The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO is a great choice for fish-eye fans, but it's expensive for a specialized lens. There’s also the manual focus Voigtlander 42.5mm F0.95 at $1000. Today, I’m not only going to combine all that information, but I’ll adding much more information that will help you find your next lens for Micro Four Thirds. . And either of those lenses will about match the bokeh of a full frame Canon 5Dx + 50mm f1.8. Another reason that you should invest in lenses is that lenses hold their value. The shallow depth of field has multiple applications from isolating your subject in street photography to creating a very arty / dreamy look in close-ups such as in food photography or cinemagraphs. because later Olympus bodies feature In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), which is much more preferred. I can usually get quite close to the stage, but the lighting is always wonky in these venues. I liked it when they had it on sale a while back for $99. Unfortunately, CameraSize does not have the Noticron F1.2 in their database, therefore from left to right is the Olympus 75mm and 45mm, Panasonic 35-100mm, Sigma 60mm and PL 25mm 1.4. It has poor contrast, and it’s cheap and small, such that I’m more likely to bring it with me. It’s perfect for stepping back for an environmental portrait: It’s not super wide, but wide enough to capture a beautiful landscape during the 4th of July: And another right across the bridge in Vancouver, WA: And while 40mm isn’t quite wide enough for most landscape photographers, if you get a little creative you can capture beautiful panoramas. Seasoned photographers get this, and may scoff at this comparison because of the disparity in focal length, but I’m just illustrating that the lower aperture number does not mean necessarily mean more background blur. Thanks Jay. if I’m shooting at 100mm with my Panasonic 35-100 f2.8, that is a 200mm Full Frame equivalent, which means I’ll be using a minimum of 1/200 shutter speed. I see. All arguments I prefer to avoid because to me it’s all personal preference. Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 (Amazon) – It’s almost unanimous that this lens is a must have for video, it’s fast and covers a wide focal length – what more can you ask for? (I used to shoot with an EM5 MKII and a Pen-F. Not anymore. Hai, I took EM5 last year. Panasonic-Leica 25mm f1.4 would be equivalent to 50mm f1.4 on full frame, f2.8 equivalence in Depth of Field (DoF). Olympus 12mm f2.0 – Sharpness 10, Overall 21 (EP5, EM5). For those who want to take shots of distant subjects, this lens offers image stabilization and solid quality optics in a package with a lot of bang for the buck. Tim. Olympus Premium ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro Since I don’t shoot much video, I’ll pass the torch over to Shane Hurlbut at Hurlbut Visuals, where he has a 3-part series on the best video lenses for Micro Four Thirds. I sometimes mix it with in-camera art filters such as cross-process or tilt-shift and they really produce interesting results. A lot of people jump to buying a DSLR/DSLM camera in hopes for better images, but they neglect on buying a better lens. Micro Four Thirds prime lenses don't get better than this. It's something of course a little scary but I bought my Voigtlander and my Pana Leica 45mm second hand for top Ebay sellers (check feedback carefully) and they were like new, only... a lot cheaper. The optics are superior and since I hate flash, and love bokeh, natural light means wide apertures. I may try the Voightlander 25mm or 17.5mm, but nothing can take away my love of the Nocticron. Update: March 2017 – If I can find a good deal on the Panasonic-Leica 15mm f1.7, I’d probably bump that up to the winner. THANKS! Now I don’t see that I’ll ever get a chance to try the 1.7. This hooded lens with a rear drop-in feature is perfect for shooting in extraneous light environments. As with most Lumix lens, it’s also weather and dust-proof. They say 15cm minimum but I manage 7-8cm. While it has some caveats compared to the 35mm, this lens offers great value and performance for those looking to take wide-angle shots and video. and especially looking for Olympus ED 25mm 1:1.2 PRO. The lens is completely manual, which might make it difficult for inexperienced users to use. They may be good lenses and great values but who would chose good when you could have the very best MFT lens made. This lens goes by Samyang or Rokinon depending on the market but essentially the same lens. Final Tips: Making the Most of Your Lenses, “Equivalence” and Micro Four Thirds vs Full Frame Lenses, Characteristics of a Great Lens, Evaluating MTF Charts and Sharpness, The “Holy Trinity” of Micro Four Thirds Lenses, check the latest prices on the 20mm f1.7 on eBay. I’d recommend the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 over the Panasonic-Leica 25mm f1.4 if: I’d opt for the Panasonic-Leica 25mm f1.4 over the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 if: The Panasonic 20mm f1.7 is currently available at Amazon for $267 new. Let us know in the comments below! I am very fickle with the lens I buy.keep changing.I love my GM1 which I will always keep.take care Jay.best Paul. September 14, 2013 102. This lens is weather sealed so that's a BIG high five. It’s perfect! It’s sharp, stabilized, focuses the sharpest and fastest of all my lenses. It's an easy Editors' Choice. Appreciate the kind words! I take your suggestion for the Leica 45mm. If you're in the market for a new mirrorless body, take a look at the Best Mirrorless Cameras we've tested. If you’re shooting video, legacy lenses are great, especially when paired with a Speedbooster. It's quite cool for urban shots in general. All of these are interesting, expensive, and not terribly important to me. IBIS is the real difference maker. There may still be a place for this combo. While some like it, I am a little bit lost during composition, We’ll have a review of a few lens filters in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for that. I used the RoundFlash, which uses a single flash. 3. When choosing a new body, Olympus IBIS is world class, but it just depends on what you want to shoot. Let’s start with the obvious, the Panasonic 20mm is one of the sharpest lenses on the system, one of the smallest, and packaged with a bright f1.7 aperture. I’m still playing with it and I think the biggest issue is just that the lens is too long for indoor shooting. Arguably a more usable focal length than the Olympus 75mm, much cheaper and still rated pretty sharp and it fairs pretty well against the Olympus 75mm and the Noticron 42.5mm with a side by side comparison. But tones of the images are a little more good with Canon it seems. Olympus 75mm f1.8 would be equivalent to 150mm f1.8 on full frame, f3.6 equivalence in Depth of Field. To a lot of photographers, the Olympus 75mm f1.8 is the perfect compromise. It doesn’t zoom and isn’t practical for macro photography (.6 foot minimum focusing distance), but beyond these caveats, this lens is great for photographs and videographers who need something fast, wide, and that works automatically. Sigma 60mm f2.8 Lens: At only $200 this lens actually ranks among the 10 sharpest for Micro Four Thirds, even higher than the Olympus 45mm. It’s a superzoom covering a wide focal range that has Power OIS and a fast silent AF, both a must for video. Take notes from Canon’s L (“Luxury”) lenses. I have almost every one of these Panasonic lenses and a few more. We’ve curated a list of the best MFT lenses for video in the market that will deliver optimum video quality and adaptability. And it can do interesting things. Another review that I enjoyed came from Eric over at Mirrorless Journey who said that the Panasonic is a very good choice for video. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! Shooting primarily headshots, it’s so convenient being able to switch focal lengths without having to switch lenses. You can also try adding a flash as it freezes motion. Coupled with my E-M1 it’s giving fantastic results for a pancake. The Panasonic 42.5/1.7 is sharper than the Olly 12mm. At that price, you could adapt a Canon FD 55mm F1.2 SSC for under $300, or $500-1000 if you want the “L” version of the lens. Stopping down ensures that you’ll get a shot in focus, and lenses tend to be sharper when stopped down (which we’ll cover later). I have not used it as much since I bought the 14mm. Again, that's a weather sealed lens of excellent construction so perfect for the London life. I have the Pan 14mm 2.5 and shot video with it and it worked great in one of these venues, but it’s not quite tight enough for portraits of individual members. I also have the 12-32 with that type and it’s very fast focusing. What a phenomenal achievement for this surfer…, Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH, Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 Power OIS, I mentioned earlier using the Olympus 75mm f1.8 for my. Users love it for sports, portraits, and shot of wildlife. I expect I’ll use it a lot next year in the sailing season for creamy bokeh shots on the boat. Mk1 Panasonic 20mm 1.7 which still delivers excellent results. Thus the closer the sagittal (solid) and meridional (dotted) lines, the smoother the bokeh. In order to get the subject far enough away from the camera that it’s not an extreme close-up of his face taking up 100% of the frame (and eliminating the background completely), the camera and subject have to be pretty much right up against opposite walls. For primes I bought the 12mm f/1.4 and love it. And they’re one of the most trusted sources for photographers, and partners with DPReview (who partners with Amazon). What we don't: Plastic build and average optics. Overall, the sentiment is the kinda the same with both lenses… they’re both fantastic and you it’s best paired with the same make manufacturer purely for the aesthetics. Being a London photographer, I get my fair amount of rain. Like the above lens, it also boasts optical image stabilization, fast accurate auto-focus, and a high-quality construction. Those pundits are actually referring about the ability to blur the background, and Olympus 75mm actually has the most flexibility according to background blur calculator HowMuchBlur: As you can see, after about 7m, the Olympus 75mm has the best ability to blur the background. As well as different budgets, as conversely, the Noticron is $1200 more than the Olympus 45mm F1.8. VFX Blog. Telephoto lenses (especially this one since it's not too big) are very useful in an urban environment. I’ve done a lot of research and talked to a lot of pros, and renowned headshot photographer Peter Hurley uses ~f3.5 to f4 for headshots, renowned fashion and beauty photographer Lindsay Adler stops down to a minimum of f2.4 to f2.8 for portraiture and the list could go on. With that being said, the 12-35mm and 35-100mm f2.8 are phenomenal and match the equivalent focal length of Canon’s two most popular L lenses (24-70mm f2.8 L and 70-200 f2.8 L). Let us know in the comments below! Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 PRO (Amazon) – The recently released 40-150mm f2.8 is much larger than the Panasonic counterpart, also adding much more range. Hating buying it new because I typically shop around and get great deals on used. Watch this review from DigitalRev TV for more info: 9. I also would like to increase portrait capacities, so the 42.5mm (typo in the article, it is equivalent to 85mm in FF). And with faster autofocusing technology, it’s becoming easier and easier to lock in sharp as a tack photos in a split second. A lot of portrait shooters like to shoot with manual focus, which could make legacy lenses the perfect option. Really informative and useful post. Great review thanks, I have the Olympus 45mm and it’s an awesome portrait lens, and I accidentally stumbled across the Lumix 20mm for an incredible price recently. I’ll spend more time with it mounted all day to explore its potential more. What about the Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 or the Olympus 75mm f1.8?” And that’s a good point. I’ve seen the price fluctuate on this one, currently $597 on Amazon, I’ve seen it at $500, and they do have a few pre-owned copies for a little over $400. You're still giving up the optical viewfinder, but more and more midrange models include integrated electronic viewfinders, and that technology has also improved by leaps and bounds. Your email address will not be published. Yes, it’s either one or the other… and IBIS is preferred. Primes vs Zoom Lenses and Review Comparisons from LensTip and DxOMark. But I am the same way in that I buy and sell lenses all the time! I also have used it for street photography and it's sharp. I never tried the cheap 42.5mm and 45mm options and have no interest. 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Question is, would going with the Panasonic 15mm prove to be appreciably sharper? Okay I’ll try out with more different settings when I shoot, thanks for the tip and advice! It’s as sharp as they say but I find it less useful. For those who need superb range and don’t need the utmost in optical quality, this 45-200mm offers superb value. Find more Lumix GX Vario Lens 12-35mm f2.8 information and reviews here. Hi Jay. 3. Thus the 25mm would have a 50mm equivalent. I know, I know, Micro Four Thirds is all about size… but sometimes you can’t help but awe. Back when I bought the Panasonic GF1 in 2009, I believe it was $800-900 with the 20mm f1.7 (not your average kit lens). Great Review! Here’s one comparison I did before of the Olympus 45mm f1.8 vs Canon FD 50mm f1.4. If you love having a fast standard zoom and are in to the Micro 4/3 system, it’s a fantastic lens to own.”. Just bear in mind you'll need a weather sealed body such as the EM1 or EM5 Mark II to take full advantage of that. When done locally you rarely ever lose money… I’ve actually made money finding lenses for real cheap! It delivers impeccably sharp video imagery. Definitely a professional standard lens, that is fast and quiet in auto-focusing and sharp. “So you’re saying if I wanted that creamy bokeh for portraiture, Micro Four Thirds can’t match what a Full Frame camera can do?”. We’ve covered this topic in-depth, including pros and cons, in our guide to FD lenses. It’s in many ways the opposite to the Nocticron which focuses so fast and well that it make my life so much easier. While it is not necessarily the newest lens as far as technology is concerned, this diagonal fisheye lens is still a solid choice for a lot of videographers as it brags features such as its 8mm- focal length that is effective to 16mm. The widest: Laowa 7.5mm f2. As a prime lens, users cannot zoom on this lens. but I’m deterred by the fact that the lens does not have image stabilization. Olympus cameras can use Panasonic lenses and vice versa, as well as options from third-party makers like Voigtlander and Sigma. Mine was a store demo. These are the best micro four thirds lenses (MFT) for your wide-angle and telephoto needs. The Complete Micro 4/3 Lens List. I do like the blur chart….as a subject in its self I think that legacy lenses are fun ..it would be great to create an app comparison chart showing visual bokeh effects using different lenses and modified apertures. It may not have the range of the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO but it's also a lot smaller so really a matter of personal preference since having tried both, I think IQ is very on par. Though keep in mind it’s reported to be fairly big and heavy. Full-frame cameras still have a slight benefit at the most extreme wide angles, with Canon offering the EF 11-24mm f/4L USM ($2,699.00 at Adorama) , but for the most part Micro Four Thirds has you covered. BlackMagic leverages the standard for video cameras, DJI and Yuneec use it for drones, and Kodak and YI have joined in with traditional mirrorless cameras that work with all Micro Four Thirds lenses as well. If you were using a crop sensor Canon DSLR (Rebel, 80d, etc), you should be getting a similar result. The construction and quality is reminiscent of old school lenses, it's solid. It gives you plenty of separation with FoV, it’s a fantastic all around lens and it’s the smallest lens on the system (though not by much). It’s my absolute favourite, possibly the perfect prime lens for street photography and yet it’s just humble metal and glass, no electronics. If you have a Micro Four Thirds camera, you've got a lot of lens choices. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. Not to mention the hundreds (if not thousands) of legacy lenses you could adapt. For those who like it fast and wide, the Rokinon 12mm f2 may be what you’re after. Jay, All the fast primes are capable of blurring the background, it’s just how far you want to go. Weighing a little over 2.1 pounds, it is one of the heaviest MFT lenses in the market. I’ve bought and sold other lenses, but for the most part this is my “Holy Trinity” (for now). The other would be a shorter prime, my personal faves would be the 14mm f2.5, 20mm f1.7, or 25mm f1.4. Shockingly, the 2nd version had narrowly lower test scores, but it does feature an improved metal body for under $400. The aperture is a half-stop faster at f1.4, and makes it a perfect lens for events such as bachelorette parties: It comes with a lens hood (and the fact that it’s square is pretty cool). The Voigtlander line is certainly solid, when I wrote this a year ago I used DxOMark’s ratings. PCMag Digital Group. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. And many measure by different metrics in their MTF charts. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Update: January 24th, 2015 – I want to add the LensTip results for the top two lenses: Basically, what you’re seeing here is almost a dead even chart. It’s only about $100 more than the Sigma. It will be interesting to compare to the P/L 100-400mm I will probably add it to my GX1 kit. And because lens designs don't have to be quite as complex, lenses (especially wide-angle optics) can be smaller as well. For Zooms, here’s a look at the Olympus PRO line: Panasonic has there own series of high-end lenses as well, keep in mind that both Panasonic and Olympus share the Micro Four Thirds mount and are thus interchangeable between bodies, but I know some people like to have consistent branding with their body and lens. The sigma f2.8 trio for primes is by far the best value, i defy anybody to . We’ll look at a lot of different factors and help you find the best lens for you and your budget. Okay, the 45/ 1.8 just arrived today. If I had started with zooms, I might see photography differently. I plan to give myself more time with it and then transition into nighttime video use. Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 or Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 (mentioned above): These lenses plays within the optimal focal lengths for portraits and beyond. That’s not true, just another misconception about Micro Four Thirds. still a learner with EM5. My only dislike it the rattling sound it makes when focusing. If you have a Micro Four Thirds camera without built-in image stabilization, the Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 does much of what the Olympus Pro lens can, but with the greater confidence that stabilization adds. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. It was a good all around lens since I can’t buy new ones all that often. Lack of optical stabilization an issue for Panasonic Micro Four Thirds shooters. The Micro Four Thirds system is an open system that anyone can join, and therefore there are cameras and lenses from a large range of companies, all sharing the same lens mount. Which one is best, very much depends on you. Gives imagery an exceptional deformation effect for a characteristic point of view. And again, since value is a big part of my definition of “best overall”, I’m happy with my aforementioned picks. Offering aperture control, autofocus that works great for video and photos, and beautiful bokeh, this lens is essentially the MFT answer to “the nifty fifty.” It’s lightweight, compact, and a great beginner lens to add to one’s arsenal. What you have to decide, is when to upgrade. So frustrating! If you’re shooting with a kit lens, you might find that your photos are wide, but not quite wide enough. Is that the real issue? Feel free to chime in on the comments about some of your favorite lenses and why. Which it my tendency on primes. In comparison to other MFT lenses, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 lens is relatively weighty. For a preview, take a look at the table of contents, and feel free to jump to your section of choice: Update: March 18th, 2017 – Hey all, I’m just getting started on YouTube and just posted a video on the “Best VALUE Panasonic/Olympus Lenses.” While this article will certainly cover affordable options, this video offers a lot of supplemental information that can help you out. Thank you It also boasts glare reduction which helps prevent the sun from ruining your images. Without further ado, let’s jump into the list of the best portrait lenses for Micro Four Thirds: 1. Protected from dust, splashes, and cold temperatures. I’ll update this soon with LensTip ratings as well. I need to choose: the macro looks appealing and the Leica DG 45mm looks sexy. It is extremely compact and has an exceptionally small body. Today that same camera body can be found on eBay for under $100. Users love its superb build quality. Photographer Stephen Eastwood visualizes this in his test from 19-350mm (See full size here): Photographers tend to argue that the ideal portrait lens should lie between 85-135mm (42.5-67.5mm on m43), I personally believe that it depends on your subject, as no two faces are alike. And finally the Panasonic X series, although both are a little over $1000 (12-35mm, 35-100mm), they’re a fraction of the size and cost of Canon’s L 24-70mm f2.8 ($2100) and L 70-200mm f2.8 ($1500). iPhone or Samsung? I’d recommend watching the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 vs Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 shootout from TheCameraStoreTV, it’s both informative and entertaining. I’m thinking about a new body as well, but I’d like to keep the IBIS, but I also would like the option for 4k since I want to learn video. 4. Just look at the size difference when you compare the Panasonic X series lenses to their Canon counterparts: What do you think are the sharpest lenses on the Micro Four Thirds system? I wrote a full review for the Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 here. I buy and sell a lot of lenses to try different ones out, but I can never imagine parting with that one. Some of Chase Jarvis’ (and many others) favorite µ43 lenses are the Voigtlander f0.95 series, but personally, I’d rather have smaller lenses that retain autofocus. DxOMark had similar results, ranking it slightly behind only the Noticron. Deeply discounted on the used market, these are also a good value. The variety of Micro Four Thirds lenses that are available in the market is proof of their versatility and the magic that these lenses with a moderately smaller sensor can achieve. Users love its bokeh and color. Entrepreneur. Of the 14-35 f/2.8 and arching 35-100. A “pancake lens” is generally known as a “colloquial term for a flat, thin lens (short barrel), generally a normal or slightly wide prime lens for a camera.” For Micro Four Thirds, pancake lenses are popular because of the slender design allows for a much more compact setup. And the new 25mm pro lens, but I’m satisfied with what I have there. 6. What lenses should I buy for my Micro 4/3 Camera? The Olympus 35-100 f2 does look attractive! So any other suggestion. The 120mm equivalent is arguably a better focal length for headshots though. Panasonic-Leica 42.5mm f1.2 would be equivalent to 85mm f1.2 on full frame, f2.4 equivalence in Depth of Field. If I had only one lens it would be the Nocticron. As the winner of the “Best Overall Lens for Micro Four Thirds” it only makes sense that the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 is also your best bet here. I started with Panasonic (GF1 then GX1), but the EM5 edged out the GX7 for me. Thanks. We've highlighted the best Micro Four Thirds lenses that we've tested here. So, I’m assuming you’re adapting a legacy lens because m43 doesn’t have a native 50mm f1.4. Beware though using this on the E-M1 or any camera with a protruding grip... it's hard not to get your right hand in the picture as it's so wide! You could get by with just these two lenses, and maybe the 7-14mm. In addition to nature photos, I shoot a lot of indoor concert photos of my daughter’s band. Lastly, Don’t Forget that Legacy Lenses are Perfect for Portraiture. That one lens will do everything without swapping. I am doing mostly dog photography (portrait) and landschape. And his choice of lenses include the Panasonic 7-14mm, Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8, Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 and last but not least the Panasonic-Leica 42.5mm f1.2. He has a thing for old lenses, boneyards, and waterfowl. You’re on a tighter budget. Let’s start with what I look for in a lens, and what I look for in lens performance. That is a GREAT little lens. And then you can’t get any bokeh between the person and the background at all. I never shoot street photography with it, but it's great for shooting architecture and close-up details of our cities and I've seen myself use it for corporate events too and gigs. – Sharpness 10, Overall 19 (EM1, EP5), 10. Hi Jay, Great resource here. And the truth is, there are plenty of options. So if you're looking for the best lens for your MFT mirrorless camera... read on! But even wide open, LensTip rated the Oly 75mm at 64LP/mm (lines per millimeter) where 42-45LP/mm is their decency level, rating it among their sharpest lenses for Micro Four Thirds.
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