Making a lens vary that has enchantment to each videographers and photographers is a difficult prospect, however with the lenses which have come earlier than the Panasonic Lumix 18mm F1.8, Panasonic’s Lumix model has been delivering. And an ultra-wide-angle prime lens it’s an apparent selection when searching for a lens for video.
The corporate launched into making a full vary of full-frame L-mount quick primes, beginning with the Lumix S 85mm F1.8, introduced in November 2020. Since then, we’ve seen that lens adopted up by 50mm, 24mm and a 35mm optics, all with a most f/1.8 aperture and all sharing the identical size, diameter and 67mm filter thread measurement. Now they’re joined by the $997 / £799 Panasonic Lumix S 18mm F1.8.
At a look:
- Filter diameter: 67mm
- Lens components: 13
- Teams: 12
- Aperture blades: 9
- Weight: 340g
The uniform design of this household of lenses makes them splendid for individuals who plan to mount them on gimbals on account of their comparable measurement and weight. Swapping between any of the lenses within the collection requires minimal centre of gravity shift, if in any respect. All of the S f/1.8 collection lenses have equivalent focus rings, which means no changes would have to be made to a follow-focus system both. Needing a single filter measurement for the entire vary additionally provides to the enchantment and comfort of the set.
Of the vary, becoming the requisite glass for an 18mm ultra-wide lens with a quick f/1.8 aperture into such a compact and light-weight configuration is maybe essentially the most spectacular feat technically.
Evaluating this lens by way of measurement, weight and price to its closest opponents makes the purpose clearly. There are not any ultra-wide full-frame lenses for L mount that match or surpass the S 18mm F1.8 for its mixture of pace and discipline of view. Sigma does have a few alternate options that come shut. The most cost effective of the bunch, the Sigma 20mm f/2 DG DN lens prices £150 much less, however it’s not as large, 30g heavier and 1/third of a cease slower.
Stepping as much as the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Artwork lens offers you beautiful optics for the value of £779, however then you may have a considerably bigger lens, which is sort of double in size – 82mm vs 153.75mm. It’s nearly thrice the burden of the Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 as nicely, coming in at 1,035g. For reference, the Lumix S5 full-frame digicam weighs 630g physique solely.
Contemplating the competitors, it’s clear that the Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 might slot in neatly the place the hole is, that’s after all if it delivers to the identical excessive requirements that the remainder of its stablemates have set.
Panasonic Lumix S 18mm F1.8 Options
To maintain prices and measurement down, the Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 doesn’t profit from picture stabilisation and includes a single management swap for AF/MF, identical to the opposite f/1.8 primes.
Nevertheless, that’s much less of a priority once you’re planning to pair it with a Lumix full-frame digicam just like the Lumix S5, which has very efficient in-body picture stabilisation for handheld capturing. IBIS is even much less vital for gimbal-mounted use of this lens for apparent causes.
Its ultra-wide focal size makes this an extremely versatile lens. It might go well with panorama and cityscape images simply as a lot as it will go well with vlogging fashion video creators. Paired with the S5, this 18mm lens is large and light-weight sufficient to comfortably handhold whereas presenting to the digicam, preserving every little thing inside body with out the necessity for a selfie grip or perhaps a full-arm extension.
Carrying a large most aperture of f/1.8 additionally makes the Panasonic Lumix 18mm lens an outstanding lens for occasions images and video creation, significantly throughout night time live shows and festivals. This lens has a minimal focusing distance of 18cm. That is nice for photographing close-up topics or vistas with detailed foreground components. Simply be sure that to keep away from casting shadows on them.
By way of optical development, the lens homes 13 lens components in twelve teams. This contains three aspherical components, one extremely extra-low dispersion (UED) lens, three extra-low dispersion (ED) components and one ultra-high refractive (UHR) index lens.
This configuration is designed to ship a superb stability of decision and distinction. All whereas minimising the consequences of chromatic aberrations and lens flare. It additionally depends on software-based correction to fight barrel distortion, diffraction and vignetting. The in-camera corrections for the second two could be turned off in appropriate cameras.
Aiming to ship clean, engaging background blur, the Panasonic Lumix S 18mm lens deploys a round aperture diaphragm composed of 9 blades.
Like the remainder of the f/1.8 collection lenses, the 18mm options “micro-step aperture management”, designed to make transitions between aperture settings smoother. It additionally makes use of a stepper motor, which ought to ship quick and quiet autofocusing, whereas the lens focuses internally. Video creators will discover these options particularly useful.
Construct and Dealing with
By way of construct high quality, the Panasonic Lumix S 18mm F1.8 includes a robust polycarbonate plastic housing and a steel mount. It has a rubber O-ring, which seals it in opposition to mud and moisture. Measuring 82mm in size, 73.6mm in diameter and weighing solely 340g this lens is a wonderfully balanced companion for a full-frame mirrorless digicam just like the Lumix S5.
Solely Sigma’s 20mm f/2 DG DN Up to date lens gives a comparable mixture of aperture, measurement and weight. The Sigma 20mm f/2 is smaller, measuring 72.4mm in size and 70mm in diameter. But it’s nonetheless 370g, 30g heavier than the Lumix S 18mm f/1.8. The additional weight is because of its all-metal development and the inclusion of a tactile aperture ring.
By way of development, the Sigma lens usually seems and feels extra subtle. The Sigma warrants sturdy consideration in the event you’re prepared to compromise on pace and discipline of view, and also you’re much less involved about video efficiency.
Lumix has additionally equipped a plastic petal-type lens hood within the field with the 18mm. It has a satisfying bayonet locking mechanism. Because of its design and the big focusing ring, there’s nonetheless sufficient house to make focusing changes when the lens hood is mounted in reverse for storage.
Talking of the focusing ring, it’s beneficiant in measurement and easily dampened. This makes it a pleasure to make use of, even with gloves on. It does present a good quantity of grip, however with a follow-focus system, you should still need to use a spotlight gear ring.
The rotation operate of the lens could be adjusted within the menu of a appropriate digicam. It may be set to operate in a linear or nonlinear style. When non-linear focusing is chosen, the pace of focusing impacts the throw of its distance. In linear mode, focusing reacts to how far you flip the ring. It may be set between 90° and 360° in 30° increments.
Panasonic Lumix S 18mm F1.8 Autofocus
This lens was paired with the Lumix S5 for evaluation because it felt just like the pure companion for the model’s lightest and most compact full-frame mirrorless digicam. The S5 additionally enjoys essentially the most superior focusing capabilities of the S-series line-up. For this reason it’s the more sensible choice for assessing this lens’ autofocusing capabilities.
The Panasonic Lumix S 18mm’s stepper motor manages to realize constantly quick and correct actuations with virtually undetectable motor noise. This near-silent operation is ideal for capturing footage in conditions that require discretion, similar to an acoustic live performance efficiency or when recording video with sound.
It is a clean fast-focusing lens that transitions pleasingly between focusing positions. And key for video creators, it includes a mechanism that suppresses focus respiration.
What does this imply? For instance, when the lens transitions from topic to foreground, it doesn’t seem to zoom in or out. As an alternative, it may possibly robotically rack focus easily. This makes it simpler to realize extra cinematic focusing actions with out counting on guide focus pulling.
This is a bonus over extra photography-focused lenses, like its Sigma rivals. While you need to take over focusing manually, overriding the digicam’s AF system is seamless. All you could do is press and maintain both the shutter or AF-on buttons. You can even select between a picture-in-picture or full display screen MF-magnification for helping you when making superb changes.
Whether or not you’re capturing an occasion in low-light, a panorama scene or vlogging, I discovered the AF efficiency of this lens constant and quick.
Picture high quality
On seeing the specs of this lens, I anticipated there could need to be some compromises by way of both AF efficiency or picture high quality. However as we’ve simply confirmed within the earlier part, AF efficiency was strong in testing. So on to picture high quality. How might such a compact and light-weight lens be engineered to ship on the stellar picture high quality we’ve come to anticipate from Lumix S-series lenses?
Whereas we are able to’t reply the how, we are able to definitely affirm that this lens delivers, just about throughout the board. Chromatic aberrations are stored to a minimal throughout the body. There may be little color fringing round strains separating excessive distinction areas, similar to branches set on the background of a shiny sky.
Solar flares or ghosting are additionally suppressed successfully. Whereas they’re seen when capturing instantly into key mild sources, they don’t distractingly dominate the body.
Whereas capturing within the daylight, stopping right down to f/4 and past will enhance distinction, and ghosting might be all-but eradicated. This lens additionally creates comparatively sharp and engaging solar stars if that’s a glance which appeals to you.
By way of out-focus-highlights, the bokeh from this lens is silky and uncomplicated, delivering engaging leads to the cases examined. At its most aperture you do see some elliptical formed highlights. Nevertheless, that is typical when capturing at wider focal lengths. It’s price noting they’re much less outstanding from round f/2-2.8.
Crucially, general edge-to-edge sharpness on the Panasonic Lumix S 18mm is spectacular. Notably, when you’ve got diffraction compensation turned off inside your digicam, as that may soften the corners of your picture barely. Nevertheless, stopping right down to f/2 and past can be beneficial when taking advantage of this lens’ 18cm minimal focusing distance. It is because it’s not at its sharpest close-up at f/1.8.
For its measurement, weight, general versatility and value, this lens delivers professional-level picture high quality that won’t disappoint basically use. Its solely weak spot is within the specialist discipline of astrophotography, the place it doesn’t appear to ship the sharpest outcomes wide-open.
It additionally seems to endure from delicate comatic aberrations (coma). This causes the sunshine from stars in direction of the sting of the body to kind a extra conical form, quite than a round level. Once more, stopping down barely will scale back this impact and ship higher outcomes.
Panasonic Lumix S 18mm F1.8 Verdict
Panasonic has created an extremely sturdy household of quick, compact primes for its full-frame S collection cameras, with this newest S 18mm F1.8 defying logic to take care of the excessive bars for picture high quality and efficiency set by its predecessors. Making direct comparisons of this lens is hard because it’s the one lens of its form that’s accessible for L-mount cameras.
However there’s some shut competitors in the event you’re solely available in the market for a single, quick ultra-wide lens. Competitors is strongest within the type of Sigma’s line up of 20mm primes; the Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Up to date; the large, however optically chic Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Artwork lens; and the most recent Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG DN Artwork lens, which guarantees astrophotography-specific advantages.
Nevertheless, in the event you personal a full-frame L-mount digicam, take pleasure in photographing ultra-wide vistas, day and night time, this lens is great. When you create video content material and would contemplate shopping for any one of many different f/1.8 collection primes, the S 18mm F1.8 is just a no brainer. It’s a improbable, versatile lens that manages to ship handsomely on its major use instances.
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