Panasonic has launched a new wide-angle zoom lens, introducing the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. – price tag £1049.

Panasonic’s new 8-18mm (35 mm camera equivalent: 16-36 mm) is the second lens within its LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series and covers a focusing distance from ultra wide angle to super telephoto.

The new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. is comprised of 15 elements in 10 groups, and the lens system features an aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens, three aspherical lenses, two ED lenses and an UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens.

Panasonic says the use of these lenses helps to suppress spherical distortion or chromatic aberration.

The new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Series also employs Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating technology to help minimize ghosts and flaring.

The lens also offers a dust/splash-proof design, and Panasonic says it is even freeze-proof down to -10.

The Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 boasts sensor drive which, at max. 240fps, enables photographers to use cameras with high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF and reduce wobbling for steadier videos.

In addition to the silent operation achieved by the inner focus drive system,  Panasonic says a micro-step drive system in the aperture control section helps the camera to smoothly catch up to brightness changes when zooming or panning. The optical design achieves exceptional barycentric stability to minimize image shifts during zooming, Panasonic adds.

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 8-18mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH will be available from the end of May (RRP £1049).