Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH Review

May 8, 2017 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH ultra-wide-angle zoom offers a classic focal range of 16-36mm in a small and lightweight package, backed-up by outstanding image quality throughout the focal range and impressively fast and silent autofocusing. It's just a little soft wide-open at 18mm, where it's best used stopped down for the best results, there's some predictable barrel distortion at 8mm, and it is susceptible to flare when shooting directly into the sun, but otherwise it delivers fantastic sharpness at all focal lengths, even at the edges of the frame.

This lens is small and lightweight considering the zoom range on offer. It's also very fast to focus and silent too, making it well-suited to candid stills and particularly video work, making it a perfect partner for the G80 camera that we tested it with. Build quality is very good, perhaps to be expected given the premium price-tag, and the fact that this lens is weatherproof is the icing on an already rich cake.

The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH is another great addition to the Panasonic lens line-up, especially if you shoot a mixture of stills and video, where the completely silent operation and versatile wide-angle focal range really come to the fore.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4