Best micro four thirds lenses — 2021

MFT, or micro four thirds, is a popular mount style used by many manufacturers in conjunction with the micro 4/3 sensor. It’s good to keep in mind that micro four thirds camera systems use a smaller sensor. To get MFT equivalent focal length to a full-frame sensor, you’d need to double the MFT length. So that means that a 25mm MFT lens provides the same angle of view as a 50mm full-frame lens, or a 12-45mm MFT is like a 24-90mm full-frame, etc. You can also check out our Best Lenses buyer’s guide to learn more about what to look for in a lens.

Best budget prime

Meike MK-25mm f/1.8

The Meike 25mm f/1.8 packs a huge punch into a compact and affordable package. With an equivalent focal length of 50mm on full-frame, this lens could easily be thought of as the MFT version of a ‘thrifty fifty.’ It fills a key spot in lens kits with a classic focal length that is similar to the average human field of view.  

For the $75 price, you might not expect the solid metal build. But it has a surprisingly sturdy metal build that feels solid in the hand and impressively sharp image quality stretching from corner to corner.  

With a range of f/1.8 – f/16, this glass is fast enough for most low light situations, although it should be noted that videographers would do well to keep strong ND filters on hand for shooting with it in daylight. The aperture ring itself is click-less, making for smoother transitions when adjusting it while shooting.  

All in all, if you’re shooting micro four thirds, it’s hard to get more bang for your buck than the Meike MK 25mm f/1.8. 

Best budget zoom

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO Lens

If you need a micro four thirds zoom that’s friendly on the wallet, look no further than the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO Lens. The lens is handy for any micro four thirds shooter, covering a respectable range of lengths with a decent max aperture. 

As one of the physically smallest lenses in Olympus’s entire PRO line, its compact size makes it friendly for many environments. However, people who shoot with it will want to remember that since there is no internal zoom, the lens element sticks out more as you zoom in which can affect balance on gimbals and other stabilizers. But on the other hand, the constant f/4 aperture across the entire zoom range is a bonus. 

It’s not the fastest lens. It doesn’t have the widest range or provide the absolute sharpest image. But the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO Lens is an all-in-one workhorse that does a wide range of tasks. A tool like that should never be overlooked, especially at that price point. 

Best budget cine

Rokinon Cine DS

Rokinon’s Cine DS line is a great entry point into the world of cine lenses.  

Cine lenses are often considered a step up from the usual photography lenses when it comes to film production and some videography. Some features that make the Rokinon Cine DS stand out from photo lenses are the long pull on the focus ring and the deep teeth on both the focus and aperture rings. Having a longer pull means it takes more movement of the focus ring to achieve a change in the focal plane, which in turn allows for much more smooth focus pulls when shooting video. The deep teeth on the focus and aperture rings also make it easier for accessories to grip the teeth if you wanted a focus puller or something similar.  

The Rokinon Cine DS comes as a series of fully manual prime lenses, from 14mm all the way to 135mm, and T-stops ranging from T1.5 to T2.2 

The Rokinon Cine DS lenses can be bought individually, or in bundles of 4 or 5. it’s less common to find all the lenses in one kit.  Prices range from $400 and up on single lenses in this family, with bundles of 4 being around $2000. With Rokinon Cine lenses, you’re getting great cine glass at a relatively affordable price.  

Best wide prime

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO

You want wide? This is wide. 8mm Fisheye, which of course translates to 16mm equivalent on full-frame. This lens creates highly stylized images with distinct distortion — think Spike Jones’ early Beastie Boys videos — but that’s exactly the look you’re going for if you shoot a fisheye. It can change and warp perspectives and is better suited for artistic and creative expression rather than realism. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a great lens.  

Olympus’ M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO pairs a 180-degree angle of view with a bright f/1.8 max aperture. It makes use of three Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, two ED elements, and one Super HR (high refractive index) two HR elements, all to minimize aberrations, unwanted distortion, and color fringing, and in turn creating better sharpness, color rendering, and clarity. It uses ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to combat lens flare and ghosting.  

This lens uses Olympus’ Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) focus-by-wire system, which they designed with options to suit both photographers and videographers. It can focus as close as 4.7’’, and is dust, splash and freezeproof. It should be noted that this lens has a convex element which means you can’t attach screw-on glass filters, although you can still use alternatives like 100mm squares. 

Best normal prime

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO is a high-speed prime with a fantastic optical design. It’s a great lens for micro four thirds camera systems. This lens finds itself squarely in the range of ‘normal’ focal length when considering its full-frame equivalent and can stop down to f/16.

This lens packs 19 elements into its weather-sealed construction. This internal glass includes LD, aspheric and high refractive index elements, each of which does its part to help the lens cut down on chromatic and spherical aberrations. Z Coating Nano has also been applied to cut down on flare and ghosting.  

All those elements are packed into a 3.43’’/87mm-long, weather-sealed body, weighing only 14.46oz/410g. The blazing-fast f/1.2 aperture lets in tons of light for tough shooting conditions and produces a smooth blur when using selective focus techniques, thanks to a rounded, 9-blade diaphragm.  

The MSC focus-by-wire system works well for both photo and video applications, or you can get even more precise with manual focus override.  

Best telephoto prime

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO

Olympus takes its winning formula and applies it to the 45mm micro four thirds space, creating this telephoto prime. This is the third of three primes in this Olympus lens series, follow the 25mm.  

The Olympus pro primes are built with great quality. It uses an all-metal build, 3.34’’/84.9mm long and weighing 14.46oz/410g, which puts this lens right about the same size as the 25mm. It also uses the focus-by-wire MSC system, which allows the lens to be smaller and lighter than a mechanical autofocus system would, but some shooters don’t like the functionality of focus-by-wire as much. Luckily, some of that is mitigated with the on-lens Manual Clutch ring that makes it easy to engage manual control.  A customizable function button puts control of your choice right there on the lens.  

This lens does not have image stabilization, which is normally used to gain a few stops of light when shooting handheld. However, with such a fast aperture, you already can get plenty of light, so in-lens stabilization might not be necessary. With no zoom element, this lens works well with gimbals and other camera stabilizers anyhow.  

Best wide zoom

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

Olympus seems to be dominating the micro four thirds lens category with yet another stunner. This time, best wide zoom, going to the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens.  

We’re sure by now you’re getting a feel for the punch Olympus Pro lenses pack. The body is weather-sealed in 11 places to resists moisture and dust. The solid construction and highly functional form factor. The stunning optics that benefit from coatings and treatments to aim to provide great color rendition and sharp images while minimizing, ghosting, fringing, aberrations and the like.  

This lens takes all that goodness and comes in the wide-zoom package in a 7-14mm MFT that shoots as bright as f/2.8 across the entire length. This lens does, however, have a curved front glass element and attached lens hood, which make it so you can’t attach screw-on filters. So if you wanted to use filters, you’d need another extra system to attach them.  

All said, this is a great lens, with a quality build, and versatile enough applications to see a lot of use. Definitely a lens for MFT shooters to keep in their bag. 

Best normal zoom

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO

The normal range zoom lens is what many shooters use as a go-to daily lens, also known as your ‘walking-around lens’. With the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, Olympus has put its best foot forward. 

With a great range spanning from the edges of wide to the edges of telephoto (24-80mm full-frame equivalent), this lens is versatile. It has a fast, f/2.8 aperture across the entire zoom range which is good in low light conditions. That’s the basics that we want in a workhorse lens, but there’s more.  

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO makes use of 14 glass elements, including one ED, two aspherical, one DSA (Dual Super Aspherical), two extra-low dispersion, one H, and two HR (high refractive index) to achieve stunning imagery, and minimize aberration, fringing, and distortion, while simultaneously helping sharpness, color accuracy and clarity.  

This lens also uses the MSC focusing system, with a manual override clutch to take control whenever you want. Additionally, it features a programable lens function button that the user can set to whatever they want. 

Best telephoto zoom

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II POWER O.I.S.

Panasonic makes its debut on our Best Lenses list, scoring best telephoto for the MFT mount system with their Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II POWER O.I.S. Lens.  

So, of course, the full-frame equivalent would be a 70-200mm f/2.8, a very popular range and speed for professional gear, and this lens fits right in. Panasonic has used 18 elements, including ED and Ultra ED elements as well as Nano Surface Coating to achieve great optical quality by reducing aberrations, fringing, ghosting and flare.  

This lens uses a linear autofocus motor that provides quiet, smooth, and accurate focusing, suitable for photo or video work. For in-lens stabilization, it employs the POWER Optical Image Stabilizer and offers Dual I.S. functionality to achieve even better performance.  

This all comes wrapped in case that dust, splash and freeze-proof, allowing shooters to work in otherwise challenging environments. The lens is 3.93’’/99.9mm and weighs in at 12.59oz/357g.  

Best cine lenses

Fujinon MK

These Cine lenses are absolute beasts. Fujinon offers an 18-55mm T2.9 and a 50mm-135mm T2.9 for MFT mounts although they cover an entire Super35 sensor size. Between them, you have a ton of range. The longer lens is the less expensive of the two by just a bit. 

The rings on these lenses feature Cine gearing with a .8 MOD for attaching standard cine accessories. The long pull of the focus ring offers two hundred degrees of rotation. The iris on these lenses is de-clicked for smooth aperture pulls. They produce no noticeable focus breathing. 

The lens color is matched with other Fujinon lenses, making it easy to swap between MK and HK, ZK, or XK lenses if you need. And gearing positions are standardized between the MK series which makes it easy to switch out lenses during a shoot by saving time on adjusting accessories.  

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