Panasonic Announces Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS Telephoto Zoom Lens, H-ES50200

Panasonic has announced the latest lens in its Leica DG Vario-Elmarit zoom lens series, the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS “ultra telephoto” according to Panasonic’s parlance, offering the equivalent of 100mm to 400mm in the 35mm sensor format. 

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS telephoto zoom lens

The addition of the optional DMW-TC14 1.4x teleconverter or DMW-TC20 2.0x teleconverter extends the lens’ default maximum focal length of 200mm to 280mm or 400mm depending on which teleconverter, in 35mm sensor terms equivalent to 560mm or 800mm.

Adding either teleconverter will reduce the lens’ effective aperture due to teleconverter’s light loss effect but at the gain of considerable ultra-telephoto optical reach.

The lens’ Power OIS stabilization works effectively alone on cameras such as the GH5S or more effectively again in conjunction with Dual IS 2-capable in-body stabilized cameras like Panasonic’s G9 or GH5, or previous-generation Dual IS as on the GX8.

The Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm’s focal length range with and without either teleconverter are testimony to the relative affordability, size and weight advantages of the Micro Four Thirds sensor format compared to the price, size and weight of its near-equivalents within the 35mm sensor format camera and lens systems.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS

Commentary

Panasonic’s Leica DG prime and zoom lens series now numbers ten with the addition of the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS, making this lens the third Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-4.0 lens in the series.

Panasonic’s expansion of its Leica optics-equipped Leica DG lens range with the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens is a welcome signal that the company is taking seriously M43’s viability as a professional-quality format for stills photography and moviemaking.

Leica lenses possess certain qualities regardless of the cameras for which they are designed, namely rich, warm colour, high sharpness and high micro-contrast.

That makes them particularly suitable for subjects and genres that benefit from the exposition of fine detail and lush colour like sports and wildlife, although Panasonic’s Lumix G own-brand lens series has some fine qualities such as small size, light weight and lower cost.

All lens designs are compromises to some degree, especially when price, size and weight are factors and the Vario-Elmarit lenses have compromised with variable maximum apertures, each having a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at their wide end and f/4.0 throughout most of their focal length range.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS mounted on Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5, water-splashed to demonstrate weather-sealing on lens and camera.

Accordingly, they are effectively f/4.0 lenses, adding some limitations, in my experience, to their uses under indoors and poor outdoors available light aka available darkness especially when shooting video.

Fast prime lenses such as the costlier but faster and still compact Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power OIS and the Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 Aspheric Power OIS should be considered.

Alternatively, if Dual IS and Dual IS 2 are not absolutely essential for your work, consider Olympus’ great-for-video repeatable manual clutch focus-equipped M.Zuiko Pro professional lens series with its f/2.8 zoom lens fixed maximum apertures and f/1.2 maximum aperture prime lenses.

As borne out by my experience with Panasonic’s Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm, the effects of variable maximum apertures are less limiting in stills photography where faster shutter speeds, higher ISOs and Dual IS and Dual IS 2 come into play.

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  • Panasonic DMW-TC14 1.4x TeleconverterB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-TC20 2x TeleconverterB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S. LensB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. LensB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. LensB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. LensB&H

David Thorpe: A Look At The Panasonic 8-18mm f/2.8~4 Zoom Lens For Micro Four Thirds Cameras

“Does Panasonic’s Leica Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8~4 zoom merit its Leica designation? Is the loss of 1mm of wide angle capability made up for by an extra stop of speed? Why do I think it is 2 lenses in one?…”

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  • Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. LensB&H

RYMovieMachine: Shooting with the Panasonic GH5

“On location in Perth, Australia testing out the Panasonic GH5. This entire report was filmed using 2 GH5 cameras. The Panasonic GH5 has earned a reputation of being a serious filming tool for those who need to be portable without compromise on quality….”

Lenses for GH5 recommended by Rick Young

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Camera, Kits, Battery Grip and V-Log L

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H

SDXC V90 cards

  • Angelbird 64GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Panasonic 128GB UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H

L-Plates

  • Really Right Stuff L-Plate Set for Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Camera Body  – B&H

Camera Cages

  • Movcam Cage for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Movcam Cage Kit for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H