Micro Four Thirds is unique in that two companies produce cameras for it, so naturally there are some killer options as far as lenses go – but a bit of overlap as well. Shooting portraits on Micro Four Thirds is interesting, due to the 2x crop factor (effecting both focal length and aperture) it can be hard to get that popular shallow depth of field.
In this roundup we have 5 incredible lenses for portrait photography on the Micro Four Thirds system. So lets jump right into it, shall we?
Olympus 45mm F/1.8
In our official review we had the following to say about the Olympus 45mm F/1.8:
“Overall, I can’t help but recommend the Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens. It should be the portrait lens in the bag of every single Micro Four Thirds camera user and I will not retract or take that statement back. Though Panasonic has a lens that doubles as a Macro lens, it gets utterly destroyed by this lens. When we reviewed that lens, I was very pleased with the colors and sharpness. However, Olympus has taken a page from their years of lens crafting and made it really shine.” — Read Our Full Review
Effectively a 90mm lens, the Olympus 45mm F/1.8 offers that classic portrait focal length in a small, lightweight, and affordable package. This makes a killer portrait lens for anyone utilizing a Panasonic or Olympus Micro 4/3 body that wants to have some great performance in a tiny package.
Grab an Olympus 45mm F/1.8 over on Amazon now for $299.
Olympus 75mm F/1.8
In our official review we had the following to say about the Olympus 75mm F/1.8:
“I’ll admit, I had read several reviews of this lens before I had the chance to shoot with it, and I was skeptical about whether or not it could possibly live up to the overwhelmingly positive things people have said about it. In the end, it exceeded my expectations by a long shot, and I believe it redefines the standards at which micro four thirds lenses should be built.” — Read Our Full Review
It’s effective focal length of 150mm may not be what you consider a standard portrait focal length, but this is one heck of a killer portrait lens for the Micro 4/3 system. One that while on the expensive side for M4/3 glass is worth every penny and assuming you have the space to adequately frame your subject will perform exceptionally.
Grab an Olympus 75mm F/1.8 over on Amazon now for $699 ($200 off the usual price of $899).
Panasonic 15mm F/1.7
In our official review we had the following to say about the Panasonic 15mm F/1.7:
“Panasonic put out a fantastic product that every Micro Four Thirds owner should get their hands on lest they miss out. This lens focuses super quickly, feels great, is sharp, small, and a perfect lens for any Micro Four Thirds camera due to its compact size. It also keeps the overall package much more low profile–plus it blends in with the retro looks of some of the cameras.” — Read Our Full Review
It’s effective field of view of 30mm is a sweet spot for portrait oriented photographers on the micro 4/3 system that like to have a little more environment in their portraits, and as we all know, getting wide is the constant struggle with M 4/3, so to have a quality and effective
Grab an Panasonic 15mm F/1.7 over on Amazon now for $547
Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 II
In our official review we had the following to say about the Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 II:
“The overall image quality from the 20mm f1.7 II lens from Panasonic is truthfully pretty damned good. There is a healthy amount of sharpness, contrast, and overall solid color rendition built into this lens. When you couple this with its great build quality and focusing abilities you’ve got yourself quite the winner.” — Read Our Full Review
An excellent pancake prime lens, the 20mm F/1.7 offers you an effective focal length reminiscent of a 40mm on a 35mm SLR, an interesting no mans land between those classic 35mm and 50mm portrait focal lengths. While some may find it awkward, I prefer to look at it as an advantage, a couple of steps forward and you can get a look pretty close to that of a 50mm, and a couple steps back and you have a similar look to 35mm.
Grab an Panasonic 20mm F/1.7 II over on Amazon now for $297
Sigma 30mm F/2.8 DN
In our official review we had the following to say about the Sigma 30mm F/2.8 DN:
“In the end, these lenses are not bad in terms of results, they are simply more limited (slow AF and aperture) than other lenses available for this format. Image quality is very good and the build quality is better than some more expensive lenses in this format.” — Read Our Full Review
Honestly, if you are looking to pick up a portrait friendly micro four thirds kit on the cheap this Sigma 30mm F/2.8 is a solid choice. There are some better Olympus and Panasonic offerings in the same range, but at a more expensive price point. So for the budget conscious crowd, give this a shot before looking at more expensive options.
Grab an Sigma 30mm F/2.8 DN over on Amazon now for $169
Overall micro four thirds may have some quirks to take into account when choosing portrait lenses, but there are still some great options out there for those who want to take some better portraits with their small, light weight kits from Olympus or Panasonic.