You have a Panasonic or Olympus hybrid camera and are you searching for new lenses? You love your camera body but you want to make progress by buying new quality lenses. Or you want to buy micro 4/3 lenses compatible with your Lumix Panasonic or Olympus camera for a particular use. But there are a lot of existing objectives and you don’t know which micro 4/3 objective to choose. We too took a long time to buy the best micro four thirds lenses. So, to help you, we have selected lenses compatible with Panasonic or Olympus that you absolutely must buy. If you are lost and wonder which micro four thirds lens to buy, follow our advice.
How to choose the best micro four thirds lenses?
Before purchasing an Olympus or Lumix Panasonic hybrid camera lens, only micro 4/3 compatible lenses can be mounted on these cameras. Forget about Canon, Nikon or Sony lenses!
The vocabulary : fixed focal length means that you will not be able to zoom, constant aperture means that you can zoom while keeping the same brightness.
Two points will interest you to choose your objective:
- Focal length (example: 25mm): Depending on the focal length (fixed or zoom) chosen, your use will change. Lumix G 25mm is a fixed focal length. While a Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm is a zoom.
- Aperture (example: f1.2). Depending on the aperture, you will have a more or less bright lens, very popular for portrait, low-light or even night shots. The lower the number is, the brighter the lens is and better is the bokeh and the higher will be the price.
For lenses that do not have a constant aperture, example f3.5-5.6, here is what you have to understand. The first digit indicates the best aperture that can be achieved at the lowest focal length. The second digit indicates the best aperture at the highest focal length. In between, the opening gradually evolves until it reaches the second digit. Example: Lumix 14-140mm, at 14mm, best aperture is f3.5, at 140mm, best aperture is f5.6. If there is only one number, then we are talking about constant aperture. Example, the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm f2.8. The best aperture remains f2.8 whether you are at 12mm or 35mm.
Price differences between lenses of the same focal length are generally very significant. The brighter the lens is, the more expensive it will be. The choice of your lenses will therefore also depend largely on the price you set for yourself to buy the best micro four thirds lenses that suit you.
Panasonic or Olympus lenses, how to choose?
Panasonic, Leica, Olympus… Which brands to choose? All lenses mentioned in this article are compatible with Panasonic Lumix GX, Lumix GH and Lumix G cameras and Olympus hybrid cameras: E-PL, Pen-F and OM-D E.
In our opinion, it is better to choose a lens from the brand of your camera because each brand offers approximatively the same range of lens models.
Leica micro 4/3 lenses correspond to Panasonic’s “pro” range. This well-known brand in the field of high-end photography has a partnership with Panasonic for its lenses. Olympus has its own professional range.
This being said, here are the best micro four thirds lenses per type of use!
Best micro four thirds lenses for portraits
Two focal lengths are considered ideal for portraits: 25mm (full frame equivalent of a 50mm) and 42.5mm (full frame equivalent of 85mm). The ideal is to have both focal lengths. For portraits, you will need very bright lenses with an aperture that drops below f1.8 to f1.2. The brighter the lens, the more expensive it will be.
Panasonic Lumix Micro 4/3 Lenses
Lumix G 25 mm f1.7
This is the very first lens we bought. It is ideal for portraits and low-light photos for an incredible price! With its 25 mm fixed focal length you will see in the same way as with the human eye. Even if it is not stabilized, I take it with me everywhere. It is one of the best micro four thirds lenses in terms of quality/price ratio! Low budget, put it in your basket.
Read More : Lumix 25mm f1.7 test and review on field
Lumix G 42.5 mm f1.7
The Lumix 42.5mm is a good hybrid lens for successful portraits. Lightweight and with a large aperture, you can make beautiful portraits in any light conditions. If you want to improve your portrait with a reasonable budget, choose the Lumix 25mm f1.7 and Lumix 42.5 mm f1.7.
Panasonic Leica Micro 4/3 lenses
Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4
If you can afford it, go for this 25mm Panasonic Leica lens, perfect for portraits and low-light photos. There, you can open at f1.4 and get beautiful bokeh.
Leica DG Summilux 42.5mm f1.2
If we had to retain one lens, the best micro four thirds lens is the Leica 42.5mm f1.2. With an aperture at f1.2, you are sure to make beautiful portraits. With it, you become a photographer! It is with this lens that we capture memories of our baby’s life in an exceptional photo quality.
You will have understood it, it is our big favorite among the micro 4/3 lenses for portrait. Surely, one of the best micro four thirds lenses you can buy.
All Olympus Micro 4/3 lenses for portrait
Olympus Zuiko 25mm f1.8
The Olympus 25mm f1.8 is a good entry-level lens that will accompany you for your portraits or low-light photos.
Olympus Zuiko Pro 25mm f1.2
It is the best micro four thirds lens in 25mm from any brand because it is the brightest for beautiful bokeh. Ideal for portraits. Of course, this quality comes at a price. But if you can, among all the 25mm lenses, this is the one to choose. This is one of the best micro four thirds lenses.
Olympus Zuiko 45mm f1.8
The Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens is a great value for money for beautiful portraits. Its price is unbeatable, it is one of the best micro four thirds lenses in terms of quality/price.
Olympus Zuiko Pro 45mm f1.2
The Olympus Pro 45mm f1.2 is the best of the best for successful portraits with beautiful bokeh. With its aperture at f1.2, it is one of the best 4/3 micro lenses for portrait.
Olympus Zuiko 75mm f1.8
With this Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens, we are on the top of the range to make your most beautiful portraits. At this 75mm focal length, it is the only 4/3 micro lens that allows such an aperture. Of course, this comes at a price. The big plus of this focal length: it allows you to take portraits while being far enough away from the subject, which will be more relaxed and therefore more natural. This is all the more true if you want to make portraits of young children without them being distracted by the photographer.
Best Micro Four Thirds Tele-Photo lenses
Tele lenses have a very interesting zoom, beyond 100mm, ideal for animal or sports photography (but not only). To compare them, look at the covered focal length range (in mm) and the proposed aperture (f). If you are looking for a micro 4/3 telephoto lens, here are the models we recommend.
Panasonic Lumix Tele-Photo lens
Lumix G 100-300 mm f4.0-5.6
The Lumix 100-300mm lens is a great value for money to get into animal or sports photography as an amateur. But not only that! For a holiday in the mountains, for example, it will allow you to go further than a standard zoom. Here, you have a great lens to take any picture. We tested it in Lyon (France) and were amazed by the quality of the photos. We even managed to make some very beautiful portraits. It is the ideal complementary lens to the Lumix 14-140mm.
Read more : Lumix 100-300 MM F4.0-5.6 II : test and review
Panasonic Leica Tele-Photo lenses
Leica 100-400 mm f4.0-6.3
The Leica 100-400mm lens is very interesting because of the large field it covers. With it, you will be able to see and photograph everything with almost no limits. Nevertheless, it is heavier than the Lumix 100-300mm and much more expensive.
Leica 200 mm f2.8
With the Leica 200mm f2.8, you are on a high-end lens, very bright at this focal length. Be careful, it’s a fixed focal length. It is a professional quality lens that is heavy and expensive.
All Olympus Tele-Photo lenses
Olympus 75-300 mm f4.8-6.7
The Olympus 75-300mm lens is a little less bright than the Lumix 100-300mm but it is a little cheaper in return. The range it covers is very interesting so it is a very good complement for your animal and sports photos, but not only. With this lens, anything is possible.
Olympus Pro 300mm f4.0
In its pro range, Olympus has a 300mm fixed focal length telephoto lens with f4.0 aperture. Ideal if you are looking to take natural, or sports photos with a higher brightness.
Best micro Four Thirds wide angle lenses
The wide angle is a lens below 14mm that is essential for successful landscape photos with little distance or architectural photos. For example, at Lake Louise in Canada, you will not be able to fully photograph the immensity of the place without a wide angle. The wide angle is therefore an essential tool of the traveling photographer.
Panasonic Lumix wide angle lenses
Lumix G Vario 7-14 mm f4.0
The Lumix 7-14mm lens is a great compact wide-angle lens to take with you everywhere. It is the ideal complement to the 14-140mm Lumix lens. Add the Lumix 100-300mm and you can photograph everything wherever you go on holiday. Moreover, its constant opening of f4.0 is more than interesting.
Panasonic Leica wide angle lenses
Leica 8-18 mm f2.8-4.0
With the Leica 8-18mm f2.8-4.0 lens, you have a high-end wide-angle lens. The advantage of this lens is that it is bright with its aperture at 2.8. For night or indoor photos, it will be better than the Lumix 7-14mm, for example.
All Olympus wide angle lenses
Olympus 9-18 mm f4.0-5.6
The Olympus 9-18mm is all about the price. This is the best wide-angle lens for Olympus or Panasonic in terms of quality/price ratio. Why? Because it is the least luminous of the whole range. If you have a very limited budget, this is the best lens to buy.
Pro Olympus 7-14 mm f2.8
Since we discovered the Olympus Pro 7-14mm f2.8, we want it as a wide angle lens! Why? Because with its constant aperture of 2.8, it is the best micro four thirds wide angle lens. With it, we are sure to have bright photos even in low light. So even if we have 2 Panasonic cameras (a Lumix GX9 and a Lumix G9), we will buy it. Of course, this has a great cost. And it is also 400 grams heavier than the Olympus 9-18mm. But we love it too much.
Best micro Four Thirds Lenses for travel
For a long time we only travelled with a versatile lens covering almost all photo needs: the Lumix 14-140mm. With a versatile lens no need to change lenses in the middle of an excursion or in the middle of a city tour. If you are new to hybrid camera or do not want to change lenses during your trip, we recommend that you choose one of the versatile lenses selected.
But versatile lenses are not bright enough. That’s why you may also prefer a standard zoom (12-35mm) and a tele-zoom (35-100mm) with a larger aperture (f2.8), for example. Of course, the budget will not be the same and that is what will determine your choice.
If you have a smaller budget, you can choose to have a 14-140mm versatile lens with fixed focal length lenses between f1.8 and f1.4.
Panasonic Lumix lenses for travel
Lumix G Vario 14-140 mm f3.5-5.6
This Lumix 14-140 mm is perfect for travelling because it is lightweight and versatile, it allows you to shoot at wide angle up to the tele-zoom. You can take photos of portraits, landscapes, a little of animals… But beware, this lens is really not ideal when shooting in low light, especially if you are without a tripod. I no longer use it to take pictures indoors, for example. In my opinion, it is the ideal lens to buy in kit with your first Panasonic camera such as the Lumix GX9 to discover the joys of photography with a hybrid and not to change lenses during the trip.
If you want to upgrade your travel photos we recommend these combinations of 2 Lumix lenses:
Lumix GX Vario 12-35 mm f2.8 II
It is the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm f2.8 II that we take with us everywhere. Whether it’s to capture our son’s memories with great photos or to share our (recent) vacation memories on this blog, it is part of all our adventures. We liked this lens for its constant aperture at f2.8 and its brightness. This lens is a “standard zoom lens”. At 12mm, you are in wide angle, at 25mm, you see like the human eye and up to 35mm, you are in an ideal focal length for portraits.
The first time I took picture with it, I understood how PRIMORDIAL the quality of the lens was. It can be easily adapted to a Lumix GX, Lumix G or Lumix GH and also to an Olympus case. It has long been my favorite lens to the point of breaking our piggy bank to get its complement the Lumix GX Vario 35-100mm f2.8.
Read more : Panasonic Lumix 12-35 mm f2.8 : test & review
Lumix GX Vario 35-100 mm f2.8 II
If you have the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm f2.8, you will necessarily want the Lumix 35-100mm f2.8. Here too, we are on a lens with a superb aperture for a great brightness. The lens is ideal for portraits with a beautiful bokeh as well as nature or sports photos. From 35mm to 50mm, you are in ideal focal length for portraits, beyond that, the zoom allows you to cover a large number of uses. Of course, its price is far from being ridiculous, but the quality of the photos is worth the cost. Lightweight, it can be easily fixed on the Lumix GX9 because its size is close to the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm f2.8. Be careful, not to be confused with the Lumix 35-100 f4.0-5.6 which is an entry-level product.
In my opinion, the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm and the Lumix GX Vario 35-100mm are the best micro four thirds lenses for travelling if you are on a Lumix Panasonic camera. On our side, it is the combination we chose for our trips and we are thrilled to take such beautiful pictures.
Panasonic Leica lenses for travel
Leica 12-60mm f2.8-4.0
If you are looking for a standard professional quality zoom, choose the Leica 12-60mm f2.8-4.0. The aperture is not constant as on the 12-35mm but the covered range is more interesting. Clearly, it is an ideal lens for travel. From the wide angle to any type of landscape or portrait, you can do almost anything! It costs about the same as the Lumix 12-35mm and will give you a versatile, lightweight and professional quality lens. Not to be confused with the Lumix 12-60mm f3.5-5.6 which is a Panasonic mid-range lens.
Leica 50-200 mm f2.8-4.0
The Leica 50-200mm for Panasonic is a highly versatile, professional quality tele-zoom. If you have the budget, you will have a lens that will allow you to switch from portrait to animal or sports photography very easily with superb image quality. When travelling, it is a good complement to the Leica 12-60 mm.
Olympus lenses for traveling
Olympus 14-150mm f4.0-5.6
If you are on an Olympus body and want a versatile lens, the Olympus 14-150mm is a good all-rounder. With it, you can go from the wide angle, to the portrait to the tele-zoom to photograph everything while travelling and in everyday life. This versatility has a disadvantage, it is less good in low light (indoors, in grey weather, for example). I therefore recommend it for a first introduction or if you absolutely want to have only one lens with your Olympus case.
Olympus or Lumix users, if you want to travel with only one lens, here is the best micro 4/3 lens for travelling:
Olympus Pro 12-100mm f4.0
If I didn’t already have the Lumix 14-140mm, it’s the Olympus Pro 12-100mm f4.0 that I would have bought to travel with a versatile lens and take beautiful pictures. Its big advantage? Its constant aperture at f4.0 even at telephoto that allows much brighter images than on standard multi-purpose lenses. Of course, this lens is much more expensive and heavier but its quality is worth it! Buy this Olympus 12-100mm f4.0 lens is an alternative to the Lumix 12-35 and 35-100 duo at f2.8 or Olympus 12-40 f2.8 and 40-150mm f2.8.
Olympus Pro 12-40 mm f2.8
The Olympus 12-40 mm f2.8 is a standard zoom lens with a constant aperture of 2.8. This makes it a versatile and bright lens. It is ideal for travel and low-light photography. It is the equivalent of Lumix 12-35mm f2.8. I can only recommend this type of lens if you have the budget. We are on a top-of-the-range lens that will make you (re)discover the joys of photography. Whether it is for wide angle, landscapes or even portraits, you will make very beautiful photos. To be completed with the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8.
Olympus Pro 40-150mm f2.8
The perfect companion to the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 is the 40-150mm f2.8 from the pro range. Once again, with it, you will be able to do everything but with a beautiful aperture to take beautiful pictures even in the most difficult conditions. This lens is ideal for portraits, landscapes, etc. In short, if you have the budget, break your piggy bank for the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 + Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 you will not be mistaken. If your budget is a little more limited, buy the Olympus 12-100mm f4.0.
Tamron micro 4/3 lenses for travel
Tamron 14-150mm f3.5-5.8
Low budget, but you are looking for a versatile lens to travel with? Choose the Tamron 14-150mm f3.5-5.8 which will allow you to photograph everything from the wide angle, portraits, landscapes, etc. Be careful, this lens is not stabilized. It is essential that you have a stabilized body. Moreover, due to its versatility, it is not very bright just like the Lumix 14-140mm f3.5-5.6 and the Olympus 14-150mm f3.5-5.6.
Best micro Four Thirds lenses for macro
We don’t really take macro pictures. Nevertheless, we have listed the micro 4/3 lenses for macro. A macro lens must be able to take a close look at the scene and allow a pronounced bokeh effect. For this reason, there are specific lenses for the macro that generally open up to f2.8. Each brand offers an entry-level macro lens and a pro lens. It is therefore your budget that will determine your purchase.
Panasonic Lumix Macro lenses
Lumix G macro 30mm f2.8
This is the less expensive of all Panasonic macro lenses. Its f2.8 opening allows you to take beautiful pictures with a beautiful bokeh.
Panasonic Leica Macro lenses
Leica macro 45mm f2.8
Micro 4/3 lens for macro, the Leica Macro 45mm f2.8 is a high-end lens. With it you can take exceptional photos with exceptional quality.
Olympus lenses for macro
Olympus Macro 30mm f3.5
The Olympus Macro 30mm f3.5 is a little less bright than the Panasonic equivalent.
Olympus Macro 60 mm f2.8
The Olympus Macro 60mm f2.8 lens is the brand’s professional macro lens. If you want to take beautiful pictures, this is the one to choose.
Best micro Four Thirds lenses for for night or low light photography
With versatile lenses and even a zoom that opens at f2.8, you will have a bright aperture but not necessarily enough for some very difficult conditions. Indoors, at night, and in all cases of low-light shooting, a lens with an aperture of at least f1.8 is required. Especially if you also photograph a moving subject. Here is a selection of micro 4/3 lenses you need to purchase for low-light photos. We have only put here lenses between 12mm and 20mm in fixed focal length. Above 20 mm, you have the lenses between 25mm and 75mm mentioned in the portrait paragraph which are also very good lenses in low light but rather made for portrait.
Between 12mm and 14mm, you are on a wide angle lens ideal for architecture and landscapes. Between 17mm and 20mm, you will have a fixed focal length lens for everything because it is close to the human eye and ideal for everyday shots.
Panasonic Lumix bright lenses
Lumix G 14mm f2.5
Bright Wide angle lens, its quality/price ratio is unbeatable for shots in low light of landscape or architecture. Very lightweight, it is easy to carry everywhere.
Lumix G 20 mm f1.7
The Lumix G 20mm f1.7 is an ideal bright lens for shooting in low light conditions. Its 20mm focal length allows to cover a range a little wider than a 25mm. It is an ideal lens for landscapes or street photos.
Panasonic Leica bright lenses
Leica 12mm f1.4
The Leica 12mm f1.4 lens is the top of the range in very luminous wide angle. With this lens, you will see a starry sky like no other lens. Of course, quality has a price. Nevertheless, it is dreamlike and is one of the best micro four thirds lenses of all wide angle.
Leia 15mm f1.7
If you want to buy a Leica lens at a reasonable price, the Panasonic Leica 15mm f1.7 is the best choice. Take it with you for low-light shots of landscapes, street shots, and daily use.
Olympus lenses for low-light conditions
Olympus 12mm f2.0
The Olympus 12mm f2.0 is a bright wide angle lens for architectural and landscape photos. No need for a tripod, you can take pictures of everything.
Olympus 17mm f1.8
The Olympus 17mm f1.8 is a great price/quality ratio to offer a very bright lens for street shots as well as for daily use.
Olympus Pro 17mm f1.2
One of the best micro four thirds lenses in low-light conditions with its aperture at f1.2.