The Best Micro Four Thirds Lenses For the New Photographer

There were some great deals on M4/3 cameras over the holidays. If you got one, check out these affordable Micro Four Thirds Lenses.

Micro Four Thirds cameras don’t get a lot of love these days thanks to the arrival of incredibly affordable and feature-packed Full Frame and APS-cameras, but the platform still shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some terrific cameras from both Olympus and Panasonic that can be used by hobbyists, travelers, and professionals alike (I use one along with an APS-C camera as do many other pro photogs). There are also some tremendous Micro Four Thirds lenses out there that don’t cost a fortune. If you’re looking to expand your library of Micro Four Thirds lenses, but aren’t sure where to start and don’t want to spend over four figures on lenses, this roundup is for you.

All the Micro Four Thirds lenses listed below are under $1,000, with many of them being well under that price. Don’t let the price of these Micro Four Thirds lenses fool you though: their quality is fantastic. M4/3 shooters are blessed with a tremendous line up of glass, and, if you are just starting out with the platform, these are the lenses we would suggest taking a closer look at.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

This ridiculously fast 16mm prime (32mm equivalent) lens from Sigma is one of my personal favorites to use on the M4/3 system. It’s weather-sealed, has excellent optics which produce sharp images, is built well, the fast aperture lets in a great amount of light to Micro Four Thirds sensors, and just look at that price – it’s a bargain. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fast aperture
  • Weather sealing to a point
  • Fast autofocus performance for the most part
  • Nice bokeh
  • Sharp, surprisingly sharp

Cons

  • To be honest, nothing

Buy now: $399

Olympus 25mm F1.8

Small, light, fast, and sharp. Those are the words we would use to describe the Olympus 25mm f1.8. This 50mm equivalent lens produces nice smooth bokeh, and it focuses quickly. It’s perfect for portraits, street photography, and so much more. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Super sharp wide open and stopped down a tad
  • Small and light
  • Fast-focusing performance in various lighting situations
  • Smooth bokeh

Cons

  • We wish it were a tad faster to f1.4

Buy now: $299

Olympus 45mm F1.8 MSC

If you’re a budding portrait photographer, you don’t need to look much further than the Olympus 45mm f1.8. This 90mm equivalent lens provides outstanding image quality, and it balances well on all M4/3 cameras thanks to its small size. This lens is fast to focus and can give really lovely background separation too. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Truly excellent image quality
  • It is small and light
  • True to life color rendering
  • Focuses quickly

Cons

  • The build quality isn’t the best, but this lens also does not cost thousands of dollars.

Buy now: $299

Pro Tip: We’re sure you’re enjoying your new Olympus or Panasonic camera, but there’s a lot to learn about them. You can spend hours going through the menu and manual, and bore yourself to death, or you can use one of these fun, easy to follow guides for your new camera. There are guides for the E-M1 II, the E-M1X, and many more Olympus and Panasonic bodies.

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Lens

Micro Four Thirds Lenses

Another one of my personal favorites. The 60mm (120mm equivalent) macro lens from Olympus is another gem. The optics are second to none. It’s easily one of the sharpest lenses on the platform. You’ll get true 1:1 reproduction, which will help bring the small world to life, and it can focus pretty fast too. It’s great for macro work and portraits. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent optics/image quality
  • Lightweight
  • 1:1 Maximum Reproduction Ratio
  • Focus Distance Dial
  • Splash/Dustproof
  • 46mm filter thread (more common than the Olympus 45mm’s 37mm thread)

Cons

  • AF is not terrible, but it is not as fast as Olympus’ other primes e.g. 45mm and 12mm
  • All plastic construction
  • Lens hood not included
  • No image stabilization. This will not matter for Olympus shooters but Panasonic shooters take note

Buy now: $399

Panasonic 7-14mm F4

Micro Four Thirds Lenses

If you’re into landscape photography, environmental portraits, and documentary photography, this 7-14mm (14-28mm equivalent) lens from Panasonic is well worth a closer look. It’s not as cheap as some of the other lenses on this list, but its versatility, excellent image quality, and great build justify the price. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Exceptional image quality
  • Pretty compact size
  • Fast-focusing
  • Built-in lens hood
  • This lens produced colors that popped

Cons

  • Distortion, but you have to accept that with a lens like this
  • Can’t attach a front filter to the lens

Buy now: $797.99

Panasonic 12-60mm F2.8-4 Power OIS

Micro Four Thirds Lenses

This Panasonic 12-60mm (24-120mm equivalent) is a lens you can attach to your camera and just leave it there. The lens covers many popular focal ranges, which makes it very versatile, it’s weather-sealed, and it’s decently priced too. It’s great for everything from landscapes and cityscapes, to documentary photography, portraits, events, street photography, and many more genres. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Fast-focusing
  • Image stabilization
  • Sharp image quality

Cons

  • We wish it had a constant aperture. That would be some really true innovation

Buy now: $897.99

Pro Tip: As with all lenses, to get the most out of them, you absolutely must take care of them by cleaning them regularly. Giving them a quick wipe down before and during use will prevent dust spots from ruining your shots, and deep cleaning them bi-weekly will ensure they work well over their life span. You don’t need a fancy cleaning kit that costs a fortune either. This one will do the job just fine.

Olympus 14-150mm F4-5.6 II

Micro Four Thirds Lenses

Do you like to travel? Do you wish you could take one lens with you to do it all while you’re out and about? If so, this could be the lens for you. The Olympus 14-150mm (28-300mm equivalent) will have you covered no matter what scenario you find yourself in. If you couldn’t tell from the image above, the lens has crazy amounts of weather sealing, and it’s optics are nice and sharp. This lens will be the perfect travel companion. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Pretty darn sharp
  • Okay bokeh
  • Weather sealing gives you an all-in-one lens for travel and street photography work
  • Fairly compact size
  • At its price point, you’re getting a big bargain

Cons

  • Only f4

Buy now: $499