Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Started Jun 5, 2014 | Discussions
nickels25 Regular Member • Posts: 145
Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Hi there everyone!

I just got an Olympus OM-D EM-1! I was looking into getting the Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 PRO for a lens. However, I was wondering if there are any other lenses out there that are good to use with the EM-1 (i.e. Sigma, etc) I'm hoping to get fast, good lenses and if I get a non-Olympus lens that it will still work with the focusing system of the EM-1. Any suggestions?

Thank you so much! I don't even know where to begin looking!

Thank you!

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drcPhoto
drcPhoto Contributing Member • Posts: 611
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

I can't imagine a lens that would be bad on my E-M1, and I have used all of my lenses from time to time on it.  Since I have two camera bodies (GH3 and the E-M1), I tend to use my Panasonic zooms more one the GH3 given the added stabilization they provide, and my Voigtlander 17.5mm and the Voigtlander 25mm practically live full time on the E-M1.  Not everyone likes the thought of a manual lens, but the Voigtlander's do especially well there.  They are incredible lenses with their own special character and qualities.

Dale

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drj3 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,437
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

nickels25 wrote:

Hi there everyone!

I just got an Olympus OM-D EM-1! I was looking into getting the Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 PRO for a lens. However, I was wondering if there are any other lenses out there that are good to use with the EM-1 (i.e. Sigma, etc) I'm hoping to get fast, good lenses and if I get a non-Olympus lens that it will still work with the focusing system of the EM-1. Any suggestions?

Thank you so much! I don't even know where to begin looking!

Thank you!

If you mean "will autofocus" then the Olympus and Panasonic MicroFourthirds lenses, or when used with the MMF-3 adaptor, any lens made for the Olympus/Panasonic Fourthirds DSLRs, and some Sigma lenses for Fourthirds DSLR cameras (probably only available used). There are a fairly large number of different Olympus Fourthirds DSLR lenses which work well on the E-M1 and these are generally available either new or used. There may be others, but these are the ones that I know.

Sigma lens list

http://www.cameralabs.com/lenses/Sigma_DSLR_lens_guide_range.shtml

Olympus four thirds lenses

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/slr.html?icn=topnav&ici=lensesnav_slr-viewall

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drj3

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Steve_
Steve_ Senior Member • Posts: 2,869
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

I just got an Olympus OM-D EM-1! I was looking into getting the Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 PRO for a lens. However, I was wondering if there are any other lenses out there that are good to use with the EM-1 (i.e. Sigma, etc) I'm hoping to get fast, good lenses and if I get a non-Olympus lens that it will still work with the focusing system of the EM-1. Any suggestions?

It's not clear what sort of lenses you are after. If you are asking if there are good alternatives to the 12-40 there is but one, the 12-35 Panasonic. For use on an EM1 I would recommend the 12-40 unless you treasure compactness, a relative strength of the Panasonic lens. They are both rather good optically, and the Panasonic has great stabilization which is crucial on Panasonic bodies but not a factor with the EM1.

If you are asking for complements to the 12-40, yeah, there are a lot of good ones. But without some idea of the type of shooting you do it's hard to make really helpful suggestions. You can check out my gear list to see what I use.

As far as focusing goes, m43 is m43. Manufacturer isn't a factor.

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SkiHound Veteran Member • Posts: 3,119
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Here are some thoughts. Picking lenses is very idiosyncratic, so FWIW. I rented the Panny 12-35 for 2 weeks and I own the 12-40. Both are very good. The Panny is a bit smaller and lighter and there was a little CA when shooting into bright light. I think the 12-40 is a bit better optically, but that might be buyers bias. I find the 12-40 really excellent optically. The 75mm f/1.8 is a stunningly excellent lens optically. It's so sharp you could cut yourself. It's not cheap and the focal length is not to everyone's taste, but it's a terrific lens in terms of optics. The Sigma 60 f/2.8 isn't as fast and isn't quite as long, but all reviews of the optical quality are very very good. If you do macro, the 60mm macro is very good. I think the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 is excellent, though the Oly 25mm f/1.8 is smaller, lighter, considerably cheaper, and seems to be optically competitive. The Oly 45mm f/1.8 is very small, and very light and very solid optically as a nice portrait length lens. The Oly 40-150 is a slow aperture kit type lens; it's also amazingly small, light, and inexpensive for the Iq that it generates. Lots of options. If the price of the 12-40 doesn't put you off it's a really good general purpose standard zoom.

pocketpygmy Contributing Member • Posts: 829
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

the olympus 12mm f2 is a good lens.

the olympus 17mm f1.8 is a good lens.

the olympus 25mm f1.8 is a good lens.

the olympus 45mm f1.8 is a good lens.

the olympus 60mm f2.8 is a good lens.

the olympus 75mm f1.8 is a good lens.

the olympus 9-18mm is a good lens.

the olympus 14-42mm is a good lens.

the olympus 14-150mm is a good lens.

the olympus 40-150mm is a good lens.

the olympus 75-300mm is a good lens.

panasonic has some good lenses, too.

rokinon/samyang/bower has a good fisheye lens.

there are some other companies that also make good lenses for m4/3.

many other good lenses from other formats can be adapted for use with m4/3 cameras.

leica for instance makes good lenses.

the world is your oyster.

djbrom
djbrom Senior Member • Posts: 1,322
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

If you are asking in regard to that 12-40mm range then i would say the 12-40mm.  They are both quite similar optically and both very good lenses but there is one or two main differences that sold the 12-40mm for me.

1. A solid Splash/dust/freeze proof design.
Though the panasonic is stated as weather proof, they dont exactly have a long pedigree of such lenses.  Olympus on the other hand in m43 world has the 60mm and 12-50mm up their sleeve along with a LOT of four thirds lenses which, to my knowledge (and experience with some of them) have all been very reliable in the wet weather scene.  Olympus gets my vote here.

2. The Lens Function button is yet another custom button on the lens which some may find very handy.  The Panasonic doesnt have this.  Olympus gets my vote.

As for other differences, its mostly preference such as the extra 5mm length etc.

In regard to other lenses, both companies make some really good ones with the standouts being the primes and the very good zoom 35-100mm from Panny.  Oly is yet to bring out their 40-150mm f2.8 (later this year).

Sigma also has two extremely well priced lenses being the 19mm and 30mm both f2.8 but very good.  Or, if manual focus floats your boat then you have many many to choose from with the right adapter and some are even manufactured with the m43 mount.  I recall Schneider was coming out with some m43 lenses with auto focus but they would be very expensive and may not be out yet.

Enjoy your new camera!

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OP nickels25 Regular Member • Posts: 145
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Thank you! So the four-thirds lenses will work on the micro four-thirds E-M1? Without an adapter? Is there a big difference between four thirds and micro four thirds? ( I'm new to using Olympus)

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pede59 Senior Member • Posts: 1,555
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

In addition to the lenses mentioned by others Sigma offers a m43 version of their 60mm f2.8 lens. It is supposed to be excellent optically, and it is fairly cheap. Do not have Sigma for m43 but owned the NEX versions of the 19 and 30 mm lenses - both very good.

OP nickels25 Regular Member • Posts: 145
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Thank you!

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the 12-40 PRO Oly! I was actually thinking of getting the 40-150mm but wasn't sure if I should spend the money on that lens or put that money towards a faster lens.

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Guitarfish64 Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1
1

nickels25 wrote:

I don't even know where to begin looking!

You could try this

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OP nickels25 Regular Member • Posts: 145
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Thank you everyone! That's a huge help!

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OP nickels25 Regular Member • Posts: 145
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Thank you,

do you have a link to the Sigma 60 mm 2.8 for m4/3?

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OP nickels25 Regular Member • Posts: 145
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Alright...I know this is going to sound stupid and I am doing research on it right now...but is there a difference between 4/3rds and micro 4/3rds? Difference in image quality? Sensor size? etc?

Thank you!

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drj3 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,437
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

nickels25 wrote:

Thank you! So the four-thirds lenses will work on the micro four-thirds E-M1? Without an adapter? Is there a big difference between four thirds and micro four thirds? ( I'm new to using Olympus)

You need the adapter (the adapter simply maintains the correct distance between the lens and sensor and passes through the electrical connections - difference between the DSLR lenses made for mirrored systems and mirror less).  The MMF-3 will maintain splash/dust proof for the splash/dust proof four thirds lenses.  Since the E-M1 has on sensor phase detection, all the four thirds DSLR lenses originally made for four thirds DSLRs will focus with good speed on the E-M1.  I personally generally use the four thirds 12-60 f2.8-4 and the 50-200 f2.8-3.5 on the E-M1.

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drj3

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Caledonia Regular Member • Posts: 139
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

You must use a four-thirds-to-micro-four-thirds adapter such as the Olympus MMF-3 in order to use four thirds lenses on a micro four thirds camera such as the E-M1.  If you do so, all the first-order functions of the lens will be retained:  autofocus, exposure control, and so on.  There may be differences in function and performance when the lens is mounted on a micro-four-thirds body with adapter instead of a four-thirds body, depending on the specific lens, body, and light available for photography.  You can search through the threads here on DPReview to learn about the detailed differences.  I suggest that you evaluate all such information with reasoned skepticism.

Both Olympus and Panasonic make these adapters, and they are essentially interchangeable.  The Olympus MMF-3 is described as weathersealed, and this may be of interest if you plan to use your E-M1 with a weatherproof lens, as you'll a weathersealed adapter to retain the E-M1's weatherproof integrity.

OP nickels25 Regular Member • Posts: 145
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

Thank you! That's very helpful!

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djbrom
djbrom Senior Member • Posts: 1,322
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.

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SkiHound Veteran Member • Posts: 3,119
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1
1

Well, I do think it really depends on the individual and what they shoot. Here are a few more thoughts. If I could only have 1 lens it would the 12-40. It's like an f/2.8 version of a 12, 14, 17, and 25 (all very popular prime focal lengths), plus it gets you out to 40 which is getting into decent portrait length. And it's optically very good. Then, for most people, the two lenses I think of as being most useful are either a longer zoom, or a fast aperture normalish focal length prime. A longer zoom clearly covers focal lengths not covered by the standard zoom. The 40-150 needs pretty good light. Like all of the kit type tele-zooms the maximum apertures are pretty slow. It's small, light, and if you have enough light to keep the shutter speed up, it's offers very good IQ for the money. And it can often be purchased for $150 or so, so a real bargain. I think lots of folks like the one of the comparable Panny zooms, but I don't recall the specific one and have never used any of them). While the 12-40 is pretty fast if you're shooting in low light it's really nice to have a fast prime. The PL 25mm f/1.4 gives you a full 2-stops compared to the 12-40, the Oly 25 or 17 give you 1.3 stops. Plus they are much smaller, and lighter. I think for most general purpose photography, that kind of kit gives lots of versatility. Now if you're doing wild life you're going to want something longer. If you're primarily doing portraiture a lens like the 45 or 75 would be your friend, etc. I think a pretty good strategy is to start with a lens like the 12-40 and then figure out what you you need.

pede59 Senior Member • Posts: 1,555
Re: Good lenses with Olympus OM-D EM-1

nickels25 wrote:

Thank you,

do you have a link to the Sigma 60 mm 2.8 for m4/3?

One thread in this forum:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53790960

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