LensTip.com

Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH.

21 August 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between properties of ultra wide angle zoom lenses designed for mirrorless Micro 4/3 and Fuji X systems. As you can notice, already since 2009 Panasonic has been offering a 7-14 mm f/4.0 model in their line-up; still in its case you can’t use classic filters. The same can be said about the Olympus 7-14 mm. The Olympus 9-18 mm for a change is small, shapely and it comes with a small filter diameter but its aperture is definitely slower than that of other lenses in this comparison. The Panaleica 8-18 mm supplements that group very nicely indeed.

In the photo below the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8–18 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH is positioned next to another Panaleica, the DG Summilux 12 mm f/1.4 ASPH, and the Olympus M. Zuiko 45 mm f/1.8.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, 20 mm in diameter. That element doesn’t move so the construction is sealed from that side.

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Build quality

The proper body of the lens is made of metal; it starts with an immobile ring on which you can find a red dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, its focal range and the focusing range, (0.23m/0.75ft–∞), “LUMIX” and “Made in Japan” inscriptions and a switch which controls the focusing mechanism mode (AF/MF).

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Build quality

A zoom ring, as wide as 23 mm, is another part of the casing; most of its surface is covered by metal ribbing under which you see focal marks at 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 18 mm. That mechanism moves properly well and is well damped across the whole range.

Further on you see a narrow ring which doesn’t move; it features an inscription „LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT”. Then there is a manual focus ring, almost 13 mm wide; its surface is completely covered by metal ribs, and it is a focus-by-wire construction.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Build quality

The lens ends with an immobile part of the casing, as wide as 23 mm, to which a hood mount is attached. The front element of the tested instrument is convex, 49 mm in diameter, and surrounded by an inscription with the name, parameters of the lens and a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter. The element moves in and out while zooming – it is at its shallowest at 8 mm focal length and it hides the deepest inside in the 14-18 mm range.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Build quality

When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with 15 elements positioned in 10 groups. As shown in a diagram below the producer weren’t skimpy with special elements: you get three aspherical elements, two made of low dispersion ED glass, one UHR element, made of glass with ultra high refractive index, and one element which is both aspherical and made of ED glass. Inside you can also find a round aperture with nine diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/22.

Buyers get both caps and a petal-type hood in the box.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Build quality