Panasonic announces Lumix S 100mm F2.8 macro lens, ultra compact and more than just a macro: Digital Photography Review

Image: Panasonic

In conjunction with CES 2024, Panasonic has announced the Lumix S 100mm F2.8 Macro lens for full-frame L-mount cameras. Panasonic calls it “the world’s smallest and lightest medium-telephoto fixed focal length macro lens.” However, as important as its size and weight is versatility: Panasonic tells us its goal was to produce a macro that can also handle portraiture and medium telephoto shooting with vanishingly few drawbacks.

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The 100mm F2.8 Macro is the same size as the other lenses in Panasonic’s line of F1.8 L-mount prime lenses, though it breaks the mold with its smaller F2.8 aperture. At 298g (10.5 oz), it’s also the second lightest in the suite, completing a span of lenses ranging from 18mm to 100mm, which differ by no more than 60g, within the margin of error for many gimbals and drones. It’s 82mm (3.2″) long and 74mm (2.9″) in diameter.

According to Panasonic, this makes it the world’s smallest and lightest macro lens in its class, with a few caveats applied: smallest and lightest among autofocus-capable, full-frame lenses with a 1:1 magnification ratio and focal length of at least 90mm.

Part of the small size is owing to Panasonic’s new ‘Dual Phase linear motor’, which it claims has allowed it to shrink the motor size by half while retaining the thrust of a motor twice the size. This allows the 100mm F2.8 to move its two independent focus groups smoothly, letting photographers focus on subjects near and far quickly and with optically corrected focus breathing. Additionally, Panasonic tells us the lens incorporates a newly designed aperture mechanism with a thinner profile and smaller physical diameter.

Image: Panasonic

Optically, the lens comprises 13 elements in 11 groups, including three aspherical, two UED, and one ED elements, and uses an internal focusing design. It has a minimum focus distance of 20.4cm (8″), includes a 67mm filter thread, and is designed to render identical colors to match the other lenses in its series. One nuanced touch: Panasonic says it replaced the white paint typically used for lens markings around the front element with a dark gray variety to ensure that those markings don’t reflect off objects in macro photos.

Other features include a new sensor for the focus-by-wire system that provides six times more resolution for moving between focus steps, a focus limiter with the ability to program your own focus-limiting range in software, and dust- and splash-resistant construction.

We have the 100mm F2.8 Macro on hand and are putting it through its paces to test out Panasonic’s performance claims, but purely in terms of form factor, this 100mm F2.8 has a unique appeal, especially for anyone interested in being able to swap lenses of various focal lengths in and out of a stabilization setup without having to bother with constant recalibration.

The Lumix S 100mm F2.8 Macro will be available later this month with an MSRP of $1,000.

Panasonic Announces its Newest S Series Lens at CES 2024

The LUMIX S-E100 is the world’s smallest and lightest* medium-telephoto fixed focal length macro lens

Las Vegas, NV (January 8, 2024) – Panasonic is pleased to introduce the brand new LUMIX S 100mm F2.8 MACRO (S-E100) lens based on the L-Mount system standard. Compact and lightweight to match the camera body, the S-E100 lens joins the LUMIX S Series lineup which is designed to address the demand for accessible yet professional grade photography gear.

With a new optical design and a newly developed Dual Phase linear motor, the S-E100 is the world’s smallest and lightest medium-telephoto fixed focal length macro lens, weighing approximately 298 grams. It boasts high resolution, stunning bokeh unique to macro lenses, excellent depth in expression, and fast focusing in a chassis matched to our existing F/1.8 series of lenses. At the same time, its compact nature ensures excellent mobility outdoors and in other shooting locations.

In addition to close proximity photography, the S-E100 also produces impressive portraits and images unique to medium-telephoto lenses, with support for fast autofocusing and bright F/2.8 aperture. Following increased demand for video capabilities, the S-E100 produces high-quality video content through silent operation with optically corrected focus breathing. This is due to the newly developed linear focus motor and micro-step aperture control. These features allow for smooth exposure change and the ability to choose between linear or nonlinear focus ring settings.

By providing cutting edge, improved performance and mobility for camera enthusiasts and professionals, LUMIX aims to create a new digital mirrorless camera market.

Main Features

  1. The World’s Smallest and Lightest* Medium-Telephoto Fixed Focal Length Macro Lens
    • A more compact structure thanks to an optical design, featuring a new Double Focus System, three aspherical lenses and a newly developed Dual Phase Linear Motor with a new actuator.
    • Suitable for use in a wide range of situations due to its excellent mobility, whether it’s close proximity photography, natural photos and portraits, or faster paced action, unique to medium telephoto lenses.
  2. High Resolution and Outstanding Photographic Performance
    • Boasts high resolution and elaborate photographic performance in every area, from the center of the image to its edges.
    • Captures every detail of the subject while creating bokeh unique to medium-telephoto macro lenses.
  3. Optimal Video Functionality for Video Production
    • Offers silent operation thanks to a newly developed Dual Phase Linear Motor.
    • Suppresses focus breathing, in which the angle of view changes, caused by movements in the focus position.
  4. Fast Autofocus performance for expanded capabilities
    • • Newly developed Dual Phase Linear Autofocus motor enables speed and precision for faster action tracking in both Photo and Video uses.
    • Ultra-High precision manual focus sensor allows for unparalleled manual focus precision, even when working at 1:1 macro.
  5. Unified Design and rendering
    • Designed to match our exiting F/1.8 series of lenses, the S-E100 allows photographers and videographers to maintain a unified experience from 18mm – 100mm with matched size, filter threads, and similar weight.
    • Image renders has been tuned within this series of lenses to produce unified color regardless of which lens is used.

The LUMIX S-E100 lens will be available at valued channel partners at the end of January 2024 for $999.99 MSRP.

* As of January 9, 2024. Among interchangeable lenses for AF compatible full-frame mirrorless cameras, and macro lenses with a magnification ratio of 1:1 with a focal length of 90mm or more.

Panasonic Lumix S 100mm F2.8 Macro specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 100 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount L-Mount
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Elements 13
Groups 11
Special elements / coatings 3 ASPH, 2 UED, 1 ED
Minimum focus 0.20 m (8.03)
Maximum magnification 1×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Linear Motor
Full time manual No
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter Yes
Weight 298 g (0.66 lb)
Diameter 74 mm (2.91)
Length 82 mm (3.23)
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter thread 67 mm

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