Shooting the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

In today’s installment of What Lens to Buy, Mark looks at the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH lens

My favorite Micro Four-thirds lens has always been the Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH lens ($897.99.) It’s small, light and very sharp. When I first heard about the new Panasonic Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4 lens ($1,097.99) I was excited because although it sacrifices 1mm at the wide end it gains 4mm at the long end of the zoom. That means that I get a 36mm equivalent lens instead of a 28mm. That can make a big difference especially when photographing people since it minimizes distortion.

I was worried about the extra weight of the DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm lens (11.1 oz) over the G Vario 7-14 (10.6 oz), but after carrying it all day at a ranch in Colorado it wasn’t a problem. Unlike the 7-14mm, the 8-18mm also accepts a threaded filter (67mm.) I don’t find that the 8-18mm is any sharper than the 7-14mm so if you want a lighter, less expensive slightly wider lens that’s still a great choice.

This lens is great for interiors, landscape, architecture and street photography. This will be my new everyday lens. It may as well be glued to my camera.

Update: Look for Joe’s field test of the Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 lens in an all-new post next week. If you missed his First Impressions post, you can read it here.