Panasonic Lumix S 100mm F2.8 Macro Review

January 8, 2024 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Lumix S 100mm F2.8 Macro is the lightest and most compact macro lens currently available for L-mount cameras, delivering great image quality with the minimum of fuss.

This lens is sharp from the get-go, excellent in the centre of the frame when shooting wide open at f/2.8 and simply outstanding everywhere between f/4 and f/11.

It's also capable of producing some very nice bokeh effects for what is after all only an f/2.8 lens and chromatic aberrations are well controlled.

There is some obvious vignetting wide-open at f/2.8, but this can easily be corrected in post-processing, or you can stop down to f/5.6 to help avoid it altogether.

The build quality is very good, with the built-in weather-proofing offering some peace of mind in more inclement conditions.

Auto-focusing proved to be quick, reliable and silent on the Panasonic Lumix S5 IIX camera body that we tested the lens with thanks to the newly developed Dual Phase Linear Motor, making the lens very well-suited to both stills and video.

There's no manual focus over-ride available at any time, though, and the lens lacks its own optical image stabilisation system, instead relying on the camera body (if it has one).

This isn't the most full-featured macro lens on the market, with the more traditional Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN MACRO Art offering alluring extras like a de-clickable aperture ring and a lock function.

The Sigma rival is also significantly cheaper than this new Panasonic offering, although it is also much larger and heavier making it less well-suited to all day, out-in-the-field use.

If you tend to shoot macro subjects using the camera mounted on a tripod in manual focus mode, we'd actually recommend the Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN MACRO Art more highly than the Lumix S 100mm F2.8 Macro, whereas the new Panasonic is clearly a better bet for more reactive and mobile hand-held shooting.

4.5 stars

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