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Micro 4:3 lenses: overview, specifications. Micro Four Thirds System
Micro 4:3 lenses: overview, specifications. Micro Four Thirds System

Micro Four Thirds System is the most common portable system camera format jointly developed by Panasonic and Olympus. He entered the market for mirrorless cameras and lenses for them at least a year before the first real competitor appeared. The superiority and the presence of not one, but two large manufacturers is the main advantage of MFT technology. This becomes evident, for example, when comparing lens catalogues. Micro 4:3 has over 75 optics available from both Panasonic and Olympus and third-party manufacturers including Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, Voigtlander, and more. This provides a large selection. Therefore, you should listen to the advice of professionals in order to make the right decisions about buying the best MFT lenses. Below are the most worthy models produced in accordance with this standard. Using adapters to Micro 4:3 allows you to install lenses with Leica M, Four Thirds and Olympus OM mounts.

Leica 200mm ƒ2.8

This is a silent telephoto lens for Panasonic and Olympus mirrorless cameras, where its equivalent focal length reaches400 mm. Mounts with a standard Micro 4:3 mount. Optical quality for near and far subjects is excellent across the frame, even at wide apertures, and the minimum focusing distance of just over 1m allows for impressive close-ups. Leica also includes a 1.4x teleconverter that converts the lens to ƒ4/280mm (560mm equivalent). This essentially matches the reach and aperture of the Olympus 300mm ƒ4, and is very much in line with its quality. This flexibility while maintaining a high standard appeals to many. If your budget allows and you prefer a focal length of 200-280mm over 300mm, then this lens is a great addition to your system.

Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8

Leica DG 8-18mm ƒ2.8-4

This is the fourth Micro 4:3 ultra-wide zoom lens and perhaps the most convincing to date. While it may not scale as well as the Olympus and Lumix 7-14mm models, the extra coverage at the longer end makes it more flexible, and the ability to install standard (or even serious ND) filters without vignetting has been appreciated by many photographers, especially those that use long exposure. A Leica lens at wide apertures may not be as sharp in the corners as the Olympus 7-14mm and doesn't have a constant f-number, but in turn is smaller, lighter and cheaper. The model outperforms the older Lumix 7-14mm ƒ4 by avoiding its purple artifact problems. Considering fast and quiet focusing, sealedbody with smooth adjustment rings, this is a lens that is easy to recommend. According to users, it is their favorite ultra-wide zoom for Panasonic and Olympus cameras, and a tempting upgrade for Lumix 7-14mm ƒ4 or Olympus 9-18mm owners.

Leica DG 100-400mm ƒ4-6.3

This is a super telephoto zoom for the Micro 4:3 system. Designed for Olympus and Panasonic Lumix bodies, the lens offers a 200-800mm equivalent range with wider coverage than any other lens, making it ideal for wildlife photographers. It features high quality lenses and build compared to existing telephoto lenses, although it costs much more. A cheaper alternative is the still unbeatable Lumix 100-300mm, but if Leica is affordable, then you have to ask yourself if it's worth getting a little closer to the Olympus 300mm ƒ4 Prime. But if you need a high-quality super-telephoto zoom, then this model will provide everything you need, filling an important gap in the MFT catalog.

Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4

Leica DG 12mm ƒ1.4

This is a high-end MFT lens that delivers classic 24mm coverage. Olympus and Samyang offer cheaper, lighter, smaller 12mm lenses, but the Summilux is a step brighter, sharper in the corners at maximum aperture, and the only one that's dust and splash resistant. It's about twice as expensive as Olympus, so it's up to you to see if its benefits will be claimed. Ultimately Summilux is a premium silent lenswhich does what it is supposed to do and is a welcome addition to the extensive MFT catalog.

Olympus 8mm ƒ1.8 Fisheye

This is the first f1.8 fisheye lens that allows you to shoot in low light without increasing sensitivity. Even at full aperture, the optic delivers very sharp detail in corners, making it a great choice for interior photography. It is great for action and extreme sports, still image and video shooting, especially since its body is protected from dust and moisture. Many people are skeptical about the usefulness of this type of lens, but the Fisheye delivers much more than expected in terms of aperture, quality and build. They make it much more flexible than low-aperture models. An alternative is the inexpensive Samyang 8mm ƒ3.5 lens.

Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO

Olympus 7-14mm ƒ2.8

Ultra wide-angle zoom provides a range of 14-28mm (equivalent) with a constant aperture of f2.8. Its specs are on par with the Lumix G 7-14mm, but it's brighter and boasts some weather protection. Like the Lumix G, a built-in hood means there's no standard filter thread on the front, but third-party lens adapters (like Lee's) can be purchased. The larger aperture and stiffer design means it's larger, heavier and more expensive than its counterpart. However, the lens is a step up in every way and is free of purple reflections,suffered by Lumix on some cases.

Lumix 30mm ƒ2.8 Macro

It is undeniable that this is the most advantageous high-end macro optic. This is arguably the cheapest way to enjoy true 1:1 autofocus reproduction on one of the best Micro 4:3 lenses, and the manufacturer didn't seem to compromise on quality. Users consider the only drawback of the model to be the lack of a focus limiter, which could improve AF speed for non-macro shots, but even with the full focus range, AF is fast enough. Considering its near-standard coverage makes it the most flexible of the 3 MFT macro lenses, it is a very attractive option for Panasonic or Olympus owners interested in close-up photography.

Panasonic LUMIX G 42.5mm f/1.7

Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm ƒ1.7

This is a short telephoto lens that takes on the hugely popular Olympus 45mm ƒ1.8. In user testing, the Lumix delivers greater sharpness in corners at large apertures and is able to focus much closer, double-duty as a primary macro lens. It has optical stabilization (for owners of Panasonic cases without this functionality). While the lens outperforms the Olympus in many tests, the latter provides better rendering of out-of-focus areas and is typically sold at a heavy discount. Both models are excellent choices and are highly recommended by the pros.

Olympus 40-150mm ƒ2.8 Pro

This is a high-end telephoto lens with a fixed aperture of f2.8. The 80-300mm (50mm equivalent) range is ideal for portrait, outdoor, wildlife and sports photography. The lens is fast, dustproof and waterproof, and delivers very sharp and high-contrast images in the corners even at maximum aperture. The focal range is much longer than the competing Lumix 35-100mm ƒ2.8, although its physical dimensions are larger. Many people prefer to shoot with faster lenses to achieve a shallower depth of field, but if the capabilities of the lens seem sufficient, then it is worth including in your collection.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7

Panasonic Leica 15mm ƒ1.7

This is a high quality general purpose lens for Olympus and Panasonic cameras, priced below alternatives. Its 30mm full-frame equivalent focal length is unique. However, it is ideal for universal optics. The lens is a bit wide for traditional portraits, but landscapes, architecture and even shallow depth of field shots are within its remit, and the optical quality is a step up from comparable focal length alternatives. Pros advise using the Summimux 15mm if your budget allows, instead of the cheaper Olympus 17mm ƒ1.8. This is especially true for GM1 or GM5 owners as they pair well. If the lensOlympus Micro 4:3 17mm ƒ1.8 is already there, so buying Panasonic is hardly worth it. Of course, its optics are slightly better, but not enough to replace the alternative model.

Panasonic Leica 25mm ƒ1.4

This is a standard Micro 4:3 lens with an effective focal length of 50mm. It was the second model released by Panasonic under the Leica brand for the MFT. Leica designs the optics while Panasonic manufactures them in Japan. The build quality and adjustment ring are of a high standard and provide excellent results. Aperture ratio allows you to work in low light and get a shallow depth of field, which is great for close-up portraits. Owners report that they find it easier to photograph portraits of children with this lens than with longer focal lengths. However, some Olympus camera users report random noise during framing when adjusting the aperture. Several 25mm variants are now available for Micro Four Thirds, but many still remain loyal to this old but solid model.

Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2

Panasonic Leica 42.5mm ƒ1.2

Leica Nocticron is undoubtedly a high-end portrait lens. Its 42.5mm focal length is equivalent to 85mm full-frame, making it a classic choice for portraiture, while f1.2 aperture provides shallow depth of field. What's really impressive is how well the lens manages to sharpen corners even at maximumaperture, making it extremely useful in low light. Suffice it to say that unfocused areas are also exemplary. The only drawback, apart from the size, is the price corresponding to the high quality of the model. Luckily, there are plenty of great MFT short telephoto lenses in case the Nocticron is out of your pocket, but for those who demand the best, this is a must.

Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm ƒ4

MFT camera owners can choose from 3 ultra-wide zoom lenses, and each one is recommended by professionals. Lumix G 7-14mm with a range of 14-28mm (equivalent) delivers great results across the frame even at maximum aperture. It features a built-in lens hood that does a great job of protecting the optics from bumps, scratches and stray light. On the downside, you can't install filters without a homemade lens adapter, and Olympus body owners may suffer from purple artifacts when shooting bright lights. Priced between the less extreme 9-18mm and higher end 7-14mm ƒ2.8 optics, it remains a popular choice and a favorite of professional users.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 75mm f/1.8

Olympus M Zuiko Digital 75mm ƒ1.8

Japanese manufacturer continues to produce high-end lenses in a metal case. This model offers 150mm-equivalent wide-aperture telephoto shooting, making it ideal for serious portraiture as well as finely detailed landscapes and urban environments. Preservationaperture of f1.8 at a longer focal length has increased the cost (about double compared to 45mm ƒ1.8), and despite the solid construction, it is not sealed. Owners of Panasonic cameras should be aware that, like all Olympus lenses, there is no optical stabilization, so they need to shoot at a fairly fast shutter speed or on a tripod to avoid camera shake. But even with these reservations, the model remains very desirable, especially for serious portrait painters.

Olympus M Zuiko Digital 17mm ƒ1.8

This is a prime lens for general use. With a 34mm equivalent focal length, it provides a field of view that is almost identical to the classic 35mm optics adored by street photographers. Thus, it is wider than 50mm and does not suffer from the distortion of 28mm lenses. This makes it ideal for day to day use, and its light weight and small size mean it is unlikely to be noticed by the wearer. A large aperture is useful in low light and also allows you to create a bokeh effect, especially if the subject is close to the minimum focusing distance. With enough care with distance and composition, you can even shoot a portrait. The disadvantages of the lens include the optional lens hood, the lack of protection against dust and moisture, and a rather high cost. However, its quality is high, so it is most in demand, especially for those who have not yet acquired 20mm optics.

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