Nokishita reports (Japanese) that the new Panasonic Lumix S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 will bow on April 22 with a price translated to US dollars as roughly $1,500. Previous rumors had this lens coming out at about $1,250. Inklings about Panasonic’s plans for the lens first broke in September.

[Update: Chris and Jordan already have a review up with a pre-production version of this lens. The upshot: it’s big, heavy, appears well weather sealed, has a very high (1:2) reproduction ratio, and quite round bokeh due to its 11-bladed aperture. Panasonic claims 5.5 stops of lens stabilization and indicates that it’ll work with IBIS in Lumix bodies. Its sharpness is optimized to the 70mm end, and the 300mm end – which is what everyone will care about – was poor for the price (about 900 Twonies or 1,800 Loonies in Chris and Jordan’s native land).]

Tamron came out late last year with its equivalent Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III, also first rumored back in September. That lens was reviewed as a good value, but slow, and with poor bokeh more distortion than might have been expected at the long range. Importantly, it costs $500 for that level of quality.