Best four thirds lenses?

Started Jul 30, 2014 | Questions thread
deep7 Contributing Member • Posts: 979
Re: Best four thirds lenses?

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...

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

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