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Top 10 Native Micro Four Thirds Lenses 2012

by Orlando S. Gondar, Nov.24, 2012

I have narrowed down my top 10 lenses for those who are still not sure where to begin or new to MFT cameras, i hope this comes in handy. I should say first and for most that this list features native MFT lenses which can get pricey. I will being doing another article on non native budget lenses / there a are brilliant older manual lenses that can be had at a bargain to do alot of what these lenses can. For my own work i use a combination of none native lenses through adapter rings as much as i do native MFT lenses. These are some of the best Lenses i have used for my GH2, and will continue to on other MFT cameras such as the GH3. Need it be said that the list will be subjective to a degree because we all look for different qualities when it comes to our lenses, for example you may prefer a sharper look than i. I often prefer lenses that look organic but i do need that sharp modern glass for plenty of occasions. Feel free to post your favorite micro four thirds lens the comments. I will check out and even update the list if i agree after i “give it a shot” the ones below are the best of the ones i have shot personally so i could be missing a few.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH
Many have claimed this is the best MFT lens period. At the very least it is cceartainly gaining a large following. I still love my 20mm as much as i did when i first got it but its hard to put this one down. Often if i have to choose between the 20mm and this one, i end up with this one. At least when it comes to a gig. The focus is fast and you get a wonderful color rendition.

leica dg summilux 25mm f/1.4 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
F1.4 Brightness for Shallow
Low Distortion, Chromatic Aberration
UHR (Ultra High Refractive) Lens
Reduced Ghost and Flare for Clear Photos
Circular Aperture Diaphragm
Durable Metal Mount

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Asph. Lens

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Asph. Lens
This is a severely underrated lens! It has been compared the 20mm to death and the 20mm usually wins as this lens is not in the same league as the Panny 20 1.7 with the exception of size and build quality. However, after using both of them extensively i find i do like having the wider view. It is not easy to find wide and bright lenses for MFT! It has very fast and quiet auto focus, better than the 20mm, and the color rendition is good. However, on none panny or Lumix cameras the Chromatic Aberrations is noticeable and for some that can be a deal breaker. Overall though I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it, it is nicely

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
12-35mm Zoom (Equivalent to 24-70mm)
Micro 4/3 Mount
Nano Surface Coating Reduces Flare/Ghost
POWER O.I.S. Image Stabilization
Splash- and Dust-Proof Design
UED Lens Minimizes Chromatic Aberration
Circular Aperture Diaphragm
Constant f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
Lightweight–10.8 oz
Compact–2.9×2.7″

Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95

Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 Micro Four Thirds Lens
This is a wonderful fully manual lens for Micro Four Thirds . It looks great on your camera and is of a solid build, silky smooth focusing, tack sharp and is incredible low light producing beautiful bokeh. Voigtländer’s Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 Lens for Micro Four Thirds Cameras is a breathtaking wide angle lens that combines an extraordinary maximum aperture of F0.95 with a superb 10-blade diaphragm for magnificent low-light/shallow depth-of-field images — photographs or video. A selective aperture control system allows a continuous and soundless change of the aperture (and depth-of-field as well, of course). This manual focus lens (equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full-frame camera) focuses down to a very close 5.9″. The Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 is destined to become the standard wide angle, low-light, shallow depth-of-field lens for Micro Thirds camera users. It’s ready for its close-up.

Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
Ultra Fast f/0.95 25mm (50mm Equiv) Lens
Very Close Focus to 6.7″ (17 cm)
Solid, Metal Construction
Very Shallow Depth of Field Possible
Manual Focus

Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7

Panasonic Lumix 20mm 1.7

I consider 20mm f/1.7 a must have lens. It is very sharp, fast focus, useful focal length, it is well built and is small quiet at a decent price. It has consistent image quality along its entire aperture range and allows for low light capability. Because of its low light ability it is great as an always on lens especially when you end up indoors, so often 50mm is just a bit too long and you cant back up any more so this (after crop factor) 40mm length is perfect. I keep this as my always on lens when i go out. Quality is sharp, contrast is nice, just turn sharpness down in camera and its not too clinical. Main issues when shooting video is slower auto focus compared to the very similar 14mm but i tend to shoot manual 90% of the time so its not a big deal to me, it can however be frustrating a few times you need to use it if you are used to the faster offerings in that respect.

Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
Compact Pancake Style Lens
Micro Four Thirds Mount
Unique Manual Focus System
40mm Equivalent In 35mm Format
2 Aspheric Lens Elements
Minimum Focus Distance : 0.66′/0.2 m

Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5 G Aspherical Lens

Panasonic Lumix 14mm 2.5
This is a severely underrated lens! It has been compared the 20mm to death and the 20mm usually wins as this lens is not in the same league as the Panny 20 1.7 with the exception of size and build quality. However, after using both of them extensively i find i do like having the wider view. It is not easy to find wide and bright lenses for MFT! It has very fast and quiet auto focus, better than the 20mm, and the color rendition is good. However, on none panny or Lumix cameras the Chromatic Aberrations is noticeable and for some that can be a deal breaker. Overall though I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it, it is nicely priced wide prime that is extremely light.

Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
Lightest Single Focal Length Lens
28mm Wide Angle (35mm Camera Equivalent)
Fast, Bright F2.5 Maximum Aperture
3 Aspherical Lenses for Superb Quality
High-Speed, Silent Contrast AF
Circular Aperture Diaphragm
Multi-Coated Lens Elements
Durable Metal Mount

Compatible W/ Lumix G Micro 4/3 Cameras

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0 Lens

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0 Lens

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
12mm Focal Length (35mm equiv: 24mm)
Aperture Range: f/2.0-22.0
Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:12.5
ED Glass Reduces Chromatic Aberrations
Accepts 46mm Filters
Movie & Still Compatible (MSC)

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 Lens

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 Lens

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
90mm Equivalent (in 35mm Format) Lens
Wide f/1.8 Aperture for Low-Light Photos
Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) Lens
Near-Silent Autofocus for Stills & Video
Two Extra-High Refractive Lenses

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 Lens

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 LensThis lens is very sharp and has a very smooth focus to it. The Bokeh is also great, ill find or shoot a video soon, i have only rented it a couple of times myself but i do agree its one to look at as one of the best native lenses built for MFT.

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 is available @ AMAZON, BHPHOTOVIDEO, ADORAMA

Highlights
Fast 75mm f/1.8 Telephoto Lens
Equivalent to 150mm in 35mm Format
Compact (2.7×2.5″), Lightweight (10.7oz)
Fast, Quiet Autofocusing Ideal for Video
Three ED Elements Correct Aberrations
Lens Coating Reduces Reflectance

To be continued…

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11 Comments


    • William
      Reply Cancel Reply
    • January 25, 2013

    Mine is more of a question. I'm looking at either getting a gh2 and giving it a hack ( not sure which one) or a gh3. My goal is to shoot home interiors with available light. I would like to get the sharpest images with the most/smoothest amount of color gradation while panning across rooms. I'm guessing 60fps will help at 720p at least if not 1080p. So which camera would you think would best fit my shooting need? Sincerely, William

      • Orlando S. Gondar
        Reply Cancel Reply
      • January 26, 2013

      *Please post comments like this on their respective posts!* The GH3 has a little better dynamic range and is smoother featuring 60p at 1080 resolution. The GH2 can only do 60p that at 720p. You don't need to guess just look up the specs on either camera. Sharpness is largely a matter of the lens and not the camera, especially in this comparison of gh2 vs gh3. Both are nice and sharp images from the sensor including the gh2 before the hack as well as after. The GH2 is very close in color smoothness especially with the simulated 444 color patches. Most of these details are a matter of looking up both spec sheets for the cameras. What camera fits your needs? you didn't tell me your needs besides shooting in doors, what about your budget? The GH2 quality is nearly identical if you know what you are dong, making it similar quality at half the price! Also when do you want to or need to start shooting? GH3 could be weeks, GH2 is readily available. If you can wait i would say go for the GH3, nice improvements but video quality is so similar you may not want to pay twice as much.

    • CREP'S
      Reply Cancel Reply
    • February 18, 2013

    "The GH2 is very close in color smoothness especially with the simulated 444 color patches." Hi, What do you mean by 4.4.4 colors patches? Any link? GH2 shoots in 4.2.0 colors...even with the Vitali and Driftwood's hacks. The last new one are really amazing of quality AND STABILITY for a reasonable space (i frames only , around 50mbs, better quality than GH3 firmware). http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/5806/driftwood-cluster-x-moon-%D0%85r%D1%96zznebula-drewnet

      • Orlando S. Gondar
        Reply Cancel Reply
      • March 27, 2013

      I am well aware of the GH2 hacks and i've written many of my own. Driftwood is king especially with the one i mentioned but you cant seem to find it. I am well aware of how it stacks to the gh3 as well, Thank You... believe me i've run my own numerous EXTENSIVE tests. I frame encoding is better in GH2 but im sticking with my GH3 for superior everything else especially post production latitude which is key for any project. The simulated 444 color ones i mentioned... so you can find them better are within the Apocalypse series posts by Driftwood, with the sharp 2 matrix being my favorite. Research other posts than the one you linked me to, that is but one of MANY. I never said the GH2 didn't shoot 4.2.0 ... you are misquoting me the key word was SIMULATED , not actual... but SIMULATED 444 color and smoothness, Really pushing the GH2 to new heights.

    • roger cooke
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    • April 30, 2013

    Great information, Thanks. Have you seen anything on lens production variability? I can't escape feeling that my 20mm 1.7 is a bit of a dud. I've never had the wow I had the first time I mounted the 25mm 1.4, or the 14-45mm for that matter.

      • Orlando S. Gondar
        Reply Cancel Reply
      • May 2, 2013

      Not sure what to tell you i've shot films that got on the big screen, commercials for clients and tv, music videos, and over 20 thousand photos with my 20mm 1.7 many of which were paid projects. It's my always on lens so... Production variability? Maybe its not as interesting in its bokeh or other qualities but i doubt you have a dud... its what you do with it that counts!

    • Reply Cancel Reply
    • September 6, 2013

    I want to make the final decision ...Do you buy a camera LUMIX GH2 or CANON 60D My work is mainly to news reports, documentaries, etc. But very important the quality and accuracy of the image to be found in the camera What do you recommend

    • Personally i did all of that work with a gh2, its only this year im on a GH3. Gh2 was ridiculously versatile. Hack it!

    • fgd
      Reply Cancel Reply
    • February 6, 2014

    Hi I'm just a casual videographer just for fun and share with friends and family. I have a hacked gh2. Have you tried the cinemorph filter from vid atlantic? I want to get a softer image. I think my FD 50mm 1.4 shows the best results for this. I'm wondering if that filter could bring a nice improvement to this lens and perhaps to the 14-140 kit lens. Apart from the Voigtlander, would you recommend any alternative for a fast wide lens? (A cheaper option perhaps?) Thanks.

    • Well the Voigtlander is much more expensive than the other must have 20mm 1.7 lumix lens which is much cheaper. not to mention your fd 50mm turns into a telephoto 100mm while the 20mm will look significantly wider at 40mm after the crop, at 1.7 its not a bad option for wide and bright. Its a tricky combo to find on the cheap end but i consider that 20mm a must have. I dont have anything wider at the moment! Occasionally i rent a 12mm olympus but only when i know i wont have the room to move around with the 20mm. Thats for my personal work, professionally speaking i rent so i cant recommend cheap options there. Sorry if that doesn't help =/

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