Lens for Micro 4/3 Cameras

posted on 4th of april, 2012

Micro four thirds is a camera standard or design created via a partnership between Olympus and Panasonic. The design does away with the mirror and prism system found on traditional DSLRs so the result are very compact cameras.

Camera mounts can be used to marry traditional or legacy lens to M4/3 cameras or of course the growing line of lens created for the M4/3 design are available from Olympus, Panasonic (with lens designed by Leica).

One of the big advantages of the M4/3 camera is the compactness of the lens. Because the len sits closer to the sensor, the effective focal distance doubles. So a 20mm M4/3 lens is the equivalent to a 40mm traditional lens.

Quite a number of the available M4/3 lens turn out to be a huge cost savings when you compare them to lens in traditional formats. For example the Panasonic 100-300mm is around $600. Compare that to the cost of a 200-600 mm lens from Cannon or Nikon.

Over the past year I've been taking images with a Panasonic DMC-G2 with a 12 mp sensor and recently upgraded to the DMC-G3 with a 16 mp sensor.

I ditched the kit lens as it wasn't sharp enough for consistent acceptance and currently have three M4/3 lens:

Panasonic 20mm f1.7 - Tiny "pancake" lens that's great for walking around town. Only issue is occasional lens flare issues in studio lights. Fantastic low light capabilities and boken or background blurring.

Blueberries - P 20mm 1-7mm

Panasonic 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 - This is the superior replacement to the current kit lens. Nothing overly exciting or exotic about this lens but its a good overall lens.

Dog Running - P 14-45mm

Panasonic 45-200mm f4.0-5.6 - very good on tripod. I've moved towards this as my favorite in the studio. I can get very sharp images out of this lens. Hand holding can be trickier unless you have enough light to use fast shutter speeds. A real bargain for around $250.

Using the LCD screen for touch focusing on the spot you want to focus is key to the great result. Relying on the camera to pick a focal point just ain't going to cut it.

Barnyard Chickens - P 45-200mm

So my point in writing this was to see what other's in the "M4/3 club" might think about M4/3 lens. Comment below and let me know what you think about your M4/3 lens...

Comments (10)

Posted by Peanutroaster on June 15, 2012
Update: I love my Rokinon FE75MFT-B 7.5mm Fish Eye. The colors I get out of this lens are great. Nice and bright. Sometimes the fisheye effect is weird but when it works with the scene its fantastic. You bearly have to focus this thing. Here is a new on with this lens:[imgl]25228057[/imgl]
Posted by Sobek85 on April 28, 2012
nice article
Posted by Peanutroaster on April 26, 2012
After a recent vacation week in Florida, my new fisheye for my G3 was a winner. I got lots of interesting stock shots. Unfortunately my "big" zoom the 45-200mm was a disappointment. I think it really is not that sharp at its maximum range, which I was using a lot trying to capture birds. Either that or I'm just not good a holding this long lens. I've gotten some very sharp shots using this lens but I had so many in my pile of 800 images that were not.
Posted by Cmoulton on April 06, 2012
I'm shooting with an Olympus EPL-1 right now, and it's an awesome little camera. Even with the kit lens, I usually don't have much noise to deal with, which is awesome. I carted this little camera all around NYC yesterday, on foot, and never got overly worn out carrying it. Can't say enough good about the micro 4/3. I LOVE it! Also, since I started shooting with it, my acceptance ratio has begun to climb steadily up... :)
Posted by Peanutroaster on April 05, 2012
I took the plunge and ordered the fisheye. Like you said - manual focus but immense depth of field makes it a non-issue. Off to Florida in a week so it will be fun to try it out.
Posted by Bradcalkins on April 05, 2012
I was thinking about the Oly 45mm 1.8 lens for a while. Everybody says it's awesome. My question is, doesn't it bother you that you lose the lens stabilisation if using it on Pana cameras?

To be honest, it isn't that big a deal so far, but I haven't used it much indoors. I think I'm headed to the OM-D for that reason and others...

@Peanutroaster - I went with the Pro-optic fisheye since I could also use it on my Canon (full manual focus and aperture). It is quite easy to focus given the immense depth of field. I wrote a blog on it, but not specific to MFT since I've mostly used it on my Canon : https://blog.dreamstime.com/2010/10/19/pro-optic-8mm-f/3.5-fisheye_art33629. The one you are talking about looks quite a bit smaller, though !
Posted by Gmargittai on April 05, 2012
I was thinking about the Oly 45mm 1.8 lens for a while. Everybody says it's awesome. My question is, doesn't it bother you that you lose the lens stabilisation if using it on Pana cameras?
Posted by Peanutroaster on April 05, 2012
I'm tempted by the $299 Rokinon FE75MFT-B 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye Lens for Micro Four Thirds - of so many lens. I have to sell some more images.
Posted by Peanutroaster on April 05, 2012
Thanks for setting me straight. I believe its true that M4/3 gives one generally more sharp depth of field, thus if you really want blurred backgrounds you need faster lens then you might think.
Posted by Bradcalkins on April 05, 2012
I've been using the 14-140mm kit lens (with the GH2) and the 20mm Panasonic prime for some time, but recently added the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. It is really a great lens, and will probably be the final thing that pushes me to drop 'down' to the smaller sensor format. Until this lens I just couldn't get that right amount of blur in the mid telephoto range for portraits. This lens is as sharp as any Canon prime I've used, and better wide open than something like the 50mm f/1.4. Here is a blog on it on my personal site: Olympus 45mm

One point/correction: the 2x factor is not a result of the shorter flange distance - it is simply that the sensor is smaller. A case in point is that you can take a lens from a larger format that is mounted no closer to the sensor and it still doubles the effective focal length. The main benefit of the short distance (other than smaller body size) is that short focal...(More)

Comments (10)

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Photo credits: Peanutroaster.

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