Hands on with the Panasonic 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 OIS Macro Lens Super Zoom with macro capabilities, but at what price?

Panasonic just introduced a new zoom-telephoto lens for L mount – the 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 OIS Macro with a design the is rugged and should appeal to still as well as video shooters but the cost of this otherwise appealing all around tele-zoom lens might keep it away from some users.

In the video above, Jake Estes from B&H takes a look at the new 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 OIS Macro from Panasonic. It extends the L mount from Panasonic into a longer telephoto range and adds a nice long “macro” option for those looking for some close-up work with a longer focal length (butterflies and other large insects should be ideal to shoot with this lens).

The specs

Here are the main specs for the 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 OIS Macro from Panasonic:

  • 70-300 f/4.5-f/5.6 lens with FF coverage.
  • Optical structure with 17 elements in 11 groups including one ultra extra-low dispersion (UED) lens, two extra-low dispersion (ED) lenses, and one ultra-high refractive index (UHR).
  • 11 aperture blades.
  • Linear AF Motor.
  • Zoom lock switch.
  • 0.54m close-up the distance with 1:2 macro magnification at 300mm.
  • 5.5-stop optical image stabilization.
  • Weather sealing (tested up to 14°F / -10°C).
  • 77mm filter thread.
  • 790g (1.8 lbs) weight.
  • L mount (Panasonic/Sigma/Leica).
  • Price $1250 from early April 2021.

First impressions

With S1 series cameras and S5 the lens offers dual IS which seems to work very well even at 300mm handheld. Breathing also seems to be fairly low and AF also seems to work well (although Panasonic is still handicapped by its contrast-based system).

The new Panasonic Lumix S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro

Panasonic-Lumix S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro

The macro of this lens seems to be exceptional and a great selling point for this lens – at 300mm you can be only 74 cm away from your target and get a 1:2 magnification which is just great for a zoom lens.

Although this lens was primarily aimed at wildlife, sports, and maybe even some bird photography (although for birds we typically prefer at least 400mm or more) using this as a somewhat longer telephoto portrait lens for shooting in good lighting conditions – could certainly be an interesting option (you can see some examples in the Adorama video below).

More hands-on

Here are two other videos by DPR and Adorama with some different perspectives on this new lens.

Chris Niccolls from DPR on the new Panasonic 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 OIS Macro

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Adorama’s Hands-On with the Lumix S 70-300mm and Rob Adams

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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