The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24
The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 Review – The Best Full Frame Mirrorless Professional Lens
I was extremely lucky and super thrilled that Panasonic Lumix Canada sent me the new Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f/2.8 lens to test out. After unboxing the lens, I noticed right away how sturdy and solid it felt. The large front glass element looks awesome, and the metal body is incredibly rugged.
I got to testing the lens right away and captured one small elopement, but the next day Covid hit, and all non-essential travel and business was shut down. So, here is my ‘Homeschool Covid Edition” review of the Lumix 24-70mm f2.8! Spoiler Alert - there might be more than a few of my dog’s photos in here!
The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm has a constant f/2.8 aperture, which is plenty fast for most applications. This gives the Lumix 24-70mm the ability to help capture images in low light situations, and also gives the creative option to blur out the background for effective subject isolation. With a rounded 11-blade diaphragm, the Panasonic 24-70mm has perfectly smooth bokeh in the out of focus areas of the image.
The three images below are focused on the very front element of the Ensign camera – This is also the closest focus distance of 37cm. Don’t be fooled, this photo is of a vintage sub-compact camera which is almost the size of a credit card.
The 24-70mm focal range is perfect for a wide variety of applications. You could literally photograph an entire wedding with this lens alone and consistently receive outstanding results.
For portraits, the 70mm focal range is very nice, especially with the f2.8 aperture that blows out the background and creates a nice compressed look. The 70mm focal length is also great for getting detail shots like the bouquet of flowers pictured above.
I really like how you can get two totally different looks with this lens with the turn of the zoom ring, check below for a couple examples. The best feature is the constant f2.8 aperture through the entire zoom range.
Below is an indoor example using natural light, the lens at 70mm f/2.8. My wife did a great job taking these portraits of me, before and after she trimmed my hair (I also got a Lumix t-shirt Level-Up, Thank You #lumixcan) I really like the soft rendering in the background and the flattened look of the subject.
With its 24-70mm range there are a number of focal lengths to choose from, and I am happy to report the lens maintains perfect edge to edge sharpness throughout the range (as shown in the below closeups).
Left Side Sharpness Test
Right Side Sharpness Test
Another useful pro feature of the Panasonic Lumix 24-70mm is its water and dust resistance. There are rubber gasket seals at the seams blocking any dust or moisture from entering the lens. This gives photographers confidence that they can continue to shoot in almost any weather condition.
The focus clutch mechanism is a great new feature Panasonic added to the S Pro 24-70mm f2.8. It allows for quick transitions between the autofocus and manual focus modes. This was extremely helpful for closeup macro shots or quick adjustments for portraits.
The Lumix 24-70mm also has lightening fast, and silent auto focus. This is a really nice feature for capturing images where silence is necessary. When mixed with silent mode (electronic shutter), no one would know you are taking photos. Below is a shot I took during a surprise proposal while trying to maintain complete silence and ninja-like stealth.
The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 is certified by Leica. A camera manufacturing company that prides itself in exceptional build quality and handling. All of Lumix’s Leica certified lenses are built to very high standards with truly amazing image quality, and all of the lenses maintain the character of the prized Leica ‘look’. Leica’s lenses are also built to last for many generations, and the 24-70mm definitely has the feeling you would expect from a durable, workhorse lens.
The Lumix 24-70mm is built to a professional grade standard. It’s not a lightweight lens by any means, but this is a testament to its robust build quality. It can certainly take a few bumps and it would be really hard to bruise this lens. I really like the rubberized grips as well, offering a slight ‘bumper’ against objects hitting the lens from the side. The lens exterior also seems to be scratch resistant, which is great for keeping the lens looking new.
The weather sealing is a great addition to the Lumix 24-70mm because it gives me the confidence to shoot in any condition. One of the benefits of the weather sealing is going from the cold outdoors (like the Canadian winter) to a warm indoor space. If your camera and lens weren’t weather sealed you would risk all of your camera internals getting covered in water condensation, including your sensor. Like all of Panasonic Lumix’s fully sealed cameras and lenses, this avoids such a problem and keeps the inside of your Lumix camera dry and safe.
The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 handles really well! It’s such a nice lens to hold and take photos all day at an event. I really like the use of the rubberized manual focus ring. The fact that you can pull it back and engage hard-stop manual mode is a fantastic feature. It does take some time to experiment with the fly-by-wire focus, but it can also be very successful and quick to attain critical focus. However, I did find that when I pulled the camera out of my camera bag, the lens would sometimes accidentally engage the clutch mechanism, and I would find myself in manual focus mode rather than auto focus. It wasn’t a problem once I realized it, and then every time I took the camera out of the bag, I give a quick feel-check that the MF mode is disengaged. This was a pretty minor issue because I try to have the camera out and ready to shoot all the time.
The zoom ring is a fantastic piece to the 24-70mm. It has a nice large rubberized grip that feels tactile and extremely grippy when zooming in or out. It’s also the same rubber grip on the manual focus ring which feels confident and grippy while acquiring focus.
The Lumix 24-70mm is a heavy lens, but it is really well balanced on the large camera bodies of the Lumix S1, S1R, and S1H camera bodies. Matched with one of the Pro Grade Lumix cameras, there’s lots of room to move your hands around, and you feel like the lens and camera bodies were designed in tandem. If the Lumix S1 series cameras were smaller, the size of the lens would be unbalanced and it wouldn’t be as comfortable to hold the 24-70mm. Overall the Lumix 24-70mm has superb handling which makes the demanding tasks seem much easier.
The image quality of the Panasonic Lumix 24-70mm is fantastic! Edge to edge, it maintains exceptional sharpness across the frame. Most lenses require stopping down to achieve full sharpness but the Lumix 24-70mm is critically sharp wide-open, which is a feature that professional photographers are looking for in a lens. It’s amazing how well the Lumix 24-70mm performs at f2.8, but it doesn’t surprise me with the amount of sophistication in the lens design. It contains 18 elements in 16 groups, with a UHR element and 4 ED elements, aiding to the perfection of the 24-70’s sharpness and colour and rendering. These elements also help eliminate chromatic aberrations and colour fringing, creating super clean images in any harsh lighting conditions.
Teamed up with the Panasonic Lumix S1R, it’s an ultimate combination for versatility and supreme image quality. With the ultra high resolution, 47-megapixel sensor of the Lumix S1R, you are able to create images so clean and crisp using the 24-70mm, which gives you ultimate detail when cropping and endless possibilities for creative photo manipulation.
The contrast of the Lumix 24-70mm is really nice and strong. This leads to very nice black and white images straight out of camera. I really enjoy the crispness of the images created by the 24-70mm lens, it creates amazing texture and details.
With the 11 rounded aperture blades in the Lumix 24-70mm, you can be sure that you’re going to get incredibly smooth bokeh in the out of focus areas. The flower blossom below is at minimum focus distance, and you can see how nicely the 24-70mm melts away the background.
To wrap things up, I have to say that the Panasonic Lumix 24-70mm f2.8 is a fantastic all-around professional zoom lens that’s up to any task. It’s built like a tank, has a versatile zoom range from wide angle to portrait length, and amazing weather sealing. It also has the bright constant f/2.8 aperture, and maintains incredible sharpness wide open at all focal lengths. I would be extremely confident using the Lumix 24-70mm at any professional job.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my experiences with the Panasonic Lumix 24-70mm f/2.8!! Here are some more images, I hope you enjoy: