Photokina 2012 Highlights - Lenses

September 22, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses, Photokina 2012 | 9 Comments | |
News image

We have collected the most interesting lenses announced at (or just before) Photokina 2012. They are not necessarily the “best” lenses out there—making comparisons across multiple platforms would be quite pointless anyway—but they are all intriguing in one way or another.

Lens manufacturers like Carl Zeiss and Schneider Kreuznach are very active at this year’s Photokina, with both announcing several new lenses for compact system cameras (as well as SLRs). Our top picks also include an interesting compact shift lens, a stabilised telephoto prime for medium-format cameras, a fast ultra-wide lens for digital SLRs with APS-C sensors, and more.

B.I.G. 15mm f/4.5 Shift lens for Micro Four Thirds

While shift (and tilt) adapters have been around for some time, the €999 B.I.G. 15mm f/4.5 is the first-ever dedicated shift lens for Micro Four Thirds. Weighing in at 200 grams the B.I.G. 15mm f/4.5 lens comprises 8 lens elements in 6 groups and comes with a built-in hood. With a maximum shift of 5.3mm, the lens enables users to avoid keystoning in architectural shots. It does not provide tilt functionality, though.

Carl Zeiss AF lenses for Fuji and Sony CSCs

At this year’s Photokina, Carl Zeiss introduced a new family of autofocus lenses for compact system cameras (CSCs). Initially comprising a 12mm f/2.8, a 32mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/2.8 macro lens - equivalent to 18mm, 48mm and 75mm respectively -, this new range of Zeiss AF lenses will be available for Sony NEX and Fujifilm X-mount cameras. This is an important development as the X system is still very new and the NEX system, while somewhat more established, is still a bit thin on fast primes. Exact pricing for the Carl Zeiss CSC lenses has yet to be communicated but the company says they will be “around the €1,000 mark” each.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

Fujifilm XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS and XF14mm f/2.8 lenses

Fujifilm has added two new models to the Fujinon XF Lens range bringing the total number of lenses available to five. The 21mm equivalent Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R ultra-wideangle prime lens is constructed of 10 elements in 7 groups, including 2 aspheric and 3 extra low dispersion elements, and a seven-blade rounded diaphragm. The lens features distance and depth of field scales on the barrel, making it suitable for zone focussing. The other lens, the 27-84mm equivalent Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, is a compact standard zoom with optical image stabilisation.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 is a telemacro lens with a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1. Housed in a dust- and splashproof body, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro is designed to complement the similarly rugged Olympus OM-D camera (but can, of course, also be mounted to any other Micro Four Thirds body). Available from October, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro lens carries a recommended retail price of £429.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.8

At the show, Olympus is showing off a prototype M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.8 lens. This is an interesting moderate wide-angle lens that features both a distance scale and DoF marks, making it suitable for zone focusing, much like the existing (but considerably wider) 12mm f/2 lens.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

Panasonic Lumix G X 35-100mm f/2.8

The Panasonic Lumix G X 35-100mm f/2.8 is a fast, stabilised 70-200mm equivalent telephoto zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds system cameras. The optical formula comprises 18 elements in 13 groups including 2 ED and 1 UED lens elements, and an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades.
Announcement | Hands.on photos | Sample images

HD Pentax-DFA645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR

The HD Pentax-DFA645 Macro 90mm f/2.8 ED AW SR is a new, stabilised short-telephoto lens designed for use with Pentax medium-format digital and film SLR cameras. Featuring Pentax-original HD coating — a newly developed, high-grade multi-layer lens coating — and the Pentax-designed, lens-installed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, this lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal length of approximately 71mm (or approximately 65mm when mounted on a Pentax 645 film-format camera body.  As part of the AW (All Weather) series, this lens also boasts a dustproof and weather-resistant construction with 11 environmental seals.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS UMC CS

The Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS UMC CS is a rectilinear ultra wide-angle prime lens designed for use with cameras that have APS-C / DX sensors. Giving an equivalent focal length of 15mm (or 16mm in the case of Canon EOS), the Samyang 10mm f/2.8 is a manual-focus lens scheduled to be available by the end of this year.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

Schneider Kreuznach Micro Four Thirds AF lenses

Schneider Kreuznach - a German company best known for its large-format lenses - has introduced its first-ever lenses designed for the Micro Four Thirds system. The first lens in the series, the 28mm equivalent Super-Angulon 14mm f/2 wide-angle lens, will be available by the third quarter of 2013. In the fourth quarter, it will be followed by the Xenon 30mm f/1.4 “universal” prime and the Makro-Symmar 60mm f/2.4 macro lens. The company is very active at this year’s Photokina - in addition to the Micro Four Thirds lenses, it introduced a whole new line of interchangeable video optics, an ultra-wide angle lens for Phase One medium-format bodies and four new lenses for SLR cameras.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD

The Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD is billed as the most compact full-frame, high-speed (f/2.8) telephoto zoom lens in the world. Equipped with VC (Vibration Compensation) and a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) motor, the Tamron 70-200m f/2.8 lens will be available for Nikon, Canon and Sony mounts.
Announcement | Hands-on photos

Tracker Pixel for Entry

Your Comments

9 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Roman (canon user)

I like to see that tamron issued this 70-200 lens. I hope to see the tests results to compare to Canon and Nikon top-level 70-200 lenses. Hope Tamron 70-200 will be cheaper and not much worse.

6:23 pm - Saturday, September 22, 2012


This "lens report" is strangely incomplete: Canon, Sigma, Leica also introduced new lenses, as did Lens baby,

6:48 pm - Saturday, September 22, 2012

#3 Dr. Stanley Workman

Photographer are invited to take the following poll:

8:53 pm - Saturday, September 22, 2012

#4 Zoltan Arva-Toth


This list isn't meant to be complete :)
These are the lenses we thought were the most interesting. If you are interested in our full Photokina coverage, we've got a Photokina 2012 round-up here:

8:56 pm - Saturday, September 22, 2012

#5 dave

why do you have to take such a subjective stance? Please leave that up to us, the readers. We have sufficient intelligence to make up our own mind !

11:55 pm - Saturday, September 22, 2012

#6 dj

Excellent article. Im very interested in some of these lenses. Schneider Kreuznach look fabulous. It seems that the DLSRs Companies have already made all the lenses they need to make.(they are now just making new versions of old lenses). While Mirrorless camera companies are coming out with all kinds of new interesting zooms and primes.

5:12 am - Sunday, September 23, 2012


I'm waiting for the Olympus 17 mm f/1.8 !

1:10 pm - Sunday, September 23, 2012

#8 AC

I know many have already written off the Nikon 1 system but I personally am very excited to see the new 18.5mm f1.8. I expect it to breathe a new life into my beloved V1.

8:51 pm - Sunday, September 23, 2012

#9 JackBassV

I wish more companies would produce lenses for the Samsung NX series.

That said, I'd love to get hold of their new ultra-wide zoom. Should be interesting.

12:55 am - Thursday, September 27, 2012