Panasonic has been hitting home runs with their lineup of full-frame mirrorless cameras. It’s why they are continuing to be a preferred choice for photographers and videographers. Combine this with Sigma and Leica’s expansion of the L Series range, Panasonic drops the mic on this new stella Panasonic 85mm lens.
The Panasonic LUMIX S Series 85mm F1.8 Mirrorless L Mount Lens is a lens many people have been waiting for. With such a small footprint, this tool is ideal for on-the-go photographers and videographers who demand the highest quality from their gear.
When shooting with this lens for the first time, you’ll notice the bokeh is smooth as butter. The out of focus areas seem to melt away flawlessly, leaving you subject crisply in focus. The magnificent lens includes a handy large hood for protecting the front element from both stray light and rain as Andrew demonstrates in Georges latest review.
Panasonic 85mm F1.8 Specifications
The 85mm F1.8 houses some impressive specifications for an affordable lens full-frame lens: Some stand out features include:
- Prime portrait-length lens is designed for full-frame L-mount mirrorless cameras; however, it can also be used on APS-C models where it will provide a 127.5mm equivalent focal length.
- Bright f/1.8 maximum aperture offers control over depth of field and suits working in available lighting conditions as well as promotes a compact form factor.
- Two extra-low dispersion elements reduce chromatic aberrations and limit colour fringing for improved clarity and colour accuracy.
- Linear autofocus motor delivers smooth, precise, and near-silent focusing performance to benefit both stills and video applications.
- Small and lightweight to accommodate the travelling photographer or someone who uses their gear for long periods.
Who Is The LUMIX S Series 85mm F1.8 Lens For?
Panasonic has undoubtedly made this lens for portrait, wedding and street photographers. There is also a large claim that this lens is ideal for 4K videography and we would stand by that. When we conducted the focus test for video using a shallow depth of field, it did prove difficult to maintain consistent sharpness. However, in fairness, this also happens with using other manufactures in the same scenario.
Portrait and wedding photographers will love this lens as a primary lens on their everyday shooter. The large aperture lends itself to beautiful bokeh, fit for a bride and groom. Plus the smooth defocus gradation helps differentiate the background from your subject, making your photos stand out from the rest.
While street photographers may tilt toward a shorter focal length, don’t brush aside the 85mm. You have to try this lens out for yourself to see the full advantages. At 85mm, you’ll be able to stand further back from your subjects while opening up the aperture to produce some stunning results. Plus as the lens hardly weighs anything, it won’t bog you down and become a hassle when shooting for longer periods.
Weather Sealing and the Panasonic 85mm Lens Construction
What makes the LUMIX S Series 85mm F1.8 so great is the attention to detail. The Japanese company has taken a thoughtful approach when constructing this popular lens. Not only is the 85mm dust, splash and freezeproof, it also can operate in temperatures as low as -10 °C. When looking at the lens for the first time, you’ll see a rigged design present which promotes a sense of usability and sturdiness.
If you were to tear the lens apart, you’d notice a lightweight body that’s made for portability and comfort. Within the outer shell, there’s also a testament to Panasonic’s award-winning legacy for image quality. A total of 9 optimised lenses congregate in 8 groups to ensure the highest optical quality. This master set of glass also includes two ED lenses to ensure aberrations are kept to a minimum. So regardless of the lighting conditions, you’ll know that this lens will perform.
The beautiful bokeh correlates to the intelligent nine-blade diaphragm that opens up a new level of quality for portrait photographers. Driving the focus system is a linear motor, which is silent in use for those intermit photography shoots. Plus it also works in tandem with a mechanism that suppresses focus breathing which is perfect for the videographer.
Panasonic Lens Compatibility
Regardless of your preferred genre, the Panasonic LUMIX S Series 85mm F1.8 Mirrorless L Mount Lens is fully compatible with a range of Panasonic, Sigma and Leica full-frame camera bodies. This is all thanks to the L Series Alliance who share the same mount adoption.
As the lens is weather-sealed, the best option is to attach it to a weather-sealed camera such as the Panasonic LUMIX S5. The S5 boasts a full-frame 24-megapixel Dual Native ISO Sensor. Plus, the resolution can go up to a whopping 96-megapixel through the use of High Res Modes. With the weather-sealed 85mm F1.8 and the S5 in hand, you can get out and shoot in any condition and capture stunning image detail.
For videography, the LUMIX S5 captures 10bit 4K at 60P via internal recording. With the manual and autofocus capabilities of the Panasonic LUMIX S Series 85mm F1.8 Mirrorless L Mount Lens, you’ll capture pro-grade content fit for any purpose. Plus, the pairing is lightweight and highly mobile. If you don’t have your mindset on the S5, then consider the alternative Panasonic LUMIX S1 as a brilliant option to pair with the 85mm.
Final Thoughts on Panasonic’s 85mm F1.8
Panasonic has thought of the photographer when designing and manufacturing this amazing product. Not only will you get incredibly sharp photos, but you should be able to separate yourself from your competitors with stand-out bokeh. Chromatic aberrations are kept to a minimum, ensuring the frame from the centre to the outer edges are pin sharp.
When it comes time to make a purchase, parting ways with just over $1000 won’t leave you with a feeling for buyers remorse. The Panasonic LUMIX S Series 85mm F1.8 Mirrorless L Mount Lens is an award winner in our minds. So if you are interested in a deal on the lens, just speak to our friendly team who can assist with your photography and videography endeavours.