Aug 182013
 

The best micro 4/3 lenses reviewed! In case you missed them!

So it’s a “not so lazy” Sunday for me and the internet is all abuzz with the latest leak for the new Olympus Pro E-M1. Many are thrilled and others are not so thrilled. Me, I am thrilled because I see it for what it is, and after using and loving the OM-D E-M5 since day one of its release, I am happy to see a pro built “E-M5 on Steroids” while still remaining much smaller and compact that the bullky and mostly cheap feeling midline DSLRs. The OM-D E-M5 has proven itself and many talented shooters have used it to create some amazing images, many surpassing what I see in full frame models. But again, it is all about who is behind the camera anyway :)

The OM-D E-M5 is a fantastic tool with what I feel are the best lenses created for any mirrorless system to date (Excluding Leica M). Yes, I have used every Fuji lens, every Zeiss Touit lens, Every Sony lens and most lenses for other mirrorless system. The Micro 4/3 glass is not only up there with the best lenses in APS-C and Full Frame format, in some cases they beat the big expensive pro lenses for sharpness, color and CA/Flare. The best part? There are a TON of them to choose from.

Yep, the primes made by Olympus and Panasonic are quite amazing which is what has made Micro 4/3 as a system so successful. If it was not for the lenses, the system would have failed. I have reviewed most of these fantastic pieces of glass and looking back today I can still see how great they are. They all have great build, super fast AF, and in the case of the primes, fast apertures.

The old days of “I cannot get shallow DOF with my Micro 4/3″ have long been gone. So if you missed them, take a look below at the lenses I have reviewed for this system. As always, all mirrorless camera and lens reviews can be found easily in my “Mirrorless Central” section which is accessed under the review tab at the top of any page.

 

I have had a few e-mails this morning asking me about Micro 4/3 lens reviews, and where to find them. Well, I have almost reviewed them all over the years and you can access the ones I took a look at using the direct links below:

The Panasonic 8mm Fisheye Review is HERE

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The Olympus 12mm, Voigtlander 17 0.95 and 25 0.95 were used in my OM-D review HERE

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The SLR Magic 12mm Hyperprime review is HERE

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The Panasonic 14 2.5 Lens review is HERE

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The Olympus 17 1.8 Lens Review is HERE

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The Panasonic 20 1.7 (original) can be seen HERE and also HERE

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The Panasonic 25 1.4 Lens review is here

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The Panasonic 12-35 Lens review is HERE

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The Olympus 45 1.8 Lens Review

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Panasonic 45 2.8 Macro Lens Review

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The Olympus 60 2.8 Macro review 

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The Olympus 75 1.8 Lens review

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Micro 4/3 Dealers:

Amazon, B&H Photo and PopFlash.com

  28 Responses to “The best micro 4/3 lenses reviewed! In case you missed them!”

  1. Hard to argue the easily provable. I’ve had more actual fun with my retro looking Oly then any Canon, Nikon or Hassey in years. Except maybe one company bowling outing I shot for laughs with the Canon 1Dx. And only because of its incomparable machine gun auto focus abilities. Certainly not its awful weight.

  2. I’m totally entrenched in the Micro Four Thirds system and absolutely agree that it’s the lenses that really make it. Yes the OM-D was (in is many ways still is) the most advanced camera on the planet for it’s size but it wouldn’t be anything without these stellar pieces of glass. The 45mm 1.8 still blows my mind every time I pick it up.

    Not completely convinced by the video as the lines there are too many things saying Olympus on them for the terrible camera work to be an official rep. We’ll have to see over the next month what happens. If that is the camera is has exactly what I want on it in a size I want just in a slightly odd looking package.

  3. The 14mm is on my list.

    For the cheapskate like me, the Sigma 19 and 30mm give a lot of bang for the buck.

  4. I think the new panasonic gx7 is not good like they said i have just read a review .

    Against
    Colour noise in high-ISO shots, some viewfinder activation lag, continuous autofocus still not quite there, can’t shoot in-camera effects with raw+JPEG, accidental focus point adjustment via touchscreen, so-so battery life, pinpoint AF requires double tap, overexposure can be an issue.

    http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/122758-panasonic-lumix-gx7-review

  5. Hi Steve, I am a regular reader of your great and informative blog! At the beginning of the article you say ” Many are thrilled and others are not so thrilled.” You said why you were thrilled, but kind of left us hanging – why would “others” not be thrilled? Do you mean competing manufacturers of Micro Four Thirds systems? Thanks again!

    • I meant that some people are thrilled with the release while some are saying it is ugly, large, etc. But usually those who say these things are the ones who are always complaining about any sensor that is smaller than APS-C. The fact is that the olympus E-M5 (the current model) stands toe to toe with any APS-C camera made today, in some cases, beats them. It’s a wonderful system but there are so many good cameras these days. Even my little 1″ sensor Nikon V1 gives me results I am thrilled with. So people need to choose based on their needs and wants in a body and lens selection. In this regard, the new Olympus has quite a bit to offer.

  6. Hey Steve,
    Any plans to review the new Voigtlander 43.5mm f0.95?
    Thanks!

  7. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this article!I am a big fan of your block and as an OMD EM5 user, reading your reviews for suitable lenses helped me so far with my collection, but also how to take better pictures :)

    I was wondering if you could give me more tips: I am planning to do a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights this winter. Any recommendation which lens(es) would be the best to have for shooting that magical sky? Also, do you have any recommendations on tripods?

    Very grateful to hear your opinion!!!!
    Thanks
    Sofia

  8. so will DSLR holdouts become even more intrigued with micro4/3 if the EM1 delivers on its promise of fast AF with micro4/3 and 4/3 lenses? i mean, the suite of 4/3 lenses is fantastic, and would that entice more DSLR folks to become interested in the micro4/3 4/3 ecosystem?

    or would they argue that if they were going to carry big and heavy lenses, they might as well have a full sensor anyway?

  9. The 14mm Panasonic lens is a bargain, you can normally pick one up on ebay new unboxed for about 125 pounds in the UK. It’s sharp enough and the colours are great with it. It is an absolutely tiny lens with lightning fast autofocus and is perfect if you need your micro 43 to be pocketable.

    Not mentioned in Steve’s list but the 9-18 Olympus is really good optically (and very compact). The only downside is the speed (f4-5.6)

    Here’s some examples using the 14mm
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/daniel_came/tags/panasonic14mmf25/

    And here’s some with the 9-18mm
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/daniel_came/tags/olympus918mm/

  10. One of the reasons I have avoided micr 4/3 cameras is the dearth of wide angle lenses for landscape photography. Given the crop factor a 6-12mm micro 4/3 lens would be needed to get the 35mm equivalent of a 12-24mm lens.

    • Panasonic 7-14 mm?

    • I love landscape photography and I haven’t struggled using the GH3. Here are some of my recent images http://flic.kr/s/aHsjHKya7G … but of course I’m no professional just an enthusiast/student

      • Hi Alex,

        Impressive shots but 17mm ( really 34mm in 35mm equivalent) isn’t wide enough for me. I want 12-24 ( 35mm format ) which means 6-12mm in micro 4/3. If I can’t shoot what I want there is no point in buying into the camera system right now.

        • Don’t forget the excellent 12mm Olympus F2.0. It is perhabs one of the best wide angle lenses of all time. Super fast compared to DSLR wideangle retrofocus lenses and very high resolution, besides its classy precision metal body.
          Combine that with the manual Focus Samyang 7.5mm 3.5 which is very good optically and equally well built (metal) and you are much better off than with the Panasonic 7-14zoom (in my opinion).

          • The 12mm is in my top two faves for Micro 4/3 but it was reviewed in my E-P3 review, not separately..so not listed here. I have tried the Samyang fisheye and hated it (probably because I own the Panasonic). Build was fine but 1/4 of the shots were slightly off or OOF. Was a pain so stuck with the Panasonic which is amazing every time, and great for video as well. So I have the 8mm, 12mm, 17, 25 0.95 and 45 1.8 as my personal M 4/3 lens kit.

            • You hated the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower 7.5? Amazing! I have the Rokinon version and am constantly stunned by it’s sharpness. Sometimes I use the 2x on my epl5 or the 2.4 ETC on my GH3 to get a narrower view and still sharp as a tack. I’ve been a video and photo pro since 1986 and think I have good discernment where optics are concerned. I read a several reviews of this little beauty before buying it. I wonder if you got a bad copy. Sadly, lots of folks who trust your expertise will avoid this lens because of your hating of it. It regularly beats the Panny in tests,

              http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2012/02/samyang-75mm-f35-fisheye-lens-review.html

              It is ridiculously inexpensive @ $273 vs $640 for the Panasonic. Amazon lowest prices today 01.09.2014.

              OK, it is manual. That shouldn’t really be a problem, as it is a fisheye lens, after all. Plus it is built like a brickhouse. I love Panasonic, have owned rented and shot more Panasonic video cameras since 1986 and more recently, stills/hybrid Panasonics and their m43 lenses, so have a strong bias for their products. Yet I wouldn’t trade my Sam/Rok/Bow 7.5 fish for the Panasonic 8mm fish (other than for the financial gain!)

              Thanks for your great reviews, hard and diligent research and decency, Steve. I just would hate to see folks wanting a fisheye to miss out on one of the best values in the m43 world right now…IMO!

  11. Another gem, although not as “spectacular” as the primes is the Panasonic 14-140 mm. I had the old one and I am eagerly awaiting delivery of the new, much smaller and lighter version.

    This lens makes any MFT camera (E-M5 in my case) the perfect travel and vacation camera. One lens to do it all. And if you still feel there are things not covered by this lens (wide angle, large aperture), it’s easy to bring a couple of the small, light primes.

    But it is so to accomplish most if not all without changing lenses while traveling!

  12. If you were starting over what 43 body would you or would wait for next generation of upgrade?
    I shoot a lot with tamaron 70 to 300 zoom. If you only were going to buy two lens to start what would you buy. I shoot a lot if flowers and often crop what I shoot.
    Canon 5 with canon L 24 to 105 has been my walk around lens.
    Once owned Nixon 58 f/1.4

    Bob gallagher

  13. Olympus will also have a 7-14mm lens

  14. We could use an update :-)

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