The New Panasonic 35mm f1.8 S is Bound to Excite You!

We’ve been waiting for the day to come, and it’s finally here. Panasonic is announcing their Panasonic 35mm f1.8 S lens; completing the range of absolutely essential focal lengths. Panasonic previously released their 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, and 24mm f1.8. We’re in love with the 50mm and 85mm. And we’re positive that the 35mm will be just as good if history is to be relied on. But more importantly, Panasonic is showing the rest of the industry exactly how to do things!

Panasonic 35mm f1.8 S Tech Specs

  • 35mm f1.8
  • Weather sealing
  • 11 elements in 9 groups
  • 3 aspherical lenses
  • 3 ED lenses
  • 0.24 meter minimum focusing
  • 295 grams
  • 67mm filter thread
  • 9 aperture blades
  • $699.99

The Industry Should Pay Attention

The photo industry is still trying to mimic what it’s done for DSLR cameras, but for mirrorless cameras. But they also are largely failing to stay innovative in key ways. They did this with the incredibly low prices on the 50mm f1.8 and 85mm f1.8 for what they are. With the new Panasonic 35mm f1.8 S, Panasonic is continuing to show the rest how it’s done. They’re giving photographers a very affordable 35mm f1.8 with exceptional weather sealing. It’s small, and it’s very lightweight.

If this sounds familiar, then you’re right. Nikon and Sony both do this. But Sony hasn’t created the full lineup the way that Panasonic and Nikon have. Nikon’s autofocus is also hit or miss. But Panasonic has seriously improved and is much easier to use. On top of all that, Panasonic’s lenses also focus very quickly. The rest of the L-mount alliance isn’t doing this. And Canon surely isn’t doing this.

With this in mind, the L-Mount will have over six 35mm lenses. Sigma has an option with an f1.4 aperture for only a few hundred bucks more. But it’s more than double the weight and has slower autofocus. We’d know, we reviewed it. In fact, we’ve reviewed almost every L-mount lens on the market. Dive into our guide!

Leica has a 35mm f2, that’s incredibly sharp, slower to focus, surely heavier, and significantly more expensive. Quite honestly, the Panasonic 35mm f1.8 S could be all that a photographer needs. I currently own the Leica 28mm f2 SL, Panasonic 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, and two Sigma lenses that more or less stay in a drawer. If you really were to get into the L-mount, then Panasonic lenses are truly the way to go unless you have the need for Leica’s build quality. Even then, the Panasonic lenses aren’t built awfully at all.

What’s more important is that Panasonic is making these lightweight lenses and also improving their autofocus. The two working together is key here. 

Personally speaking, I’m very excited about this lens. I prefer the 35mm focal length, although it’s tough to argue with Leica’s build quality and autofocus speed too. If you own the Panasonic S5, I highly suggest picking this lens up. It’s not innovative at all. But it’s part of an essential set of lenses that every photographer needs for sure.

Of course, we’re also left wondering about the higher-end lenses. Will Panasonic make their own 35mm f1.2 lens? Or will Sigma be the only one offering something like this? We’re very curious; but if Panasonic keeps focusing on small, high-quality primes, they’re bound to help L-mount out a lot.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.