Best Micro Four Thirds lenses for Olympus Cameras 2018

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The Micro Four Thirds system is notoriously based around a comparatively compact image sensor, in comparison to full-frame cameras, with a 2.0x crop factor. This allows mirrorless cameras from Olympus to be refreshingly lightweight and compact – and the same benefit applies to Micro Four Thirds lenses.

That’s for two factors. First, the image circle generated by the lens only needs to be a fraction of the size of a full-frame lens, so the optical elements can be designed with a comparatively small size. Second, the actual focal length for any given type of lens is halved. For example, a 35-150mm telephoto zoom would give you the same ‘efficient’ range as using a 70-300mm lens on a full-frame outfit. Once again, the physical structure of the MFT format lens will be more compact and lighter in weight.

Olympus is the main manufacturers of MFT format lenses. Most Olympus lenses depend on in-camera, sensor-shift stabilization. Let’s have a look at the best Micro Four Thirds lenses in all of the main shooting types, along with some top-value alternatives that give an amazing performance on a tighter budget.

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Last updated on October 15, 2018 11:05 pm

1. Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7‑14mm 1:2.8 PRO

  • Type: Zoom
  • Sensor size: MFT
  • Focal length: 7-14mm
  • Effective focal length: 14-28mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Image stabilizer: No
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.2m
  • Filter size: N/A
  • Dimensions: 79x106mm
  • Weight: 534g

When the crop factor of MFT format cameras boosts the telephoto skills of lenses, it tends to make the design of ultra-wide optics more of a concern. The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7‑14mm 1:2.8 PRO is an amazing wide zoom lens with a lowest focal length of just 7mm, providing an unbelievable 114-degree viewing angle, identical to using a 14mm lens on full-frame cameras.

Like other lenses in the M.ZUIKO PRO line-up, it’s immaculately switched out, with fantastic build quality. Contrast and sharpness are exceptional, while color fringing and distortions are minimal. As with many ultra-wide lenses, however, the hood is built-in so there’s no filter attachment thread.

2. Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8

  • Type: Prime
  • Sensor size: MFT
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • Effective focal length: 50mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
  • Image stabilizer: No
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.25m
  • Filter size: 46mm
  • Dimensions: 58x42mm
  • Weight: 137g

Measuring a simple 58x42mm and showing the weighing scales at just 137g, this small lens feels perfect at home on even the most compact MFT format body. Like the Olympus 17mm prefer for street photography, this one is offered in either a silver or black finish, and the hood is sold individually. Normally, the 2x crop factor of MFT cameras offers this lens an effective 50mm focal length, providing a classic ‘standard’ viewing angle with a pretty fast f/1.8 aperture rating.

Image quality is amazing in all respects. Looking at the prices of Canon and Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lenses for full-frame cameras, the Olympus doesn’t look fantastic value. On the other hand, its performance fully justifies the selling price.

3. Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm 1:2.8 MACRO

  • Type: Prime
  • Sensor size: MFT
  • Focal length: 60mm
  • Effective focal length: 120mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
  • Image stabilizer: No
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.19m
  • Filter size: 46mm
  • Dimensions: 56x82mm
  • Weight: 185g

Olympus MSC ED M. 60mm f/2.8 Lens
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A focal length close to 100mm is often recommended for excessive close-up ‘macro’ photography. Because of this lens’s shorter focal length, the minimum focus distance falls from about 30cm to 20cm. However, those ranges are measured from the focal plane, which matches to the location of the image sensor at the rear of the camera. With the more compact build of MFT cameras and lenses, the genuine working distance between the front of the lens and the subject stays completely functional, at about 10cm.

One more bonus is that the 2x crop factor of the MFT format efficiently increases the maximum zoom factor from 1:1 to 2:1, or dual life-size. The outstanding quality of the weather-sealed construction is a credit to Olympus’s line-up of ‘Premium’ lenses, and the smart focus distance/magnification indicator is a reward. Image quality is excellent overall, and the electronically coupled ‘fly-by-wire’ focus ring performs with sleek precision. It’s terrific for macro focusing, where you’ll often want to focus yourself. All things regarded, this is, without doubt, the best macro lens on the industry for the MFT system.