This week, Panasonic Japan quietly listed a 2x teleconverter on its website as “new,” which resulted in some reports that it had announced a new lens accessory without much fanfare. The teleconverter isn’t actually new, but what it can do is.
First spotted by Asobinet and then echoed by 43Rumors, Panasonic Japan listed a 2x Teleconverter (model number DMW-TC20A) as “new” with a scheduled release date of October. That muddied the waters and it’s not clear why Panasonic is listing the product as new and gave it an updated model number, because it is not.
Panasonic has sold the DMW-TC20 2x Lumix Teleconverter for some time. When it came to market, it was only compatible with the 200mm f/2.8 lens but that changed earlier this month when the company announced a redesigned version of its 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH. Power O.I.S. lens.
The original version of that lens was not compatible with teleconverters but the new one is — it’s basically the only reason the old version was updated. In press images provided to PetaPixel when that updated lens was announced, the current 2x teleconverter can be clearly seen attached to the lens.
PetaPixel has confirmed with Panasonic USA that the 2x teleconverter currently listed for sale is not different, so it’s not clear why Panasonic Japan chose to give it a new model number with an “A” attached to the end. Asobinet claims that the original DMW-TC20 is no longer in production, which might be true considering that the original has a “special order” designation from Adorama and could take up to two weeks to be delivered after it is ordered.
Any differences are likely due to specific parts in use, which is close to what Sony did with the a7R IIIa a7R IVa, the models currently available on store shelves. In that case, there were substantive changes to the cameras, so perhaps a better example is what Pentax did last year with the KF.
As PetaPixel reported at the time:
“…In conversations with Pentax, the company says that the K-70 is being phased out, as some of the components that make up that camera are no longer able to be procured. These components happened to be numerous enough that the company couldn’t keep using the K-70 name, and so the KF was born.”
Whatever the case, there is no reason to believe that current Lumix 2x teleconverter owners will have any difficulty using the accessory with the updated 100-400mm f/4-6.3 II ASPH. Power O.I.S. lens. That new optic is scheduled to be available by the end of October for $1,600. Of note, it looks like the “new” teleconverter listed by Panasonic Japan will also be released that month — October 27 to be exact — which is a date likely chosen to coincide with the launch of the newly compatible lens.
Image credits: Panasonic