Panasonic S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm lens

Congratulations to Panasonic for taking home our Best Lens of CES 2024 award with the Panasonic S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm lens.

Panasonic announced its newest S Series full-frame L-mount lens at CES 2024. The company says that the new S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm lens is the world’s smallest and lightest medium-telephoto fixed focal length macro lens. The compact size of the new 100 mm lens makes it great for close proximity photography, natural photos and portraits, or faster paced action.

Compact size

The Panasonic S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm macro lens weighs around 10.5 ounces (298 g). This makes it the smallest and lightest macro lens with a focal length of 90mm or more for autofocus full-frame mirrorless cameras. Panasonic has also matched the lens’s chassis to its existing F/1.8 series of lenses. This means you get a unified experience from 18 mm to 100 mm with lenses that have matched sizes, filter threads, and similar weights.

F/2.8 aperture

The S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm macro lens has a wide maximum aperture of F/2.8. This should give a good low light performance. Combined with the 100mm focal length, you can also easily create images with a shallow depth of field. In addition, Panasonic says that the S-E100 lens delivers stunning bokeh in the out-of-focus parts of your frame.  The micro-step aperture control means that you can change exposure smoothly which is vital for video use.

Autofocus

This macro lens features a newly developed dual phase linear autofocus motor.  This delivers speed and precision for faster action tracking whether you are shooting video or photos. Importantly for video, Panasonic also says that the autofocus is silent in operation. In addition, the lens offers optically corrected focus breathing. This uses the lens’s linear focus motor and micro-step aperture control.

Other features

The Panasonic S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm macro lens has an ultra-high precision manual focus sensor. Panasonic says that this delivers unparalleled manual focus precision, even when working at 1:1 macro. You can also choose between linear or nonlinear focus ring settings. In addition, the lens also incorporates three aspherical lenses to ensure high resolution from the center of the image to its edges.

What we think

There is a lot to like about the Panasonic S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm macro lens. Although some users might wish for a wider maximum aperture, the F/2.8 will deliver good low light performance while keeping the lens small. With a focal length of 100 mm, you won’t have any difficulties getting a very shallow depth of field either. The silent autofocus and optically corrected focus breathing are also great features for video shooting. If you are looking for a medium telephoto lens for your L-Mount camera then the S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm macro lens is worth considering.

Pricing and availability

The Panasonic S-E100 LUMIX S 100mm F/2.8 macro lens will be available at the end of January 2024. It will retail at $999.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.