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May 21, 2012

Pre-orders: Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 for $1300

The new Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 Micro Four Thirds lens is now available for pre-order for $1300 at Amazon by Amazon. It is also listed at B&H Photo, but as of the time of writing, they are not accepting pre-orders.

Why this price? The Panasonic 12-35mm is a 24-70mm "35mm equivalent" and that is a common, popular and established focal range. $1300 is what the new Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 Di VC goes for, and just like the Panasonic, it is optically stabilized (VC is the magic word in Tamronese). Unlike the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 which is older and unstabilized, yet it goes for $825~. Both the Tamron and Sigma are designed to cover 35mm full frame sensors, while the Panasonic targets the "2X" 43M43 sensors.

Yet, the Nikon 24-70/2.8 goes for $1900 while the Canons range from $1600 (previous version) to $2300 (new version). All unstabilized.

So Panasonic appears to be banking on: 1) image stabilization 2) new release 3) no competition among M43rds lenses. In a way, on paper at least, it has some of the same advantages as the Tamron 24-70/2.8 Di compared to the other SLR lenses, except, unlike the Tamron, the Panasonic has no price competition from below (yet?).

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