A Quick Preview
Best Overall - Editor’s choice
Best Standard Micro 4/3 lens for Beginners
Best Wide-angle Micro 4/3 lens
Best Telephoto Micro 4/3 lens
Best Macro Micro 4/3 lens
Our review of the Best Micro 4/3 Lenses in 2022
Best Overall - Editor’s choice - Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO
- Wide maximum aperture produces clear images with beautiful bokeh.
- Impressive autofocusing system with close distance capabilities.
- The lens is coated with Z-coating Nano as an anti-reflective measure against stray light
To kick off our list of the top Micro 4/3 lenses available is this fast and bright standard prime lens from Olympus. The M.Zuiko 25mm f1.2 PRO is a top-of-the-shelf M4/3 lens designed to produce crispy clear images with stunning bokeh and high resolution. Using this lens for video coverage is also a beautiful experience; it performs really well in dim-lit environments like in wedding or concert coverage.
With a focal length of 25mm, this M.Zuiko PRO lens can work really good portraits, medium shots, and closeups. You can also take other creative shots by shooting from a distance, this lens yet produces high-quality images. And with a maximum aperture of f/1.2, this lens produces bright images with shallow depth of field. The subjects stood out really good in the frame, and it was much easier to highlight details for viewers to notice. As a bonus, this lens has anti-reflective coating to keep away flares when shooting in bright light.
The Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.2 PRO also boasts an inner focusing mechanism which helps users to get quick and precise autofocus. And you’d be amazed that the autofocus works at ridiculously close distance to subjects up to about 20cm close. Also, as an added advantage, the parts in this autofocusing mechanism move silently, which means no unwanted noise when shooting a video. The construction of this lens is also high-grade as it’s weatherproof; keeps out dust, splash, and also freezeproof.
Best Standard Micro 4/3 lens for Beginners - Panasonic LUMIX G, 25mm, F1.7
- Compact and lightweight lens design with standard focal length.
- Produces bright images with good background bokeh thanks to its wide f/1.7 aperture.
- Smooth and fast autofocus makes it more suitable for new users
The Panasonic 25mm F1.7 Lumix G is a standard Micro 4/3 prime lens with adequate features for an M4/3 user to replace their kit lens without having to break the bank. The 25mm focal length places this MFT lens in the result range of 50mm full frames. This generally suffices for most close range shots to produce the natural viewing angle for viewers.
What you’ll notice first about this lens is that it’s lightweight. This is especially appealing to travel photographers and videographers. Looking away from the lens build, this Lumix G product has a wide aperture rated f/1.7 which delivers a notable background bokeh which adds finesse to your image quality.
With the aperture of this standard M4/3 lens, shooting photos and videos happens at a reasonably fast shutter speed which reduces occurrence of shake. To back up the shutter speed, this Lumix MFT lens works with a high-precision contrast autofocus. Also, the lens surface is coated with Nano material to reduce ghosts and flares caused by stray light.
Best Wide-angle Micro 4/3 lens - Panasonic LEICA DG, 8-18mm, F2.8-4.0
- Impressive wide angle range which gives more creative options for filmmakers.
- Effective autofocus mechanism which works at high frame rate.
- Sturdy metal construction for weatherproof qualities
Leica DG is Panasonic’s Pro-grade lens line made in collaboration with Leica lenses. This particular lens, the Leica DG 8 – 18mm, f/2.8 – 4.0 is a top-quality wide-angle Micro 4/3 zoom lens. With the focal length and aperture range, this lens produces some of the neatest wide angle shots which are quite useful in filmmaking. In fact, this Leica DG lens is one of the best wide angle lenses for producing top-quality footage when shooting with any of the best cameras for filmmaking on a budget.
As you would expect for a high-quality product, this MFT lens supports 4K video recording. The aperture range allows you to record at reasonably high frame rate while maintaining sleek and steady shots. The fast autofocusing of this lens also works in sync with aperture changes to ensure that there’s no sudden shift in exposure when recording. The focusing is also quite precise and can track multiple subjects when filming.
With the focal length range of this zoom lens, videographers can easily switch from capturing landscape to focus on subjects. And the wider aperture also performs fairly well with depth of field. The lens optics also has Nano surface coating for reducing flaring. And to cap it all, the lens construction is rugged – freeze-proof, dust-proof, and splash-proof, so you don’t have to worry much about lens damage while shooting outdoors.
Best Telephoto Micro 4/3 lens - Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm F4.0-5.6
- Good zoom range with maximum focal length of 150mm (same as 300mm on full frame).
- Lightweight and compact design.
- Reasonably priced compared to other telephoto lenses
Here’s another Micro four thirds zoom lens on our list, but this time it’s a telephoto lens. The focal length of the Olympus M.Zuiko 40 – 150mm, f/4.0 – 5.6 allows this equipment to capture subjects from a long range. This type of lens is particularly designed for wildlife photography or sports recording.
With a 3.75x zoom, this Olympus camera lens does really well to capture subjects far out. And you would expect a lens like this to be weighty, but that’s not the case here. This lens is lightweight and also very portable, you can easily fit it into a camera kit bag and you’re good to go.
For its price, this M.Zuiko lens performs well for telephoto shooting. It’s an equivalent of a 80 – 300mm lens on a full frame, but it’s way smaller and lighter than lenses in that range. And yes, it’s also much cheaper. Yet, you get good autofocus when using this lens on your MF3 camera. As well as silent moving parts, important for recording videos without extra noise.
Best Macro Micro 4/3 lens - Panasonic LUMIX G, 30mm, F2.8
- Good aperture rating which produces notable bokeh expression.
- Good autofocus system and image stabilization supported.
- Compact, portable, and sturdy construction
To wrap off our list of the best Micro four thirds available in 2022, we pick another Micro 4/3 prime lens in the Panasonic Lumix G 30mm, f/2.8. But this time, we’re going with a macro lens. This equipment specializes in magnifying small objects into a large and clear image, and this lens does that do well.
For MF3 photographers that love to show their creativity by capturing images at a close distance, then this Panasonic lens is a game changer. The aperture is perfectly set at f/2.8 which would ensure that you have a fast shutter speed and also get good background bokeh to make your image pop better. And as an added advantage, this lens has optical image stabilization for an even steadier shot.
How to choose the best Micro 4/3 lenses
Generally, what makes Micro Four Thirds cameras stand out is the field of view which is x2 that of a full frame. But not only that, M4/3 lenses also use the same lens mount across different brands. This means you can use any fitting lens from any brand with a camera body from another maker. And in situations where the lens doesn’t fit properly, there’s the option of using a Micro 4/3 lens adapter.
As there are more options available for M4/3 users, there is more need to learn how to choose the best Micro 4/3 lens for each situation; whether for photography or videography. Here are our recommendations:
Landscape and wide angles
Taking shots of a vast landscape requires showcasing as much detail as possible. This is where wide angle lenses come in. There are various degrees of wide angles depending on the extent of details shown in one frame. Getting a wide angle from an MF3 lens means it would have a short focal length.
Regular wide angle shots can be taken with 12 – 20mm on M4/3. Then, there’s the ultra wide angle lens which goes even shorter from about 7 – 14mm focal length. Other MF3 wide angle lenses include fisheyes (1) which are usually ultrawide but have strong visual distortion, cramming a 1800 view in one frame.
The medium shot captures from the waist up and focuses on showing the subject more than the surrounding. With a Micro 4/3, a medium shot can be achieved with a standard Micro 4/3 lens with focal length around 25 – 35mm. For photographers, this is also the MFT lens type appropriate for taking portraits.
Up next, we have a more detailed shot than the medium shot; the closeup or extreme closeup. These are shot types that are used to convey minute details in storytelling. Also referred to as macro photography, the lenses that work in this range are often used to capture tiny subjects like insects, and can even produce a 1:1 photo to subject ratio. Macro M4/3 lenses usually have focal length between 30mm and 60mm.
Long-distance shots – Sports and wildlife shooting
Long-distance shooting is quite similar to macro photography but these use a different type of lens; telephoto lenses. Macro lenses are more particular about magnification and not distance while telephotos are more about having a powerful zoom.
Telephoto lenses feature really long focal lengths. For MFTs, telephoto lenses start from around 50mm and can go as high as 300mm or more. Telephoto lenses are often applicable in wildlife filming and sports coverage.
Filming on the road can be very fun but also limiting at the same time. Most people like to travel light and won’t like to carry a whole trolley of lenses. Picking the right Micro four thirds lens can make your journey delightful and more fulfilling. In this case, a Micro 4/3 zoom lens with a wide range, something like 14 – 200mm would suffice. This way you can capture wide angle shots and also long-distance shots using just one lens.
“In cases where just the one lens won't cut it, you can opt for two lenses; one with a short focal length and the other with a long focal length.”
Low light condition
For videographers that cover indoor events or shoot regularly in low-light conditions, the f/ rating of your choice lens is much more important. Bright lenses with a large aperture do better in low-light conditions. A standard rating of about f/1.2 – 1.7. To learn more about lens performance in dim-lit places, read up on our compilation of best lenses for low light.
Lens features to consider in choosing an MFT lens
Apart from the focal length of a camera lens, there are other factors to consider before making a decision on the lens to purchase. For Micro 4/3 lenses, here are different features that can influence your product choice:
Prime or zoom lens?
The prime vs. zoom lens debate has been on for quite a while, but it’s good to know that both lens types work perfectly well. The fixed focal length of a prime lens means it’s usually lighter, has potential for better aperture, and is cheaper. Whereas, zoom lenses with their focal length range allows for more flexibility in one equipment and can be more cost effective because one zoom can do the work of two primes.
After focal length, the lens aperture is the next feature that determines the quality of images produced. The aperture determines how much light reaches the sensor. And here’s how it works. The lesser the f/ number, the larger the aperture, and the brighter the lens.
For Micro four thirds, lenses with f/1.2 – 1.7 would be brightest. Although the crop factor of M4/3 also affects the f-rating. So, an f/1.2 MFT lens would perform in the same range as f/2.4 full-frame lens under the similar conditions.
Also worthy of note as regards aperture is its effect on depth of field and shutter speed. Larger apertures produce shallow depth of field with good bokeh, just like in high-end full frames. Then, the shutter speed is also faster. Whereas, smaller apertures need a slower shutter speed to allow enough light to form a good image.
When it comes to pricing, the fact that Micro 4/3 lenses are interchangeable has kept the prices at reasonable levels. The average standard MFT lens is priced below $500. Usually, each lens maker has a regular lineup and then the professional grades. For OM System (Olympus) it’s the M.Zuiko Pro lenses, while Panasonic, they have the Leica DG lenses.
In the world of Micro 4/3 digital cameras, stabilization can work with either the camera body or the lens or both. Having a MFT lens with stabilization provides more freedom to take steady shots at slower shutter speeds and in busy areas.
Tropicalized or not?
For MF3 owners that record outdoors under rough conditions, a tropicalized lens would be necessary. This keeps your lens weatherproof to a reasonable extent; splashproof, dustproof, and maybe, freezeproof. In other news, you can learn how to properly take care of your camera lens in tight positions by reading our piece on how to clean camera lens without a cleaning kit.
Yes, Micro Four Thirds lenses are easily interchangeable as the different makers use the same lens mount. And in other cases, you can interchange the lenses using a Micro 4/3 lens adapter.
Yes, M4/3 lenses work perfectly well both for filming and for taking photographs. And the different lens types give enough room for creativity needed in videography.
Choosing the best Micro 4/3 lens can be quite hectic because they can be used on multiple models because they have identical lens mounts. But by taking in consideration where and how the lens would be used, you can narrow down your options based on features like focal length, aperture, stabilization, and pricing.
From my end, I would recommend the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 25mm f/1.2 standard lens for everyday Micro Four Thirds users. The lens is bright with a wide aperture, it’s fast, and it also has a sturdy construction. What’s not to love about this pro-grade equipment?
Now it’s over to you. Which MF3 lens have you used before and how did you enjoy using it? Let us know all about your experience with MF3 lenses in the comment section below.
- Mike Bedard. (August 29, 2019). What is a Fisheye Lens? Definition and Examples in Film. For StudioBinder. Retrieved from https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-a-fisheye-lens-photography/