoom announcement in Nov or 1 year from GF2 announcement.

  • JFo

    As soon as Final Cut Pro stuck an X in the name, it was no longer pro. Also, to pack a zoom lens into a small package is nothing new – it’s called point and shoot, and 400 – 450 is an outrageous price.

    • Duarte Bruno

      Absolutely when the cameras it fits better cost about the same value…

  • bilgy_no1

    It should be the kitzoom for the tiny GF3 and still compact G3 cameras. But will people pay a premium over the current kit price???

    I do appreciate the compactness of the standard zoom lens. But most people looking to buy an extra lens over the kit lens actually want something brighter.

    The only place where a compact zoom will appeal to buyers in great numbers is in the zoom kits. Apart from PEN owners who might be tempted to add this to an E-PM1; in which case they might spring for the GF3 instead. And that’s the effect Panasonic is hoping for.

  • Narretz

    Guys … regarding the missing visual indicators for filter thread, except the that it’s written on the lens … what if the leaked picture is a very clever mockup and fake, and we’ve all been fooled? Maybe even Panasonic doesn’t know about it (otherwise they would have made a statement).
    But that’s probably not very probable.
    I am still intrigued to know where the filter is supposed to go.

  • xoom

    imho the new X lenses could be a buildup to more exciting cameras and lenses focusing on hybrid photo/video capabilities (HD lenses).

    I am also guessing that Panasonic has a gf7/gf pro design ready to launch/produce way before nex7’s launch.. they are just waiting for Sony to make the first move. It’s always about timing.. and they are in no hurry.

    Maybe they will more good news by end of this year or by first quarter next year.
    Why? Think Olympic 2012..

    just my ¥1

  • hotshot

    I have an idea, why not make that powerzoom into fixed steps like 14mm 25mm and 42mm, for quick zooming while getting normal focal lengths covered.
    Since it’s a normal zoom that won’t lose you much focal lengths.

    • spam

      It’s not a new idea, Ricoh have done that for years. One of the main reasons for powerzoom on these lenses are smooth zooming in videomode though, so steps is exactly what they want to avoid. But they could have a mode switch in the menues to allow both steps and smooth zooming.

      • a_lesss

        I’ll go further:

        On the GF7, you will have a dedicated dial with the steps:
        -> Smooth zooming with the rocker
        -> Quick zooming to 14 – 17 – 25 – 42 (28 – 35 – 50 – ~90 in 35mm equiv) with the dial

  • Mike

    In my opinion this lens is another result of the general trend towards compact-like interchangeable lens cameras. I think that mft will get stuck in the middle.
    I personally won’t buy any lens without full manual zoom-control. Otherwise using my pen would feel like using a compact. Then Why not going for a xz-1?

    • spam

      Because of interchangable lenses and much better image quality?

    • flash

      As long as its an option, and you can change the lens to one you like better, all is good. I like to focus and use primes with digital, I feel I can crop a little to get the right framing later if needed. But I understand I am not the majority and if I was doing video or wanted a real small versatile lens maybe this power zoom would be nice.

      A nice traveling kit for me might me this lens supplemental with a 135mm telephoto prime lens (and at times a low F stop standard standard lens for low light or even one of the better wide angles that have been released such as the 12mm Olympus) and mini Olympus camera body(IBS advantage) or the small Pany; it all would fit in my jacket pockets.

  • http://www.techside.eu Techfreak

    If quality is not less, than Lumix 20mm and powerzoom is convenient and works fast, then very likely, that I will consider it somewhere in future.
    This one + 20mm would take the same space as a single 14-45 I have now – that is quite nice.

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