Micro 4/3 Brief Lens Reviews

Camera lens

At this point, I’ve either owned or tried most of the micro 4/3 lenses, and I’ve seen samples from virtually all of them.  As a result, I’ve got plenty of opinions as to which of them are worth buying.  Which are those?


  • Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.0 – one of the best ultra wide lenses, on any system
  • Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 – great fisheye
  • Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 – perfect carry-everywhere prime
  • Olympus 45mm f/1.8 – excellent in every respect
  • Olympus 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 – light, sharp, fast-focusing and inexpensive

Well worth looking at:

  • Panasonic 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 – better than a kit lens has any right to be
  • Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 – the best low-light normal lens, for a price
  • Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 macro – great at macros, but good at lots more besides
  • Olympus 75mm f/1.8 – incredible optics, if you need the focal length

A complete listing of all current m4/3 lenses, and my comments, below:

Primes Brand FL (mm) Max
Price Rating
Samyang Samyang UMC 7.5 3.5 $300 **** Best fisheye choice, thanks to good optics and a low price
Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8 3.5 $630 ** Decent lens, but drastically overpriced compared to the Samyang
SLR Magic Hyperprime 12 1.6 $500 ** Fast aperture and decent price don’t make up for so-so optics
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 12 2.0 $800 *** Good, but not as good as the price-tag suggests
Schneider Super Angulon 14 2.0 Expected to be expensive
Panasonic Lumix G 14 2.5 $305 *** Okay optics and a good price, but not really any better than the kit zooms
Big Photo Shift 15 2.4 Specialized lens, perhaps of interest to architectural shooters
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 15 8.0 $80 Fixed, slow aperture
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 17 1.8 Expected to be good, but pricey
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 17 2.8 $300 * Size is the only positive attribute of this lens
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 0.95 $1250 *** Good optics and a fast aperture held back by a large size, lack of autofocus and a high price
Sigma Sigma EX DN 19 2.8 $200 *** Good optics and price, but not as useful as the Panasonic 14mm and 20mm pancake lenses.
Panasonic Lumix G 20 1.7 $400 **** Excellent in every way save autofocus speed make this one of the system’s most useful lenses
Voigtlander Nokton 25 0.95 $1200 ** Good but not great optics, no autofocus, and a rather high price tag
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 1.4 $550 **** Excellent lens at a manageable price, though unfortunately a fair bit larger than the 20/1.7
Sigma Sigma EX DN 30 2.8 $200 *** A good lens at a good price, but an odd focal length
Mitakon AMC 35 0.95 A large lens with an odd focal length and likely a high price tag
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 45 1.8 $400 **** Small, fast, light and sharp at a good price make this a no-brainer
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45 2.8 $750 **** An excellent macro and general performer, marred only by slightly slow AF
SLR Magic Noktor Hyperprime 50 0.95 $1000 * Novelty lens (mediocre optics) at a very un-novelty-like price
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 60 2.8 $600 Expected to be pricey but sharp so likely to be the best macro option for m4/3
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 75 1.8 $900 **** Superb optics, but a slightly odd focal length and a high price to boot
Tokina Reflex 300 6.3 $370 ** It may be small but the fixed aperture and lack of AF make it rather pointless
Zooms Brand FL (mm) Max aperture Price Rating 1-5 Notes
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14 4.0 $900 ***** One of the best ultrawide lenses on the market. Doesn’t work well with the E-M5 though.
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 9-18 4.0-5.6 $700 *** An okay lens optically in a very small and convenient package
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35 2.8 $1300 ** Okay to good optics in a nice package, but at a steep price.
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 12-50 4.0-6.3 $500 ** Mediocre lens and price, but the range, weather-sealing and macro mode make it interesting for certain purposes
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 14-42 3.5-5.6 * Decent optics done in by poor construction and horribly slow autofocus
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital II 14-42 3.5-5.6 ** Okay lens, particularly if it comes as part of a kit
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital II R 14-42 3.5-5.6 $300 ** Okay lens, particularly if it comes as part of a kit
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42 3.5-5.6 $145 ** Mediocre lens, at a good price
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42 3.5-5.6 $325 * Size and wide-angle performance are good, but the design flaw causing blurring at the long end is a deal-breaker
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45 3.5-5.6 $255 *** Best of the ‘kit’ zooms by a considerable margin
Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140 4.0-5.8 $620 *** Decent optics in a solid, if slightly large, package
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 14-150 4.0-5.6 $600 ** Useful range in a comparatively small package, but mediocre optics
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100 2.8 Price is expected to be high, but so is quality, so a useful lens for those who need a fast telephoto
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 40-150 4.0-5.6 *** Good optics at an affordable price
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital R 40-150 4.0-5.6 $300 *** Good optics at an affordable price
Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 45-150 4.0-5.6 $300 Much smaller than the 45-200 which would make it interesting if the optics are good
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175 4.0-5.6 $365 ** The size is nice, but the optics are a bit weak
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200 4.0-5.6 $245 ** Okay lens at an okay price.
Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 75-300 4.8-6.7 $900 ** Optics are actually pretty good, but quite slow with a high price
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300 4.0-5.6 $500 *** Most reasonable long telephoto option for m4/3