Glass frog with good diffused lighting using an external flash and artificial lighting setuo
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The Best Micro Four Thirds Lenses: 11 of My Favorites

One of the benefits of Micro Four Thirds cameras is that Panasonic, Olympus (OM System), and third occasion lenses with a Micro Four Thirds mount can be utilized on any Micro Four Thirds camera. Additionally, partially as a result of of the competitors between Panasonic and Olympus, these lenses are persistently spectacular and inexpensive. On this article, I spotlight the perfect lenses I’ve used on Micro Four Thirds.

I’ve organized the article to incorporate a pair choices of the perfect broad angle lenses, finest regular lens, finest telephoto lens, finest macro lens, and finest tailored lens. I’ve included a number of pattern photographs, so you’ll want to click on by the slideshows!

Glass frog with good diffused lighting using an external flash and artificial lighting setuo
DC-G9 + OLYMPUS M.60mm F2.8 Macro @ 60mm, ISO 400, 1/250, f/4.0

What are the perfect Micro Four Thirds lenses?

The finest Micro Four Thirds lenses are small, quick, and sharp. That is the sweetness of the Micro Four Thirds format. There are such a lot of wonderful sharp, compact, and high-performing lenses accessible. Earlier than attending to the perfect lenses, I need to spotlight how Micro Four Thirds lenses are totally different from different lenses.

Navigating the 2x crop issue

At its most simple definition, Micro Four Thirds is a sensor measurement. Particularly, it’s a fairly small sensor – one quarter the world of a full-frame sensor, with a diagonal size that’s 1/2 the scale. As a result of of this, there’s a 2x crop issue that must be thought of when evaluating lenses.

The 2x crop issue is similar to cropping a picture from a bigger camera sensor. This comes with some picture high quality penalties and extra noise at a given ISO, however it additionally signifies that your equal focal size is longer. As a result of of the 2x crop issue, taking pictures with a 300mm lens on a Micro Four Thirds camera would have an identical composition as a 600mm lens on a full body. However the Micro Four Thirds setup may very well be lower than half the scale and weight!

Many of the lenses on this checklist are tiny, but extremely performing. The comfort of small lenses is to not be underestimated.

Praying mantis and spider web photo using close focus wide angle with the panasonic leica 9mm f1.7 for micro four thirds
DC-G9 + LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9mm F1.7 @ 9mm, ISO 100, 1/4000, f/1.7

Significance of a large most aperture

As a result of of the crop sensor, Micro Four Thirds cameras don’t carry out as properly in low mild. It’s additionally tougher to get a slender depth of subject on a Micro Four Thirds camera. (See extra in our article Equivalence Additionally Consists of Aperture and ISO.)

Because of this, I choose lenses primarily based on how briskly they’re. If a lens allows loads of mild, it will probably negate these challenges with Micro Four Thirds. Mainly, I’ll take all the sunshine I can get as a result of of the inherent drawback!

That’s so far as I’ll delve into these technicalities. However preserve this context in thoughts as I assess the “finest” Micro Four Thirds lenses under. It’s subjective of course, however that’s why weight, most aperture, and efficiency are some of my high concerns.

Panasonic vs. Olympus (OM System)

As a result of most Micro Four Thirds lenses are manufactured by both Olympus or Panasonic, it’s tempting to check the 2 manufacturers. I actually don’t assume one is overwhelmingly higher than the opposite. Some Olympus lenses outperform the Panasonic equal and vice versa. Different varieties of lenses are solely made by one model and don’t have an equal.

The good factor about Micro Four Thirds is that you just don’t have to fret about which model your lens is, as a result of so long as it has a Micro Four Thirds mount, it should work nice in your Micro Four Thirds camera.

The solely time it actually issues, is that the superior stabilization features and autofocus skills are generally simpler if the lens matches the physique. So do preserve that in thoughts. If you happen to’re precisely 50/50 between two lenses, I’d go along with the one which matches your camera.

Let’s get into it! These are the perfect Micro Four Thirds lenses available on the market at present.

Best wide-angle lens

Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6

The Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 is a wonderful rectilinear broad angle zoom lens for panorama pictures. This can be very sharp nook to nook, packs small, and has a cushty zoom vary. It’s a nice lens to have in your backpack always to seize broad angle scenes.

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6

As for its optical efficiency, it’s sharp nook to nook with wonderful coloration accuracy and virtually no distortion points. It’s additionally a really small lens, and it even retracts, so it’s a really helpful transportable choice. (The weight is simply 155 grams / 0.34 kilos.)

Not the quickest lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 is just not a lens I might use for astrophotography. I can assure it’s not essentially the most pleasurable expertise taking pictures the celebrities at f/4! It’s additionally not a sensible choice for handheld pictures in low-light conditions, like road pictures at night time.

Lastly, I by no means loved this lens for shut topics. The minimal focusing distance is just not so shut, 9.84”, offering a most replica ratio of 0.1X. Optical high quality additionally takes a success at shut vary. It actually is a good panorama lens, however for shut focus and stars, I’ve one other suggestion in a second!

Swipe by these pattern photographs:

  • dramatic skies over an oak savannah taken with the olympus 9-18mm lens
  • Horned lizard in arizona using flash with wideangle wildlife photography
  • Camping under oak trees in florida Olympus M.zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6
  • (*11*)
  • Florida Lake sunrise Olympus M.zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6
  • Fog on a pond at night taken with the Olympus M.zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6

Causes to purchase

  • Helpful zoom vary covers panorama pictures vary
  • Glorious sharpness
  • Packs very small

Causes to keep away from

  • Slender most aperture
  • Not supreme for shut focus

Panasonic Leica 9mm f/1.7

The Panasonic Leica 9mm f/1.7 is an distinctive quick, wide-angle lens. As a primary lens, it is probably not as versatile because the above Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 zoom. Nonetheless, it gathers tons of mild at f/1.7, and it focuses very shut at 3.7”, filling in for what the Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 lacks. This lens is a good alternative for astrophotography, handheld taking pictures in low mild, and shut focus wide-angle photographs.

The sharpness is spectacular, even broad open, nook to nook. It’s nice for capturing sharp stars even broad open at f/1.7. That mentioned, for taking pictures close to the minimal focusing distance, I discover that efficiency improves after stopping right down to f/4 or f/5.6.

The lens is minimalistic and compact in design, that includes solely a buttery focus ring and weighing 130 grams / 0.29 kilos. It’s constructed of 12 parts in 9 teams, together with two further low dispersion parts and one ultra-high refractive index aspect.

The broad f/1.7 most aperture is a big promoting level and makes this lens appropriate for astrophotography or low-light pictures. A rounded seven bladed aperture creates a nice background blur, particularly at shut focus.

One of my different favourite points of this lens is the extraordinarily shut minimal working distance. You’ll be able to truly focus as shut as 3.7” which yields a most magnification of 0.25X. I get pleasure from utilizing this lens nearly like a macro lens! Few different lenses might obtain such uncommon views.

Regardless of being a primary lens, it is rather versatile. I take advantage of it for shut focus, panorama, and astro pictures. It even excels underwater. The solely time I discover it limiting is at instances it’s too broad for some landscapes. Being able to zoom in could be good at instances.

Causes to purchase

  • Broad f/1.7 most aperture
  • Sharp all through aperture vary
  • Tiny minimal focusing distance for inventive circulation
  • Price range pleasant
  • Small and light-weight

Causes to keep away from

  • If you need a zoom, this one can not zoom
  • Could be too broad for some landscapes

Best regular lens

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 PRO

I wished to incorporate some regular lenses on this article, however I spotted my pictures normally doesn’t push me to make use of these “center” focal lengths! Regardless, I’ve had my eye on this lens for some time. If you need an ordinary zoom to cowl many of the most typical focal lengths – not too broad, not too lengthy – the Olympus 12-45mm f/4 PRO could be one of my high selections.

The Olympus 12-45 f/4 PRO

Jason already did a full evaluate of the Olympus 12-45mm f/4 PRO and concluded that it “has wonderful efficiency and ought to be greater than sufficient for nearly each utility together with panorama, portrait, and even wide-angle wildlife.” He additionally mentioned it has a great price-to-performance ratio though some higher-end choices exist.

These higher-end choices embrace the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO and the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7, which might be higher selections for low-light pictures because of the broader most apertures. It’s also possible to contemplate a primary lens if you need a brighter choice, which I’ll cowl subsequent.

One other good various is the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO lens. It has a for much longer zoom vary, and the picture high quality is surprisingly excessive for a superzoom. Nonetheless, additionally it is a heavy and ponderous lens (a minimum of by Micro Four Thirds requirements). And the worth of $1400 is excessive sufficient that I’d suggest the $700 Olympus 12-45mm f/4 PRO as an alternative to most photographers.

DC-G9 + Olympus 12-45 f/4 PRO @ 13mm, ISO 250, 1/60, f/6.3 © Jason Polak

Causes to purchase

  • Good picture high quality
  • Transportable
  • Nicely-priced for what you get

Causes to keep away from

  • Slender most aperture
  • Picture high quality worsens at shut focusing distances

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II

The Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II is one of the sharpest and highest-performance Micro Four Thirds lenses on the market. It’s very deserving of a spot on this article.


The primary promoting level (aside from picture high quality) is the brilliant most aperture of f/1.4. It will allow you to take photographs in low mild, and blur the background, with out a lot problem. At 205 grams / 0.45 kilos, it’s a bit heavier than some regular prime lenses, however it’s nonetheless small and transportable. It’s remnicent of “nifty fifty” lenses for full-frame cameras, partially as a result of the equal focal size is 50mm.

That mentioned, it’s one of the higher-end nifty fifty lenses, costing $700. If you happen to’re on a price range or need one thing even smaller, the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f/1.7 is $250, and the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 is $400. The efficiency of these two lenses can be very excessive, though the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 II comes out forward (and captures extra mild).

Listed here are some of Nasim’s samples from the older model of this lens:

Causes to purchase

  • Brilliant most aperture of f/1.4
  • Best-in-class picture high quality
  • Smaller various to most midrange zooms

Causes to keep away from

  • If you need a zoom, this one can not zoom
  • Costlier (and a bit heavier) than most “nifty fifty” lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Best telephoto lenses

Olympus M.zuiko 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO

One of my favourite lenses I’ve ever shot with is the Olympus 300mm f/4 IS PRO lens. It’s an distinctive telephoto choice for Micro Four Thirds and supreme for wildlife pictures. The f/4 most aperture is sort of good for such a protracted focal size. It permits you to take footage in comparatively low mild with very nice bokeh.

Olympus 300mm f4 IS PRO Review

This lens is as sharp as a lens will be. Broad open at f/4, the 300mm f/4 captures crisp photographs nook to nook. I by no means felt the necessity to cease down to keep up sharpness; f/4 is already wonderful.

As if being optically good weren’t sufficient, the lens additionally has a superb inner stabilization system. It’s the perfect in lens-stabilization I’ve used. When paired with an Olympus or OM System physique, the system can enable for six stops of picture stabilization, however even with Panasonic cameras, it’s close to best-in-class.

If 300mm is just not sufficient for you, the 300mm f/4 IS PRO telephoto is appropriate with the M.zuiko MC14 and MC 20 teleconverters. These teleconverters increase the focal size to 420 and 600mm respectively. Even with the loss of mild from the teleconverter, they’re nonetheless very usable.

Briefly, it is a Micro Four Thirds powerhouse for wildlife pictures, even in low mild.

Causes to purchase

  • Extraordinarily sharp
  • Quick f/4 most aperture for such a protracted lens
  • Prime notch stabilization

Causes to keep away from

Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400 f/5-6.3 IS

The Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400 f/5-6.3 IS telephoto lens is one other telephoto choice for Micro Four Thirds. This one is a zoom lens, so it may be extra versatile than the 300mm prime above. It additionally has a whopping 800mm equal focal size when absolutely prolonged. This can be a nice lens to {photograph} small birds, distant sports activities, aviation, and extra.

A serious weak spot of this lens is that, when absolutely prolonged, the utmost aperture is simply f/6.3. This may be very limiting when you’re not taking pictures in brilliant daylight. Even the f/5 most aperture on the broad finish isn’t supreme. I nonetheless embrace it as one of the perfect telephoto choices as a result of it has good picture high quality, and it caters to a large focal size zoom vary, making it a flexible lens.

That is the biggest Micro Four Thirds lens I’ve ever shot with. At 10.45” absolutely prolonged, and weighing 2.46 kilos (1.1 kilos), it’s fairly cumbersome for a Micro Four Thirds lens. I like to recommend utilizing it with a tripod. That mentioned, it’s nonetheless a lot lighter than a typical full-frame telephoto zoom.

5-axis Twin Sync IS is just not supported by this lens, so solely 3 stops of shutter pace shake are accounted for (versus six when taking pictures with the Olympus 300mm f/4 IS PRO with a appropriate Olympus or OM System physique). That’s one more reason to make use of it with a tripod or monopod system.

Causes to purchase

  • Broad zoom vary
  • Extraordinarily lengthy attain
  • Excessive performing lens throughout
  • Extra budget-friendly at $1500

Causes to keep away from

  • Slender most aperture, particularly at 400mm
  • No Sync I.S. compatibility

Price range choice: Panasonic g.vario 100-300 f/4-5.6

I might additionally like so as to add this third telephoto choice for Micro Four Thirds shooters on a price range. The Panasonic Lumix g.vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 is a way more inexpensive telephoto choice than the aforementioned lenses. Though it underperforms the massive lenses in picture high quality, this can be very compact, and nonetheless produces more-than-useable photographs.

If you need a 600mm equal lens that weighs much less just one.14 lb and matches in a small pouch, that is the lens for you! It additionally doesn’t break the price range at $650, which I admire.

Causes to purchase

  • Extraordinarily compact
  • Most price range pleasant telephoto for Micro Four Thirds

Causes to keep away from

  • Received’t be the sharpest lens in your arsenal
  • Comparatively slender most aperture

Olympus M.zuiko 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO

Lastly, for the telephoto portion of this text, it might be a disservice to not point out the Olympus M.zuiko 15-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO lens. This lens is definitely the perfect supertelephoto lens accessible for Micro Four Thirds shooters, and the last word wildlife pictures lens.

The lens has a large focal size of 500mm (equal focal size of 1000mm) with the in-lens teleconverter utilized. Additionally it is quick at a relentless f/4.5 most aperture, even at 400mm. The lens is appropriate with Sync IS on Olympus and OM System our bodies.

The downside? It’s critically costly at $7,499. It’s arduous to justify such an costly lens for many of us, particularly since Micro Four Thirds is commonly thought of a price range system. That mentioned, the capabilities of this lens are outstanding – performing in addition to the 300mm f/4 (or probably even a bit higher) but reaching as much as 400mm, or 500mm with the teleconverter. And as a zoom, there’s loads of flexibility.

Causes to purchase

  • Best tremendous telephoto lens for Micro Four Thirds

Causes to keep away from

  • Costlier than a Nikon Z6, Canon R5, Sigma 150-600mm lens and 10 weeks’ price of groceries mixed
  • Heavy sufficient that you just’ll need a tripod or monopod

Best Macro Lens

OM System 90mm f/3.5 2x Macro IS PRO

The finest Micro Four Thirds macro lens is the OM -System 90mm f/3.5 2x Macro. Not solely does it have the perfect options of any macro lens for Micro Four Thirds, additionally it is the sharpest I’ve shot with. It’s absolutely climate sealed to a score of IP53, including to it’s versatility. It even has inner stabilization. This lens is a must have for any tremendous macro shooters seeking to transcend 1:1 macro.

OM-Systems 90mm f:3.5 macro IS PRO Lens

In the beginning, this lens is as sharp because it will get. What impressed me essentially the most was its sharpness at slender apertures. For many lenses on this article, I centered on the significance of sharp and broad apertures, however for macro, sharp slender apertures are essential. It’s one thing I lined in my evaluate of this lens.

The lens is just not as tiny and compact because the M.zuiko 60mm f/2.8 macro, which I’m additionally fairly fond of (see under). The OM System 90mm f/3.5 is 5.4 inches lengthy and weighs a couple of pound / half a kilo. The 90mm focal size permits for a cushty working distance between you and your close-up topics.

What’s extraordinarily engaging about this lens is that it’s absolutely electronically linked to the camera. Most 2x macro lenses are handbook focus solely. This not solely makes the lens extra versatile, however it additionally signifies that the lens is succesful of focus stacking. That is very helpful for taking pictures at excessive magnifications.

If 2x macro wasn’t sufficient for you, the lens can be appropriate with the M.zuiko MC20 2x teleconverter for excessive 4x magnification. All digital operate, together with autofocus, is retained when utilizing the teleconverter. A bit of sharpness and two stops of mild are misplaced.

Causes to purchase

  • Excessive 2x magnification
  • Impeccably sharp
  • Environment friendly autofocus
  • Inner stabilization
  • Weatherproof
  • Teleconverter compatibility for much more magnification

Causes to keep away from

Olympus M.zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro

The M.zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro was the undisputed king of the Micro Four Thirds macro lenses previous to the latest launch of the OM System 90mm macro. This 1:1 macro lens is extremely compact and sharp. It focuses quick, handles extraordinarily properly, and may be very inexpensive. That is my go-to suggestion for any Micro Four Thirds shooter in search of a macro lens, if the 90mm f/3.5 is overkill in your wants.

The M.zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro might be the lens I’ve shot with essentially the most out of all my lenses. I can say with confidence it’s a particularly excessive performing lens. It has additionally survived loads of use in harsh situations over the previous a number of years. I can communicate to its splash and dustproofness!

I discover the lens to be sharpest at f/5.6, sustaining wonderful sharpness between f/2.8 and f/8. I discover f/11 to nonetheless be sharp sufficient for my photographs, whereas additionally offering a cushty depth of subject for 1:1 macro pictures.

The lens is made of 13 parts in 10 teams together with one further low dispersion aspect, one further excessive refractive index aspect, and two excessive refractive index parts. Impressively, all that is made in a compact lens spanning solely 3.23” and weighing 185 grams / 0.4 kilos.

The autofocus of this lens is great, even once I shoot at night time with solely a dim flashlight lighting my topic. There’s a focus limiter which helps the lens focus in a short time.

There isn’t any stabilization on this lens, although I by no means discovered that to be a problem for my macro pictures, the place picture stabilization tends to not work as properly anyway.

Causes to purchase

  • Sharp
  • Extraordinarily compact and light-weight
  • Quick autofocus
  • Climate proof

Causes to keep away from

  • No inner stabilization
  • Fewer superior options than the 90mm f/3.5

My favourite tailored lens

Laowa 15mm f/4 macro

I wished so as to add a short point out right here of a lens I’ve discovered very helpful to my pictures, though it’s not a local Micro Four Thirds lens. I’m speaking concerning the Laowa 15mm f/4 macro.

This lens requires an adapter for use on a Micro Four Thirds camera, besides, it’s one of my favourite lenses for the system.

The Laowa 15mm f/4 macro is a particularly distinctive lens. At a working distance of 2.17″, this lens gives a most magnification of 1:1. This implies you possibly can seize some very good, wide-angle macro photographs with this lens.

It’s not a straightforward lens to make use of, particularly tailored. It’s a absolutely handbook lens, that means each the aperture and focus should be set on the lens itself. For macro, I hardly ever see this as a problem. What is hard is the virtually nonexistent working distance when at excessive magnification – however that comes with the territory if you need a wide-angle macro.

The lens additionally sin’t as sharp because the others on this checklist, however regardless of that, it’s sharp sufficient for on a regular basis use. I’ve taken many of my favourite photographs with this lens, which speaks to its utility.

Moreover, this lens is a shift-capable lens, which suggests it will probably decrease converging strains, like buildings or bushes that look to be “falling” backwards, by bodily shifting the lens. That is helpful for architectural pictures and a few panorama pictures.

Causes to purchase

  • 1:1 macro magnification at 30mm equal
  • Shift-capable lens
  • Yields distinctive photographs

Causes to keep away from

  • Totally handbook lens
  • Requires adapter


As you possibly can see, the Micro Four Thirds format has few limitations. Even when you discover that it’s lacking a lens you want, you possibly can at all times adapt different lenses, like I did for my Laowa 15mm f/4 macro. There’s a plethora of prime and extra zoom lenses on the market which cowl nearly each want.

My favourite half of Micro Four Thirds lenses is that many don’t break the financial institution. The Panasonic Leica 9mm f/1.7 and Olympus M.zuiko 60mm Macro are two of my favourite lenses, and each are beneath $500. There are usually not many codecs which are as budget-friendly as Micro Four Thirds.

Did I miss any very good Micro Four Thirds lenses? This checklist is simply my private choice, and each photographer’s selections will in all probability be totally different. Let me know within the feedback if there are extra we should always take a look at at Photography Life. I’ve labored with most of these lenses extensively, so be at liberty to ask me any questions on them.

#Micro #Thirds #Lenses #Favorites

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