(UPDATE – I bought One. Great!)
For the longest time the micro four thirds format (of which the GH2 is a member) has been considered not professional. The cameras were not weather sealed. The new Olympus OM-D EM-5 is. Yes, there are some great lenses. The Panasonic 25mm, the Olympus 12mm and 45mm are all wonderful. All are fast aperture primes. There are no constant large aperture zooms to speak of. Nikon, Canon and Sony have such lenses. Panasonic has one constant aperture zoom lens, the Panasonic 7-14mm which is a game changer on it's right but it is not considered as a large aperture lens which it's aperture at f4.0.
For photojournalists and studio photographers the, 24-70mm f2.8 has been the lens that is considered the default lens for their work. On a full frame camera the focal length is good for all around shots from wide angle to portrait telephoto. Most carry this lens on their camera all the time because it is weather sealed, it has good overall sharpness, rugged and has a fast constant aperture. The problem with all these lenses is that they are large, heavy, expensive and don't have image stabilization.
Well Panasonic is changing all that. Introducing the Panasonic Lumix Vario GX 12-35 mm f / 2.8 ASPH. For starters it has a constant f2.8 aperture, rugged and weather sealing like the other lenses. But it adds to the mix, image stabilization, small size and weight at a price is less than the other lenses. PhotographyBLOG lists the lens @ $999.00 US, e1100.00 and £999.00.
This zoom lens is going to be great for video because of the IS and the large constant aperture. Because of the IS and constant aperture, handholding the camera will be wonderful. Finally being able to shoot indoors with a low ISO. It has the HD symbol on it meaning it is optimized for video shooting and should be quiet. One way to think of this lens is that is a variable prime.
I will be buying this lens and will review it as soon as I get it. It is overdue in my kit.
The big advantage of the micro four thirds system has been smaller size up to this point and now we truly have a professional zoom or should I say tomorrow, the 21st of May when Panasonic unveils the lens. How do I know about this lens? It has been shown behind glass as a prototype, we though it would be coming. But it got confirmed because there is already a review. You can read the lens review at http://www.Dslrmagazine.com (Click here) and Click here for the google english translation. This is where most of my information is coming from. Speaking of the review, this zoom lens looks like to be a stellar performer. Up there with the “Big Boys.”
Also mentioned in the review is of a weather sealed Panasonic camera this summer. My guess would be the GH3.
UPDATE: Panasonic has Introduced this lens:
Panasonic’s Premium LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm Lens Offers Exceptional Design, Achieving Increased Functionality for Spectacular Image Quality
SECAUCUS, NJ (May 21, 2012) – Today, Panasonic announced a new digital interchangeable standard zoom lens, the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035). The newest addition to the company’s premium lens brand “X,” which is compatible with the Panasonic LUMIX G Series and complies with the Micro Four Thirds™ system standard, this lens offers a versatile zoom range of 12-35mm (35mm camera equivalent: 24-70mm) and features constant F2.8 aperture brightness at entire zoom range. Suitable for professionals and enthusiasts, this new lens captures a wide range of scenes from dynamic landscapes to available light and studio-lit portraits and features superb image rendering for lifelike textures and crisp edge-to-edge contrast.
The LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens incorporates Panasonic’s unique Nano Surface Coating technology which minimizes reflections at entire visual range (380nm-780nm), resulting in a dramatic reduction of ghosts and flare for extremely clear picture quality. The lens’s newly integrated POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) effectively compensates for both small, fast movement and large, slow movement, making it easy to shoot extremely clear photos even in low-lit situations such as at night or indoors.
Boasting outstanding compactness, the LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens is approximately 73.8mm in length and 10.76oz in weight, resulting in extreme mobility. Additionally with a rubber ring on the lens mount, the new lens is designed to stand up against splash and dust making it ideal for outdoor photography enthusiasts. A highly reliable metal mount endures long time use.
The LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens system is comprised of 14 lenses in nine groups. The UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) lens minimizes chromatic aberration while the UHR (Ultra High Refractive) lens realizes high descriptive performance from corner to corner. Featuring high contrast and resolution from the center to corner at entire zoom range, the new LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. lens has the ability to capture the details of scenery or portrait with rich perspective.
The lens’s superior inner focus system provides for excellent resolution and contrast without changing the overall length from full life-size magnification to infinity. Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth defocus effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings. Adopting an inner focus system driven by a stepping motor, the lens’s superior design provides smooth and near silent focusing action which is ideal for both picture and video recording. When the lens is mounted on any LUMIX G Micro System camera body, users can take advantage of the high-speed, high-precisions Contrast AF (Autofocus) system.
The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035) lens will be available in August 2012. For more information about Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras and lenses, please visitwww.panasonic.com/lumix.
DPreview has done a preview of the lens:
PhotographyBLOG has a review as well:
ePhoto has done a review as well:
Here is the Panasonic page:
Here is a YouTube video:
This new Panasonic 12-35mm lens is available for pre-order though Amazon and Adorama.