Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Started Jun 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
djbrom Senior Member • Posts: 1,324
four thirds vs micro four thirds

It varies.  Generally speaking, the older four thirds often gave better results (refer below), but on the newer cameras can come at the price of sheer size and speed of the AF.  Your generally better off sticking to m43 lenses as they are optimized for the newer mirrorless cameras for AF speed, AF noise (or lack thereof), video etc.  I think it would be wise to stick with m43 lenses unless you specifically after something particular.

Most (not all) people here who use four thirds lenses with the micro four thirds camera are those who previously owned the larger/older lenses with the older four thirds camera.

As for more specific details about the 43 lens vs m43 lens in terms of image quality, you will often find that m43 lenses at times have more distortion which is corrected by software in the camera or via other third party programs (eg. Lightroom).  At times there is more chromatic aberration with m43 lenses (which on the EM1 will be corrected automatically if shooting JPEG).  Sharpness varies. There are not many same focal length lenses between 43 and m43 but where there is a similarity (such as the four thirds SHG 14-35mm, four thirds HG 12-60mm and micro four thirds 12-40mm) you will often see the best image quality coming from the SHG (Super High Grade which also = super expensive) and the m43 will either be roughly on par with the HG and/or perhaps a bit better or even a touch worse but nothing worth writing home about.  The advantages of the smaller m43 size (+ other factors) can often outweigh any image quality differences (i am talking about the high quality m43 lenses not the kit lenses or lens cover lenses).  For example the 50mm f2 four thirds macro is a wonderful lens and one of the sharpest (my thinking is excluding macro work here) but if i had to choose between that and the 45mm m43 lens i would choose the m43 lens.  Its not quite as sharp but for less cost, much smaller size and superior AF speed its worth not even considering the four thirds especially if you intend to do any video.

You also need to keep in mind that many lenses (primes - non zoom) that people wished for four thirds ended up coming out in the micro four thirds format, but some four thirds lenses have not yet been duplicated into micro four thirds range (the higher quality range) yet such as the 8mm fisheye, 7-14mm SHG, 35-100mm f2, 300mm f2.8, 150mm f2.  Some are on their way or have been planned (40-150mm f2.8, 7-14mm f2.8, 300mm f4) and some not yet mentioned.  It would be safe to say that they would never make a 35-100mm f2 or 150mm f2 for m43 which is why some would pay the extra $$ and get the four thirds version.

Sorry for the loooong post, but i hope it shed some light.

 djbrom's gear list:djbrom's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +11 more
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