Best four thirds lenses?

Started 3 months ago | Questions
jesuisdanny
Junior MemberPosts: 41
Like?
Best four thirds lenses?
3 months ago

I own an E-M1 recently became interested in checking out good Four Thirds lenses, but hard to find in search with all the "Micro" Four Thirds articles around.

Any good resources?

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Robbster
Regular MemberPosts: 263Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

I use the lists at four-thirds.org a lot, here is the link...

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/lense.html

Then, look up the reviews using the exact lens descriptor.

-- hide signature --

Create the future or live someone else's. Choose wisely!

 Robbster's gear list:Robbster's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Olympus PEN E-PL1 +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
neil holmes
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,206
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

jesuisdanny wrote:

I own an E-M1 recently became interested in checking out good Four Thirds lenses, but hard to find in search with all the "Micro" Four Thirds articles around.

Any good resources?

Try next door in the Olympus SLR talk forum.

My understanding is the best are super-high grade lenses and some of the high grade ones too.

Some of those are EXTREMELY expensive though but very very good.

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/lense.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
drcPhoto
Regular MemberPosts: 425Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

jesuisdanny wrote:

I own an E-M1 recently became interested in checking out good Four Thirds lenses, but hard to find in search with all the "Micro" Four Thirds articles around.

Any good resources?

Well there are quite a few really great resources to read or see reviews of many (if not most of the M4/3 's lenses).  This site, CameraLabs,  Admiringlight, Adorama and B&H, YouTube has a wealth of great reviews and reviewers on lenses (and cameras).  Your best best is to check them all out as some are much more thorough than others.  I think David Thorpe, Darren Miles, and Matt Granger are particularly very good.  In the end, check out a variety of online resources and you can get a pretty informed evaluation on just about any lens (camera or accessory) now days, and it is pretty easy too.

Dale

 drcPhoto's gear list:drcPhoto's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Olympus E-M1 Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 +21 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bradevans
Regular MemberPosts: 145Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

I don't know which is best but you can often find good prices on 4/3rds lenses here:

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/outlet/reconditioned-lenses.html?icn=topnav&ici=savingsnav_outlet-recon-lenses

 bradevans's gear list:bradevans's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Klarno
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,543Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

jesuisdanny wrote:

I own an E-M1 recently became interested in checking out good Four Thirds lenses, but hard to find in search with all the "Micro" Four Thirds articles around.

Any good resources?

Pretty much any of the High Grade and Super High Grade lenses are worth using. These lenses are all dust and drip protected. I wouldn't look too closely at any of the standard grade lenses, except maybe the 35mm macro after you're already using a set of Four Thirds lenses.

The best value among the HG lenses is probably the 14-54 f/2.8-3.5, offering a true midrange between kit lens and pro lens that doesn't exist in the MFT system, and at a good price. The 12-60 might be getting a bit pricey compared to MFT offerings when looked at including the cost of the MMF-3, but it would be a good midrange too. The 50-200 f/2.8-3.5 truly offers something that nothing in the MFT system is capable of. My favorite lens is the 11-22 f/2.8-3.5, but that lens might be getting long in the tooth (possibly the best controlled distortion of any lens of its type, but it's not that great for corner sharpness or coma, and my copy shows some decentering). The lauded 50mm f/2.0 macro makes a very good hybrid portrait/macro lens. The 8mm f/3.5 fisheye is the only weather protected fisheye in the FT/MFT systems, and if you do fisheye photography you'd know whether or not you need that.

The SHG lenses can be extremely pricey, even used-- we're talking "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" levels of money. If you can bring that kind of money to bear though, it's said that the 14-35 f/2.0 is like a bag full of primes, the 35-100 f/2.0 is nearly as good, and the 150mm f/2.0 might be the finest lens in the system. Then there are the less common 90-250 f/2.8 and 300mm f/2.8 (and of course you'd also need the EC-14 and EC-20 teleconverters). However, I should hope that before you'd consider any of these lenses, you'd already know whether or not you need them.

Best reviewers to check out are SLRGear, Lenstip, Photozone.de.

-- hide signature --
 Klarno's gear list:Klarno's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM2 A3000 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Michael Meissner
Forum ProPosts: 23,145Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

jesuisdanny wrote:

I own an E-M1 recently became interested in checking out good Four Thirds lenses, but hard to find in search with all the "Micro" Four Thirds articles around.

Any good resources?

To some extent, it depends on what you want to pay, and what you mean by best?

In terms of image quality, the 2 lenses that tend to be mentioned by people with unlimited budgets are the 300mm f/2.8 and 150mm f/2.0.

Note however, that the 150mm has the reputation of being a lens that doesn't auto focus well on micro 4/3rds (even worse than most of the other 4/3rds lenses). It is one of 4 lenses that Panasonic says is not supported for auto focus at all (the other 3 are Sigma lenses). Yes, the E-M1 has phase detect auto focus, but I thought that part of the issue is the 150mm wants to draw more power than the micro 4/3rds cameras.

Next in image quality tend to be the SHG zooms except for the 14-35mm f/2.0 (7-14mm f/4, 35-100mm f/2.0, 90-250mm f/2.8). These 3 lenses are highly regarded. In particular, the 35-100mm was the bread and butter lens of the wedding and event crowd photographers, since it was pretty much the right focal length for those situations.

I've shot with the 90-250mm once, and I decided that it was not a lens I wanted draped over my shoulder.

The 35-100mm was just about at the end of what I think is manageable for an E-5 (particularly with the grip). I would need to use it for some time to see if I wanted it on the smaller E-M1.

Now, in terms of the SHG zooms, I did not include the 14-35mm f/2. From reports, it had good image quality when it focused. There were a lot of reports that it often mis-focused, and it was the main lens people had to manually configure the focusing for in the E-30/E-5 cameras (or send it in along with the camera for Olympus to fine tune the focusing). So I would say, you are probably better off with the Olympus or Panasonic native high speed lens.

In the middle layer of lenses (HG), the 50mm was generally considered to have the best image quality, and slowest focus time. Many people (including me) feel the 50-200mm is a very fine lens. There are 2 versions of the lens. I have the first version, and I prefer it over the second, because the hood for the second version is rather large, and makes it hard to pack in a gear bag, while the hood on version 1 mounts reversed on the lens and does not take up much room. On the other hand, version 2 focuses faster on the E-3/E-30/E-5 cameras due to the SWD support.

In the normal lens range, there is a lot of debate on whether the 14-54mm mark 1 or the 12-60mm is the better lens. I have the 14-54mm mark 1 (it is going on 9 1/2 years), so I am biased. The 12-60mm gives you more range, and SWD focus speed. However, it is twice as big and heavy as the 14-54mm. Also, there were a lot of complaints that in the 12-13mm range, the 12-60mm has complex distortions that can't easily be fixed in post processing.  The 11-22mm is well thought of, though it is an odd duck, in that it is in the middle of the ranges of other lenses (most lenses if they overlap, only do so at the extremes).

In the low end range, you probably are better served using the equivalent native micro 4/3rds lenses.

For non-Olympus lenses, the one lens people talked about with hushed tones for the image quality is the Panasonic (Leica) 25mm. A second lens was favored by some was the Panasonic 14-150mm since it gave image stabilization to the E-1.

The 2 Sigma macro lenses (105mm, 150mm) have good reputations if you are manually focusing.  Some of the Sigma lenses suffered from being too near the Olympus lenses, so there wasn't much reason to go with the Sigma.  I have the Sigma 30mm, it is an ok lens, but it just doesn't sing to me.  I've had the 18-125mm and 55-200mm lenses (notice the past tense here), and you would be better served going with the various kit and cheaper lenses than those lenses.  The Sigma 135-400mm gave more range than the 90-250mm (until you put on the EC-20 which leveled the field).  I recall the 135-400mm being rather huge (and it was nick-named Sigmonster).  Then there is the 300-800mm lens.  I think there were only a few of these ever made (one for an Arab Sheik that had it mounted on the back of a SUV).

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus C-2100 UZ Olympus Tough TG-2 Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PM2 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
deep7
Contributing MemberPosts: 703Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to Michael Meissner, 3 months ago

Michael Meissner wrote:

jesuisdanny wrote:

I own an E-M1 recently became interested in checking out good Four Thirds lenses, but hard to find in search with all the "Micro" Four Thirds articles around.

Any good resources?

To some extent, it depends on what you want to pay, and what you mean by best?

In the normal lens range, there is a lot of debate on whether the 14-54mm mark 1 or the 12-60mm is the better lens. I have the 14-54mm mark 1 (it is going on 9 1/2 years), so I am biased. The 12-60mm gives you more range, and SWD focus speed. However, it is twice as big and heavy as the 14-54mm. Also, there were a lot of complaints that in the 12-13mm range, the 12-60mm has complex distortions that can't easily be fixed in post processing. The 11-22mm is well thought of, though it is an odd duck, in that it is in the middle of the ranges of other lenses (most lenses if they overlap, only do so at the extremes).

In the low end range, you probably are better served using the equivalent native micro 4/3rds lenses.

For non-Olympus lenses, the one lens people talked about with hushed tones for the image quality is the Panasonic (Leica) 25mm. A second lens was favored by some was the Panasonic 14-150mm since it gave image stabilization to the E-1.

.

Hmm.  I had both the 14-54 and 12-60 for years and still have the Leica 14-50/2.8-3.5.  The 12-60 was a very significant improvement over the 14-54 in terms of range, sharpness, focus speed and close-focus ability.  Both had nice out-of-focus rendition for a zoom lens.  The distortion mentioned around the 12mm mark is all but gone by 14mm and the 14-54 doesn't really do 12mm.  Or does it?  The 14-54 is only really a 14-54 at infinity focus and is much wider when focussed at close range!

Anyway, having had both for a long time, when I tried the Leica branded 14-50 I was in love and spent some time hunting out one for myself.  It just has such a smooth smooth look, without losing out on sharpness at all.  An amazing lens but not always that cheap to buy (you can find them if you're patient though).  Focus is not lightning fast either.  And it's huge!

Perhaps I should point out that none of these are necessarily better than the m4/3 12-40 but they can be found cheaper.  I have a 12-40 on my EM1 and can't really fault it in practical use.  I suspect it could be more fragile than the other lenses maybe?

As I write this, I am amazed.  I am not that rich but have or have had all these, plus the 14-45 (naff), 17.5-45 (surprisingly good) and 14-42 (quite decent but forgettable) as well as m4/3 14-42 (didn't like it) and 14-150 (an excellent 14-50 but poor beyond that).  How did that happen?  I must like standard zooms...  I've never even seen a 14-35/f2 but love the images it produces, as seen on the net.

Otherwise, I'd pretty much agree with what others have mentioned.  Don't overlook the 35mm macro.  It's amazing.  Another one which has recently surprised me is the 25/2.8 pancake.  I am super impressed with how nice the images are from that lens.  I bought it as part of a package with other stuff I wanted but may not sell it...

-- hide signature --

Don.
A Land Rover, a camera ... I'm happy!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jpe452
New MemberPosts: 2
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to deep7, 3 months ago

Best price to quality ratio on any lens for E-M1:

Zuiko 35 3.5 Macro

Trust me, you can not find similar lens from any system. It looks like toy lens, but is completely something else. It is hauntingly sharp and well corrected. Downside is that it has noisy and not reliable autofocus on E-M1 in any other than daylight.

It is macro lens where it is at it's best. Full 1:1 magnification. You can make microscopically precise close-up images from static objects with absolutely stunning detail. In this case it is even better than Zuiko 50 2.0 Macro and M.Zuiko 60 2.8 Macro. But trust me, you don't want to shoot any moving objects with Zuiko 35 3.5 Macro, you are too close with this focal length.

When you look the price and the quality it gives, it is best bang for buck lens i know from all systems. And, in old 4/3 bodies it worked great with street photography lens with very good focus speed. In E-M1 it is not in same level becouse of the lower focus speed, altough in static situation you get even more clarity in details as there is not LPF and sensor is next gen compared to anything in 4/3's

I had to name this for best price to quality lens becouse it is so dirt cheap compared to it's output AND becouse there isn't really alternative to it, if you want to get real close.

http://www.lenstip.com/319.4-Lens_review-Olympus_Zuiko_Digital_35_mm_f_3.5_Macro_Image_resolution.html

Best wideangle zoom for E-M1

Zuiko 9 -18 4.0 - 5.6

Okay, there is also 7-14 which i haven't tried (and should be astonishing) and also 11-22, which i tried and was little disappointed. Yes i know, this 9-18 is slow. I never stop it down, becouse it actually gives all the best wide open. BUT, actually i have never bothered the speed with this lens as it seems that with E-M1 stabilizer i can pull easily always 1 second hand held sharp exposures with 9mm setting. Image quality is very very good. This is the lens that always surprises me, pictures always turn out so nice. I am quite convinced that optically this is better than m.zuiko 9-18 version (which is already very good lens) Focus speed is nice, but most things are focus anyway with this focal length and aperture. Get this lens, you will not be dissapointed. I can not recommend 11-22 altough i know it has some properties over this.

http://www.lenstip.com/164.4-Lens_review-Olympus_Zuiko_Digital_9-18_mm_f_4-5.6_ED_Image_resolution.html

Best allround zoom performer in E-M1:

Zuiko 14-54 2.8-3.5 Mk1

With moderately good speed and much better image guality over M.Zuiko 12-50 and 14-42's it is real gem. Best is that in E-M1 (after the firmware update) focus speed is really good. I will boldly say it is on par with best with old 4/3 bodies. Colors are fantastic, image is well corrected and it's sharp. Actually in some way this lens can be slight disappointment as pictures turn out always very good, but without "unique" charasteristics as it is so well corrected. Mk1 version is absolutely bargain. If only one lens should be selected with E-M1 for photo trip to harsh conditions, for some reason i would select this.

I know 12-60 is optically even better, but for me 14-54 has best price to quality ratio.

http://www.lenstip.com/227.4-Lens_review-Olympus_Zuiko_Digital_14-54_mm_f_2.8-3.5_Image_resolution.html

Best price to quality tele for E-M1:

Zuiko 50-200 2.8-3.5 Mk1

It is little heavy and looks big on m 4/3 body, but it's not unbearably heavy. However after getting used to lenses like 45 1.8, Zuiko 50-200 feels gigantic. But: image quality is stunningly good in 50-150 range and good in 150-200 range. I would said avoid 180-200 range if you need absolutely best quality ( in there it is still better than any 40-150) Best thing is that it has mind blowing corner to corner sharpness and very well corrected. And focus speed did improve by giant leap after latest E-M1 firmware update. Before that AF performance was dissapointing, no it is on very good level for this type of focusing motor. Please note to use electronic first curtain with this thing. I don't know why, but with this lens, and it is the only lens, that i have viewed so called "shutter stock" if not using electronic first curtain. All in all this lens is magical and blows any current m4/3 teles from the table in terms of versatility , speed and image quality (this might change after release of m.zuiko 40-150 2.8)

http://www.lenstip.com/201.4-Lens_review-Olympus_Zuiko_Digital_ED_50-200_mm_f_2.8-3.5_SWD_Image_resolution.html

Best of the best of all Zuiko lenses:

Zuiko 35-100 2.0

This is one piece of kit. I have tried it but did not get it then becouse the price. Now i regret. I don't know about focus speed on E-M1 on this, but picture quality was really "popping". Sharpness is outstanding, on par with M.Zuikos 25 1.8, 45 1.8 and almost on 75 1.8 too, and that's something. Control on depth of field is astonishing. But, it is big and heavy and still rather expensive. If i would photograph any weddings, or would do any other event photographing this is best tool to have. I doubt there is still lens overall this good in other systems either. I know there are many sharp 70-200/ 4 and 2.8 lenses but is there similar corner to corner sharpness in wide open?

http://www.lenstip.com/242.4-Lens_review-Olympus_Zuiko_Digital_35-100_mm_f_2.0_Image_resolution.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Michael M Fliegel
Senior MemberPosts: 1,707Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

Ebay.  I suggest that you look at the 14-54 and the 11-22, both of which are weather-sealed.  The 14-54 is cheap right now.  The 11-22 is selling for less than I would have expected.  Remember that you will want the  MMF3 adapter.  Look for a refurbished example on the Olympus website.

 Michael M Fliegel's gear list:Michael M Fliegel's gear list
Olympus E-520 Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
rb dwn
Regular MemberPosts: 358
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

If you were looking for two very good lenses covering the most conventional focal lengths, then the 14-54 and the 50-200 are ridiculously good value second hand (esp the mk1 versions).

If those appealed - and you were happy with their performance on your camera (I have no complaints with them on my e-m1) - then you could add the 11-22 (for me, the pick of my 4/3 lenses) and the 50mm macro.

If you're patient, you could pick up all four of those for not much more than $1000. That's an awful lot if quality glass for the price.

There's a very useful thread on the Olympus SLR Talk forum which is a price guide to 4/3 gear - it's permanently linked on the main page for that forum.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
PSCL1
Senior MemberPosts: 2,127Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to rb dwn, 3 months ago

To the OP:  As a previous poster indicated, the 35mm f3.5 true macro.  You might still find it remaindered for maybe $230 new.  I use it on Panasonic G3 body but it really would balance well on an EM-1.  If you don't need AF you can get a $23 Rainbow Images adaptor.  If you want AF, Oly MMF-2 AF 4/3 to  m43 adapter (I have it) works great.

 PSCL1's gear list:PSCL1's gear list
Leica X1 Nikon D80 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Sony Alpha NEX-3N +23 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sparklite
Senior MemberPosts: 1,022Gear list
Like?
Re: Best four thirds lenses?
In reply to jesuisdanny, 3 months ago

This is a bit out of date and the photo links have vanished but there is some information you may want to review here:

http://myransphoto.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/olypen/

 sparklite's gear list:sparklite's gear list
Olympus E-3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:4.0 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
captura
Forum ProPosts: 14,672Gear list
Like?
Re: The Complete Micro 4/3 Lens List
In reply to sparklite, 3 months ago

Displaying lists, all 60 M43 native lenses are represented here.

http://hazeghi.org/mft-lenses.html

 captura's gear list:captura's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Samsung NX1000 NEX5R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads