Picking the best micro 4 3 lens for your (Micro Four Thirds & MFT for short) camera is about knowing your needs. For some, versatility is everything. One might want a camera with a great zoom range, meaning one can always punch in to those distant moments. For others, low light or video shooting may be a priority, and if this is the case, one will want to opt for a prime lens with a low f-stop. No matter your needs, there are a great variety of MFT lenses on the market. While they tend to be cheaper on a whole than lenses for larger DSLRs, their quality also tends to be better for the price; they tend to have better value. This list is proof positive that shooting MFT doesn’t mean one has limiting options for glass.
Here are the top 10 best MFT lenses from highest to lowest price.
1. Lumix GX Vario Lens 12-35mm f2.8
With solid range, unreal sharpness, no chromatic aberration, and decent speed, this is a great lens. It offers a range of borderline fisheye to medium wide-angle and outstanding optics. Users love its superb build quality. It also boasts glare reduction which helps prevent the sun from ruining your images. Another great benefit is this lens has image stabilization. As with most Lumix lens, it’s also weather and dust-proof. For those who need a top of the line lens capable of video recording (its AF motor is virtually silent) and for photography use, this lens offers a lot of value.
- Praised as versatile, sharp, bright lens
- Power OIS image stabilization
- Ultra ED chromatic aberration
- Glare reducing construction
- Sharp at all focal lengths
- Said to be “a steal”
- Bokeh isn’t that great
- There are better lenses for low light
- Range is bigger on other lenses
- Some say zooming feels short
2. Lumix G 12-60mm f3.5-5.6
For those who need more range than the top lens on this list, this 12-60mm f3.5-5.6 is slightly slower but offers superb range, from extremely wide to telephoto. Like the above lens, it also boasts optical image stabilization, fast accurate auto-focus, and a high-quality construction. It’s dust-proof and weatherproof and built to last. Users love it for photography and videography use (though its slow speed will be limiting for certain capacities, such as low light on a GH4 or GH5).
- OIS feature helps prevent shaky images
- Splash and dust-proof body
- Versatile range
- Smooth aperture adjustment for video recording
- Praised as fast and sharp
- A small percentage of users had issues with image quality
- Some chromatic aberration in the blues
3. Rokinon 35mm f1.5
For those willing to shoot prime, this Rokinon 35mm f1.5 offers stunning optics and lightning speed with some minor tradeoffs. For photo shooters, this Cine lens lacks both aperture control from camera, and any kind of autofocusing features. It’s completely manual. That said, for those willing to forego their camera’s controls, users love the images this lens produces. It’s capable in lowlight and tack sharp. It’s best for video shooters who will be comfortable shooting manual.
- Includes removable hood, lens cap, lens pouch, and 1 year warranty
- De-clicked aperture
- Praised as extremely sharp and capable lens
- Prime lens, not zoomable
- Totally manual focus
- No aperture control from camera
- One user had issue with build quality
- Minimum focusing distance of .85 feet
4. Rokinon 12mm f2.0
For those who like it fast and wide, the Rokinon 12mm f2 may be what you’re after. Boasting an extremely wide angle focal length, it is very similar to the above lens otherwise; it’s completely manual, lacking both aperture control and focus control from the camera. That said, much like the lens above, it offers excellent sharpness. Still, at this exotic focal length, there are some drawbacks, namely notable vignetting at f2.0 (not present in the 35mm), and some users had issues with the placement of the aperture ring (still, one won’t need to adjust this terribly often). While it has some caveats compared to the 35mm, this lens offers great value and performance for those looking to take wide-angle shots and video.
Price: $299 (6 percent off MSRP)
- Minimum focusing distance of only 8 inches
- Ideal for mirrorless cameras
- Prime lens, not zoomable
- Great for low light & landscapes
- Praised as super cheap, fast, sharp wide-angle lens
- Strong vignetting at f2.0
- Completely manual lens
- One user had an issue with the aperture ring
- Some found manual focusing to be tough
5. Lumix G II. 45-200mm f4-5.6
For those who need superb range and don’t need the utmost in optical quality, this 45-200mm offers superb value. With a minimum focusing of 1m, it can even be used for macro photography (200mm is serious reach, after all). Users love it for its sharpness throughout the focal range and it’s praised as ergonomic and easy to use. It boasts snappy autofocus. For those who want to take shots of distant subjects, this lens offers image stabilization and solid quality optics in a package with a lot of bang for the buck.
- Minimum focus distance of one meter
- Sharps lens, versatile range
- Praised as indistinguishable from nice, more expensive lenses
- Compact with ergonomic zoom ring
- Great value
- On the slow side
- Not good for shallow depth of field
- Not sharp enough for a few users
- Hard to use when fully zoomed
6. Rokinon 85mm f1.5
For those who are comfortable with a Cine-style lens with telephoto qualities, this 85mm f1.5 offers superb sharpness and high quality optics. Like the above Rokinon lenses, it lacks autofocus or aperture control from camera. If you can deal with these tradeoffs, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderfully sharp, fast lens, with beautiful bokeh.
- Sharp lens, even wide open
- Solid build
- Includes high quality lens cap
- Smooth focusing and aperture rings
- Great optics and bokeh for the price
- Prime lens no zooming
- A small percentage of users had issues with durability
- Minimum focus distance of one meter
- On the heavy side
7. Lumix GII 20mm f1.7
For those who want a sharp, prime lens, but don’t want to deal with manual focus or aperture, this Lumix lens may just be the best micro 4 3 lens. Users love its bokeh and color. It’s praised as ideal in low light, small, and portable, almost like Canon’s “pancake” lenses. It doesn’t zoom and isn’t practical for macro photography (.6 foot minimum focusing distance), but beyond these caveats, this lens is great for photographs and videographers who need something fast, wide, and that works automatically.
- Superb prime lens with excellent speed
- Great color with nice bokeh
- Affordable price
- Autofocus and aperture control
- Praised as having great low light performance
- Small, light, and portable
- One user had an issue with the autofocus
- Some found depth of field to be too shallow
8. Sigma 30mm f2.8 EX
For those who want a quiet lens for videography, this Sigma lens delivers. Boasting autofocus and aperture control, this affordable lens offer users great value. Image quality and color are loved by users, and at f2.8, it may not be a lowlight king, but it’s on the fast side. It’s a great choice for creamy profile shots. One drawback is the large minimum focusing distance, which limits this lens for macrophotography. Otherwise, it’s a great budget option to add to one’s kit.
- Faster than most kits lenses at f2.8
- Great choice for medium, creamy profile shots
- Users love its autofocus
- Claimed to be a great value
- Image quality is clear and free of chromatic aberration
- Great quality of color
- Minimum focusing distance of about one foot
- One user had an issue with durability
9. Lumix G 25mm f1.7
For those who don’t mind shooting slightly wider, the 25mm f1.7 is hard to beat. Offering aperture control, autofocus that works great for video and photos, and beautiful bokeh, this lens is essentially the MFT answer to “the nifty fifty.” It’s lightweight, compact, and a great beginner lens to add to one’s arsenal.
Price: $147.99 (41 percent off MSRP)
- Lightweight, compact lens
- Quiet stepper motor great for photography and video
- High-speed contrast AF system
- Praised as fast and sharp
- On the wide side
- Some users found image quality poor
- One user found AF to be too slow and to “hunt” often
10. Olympus Zuiko 45mm f1.8 (International Version)
Users love this lens for its fast speed and ridiculously sharp focus. It brings photos to life, particularly portraits. Users love it for its fast autofocus and solid range. It’s also loved for video, since it’s focusing is on the quiet side. Some minor downsides include a lack of IS and a plastic build. That said, it is lightweight and durable, all things considered. If you’re looking to up your portrait game or need a fast telephoto lens, this is a great way to go.
Image sample via flickr (via CC)
Bonus: The Cheap and Practical, Olympus 40-150mm f4.0-5.6
For those looking to take telephoto shots on the cheap, this Olympus lens is the way to go. With an 80-300mm equivalency, this sniper rifle offers portable design, a high quality zoom ring, and an unreal price. Users love it for sports, portraits, and shot of wildlife. While it may not offer the best optical quality, most found it very solid. It’s certainly a cheap addition to those looking to try telephoto photography or videography.
Price: $99 (50 percent off MSRP)
- 3.75x zoom lens
- Lightweight and portable design
- Dirt cheap, great range
- Auto-focus is nearly silent, good for video
- .9 meter focus range
- Hunts for focus in low light
- One user had an issue with build quality
- Very few users said they required a more high quality lens
Still looking for the right micro four thirds lens? Browse more top-rated MFT lenses on Amazon.