Why I prefer M4/3 lenses on M4/3 bodies

Started Sep 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Marty4650
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Why I prefer M4/3 lenses on M4/3 bodies
Sep 17, 2013

The E-M1 is a wonderful solution for people who already own HG and SHG lenses. But if you never owned any SHG lenses, or if you only own one or two HG lenses, then it really makes more sense to use M4/3 lenses on your M4/3 camera.

All of the 4/3 lenses are larger and heavier than their M4/3 counterparts, and some are significantly larger and heavier. Some cost twice as much and weigh three times more. But this is because they were designed for much larger cameras. If you want to take full advantage of of the M4/3 promise of smaller size and weight, then you probably should stick to using lenses designed for the new format.

Adapting any other lenses, even those great legacy OM lenses and those wonderful 4/3 ZD lenses is basically a kludge. Will anyone actually want to use huge legacy lenses when modern lenses are available for M4/3 that were designed for M4/3 and offer full AF?

Well, I suppose some will, because they will say the quality is better, and they might be right about that. But I am not in that group.

The size difference is fairly obvious.

But what isn’t so obvious is the huge difference in cost and weight.

If you had all 7 of these 4/3 lenses they would have cost you $10,399, and they would weigh 4,690 grams, or 10.3 pounds, including the necessary adapters.

If you had all 7 M4/3 lenses they would cost you $6,032, and weigh 1,597 grams, or 3.5 pounds.

As far as the quality goes, there is no dispute that most of the 4/3 lenses are better.

But the M4/3 lenses are also very good, plus they are much cheaper, smaller, lighter, and were designed for your camera. This means they will focus faster, unless you happen to own the $1,400 latest flagship model Olympus E-M1.

And then the question becomes… are you a good enough photographer to take advantage of this slight difference in lens quality at the expense of your wallet and your back? Would you rather carry a 10.5 pound camera backpack, or a 3.5 pound one?

Of course, if you already own HG and SHG lenses, then the decision is an easy one. You buy an E-M1 and however many adapters you feel you need and you are in bliss. You now have a great camera that will work very well with the wonderful lenses you already own.

But, I cannot imagine very many E-M1 owners who don’t own HG or SHG lenses rushing out to buy them now. Especially when you consider there are so many very similar lenses available in M4/3 versions. And these lenses will perform almost as well. Plus, they were designed expressly for the smaller format camera.

But this is just my own personal feeling. I am sure others will disagree. Each person has their own situation to think of, and will do whatever suits their needs and their budgets best.

 Marty4650's gear list:Marty4650's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +7 more
Olympus E-30 Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN E-PL2
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