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Panasonic and Leica Initiate Nocticron Line With Impressive 42.5mm f/1.2 Lens



Panasonic is looking to boost its appeal to high-end shooters with a new line of super-fast Leica lenses, starting with a 42.5mm f/1.2 model that was introduced Monday at CES.

The debut model in the newly dubbed “Nocticron” (was he a good Transformer or an evil Transformer?) line of glass is pitched as a portrait-friendly lens (35mm equivalent focal length of 85mm) for MFT Lumix cameras.

Notable features include a new design of stepping motor — which ensures fast, accurate autofocus even at big apertures — and enhanced optical image stabilization to deal with the low-light shooting those apertures invite.

The lens is built from 14 elements in 11 groups with two aspherical lenses, an extra-low-dispersion unit and an ultra-high-refractive index lens to ensure edge-to-edge sharpness and uniform color rendition. It also boasts all-metal construction, including the lens mount for those who think that makes a difference.

Also note: There’s an actual aperture ring on the lens barrel! The lens goes on sale in the next couple of months priced at $1,600 (pre-order here).


Also new from Panasonic are a herd of Lumix compacts, all price and release date TBA, because Lord knows you wouldn’t want to include something like that in a press release:

  • The DMC-SZ8, with 16-megapixel sensor, 12x zoom and WiFi.
  • The DMC-ZS35, with 16MP sensor, 20x zoom, WiFi, 1920×1080 HD video and a selfie-friendly 180-degree swivel LCD screen.
  • The DMC-ZS40, similar specs and build but 30x zoom.
  • The DMC-LZ40, with 20MP sensor and 42x zoom, equivalent to a 35mm range of 22mm to good-luck-without-a-tripod 924mm.

For more info on any of the above cameras or the new Nocticron lens, head over to Panasonic’s Press Room by clicking here.