Panasonic Lumix S PRO 16-35mm F4 Review

June 22, 2020 | Tim Coleman | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


In the Panasonic Lumix S 16-35mm F4 PRO, we have a compact and lightweight wide-angle zoom lens with a solid, weather-sealed construction. We love the manual focus clutch and have appreciated how the lens handles, not least of which its silent, rapid and reliable autofocus.

We wouldn't expect (or particular need) optical image stabilisation, especially given this lens is designed to pair with a Panasonic S1 camera that already boasts excellent image stabilisation. Even for video, it's possible to get smooth handheld shots with such a pairing.

Between Leica, Sigma and Panasonic, the range of L-Mount lenses is growing. At the time of writing, this is the widest lens that Panasonic offers and the natural choice for traditional landscape photographers, though it will also serve action photography at close quarters and general use where space is limited.

Within its context, we expect photographers to be very happy with the 16-35mm lens. It is critically sharp from f4 to f/11. Image quality wise we have been massively impressed by the performance at F4. Normally, we would stop the lens down 1EV to begin attaining peak sharpness, but you don't really need to here. The optimum performance is at f/8 to f/11 where lens distortions are under control too. There is a fall off in detail at f/16 which is a shame. All other lens distortions are handled well.

At £1,499, the 16-35mm lens seems expensive. Like-for-like DSLR lenses come in under £1,000 (although we've not run a quality comparison). However, Panasonic S camera are pricy, so this may not be a concern. Also, in the L-Mount the only other option is from Leica, and there's no prizes for guessing which L-Mount lens offers the best value. Further alternatives that may offer better value are any of Sigma's wide-angle primes lenses, of which there are six around this 16-35mm range.

In its own right, the Panasonic Lumix S 16-35mm F4 PRO lens is well made, handles like a dream and it produces sharp images with minimal distortion. You'll get decent portraits in the environment with it too.

4.5 stars

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