Panasonic’s relationship with Leica appears to be bearing some new fruit in the next week as some new rumors surfaced this morning indicating a new announcement is incoming. According to the new rumor report over on 4/3 Rumors, Panasonic is expected to announce a couple of new products next week, including a new ‘entry level’ G camera and a new Leica prime lens.
We don’t have any details on the new entry level G camera, but the rumored Leica prime is expected to be a 12mm (or 24mm equivalent field of view in full frame 35mm terms). This new 12mm Leica prime would join a stable of 5 other Panasonic/Leica lenses including the 100-400mm F/4-6.3, 25mm F/1.4, 15mm F/1.7, 42.5mm F/1.2, and 45mm F/2.8. The rumor does not include what aperture the rumored 12mm lens will include, but we do have some ideas on that.
If you take a look at known Panasonic/Leica lens patents you will see three possibilities as to what aperture this new lens could include. There is a 12mm F/1.2 OIS, a 12mm F/1.4 OIS, and a 12mm F/2.8. If you look at previous Panasonic/Leica lens offerings you will see that only one of their primes is slower than F/1.7, the 45mm F/2.8. This would lead me to lean towards the likelihood that of the three patents that we know about, the F/1.2 OIS and F/1.4 OIS possibilities seem most likely. That said, it all depends on what Panasonic is trying to do with this lens. If they are going for high-quality optics the F/1.2 and F/1.4 options seem to be the best fit, while if they are going for a more compact lens option, then the F/2.8 option makes more sense.
Regardless, we should find out next week what option they decided to go with. What does seem clear is that Panasonic shooters who like their Leica lenses will soon have another killer option to cover that traditional 24mm FoV.
[via 4/3 Rumors]