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Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review

After much anticipation, the highly awaited Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for L-Mount has finally arrived for full-frame mirrorless cameras. In the world of macro photography and videography, enthusiasts and professionals have been eagerly awaiting this release from Panasonic, as it offers 1:1 life-size magnification and one of the most popular short telephoto focal lengths for close-up shots.

Watch our Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Video Review

This lens showcases several unique technologies that redefine the 100mm macro lens category and it launched as the world's smallest and lightest full-frame macro camera lens. For this Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens review, we provide all the essential specifications you need to know, along with sample photos to help you determine whether this new L-mount lens is the perfect addition to your content creation toolkit.

When did the Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens launch?

Panasonic kicked off the new year with the release of the Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens on January 8, 2023. It launched a year after the Lumix S 14-28mm F/4-5.6 Macro Zoom Lens, offering short telephoto prime capabilities, to compliment its predecessor's ultra-wide close-up features.

Panasonic Lumix S 100mm F/2.8 Macro Lens Review

What is a macro lens?

A macro lens provides higher magnification than regular lenses, in order to fill the frame with close-up details of the subject. It will typically focus closer to the subject, and offers a 1:1 magnification ratio, which means the image will be the same size as the actual object.

Although previously considered more specialised, macro lens photography has become increasingly popular as photographers strive to capture ever more unique and interesting images to share. If you’re new to this genre, you can explore tips for getting started in macro photography, which offers pointers from professional wildlife macro photographer Geraint Radford.

100m is ideal for portraits with a lovely field of view

What else can you capture with a 100mm macro lens?

The Panasonic 100mm macro lens provides the additional versatility to capture short telephoto subjects, which include portraits and landscapes, food photography, products, weddings and shots with movement. This focus width adds an element of compression, whereby anything in the background appears larger and compresses closer to the foreground.

Panasonic S 100mm f/2.8 Macro key features

The Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens stands out as the world's smallest and lightest full-frame macro lens, and comes packed with innovative technology plus a host of noteworthy features, including:

  • 1:1 magnification ratio (life-size)
  • Minimum focus distance of 20.4cm
  • Optical layout with 3 aspherical elements, 2 UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) and 1 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) element
  • Newly developed dual phase linear motor focus system (patented)
  • Compatible with 96MP handheld high resolution mode and 8 second high res mode with noise reduction
  • Grey printing on lens front, to minimise reflections
  • Unified size across six lenses with similar weight and filter thread size
  • Suppressed focus breathing for video
  • 9 aperture blade design
  • Dust and splash resistant, with freeze-proofing to -10ºC

Macro photo of butterlfy taken with the new Lumis X 100mm macro lens

Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens image quality

This Panasonic lens employs an optical design which is cable of extremely high image quality. A combination of the wide f/2.8 maximum aperture, special optical lens elements and new focus system ensures excellent results for both stills and video, with sharp details, reduced chromatic aberration and high contrast images.

You can capture beautiful bokeh and soft blurry backgrounds by opening the aperture to f/2.8. Subjects can also be pin sharp, even when shooting handheld using the new high res mode feature, which is available with camera bodies such as the Lumix S5 II and S5 IIX. For video recording the 100mm f/2.8 Macro offers well controlled focus breathing and a unified design, which is discussed further down in this review.

Close-up shot of wedding bands with beautiful details

Why is there no OIS?

Panasonic opted to remove the optical image stabilisation unit (OIS) from the 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, choosing instead to depend on in-body stabilisation, which is found in the latest Lumix mirrorless cameras. The S5 II body incorporates Panasonic’s 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 stabilisation system, which provides an impressive 6.5-stops of compensation.

How does the unified lens design help my work?

Content creators are attracted to the L-Mount system for its hybrid photo and video capabilities. This macro lens maintains a similar weight distribution, size, and overall weight as five existing models in the range. This facilitates quick gimbal rebalancing and filter sharing, as they all utilise 67mm lens filters.

Its a great focal length for pet portraits

Useability and ergonomics

The Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens prioritises simplicity and portability, omitting to include an extensive arrangement of controls often found in modern lenses. However it does feature a Focus Limiter and AF/MF switch, which contributes to an efficient workflow without the clutter of lots of barrel controls.

Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Specs

Lens construction

13 elements in 11 groups

Special elements

UED x2

ED x1

Aspherical x3

No. of diaphragm blades


Aperture range

f/2.8 - f/22

Maximum magnification ratio


Focus system

Dual Phase Linear Motor

Filter Size



73.6 x 82mm



Night portrait taken with the Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review

For L-mount creators, this might just be the best macro lens for capturing stunning 1:1 life-size close-up images at short telephoto range. It offers a well-established focal length, remarkable portability, and delivers beautiful results, whether you’re photographing macro, portraits or compressed details from a distance.

Reserve your Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for L-Mount today and explore macro photography with the freedom and versatility that this lightweight lens offers.

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By Nick Dautlich on 08/01/2024

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