With the announcement of a new 12-35mm f2.8 lens in its X series of Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses, I am now officially confused by Panasonic's lens marketing. The X series lenses do seem to have a slightly better build quality and design than the plain old Lumix G models, composed of more metal and less plastic, but all the usual markers that manufacturers use to differentiate between classes of lenses -- coatings, wide apertures, features -- are absent.
When Panasonic first announced the X series, I had though that X would be defined by the power zoom or video-optimized quieter stepping motor (designated by an HD), but there are non-X HD lenses (like the veteran 14-140 f4-5.8), and the new 12-35mm lacks power zoom. There are non-X lenses with Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating plus low-dispersion (UED) and high refraction (UHR) lenses, like its Leica-produced DG Summilux 25mm f1.4. And Panasonic doesn't have enough lenses in its lineup to use price as a discriminator. … Read more