You can now preorder the lens at BHphoto.
ePhotozine tested the Panasonic Lumix S 18mm F/1.8 Lens and concluded:
The summary really is that we have a great lens at a very reasonable price. The logic of the whole range of f/1.8 prime lenses is well thought out, the quality is high and the price is very cost-effective. The design does appear to favour the centre of the image in terms of image quality at some cost to the edges, but to be fair the edge performance is still very good and rather better in the field than the resolution tests would suggest. This is because the lens is designed to photograph real 3D subjects and not flat test charts at close distances.
Although some alternatives have been listed, in terms of ergonomics in particular, the matching set of f/1.8 primes share so much that to only buy some from the range and mix and match with other lenses would miss the point. Whichever ones are selected for purchase, it’s a bit of a no-brainer that the others in the range fit in with each other so well and therefore as a set they are a perfect fit.
The Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 lens is definitely ‘Highly Recommended’.