Best Micro Four Thirds Lenses 2021
October 21, 2021
Here, we round-up the best Micro Four Thirds lenses we’ve reviewed.
One of the nice things about Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras is that you can use any Micro Four Thirds lens on any MFT camera, so you have the choice of a vast array of lenses.
Own an Olympus camera? You can use a Panasonic lens on it, or Sigma, or Samyang, or Tamron, as long as the lens uses the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, and the same goes with Panasonic cameras, which will happily use Olympus lenses, and all other MFT lenses.
With both Olympus and Panasonic making lenses and cameras since 2008/2009, there are numerous lenses to choose from, from premium models, to budget models, and you’ll find compact lenses as well as larger lenses available!
Things to know when choosing a lens:
Image Stabilisation – IS, Power OIS, Mega OIS – If you’re using a Micro Four Thirds camera without In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS), then having optical image stabilisation in the lens is going to be of particular interest, it’s also worth looking out for it when looking at longer telephoto lenses. Panasonic lenses with optical image stabilisation come with “Power” or “Mega” OIS, whilst Olympus lenses with optical image stabilisation simply have “IS” in the name.
Manual Focus or Autofocus – The majority of Micro Four Thirds lenses are autofocus, but some, from companies like Laowa, and Samyang, are manual focus only. If manual focus isn’t for you, then make sure to check first.
Crop factor – The Micro Four Thirds system has a 2x crop factor, so that means that a 50mm lens used on a Micro Four Thirds camera, will actually give a 2x cropped view, giving the equivalent to a 100mm lens (in 35mm equivalent terms).
Weather-sealing – If you’re likely to be shooting street or landscape photography and don’t want to stop due to poor weather conditions, then look out for a lens that is weather-sealed, as this will help protect your lens, as well as your camera.
5 Star rated lenses: (Gold award)
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4 PRO
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4 PRO lens gives you a great wide-angle range, from ultra-wide 16mm to 50mm equivalent. It offers superb optical quality, as well as impressive close-up performance. With it being a PRO model, you’ll find that it’s also got excellent build quality and handling.
Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH Power OIS
The Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH Power OIS lens gives you an impressive short telephoto portrait lens, with autofocus, optical image stabilisation, and impressive image quality, this is a high quality lens with a lot to love. However, it does come at a price, being roughly £1149 new, or around £730 used.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO lens gives a fast F1.2 aperture, a manual focus ring, and beautiful bokeh, but it comes at a price, at roughly £1000. For those that want the extra brightness, and low-light abilities, then this lens is well worth looking at, but for many, the price will be a concern.
Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
This is a manual focus lens available for a range of APS-C and Micro Four Thirds lens mounts, it’s also been released as a CINE T1.5 version of the lens for use with video creation. The lens gives direct aperture control, and manual focus. You may struggle to find this lens, so keep an eye out for the CINE version, or have a look to see if it’s available used.
Samyang 50mm f/1.2 UMC CS
The Samyang 50mm f/1.2 UMC CS lens is a manual focus lens, that is available in a number of different lens mounts, including Micro Four Thirds. The lens offers a large f/1.2 aperture, making it one of the “brightest” lenses available in this list, but it’s also excellent value for money, being available for around £300. If manual focus isn’t for you, then have a look at the Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 lens above. You’ll find it’s also available as a CINE version, with T1.3 aperture, and gearing designed for video creation.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO lens is designed to be a compact, but high-quality zoom lens, giving a useful 24-90mm equivalent. It weighs in at just 254g, making this very light, and at 7cm long, it’s also compact. It’s smaller than the 12-40mm f/2.8 lens, whilst also offering slightly more telephoto reach. As a PRO lens it is weather-sealed, making it suitable for shooting in poor weather conditions. Image quality is excellent, and the lens also offers excellent close-up performance.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO lens offers an impressive zoom range, equivalent to 24-200mm, giving a versatile all-in-one zoom lens. It’s also been designed to give high image quality, and the lens doesn’t disappoint, scoring 5 stars in our review.
4.5 star rated lenses:
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is a lens that gives an ultra-wide angle zoom range of 14-28mm (in 35mm equivalent terms), and with a fixed f/2.8 aperture available the lens can give better low light performance than other ultra-wide-angle zooms available for Micro Four Thirds. If you’re in the market for an ultra-wide zoom, then this is definitely up there with the best.
Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN
The Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN is part of a range of compact prime lenses designed for APS-C and Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. With a bright f/1.4 aperture, this lens is a great portrait lens giving a 112mm equivalent on Micro Four Thirds cameras. It’s also relatively compact, and would make a great choice for anyone needing to shoot in low-light conditions.
Panasonic Leica DG Summulix 12mm f/1.4 ASPH.
The Leica DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH lens is a premium lens with the Leica branding, and the wide-angle lens gives a 24mm equivalent. You’ll find an aperture ring on the lens, but you can also control the aperture with the camera. There’s also a solid build quality, thanks to a metal construction, and you’ll also benefit from weather-sealing. Perhaps more importantly, the lens also delivers excellent image quality, with plenty of fine detail, even when shooting wide-open.
Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH.
The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH lens is an entry-level, and very afforable bright prime lens, giving a 50mm equivalent you can think of this lens as the “Nifty Fifty” to get for your Micro Four Thirds camera. Being roughly half the price of an Olympus 25mm f/1.8 lens, this Panasonic lens is hard to beat.
4 star rated lenses:
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN
The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN is part of a range of bright f/1.4 lenses designed for APS-C and Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras, along with the 56mm f/1.4, there’s also a 16mm f/1.4 lens available. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 gives a 60mm equivalent field of view, making it slightly longer than the “standard” 50mm lens. With an f/1.4 aperture, it’s also a good choice if you need to shoot in low-light conditions.
Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT
The Laowa 7.5mm f/2 MFT is a manual focus lens with direct aperture control, with no electrical contact to the camera. The lens is available in silver or black, and gives an ultra-wide 15mm equivalent. Being made for Micro Four Thirds only, it’s extremely compact, and lightweight making it easy to take with you wherever you go.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
If you’re looking for a fisheye lens, then the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 PRO is a fisheye lens with autofocus (AF), and weather sealing. It’s got a fast maximum aperture, making it suitable for low-light use, and delivers impressive image quality.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS lens is a mid-range telephoto zoom that gives a 200-800mm equivalent, although with a relatively slow aperture, you do need bright sunny conditions to get the best out of the lens and camera. It’s also compatible with the Olympus MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters if you want even more reach.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS
The 12-60mm lens gives a useful zoom range from 24-120mm equivalent, with optical image stabilisation, and a more affordable price tag compared to some lenses. Focus is snappy, and image quality is respectable, making is a great upgrade option for those who have a 14-42mm kit lens.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 all-in-one “super zoom” lens offers a somewhat incredible 24-400mm equivalent zoom range. The lens benefits from a weather-resistant construction, but due to the lack of optical image stabilisation, it’s not recommended for use on cameras that don’t feature in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), as it could be tricky to get sharp shots when using more of the telephoto zoom. It’s also not as sharp as other lenses, particularly at the telephoto end of the lens, however, this is often the case with super zoom lenses.
Tamron 14-150mm f/3.5-5.8 Di III
The Tamron 14-150mm f/3.5-5.8 Di III offers an alternative to the Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II, and Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II super zoom lenses, with slightly more telephoto reach than the Panasonic, and being slightly brighter at the wide-angle end than the Olympus. The lens lacks optical image stabilisation, so it is best paired with a camera body that features in-body image stabilisation.
More Micro Four Thirds lens to consider:
Whilst we haven’t rated these lenses, we have given them a thorough test, and you can find out what we think of them, as well as view sample photos from these lenses to see if they’re what you’re looking for.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO
For the professional sports or wildlife photographer, this lens offers a 300-800mm equivalent range, which can be extended to 375-1000mm (at f/5.6) using the built-in 1.25x teleconverter! When used with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X it’s also said to be able to give up to 8 stops of image stabilisation! It’s also considerably lighter than full-frame equivalents. It’s also compatible with the Olympus MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters if you want even more reach.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens is the go to lens for those who want high-quality images, and a bright f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range. It’s well matched to the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, as the zoom range follows on from this, giving an 80-300mm equivalent zoom range. It’s also weather-sealed, and has an internal zoom mechanism so that the lens doesn’t change length when you zoom.