A list of good/bad MFT lens for new owner?

Started Oct 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
Aleo Veuliah
MOD Aleo Veuliah Forum Pro • Posts: 14,659
Re: There are very few poor MFT lenses / Agreed. No text.

WT21 wrote:

The Panasonic 14-42 is not too bad, but it's mostly just disappointing because it was a step down from the excellent 14-45 (which was the original Panasonic kit lens). The Olympus 14-42 mk 1 is not great, and is probably the only m43 lens I would say to avoid, but that's mainly because the the mkii and R versions are excellent, and super cheap (used should run you around $80).

The Panasonic 14-140 is a bit big, expensive and slow at the long end. Another lens I would personally avoid, but some people like it for it's smooth zoom and IS. It was one of the first m43 lenses. The Oly 14-150 is a super zoom, and shares the typical super zoom issues of being jack of all trades, master of non. The Panasonic 14-42 and 45-175 X lenses did have some IS stabilization issues, but I believe they've been worked out.

The Oly 17/2.8 is a little slow and not the sharpest lens for a prime, but mainly suffers in comparison to the P20/1.7, which is similar sized but faster and better IQ.

The Panasonic 45-200 can be a little soft at the long end, but is pretty darn cheap. The Oly 40-150 doesn't have the best contrast, but again is super cheap and super small.

IMO, That's the worst you can say about most of the m43 lenses. I am currently exploring NEX with a 5n, and there are LOTS worse things you can say about the NEX lenses. Ugh. Another thing -- most m43 lenses are very good at their wide open aperture. The thing I'm finding with NEX is you have to stop down the lenses. For instance, the NEX50/1.8 only begins to shine at f/2.8 and really f/4 (peaking at 4/5.6). The Olympus 45/1.8 is ready to go at 1.8 and gets even better at just 2.0, meaning the supposed sensor advantage of the NEX is negated by having to stop down the lenses for peak performance (I only bring up the NEX comparison, because I know you've been posting at the NEX forum, so I thought it would be a useful comparison).

Excellent m43 lenses, IMO, include (not in any order):

Panasonic 100-300: very contrasty, great IS and fantastic reach, though a bit big

PL25/1.4 -- just a stellar lens

Voigtlander 25/0.95 -- a special lens (though it's MF)

Voigt 17/0.95 -- again, another unique but MF lens

PL45 macro -- incredible contrast, nice size and feel

Oly 45/1.8 -- not my favorite focal length, but a great portrait lens

Oly 75/1.8 -- I haven't shot with this yet, but the reviews and every clearly show this to be a special lens

Panny 20/1.7 -- portable powerhouse, though the AF is getting a little old (it's slow compared to the more recent designed lenses)

Panny 14/2.5 -- this lens is pretty good corner to corner and has good contrast, but it's price and size make it special

Oly 12/2 -- not my focal length, but I have used it, and it takes great shots

Oly 9-18 -- great UWA, and nicely priced. Panny 7-14 is also special. These two lenses are not directly comparable, as the cost is pretty different, one takes filters, on doesn't, but one goes wider than the other, but one flares more than the other. If you need UWA, you can find a home in one of these lenses

That's just off the top of my head. Hope it helps in some way. Probably doesn't clear up anything for you, though

edit: for manual focus lenses, I've found the FD series to be the best budget MF lenses on m43, in terms of contrast, color, and sharpness wide open. OMs are also good, though personally I prefer the FDs. If you move up to rangefinder lenses, it's a mixed bag, but I enjoyed my Voigtlander 40/1.4 and 75/2.5 on m43.

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