The micro four-thirds format gets a lot of shade thrown its way. Despite that, the format is still alive and kicking, embracing its underdog status. For me personally, I switched to micro four-thirds back in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. It’s been a great format for me to use — both personally and commercially with my clients.
I’ve tried a lot of lenses for micro four-thirds, from both Olympus, Panasonic and even Sigma. Not only are these lenses significantly cheaper than their full-frame cousins, but they’re also made of some killer, high-performing glass. Without further adieu, I present to you my top lenses for micro four-thirds.
Prices are based at the time of publishing. Be sure to check out B&H for updated prices, as some of these lenses are pretty often being marked down.
All-purpose zoom lens: Olympus 12-100mm f/4 PRO
While this wasn’t my first lens I purchased, it’s certainly been one of my favorites. I regularly have this on as I’m outdoors, whether it be for event coverage or just roaming the streets. It’s pretty much always attached to one of my camera bodies.
The image quality is superb, and it’s an extremely versatile lens, presenting a field of view of 24-200mm (on full-frame cameras). The fixed f/4 aperture and built-in image stabilization makes this a must-have. $1149; available via B&H.
Standard zoom lens: Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8
While I haven’t used the Mark II version of this lens, I used to have the original version. There’s nothing sexy about a 24-70mm field of view, but it’s often a necessary for many photographers — especially those that document events.
This lens is super light and small, and performs wonderfully, sharp at even the largest of apertures on the corners. It’s great to travel with, too, given its size. $797.99; available via B&H.
Telephoto zoom lens: Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
This is the very first micro four-thirds lens I purchased, and it’s easy to see why. As an event photographer, having that extra reach has proved to be super beneficial (compared to Panasonic’s 35-100mm f/2.8).
The lens is a great performer, and is once again weather sealed (like all of Olympus’ PRO glass). Focusing speed is super fast regardless of conditions, and it’s an absolute joy to use. $1349; available via B&H.
Landscape lens: Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
I’ve written about this lens before. It’s extremely sharp across the focal range, with very little problem with lens flare or chromatic aberration. The f/2.8 aperture gives great low light performance and reliability.
When photographing cityscapes and landscapes, this lens has come through again and again for me. $1249; available via B&H.
Portrait lens: Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2
I’m a sucker for the 85-90mm field of view when it comes to portraits, hence my choice here. But this was a close one, particularly between the 42.5mm f/1.2 and Olympus’ 45mm f/1.2 PRO lens.
I’ve owned both, and ultimately, it comes down to a coin toss. While I currently own the Olympus, the Panasonic inches out because of its color delivery and the 85mm field of view. My only complaint? The screw-on metal lens hood is a bit tedious to switch on and off in a hurry. $1197.99; available via B&H.
Street lens: Panasonic Leica 15mm f/1.7
This one was extremely close, and depending on what camera system you use, you’ll be swayed one way or another. The Panasonic Leica 15mm f/1.7 gets the nod here because of its sharpness and color rendition. Plus, the ability to change the aperture on the lens is a definite win when it comes to street photography. $547.99; available via B&H.
Macro lens: Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro
This was a lens I purchased shortly after switching to Olympus, but one that I didn’t use right away. But when I did … I was so happy I picked it up! The colors and depth of field here are amazing. The lens is super light, and performs beautifully, allowing for that ultra-close view whether you’re photographing food or flowers. It’s also a great headshot lens! $399; available via B&H.
Runner-up: Panasonic Lumix 30mm f/2.8 Macro ($297.99)
There are several other micro four-thirds lenses out there that I love, including the Olympus 300mm f/4 PRO and Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4. What are your favorite lenses? Let me know in the comments below!