Micro Four Thirds still gets a bad rap in a lot of photographic circles due to its sensor size, but many are now coming to terms with that on the Fujifilm side of the equation. We have hit this sort of wonderful place to where sensor size really doesn’t matter as much as it did in the last. Surely, there are things APS-C or FF will do better, but in terms of general photography, Micro Four Thirds cameras are just as capable as their larger format brothers.
So if you have a new Micro Four Thirds camera or you are in the process of deciding on a new kit, you may be wondering about good budget options to fill out your fit. This is exactly the post for you if that is the case.
We have a giant master list of what we feel the best budget lenses are for every system, and you can find that here, but in this post we wanted to highlight our picks for the best budget lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system.
Panasonic & Olympus Brand Lenses
Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II
Though the first version of the lens is quite good and even a tad sharper, the newer update to this lens gives us a significantly better build quality and super quick focusing.
As perhaps the most favorite lens amongst Micro Four Thirds photographers, the original Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f1.7 delivers wonderful results in all types of lighting and also does this in a small pancake type body. It has since been refreshed, and despite it not being as sharp as the previous version, the new version has better construction. Still, if you can find the older one, hold onto it.
(Read Our Review | [amazon_textlink asin='B00DJS830Y' text='Check Prices' template='ProductLink' store='thephobl-20' marketplace='US' link_id='47369854-7870-11e7-9354-032a00a47f10'])
Olympus 17mm F2.8
An alternative to the 20mm for those that want a wider field of view, the Olympus 17mm f2.8 Lens is still a great lens for the Micro Four Thirds system due to sharp image quality and wide aperture. It has since been discontinued, but if you can snag it you'll be in for a treat. Olympus's own 17mm f1.8 is a bit too expensive for our liking.
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Olympus 45mm F1.8
Despite the fact that everyone drools over the Olympus 75mm f1.8, this is the lens we recommend more than any others due to the wider field of view and the fast f1.8 aperture. This is the lens you'll want to shoot wide open or just barely stopped down all day and all night. And if you're a Micro Four Thirds users going for a budget friendly option, this is the best you can get.
(Read Our Review | [amazon_textlink asin='B00CPLQ7GI' text='Check Prices' template='ProductLink' store='thephobl-20' marketplace='US' link_id='7fc05d23-7871-11e7-952c-493e5acbfea1'])
Olympus 60mm F2.8
The Olympus 60mm f2.8 is another macro lens option–but the killer feature of this lens is the weather sealing. We've tested it out and we approve; it's sharp, contrasty, and really overall quite good. As always though, we recommend using flashes to take advantage of specular highlights.
(Read Our Review | [amazon_textlink asin='B0096WDK0K' text='Check Prices' template='ProductLink' store='thephobl-20' marketplace='US' link_id='c1a4f3aa-7871-11e7-bac1-1919be8a489a'])
Olympus 25mm F1.8
While we really enjoyed the 45mm f1.8, we were a bit hesitant and skeptical about how the 25mm f1.8 would perform despite the two lenses have nearly identical construction. And oh man were we wrong. The 25mm f1.8 is one of the best and sharpest offerings that we've tested for the Micro Four Thirds system. That and it's affordable–much more so than Panasonic's 25mm f1.4.
(Read Our Review | [amazon_textlink asin='B00HWMP0XG' text='Check Prices' template='ProductLink' store='thephobl-20' marketplace='US' link_id='e3b13b37-7871-11e7-a332-1b68441c45cc'])
Third Party Lenses
Sigma 19mm F2.8
The image quality of both the first and second versions of these lenses are comparable–but what really changed is the build quality. The newer ones have faster focusing and a sleeker body while the older versions have a bit more grip on them. Still, if you want something fairly wide and sharp, look no further than this offering from Sigma.
(Read our Review | [amazon_textlink asin='B00BPZCYK8' text='Check Prices' template='ProductLink' store='thephobl-20' marketplace='US' link_id='763f156d-7872-11e7-a8c0-8fe526bb7564'])
Tokina 300mm F6.3
Seems like a weird choice, right? We chose this lens because of the serious lack of telephoto lenses here and the creative possibilities that can happen when you have donut shaped bokeh. Sure, it isn’t the sharpest lens, but if you get past that and just stick to creating then you’ll enjoy the colors and the fact that you can probably see your neighbor bustin’ a move to some 90s jams while they think that no one is looking.
Looking for more?
These are just our picks for the top budget lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system in general, if you are looking for good lens options with a specific photographic specialty in mind we highly recommend checking out some of our other lens recommendation posts like: After The Kit: 6 Incredible Lens Upgrades For The Micro Four Thirds Photographer, The Best Lenses for your Panasonic Lumix and Olympus OM-D Camera, and 5 Spectacular Portrait Lenses For Micro Four Thirds Cameras.
If you are looking for more budget recommendations for another system make sure and check out our full listing, here.