(FT4) Panasonic is about to launch the new 12-50mm f/2.5-3.3 zoom!


I told you that rumors would not stop! We are working on quite a few news right now! The first rumor we post is about the next Panasonic zoom lens. A few weeks ago a trusted source said us that Panasonic was about to release a new 12-50mm f/2.5-3.3 zoom. We looked for confirmation from other sources and now we found that also according to DSLRmagazine sources Panasonic will soon release that lens! I was told the zoom lens is pretty big and that it should be announced very soon along the new MFT camera sometimes between February and May. It’s a lens optimized for video like the Panasonic 14-140mm (that means silent autofocus, smooth zoom). I guess this is the lens that has been made primarily for the use on a Panasonic AG-AF100 and Panasonic GF2. We have no price indication yet. The closest lens you can compare with is the Olympus 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED SWD (Four Thirds) which costs $899 at Amazon. But that lens is not optimized for video and not as fast as the Panasonic.

This is not the only lens Panasonic is preparing. The Micro Four Thirds version of the current Four Thirds 25mm f/1.4 is also almost ready for launch also latest news reported that the lens will not be in Stock before April-May.

P.S.: Dslrmagazine also reminds you that Olympus will launch three pro MFT lenses in April-May.

Stay tuned guys…those are busy times!

Feel free to send me your rumors at 43rumors@gmail.com or use the contact form on the right sidebar. Thanks a lot!

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  • Andi

    If it is not too expensive it will be mine!

  • Bu

    Ditto to what Andi wrote above :)

  • Luke

    What would be a price guess on something like this?

    • Inge-M.

      I tink ca.1000$

      • admin

        Probably more…

  • According to DSLR Magazine, the presentation of both the Lumix bright zoom and the three Olympus pro lenses + body are expected for april-june 2011.

    • Agent00soul

      Presentation or delivery?

      • Presentation… but as usual dates are not 100% sure so are subject to change. I expect it won’t be so long before we get the FT5 and the first images of the lens. :)

        • admin

          Let’s see ;)

  • napalm

    awesome. i hope it performs good!

    • admin

      Very good I was told!

  • napalm

    i bet when this finally comes out, people will then start whining about the price… hehehe

    • Robbie

      There’s always something to pick LOL

  • Admin:
    Could you try to find out more about size? especially bigger/same/smaller vs 14-140?

    • admin

      Yes I am working on it…

  • Mike

    Wow, this zoom and maybe a 12mm from Olympus. A Spring I can’t await!

  • Zoom lens with f/2.5 at 12mm. I am sure that it will be very expensive.

  • Suggested price 999$?
    For example Olympus 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED SWD sells for $798.95 at BH.

  • my name

    More, it’s a HD lens.

  • Brod1er

    Sounds nice but will be expensive. Weight/size will be interesting. If it is much over 500g, it starts to get unwieldy for mft still photography – for this weight I would prefer to take my 7-14, 20mm and a fast 50mm for greater creative flexibility.

  • Carl

    Sounds great, after my lx3 I would miss 24mm in a single package

  • Duarte Bruno

    Amazing specs and just the lens everyone craves for but unless it’s bundled as kit for the GH2 at around the same price of the 14-140mm kit, I can’t see how on Earth I’ll be able to afford it… :(

  • Miroslav

    More good news indeed. Not on my must-have list, but good to spread the popularity of the system nevertheless.

    As for the roadmap:
    25mm f/1.4 – check
    bright zoom – check
    bright wide-angle – still waiting – that’s the one for me

    • Miroslav

      I suppose 12-50mm will be one of the kit lenses for GF1 successor.

  • This type of rumor has been with us for a long time. It has previously been quoted as 12-75mm, and 12-36mm. The first of these two sounds rather unreaslistic, and the second doesn’t sound so useful.

    The size will probably be around that of the 14-140mm superzoom, and I would guess the price will be even higher.

  • Great Dane

    @M43Photo Oh sure a 12-36 won’t be useful… It just by chance don’t happen to cover the same area as one of the best and most successfull Canon lenses the 24-70… So no… Completely useless, just like all Canon gear :=D

    • Agent00soul

      Well, that’s old technology!

      • Luca

        A compact but yet fast 12-24 and a 35-70 build in the same way would be much more useful to me than any 12-50 or 12-75 Zoom with the same speed but a much larger size. And because a 12-24 is just a wide angle and the 35-70 just a tele, it would be not unrealistic to build them small but fast.

        Small zoom lenses with small zoom factors, fast speed and prime quality, that’s what I want and I would pay a lot of money for them.

  • WT21

    I’ll be the dissenting voice —

    Personally, I wouldn’t use this lens (though I know others would). I find with zooms, I tend to use either end, not generally the middle. So, if the choice is a giant, expensive zoom with the attending IQ limitations, and also moving the camera outside it’s compact milieu, then I’d rather have a 12mm wide + a fast 50 (like around 1.2), and switch them off. The lenses and camera are small enough that way to pocket all three (at least in winter wear).

    I hope to see some more quality primes, and a spot faster, too. Olys 50/2 sized for m43 is one. I’d also like to see a 12mm. This one doesn’t have to be any faster than say 2.8, but it needs to be good quality (and if good quality means it can’t be a pancake, that’s OK too).

  • Voldenuit

    I’m going to guess a launch MSRP of $1200. Why so much? The 7-14/4 was $1100 at launch and the 45/2.8 was $900. Neither are optimized for video.

    I won’t buy it at $1200, though. $800 and I’ll bite. Maybe (got a lot to pay off as I just bought a new house).

  • soldar

    if this lens will really come out, and be sharp across the frame at all focals and apertures, I’m buying into the format.Let’s see what panasonic can do.

  • mat

    Updated 25/1.4 in stores by May?? I’d like to believe that but given Panasonic’s recent record of delay between announcement and easy availability in stores, if it’s announced today I wouldn’t count on being able to order one until September at the earliest.

  • at

    If this lens releases in the coming months at less than $600, it would be a great chance for me to re-enter into the M4/3 camp as long as I am looking for fast lens suitable for video in multiple environments with GH2. It is great to get a zoom lens with this range to shoot video from 24mm to 260mm eq. with ex-tele conversion (even more tele with additional tele-converter) with relatively fast aperture at tele end to avoid shooting in high ISO. Well done!

    • jefkom

      You mean 24-100mm. ;-)


      • at

        260mm equivalent with Center Crop Mode (Extra Tele Conversion)

        • safaridon

          Not only does this mean 24-260mm effective zoom range with video it is also with no loss in either IQ or lens speed. However this feature is only found in the GH2, G2, and GF2 but likely will be to all future Pany models. The degree of magnification is slightly greater in the GH2 with its larger sensor than in either G2 or GF2. good

          I think admin meant to say this lens was for GH2 not GF2 because of its size but no doubt will be a real asset to any of the above mentioned cameras. Note that for stills there would be an optical 1.3X crop to extend the range to 130mm. Imagine a lens faster than the Oly famed 12-60mm/1.8-4 for m4/3. Certainly indicates that Pany has a pro model m4/3 right around the corner but in the meantime this should give a significant boost to those considering the GH2 with its advanced HD features.

    • jefkom

      I doubt it will be a $600 lens. I’m thinking more in the line if $800 to $1000.. Hope I’m wrong.

    • TempTag

      <$600 For the zoom would be nice but looking at the pricing on other m43s lenses I don't think that is going to happen. Less than $1,000 list would be nice to see but thinking $1,099 list.

      The 25mm is interesting though I wonder if it will be as sharp as the Panny 4/3s 25mm. (And I will miss the aperture ring!)

      • at

        Don’t be so serious about my random guess of price, but I think it could still be possible if it is Made in China and available as a kit lens.

  • St. Louis Lookin’ Dude

    I hope it’s true, because the lens sounds just about perfect. But I’d be really surprised to see it priced under $1000.

    • at

      It would be also great if it can be a kit lens of GH2-grade camera asking for a kit price of less than $1300.

  • safaridon

    Looks like Pany has reduced the focal length of the originally projected 12-75mm/f2.5-3.3 to 50mm in order to reduce its size and not have to reduce its lens speed. This lens will not only be a boost for the m4/3 format if pricing is affordable but I don’t think APS-C or FF has a lens to match optimized for video and smaller size so will bring interest from the advanced and pro segments. Hope to hear some leak of the relative size and weight of this lens and price?

    • spam

      Changed specs? The originally projected 12-75mm/f2.5-3.3 was a rumor, and so is the 12-50mm.

  • :-(

    Looks like m43 is chasing only video, leaving us photographer-only (no video) crying and crying and crying :-( :-(

    I think we have to move to Samsung, which at least in the roadmap has everything we need: http://www.x-rumors.com/2011/01/07/samsung-unveils-the-exact-lens-release-roadmap-at-ces/
    If I’ll find a NX100 on sale with the 30mm (not the crappy zoom kit) or body only, I’ll jump in that boat. See also http://www.bythom.com/compactmirrorless.htm

    Panasonic and Olympus have left me hopeless (no serious wide prime, no serious portrait prime, no serious tele prime, only useless – to me – video zooms, large, heavy and expensive) :-( :-( :-( :-(
    Yes, I would appreciate the marginally smaller m43 bodies and lenses, as well as the great IBIS from Olympus, but so far they are failing to deliver. Only thing to like is the Panny’s 20mm (not much better than Samsung’s 30mm) :-(

    • Jonathan

      well i would think this lens would be very useful for stills and video photographers.

      • For video, I don’t know and I don’t care. Given the excitement I see, I guess it will be great.
        For still, it’s crap. What is missing and missing and missing in still is:

        – serious wide: 10mm or 12mm f/2.8 pancake (I guess this one would almost cover the focal length, but it won’t be light and “cheap” like a pancake)

        – serious medium portrait: 40mm or 50mm f/1.4 with undercorrection of spherical aberration (to have great bokeh – which as a side effect means cheap) – this lens is very far from reaching this goal

        – serious tele portrait: 60mm or 70mm f/1.4 like above

        I’d would be happy with just a single portrait lens (for now), but Samsung is having both of them (the latter in 2011, the former in 2012), besides the serious wide pancake prime (Panasonic wide prime is very deluding, not being enough wide, which really annoys me, since they were always best in class with wideangles on compacts – now beated in that field by Samsung itself, which has just announced a 21-288mm ultracompact model)

        • at

          Well, I see no way Panasonic is offering what you need if you really do not care about videography because Panasonic’s weapon is video and compact camera lenses. It will never be in the Pro market because it is not Leica. If you are really serious, better grab a D-SLR with you or bet on Samsung then.

        • AR

          Samsung are showing some nice lenses. I’m waiting to see if they bundle either the 16mm or 60mm with their next version of the NX100. I’m also waiting to see if they have improved the sensor. Their cameras are let down by the sensor. If they improve the sensor and bundle with one of their primes it would probably be my next camera.

          • Surely NX100’s sensor is not best in their class (APS-C) but it’s better than the one we have on all Panny’s and Oly’s (besides GH2, maybe).
            Annoying part, you can’t buy a body only or prime-only kit. You have to buy a useless 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom :-(

    • Rich

      Your needs seem to be quite well covered by Nikon and Canon already. Why wait on a new format to deliver something that already exists – in abundance – from others? M4/3rds has always been about both stills and video, so the lens roadmap should be of no real surprise, especially Panny’s AF100 needing some better glass. Unless body size is the principle concern, it sounds like you should be in the traditional DSLR camp.

      • Body size is indeed the main concern. And live view is too, since the kind of eyeglasses I use make it impossible to use a DSLR viewfinder. So I jumped very eagerly on m43, but now it’s clear it was a mistake (sold that camera already, the idea was to buy a GF1, but wanted to wait for the lenses I mentioned above).

        I’ll probably go to NX100 – if I am able to buy it, see how hard is it: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1001&message=37399096

  • FMJ

    here is my guess on the price.

    it should be more than the 14-140, since this is faster?

    Canon 24-105L F4 and Nikon 24-120 F4 is over 1K, this panasonic is faster, thou not constant, should atleast price close to those two. I hope its a $600 lens like mentioned above, but it doesn’t make sense to price that low, unless its part of GH2 kit….

  • I think it depends on what the build quality and how many exotic glass pieces are in it.

    take for example the 14-54, the predecesor to the 12-60, it’s f/2.8-3.5 but msrp’d for around $500 and was weather sealed. I bought a new one for $350 CND. The 12-60 with SWD and ED glass bumped up the price.

    Of course we’d all want “sharp across the frame at all focal lengths and all apertures” that’s not feasible at lower prices.

    So either it’s going to be similar to the 14-54 but wider and slightly brighter, have decent IQ, probably not have weather sealing.

    or it’ll be higher end, with ED and/or super ED glass, be quite a bit sharper with better control of aberations, but be more expensive. Likely also without weather sealing, think the 14-50 f/2.8-3.5 panaleica. That was around a $1000 lens when it was sold lens only. Probably retail for $1200 or something…

  • Carl

    Admin, do we have any indication that the lens will be offered in a kit? (for either GH2 Or upcoming)

  • Joey

    I would be very surprised if this was below $1000, I would expect about $1500 to begin with then the price to fall, (compared to similar specs in other lenses and the fact the mft seems to carry a premium)

  • AR

    This would make for an amazing kit lens.

  • Panasonic – Nice to start with a 12-50mm/f2.5-3.3 super zoom, video optimized (OIS).
    Questions to Olympus: Can you produce a HG SWD m.Zuiko 12-75mm/f2.4-3.3 – or a SHG SWD m.Zuiko 12-50/f2.0 (both video optimized and weather sealed) and sell it in a kit with a Pro MFT Camera with IBIS for video?
    Or a HG SWD m.Zuiko 12-60mm/f2.4-3.3 with OIS (weather sealed)if IBIS for video is not within reach?

  • mmmm, gonna be big (relative to the PEN sized bodies)
    mmmm, spec means its gonna be pricey

    I guess the best way to buy this lens will be as a bundle with a GH2 (if that form factor does it for you) … some of the body/lens deals make a lot of financial sense.

    Anyway – for me, this size of lens is not what the PEN system is all about, it sounds more like a GH2/G2 lens than a PEN/GF lens. So not my bag, but more stuff means more people in the system and more future goodies :)

    tips hat to the admin for yet another scoop – this is THE goto website for 43 stuff

    • “… Anyway – for me, this size of lens is not what the PEN system is all about”
      I made pretty sharp hand held shots with my E-PL1, VF-2 and an OM Zuiko 300mm/4.5 (with OM-adapter for MFT). So a Pro MFT camera with a size in between an E-620 to an E-30 should be no problem.

    • safaridon

      Most are assuming this lens will as large or larger than the Zuiko 4/3rds 12-60/2.8-4 lens but I don’t think so. Just look at how much smaller the m4/3 lenses are in comparison to 4/3 ones or how small a 50mm/f1.7 prime would be with only 1/4 the circle to cover? It is the telephoto end where the lenses get much larger or the very fast wide angle and the Oly lens is longer and faster at the wa end.

      I do think that Pany willalso surprise us with a promised second compact fast zoom and this one I think will be only 2X more affordable and a good match for the compacts.

  • yosemite

    I wonder if the new MFT camera will be above or below the GH2? If above, I wonder how they could improve it? 60 fps Full HD? Weather sealing? Metal body?

    Also, Admin, why did you write primarily for the AF100 and GF2? It seems to me the GF2 won’t be as video-focused as the GH2, and it is smaller, but this is a large lens. Could you clarify?

    An interpretation of your statement is that the new lens could have features that are accessible from the GF2 and AF100, but weren’t implemented in the (slightly older) GH2 yet. I can’t really think of what features these could be though…

    • spam

      > Also, Admin, why did you write primarily for the AF100 and GF2? It seems to me the GF2 won’t be as video-focused as the GH2, and it is smaller, but this is a large lens. Could you clarify?

      Maybe it was a typo. It will be too large for the GF-bodies, but a perfect fit for G2, GH2 and possibly for the new model mentioned.

  • Good replacement for my 14-42! In 35mm – 24-100 = wide + good zoom = very nice.. Hope price and size are not too awful :)

  • safaridon

    Back in Sept in interview with Pany a representative said there would be three new lenses coming: the 25mm/1.4 and two compact fast zooms. We now know the first zoom is the 12-50mm/2.5-3.3 and from the “compact” description would assume will be smaller than the 14-140mm I hope? As for the second zoom since there was also speculation of a wide angle my guess it will be a very small 12-24mm or maybe a 14-28 zoom which could be made even smaller. Pany definitely needs to get a smaller kit zoom at least as small as Olys collapsing new kit lens and faster lens and that would mean limiting the zoom range to 2x.

    • cL

      Anyways, 12-50mm seems to be a very nice general purpose lens! Hope the quality is high enough though. Probably it will, since the lower-end of the same range is already covered by the kit lens. I don’t expect it to be cheaper than current 4/3 version of 12-50mm, which has smaller aperture.

      12-24mm…. No one would buy such a lens. Too narrow a range for casual shooters, and pros who want quality probably would rather pick up primes that covers that range (and 24mm on long end? You mean totally miss the 50mm equivalent focal length?). Olympus’s 11-22mm for 4/3 is already a hard sell. It has to have at least 10-18mm to be useful if ultra wide is desired (and that’s why there is 9-18mm). Aperture has much more influence on weight and size of barrel than zoom range at this focal length. 12mm + f2.5 = very heavy.

    • TR

      Actually a 12-24 would be a nice travel/holiday lens and very nice if it has a bit of speed and was quite small. I hear what you say about primes (and I like the 20mm which is in that range) but if a zoom in that range was kept small and a with a bit of speed then it would be quite handy as it would cover a few clasic focal lengths in one compact lens (28, 35, and 50mm).

    • Miroslav

      On the presentation slide we saw here several times, the third lens is identified just as “bright wide-angle” as opposed to “bright zoom”, which turned out to be this 12-50mm lens. So I doubt the third lens will be a zoom, although admin is constantly referring to it as a zoom, and he should know better ;).

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