When it comes to the professional cameras which boast a top-notch image quality and premium features, many companies will always go for full-frame. However, some manufacturers like Panasonic and Olympus don’t like the idea of carrying around a heavy, juggernaut-like DSLR along with a huge telephoto lens around your neck all the time. It can be very exhausting and can sink all your hopes of buying a DSLR in water. Olympus and Panasonic are focused on manufacturing MFT mirrorless cameras, which are lightweight and have some of the most compact lenses out there.
In that regard, we’re going to talk about the best lenses for Olympus cameras in 2021. As we said, Olympus produces MFT (Micro Four Thirds) cameras that come with a smaller image sensor that sports a 2.0x crop factor, which is quite different compared to full-frame cameras.
Advantages of MFT Lenses
The main advantage of MFT lenses lies in their compactness. You don’t need to carry around a heavy lens, meaning that the strain on your neck and arm muscles is reduced. Secondly, the typical MFT lens is only a fraction of the full-frame lens, meaning that both dimensions and weight are reduced. And one of the best advantages of MFT lenses is the reduced focal length. Let’s use a simple example of a telephoto zoom lens. The typical focal length is 70-300mm for full-frame lenses, while the MFT lens will have a 35-150mm focal length. Luckily enough, the effect is the SAME for both of these.
Despite their smaller dimensions and weight, MFT lenses can have the same quality as the full-frame lenses. The build quality and design of such lens are usually at the highest level, and the image quality is almost always very good. Thanks to the compact design, a typical MFT lens can take advantage of an autofocus system that uses a stepping motor for delivering stunning performance in almost every given condition. On top of that, the autofocus process is almost silent, compared to some full-frame lenses.
Top 10 Best Lenses for Olympus DSLR Cameras in 2021
Landscape and Travel Photography
- Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro
- Olympus M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8
- Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8
- Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
Portrait and Outdoor Photography
Wildlife and Sports Photography
Landscape and Travel Photography
1. Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro
- 7 14 millimeter(14 28 millimeter 35 millimeter equivalent) lens with splash and dustproof construction. Angle of view 114° 75°
- Closest focusing distance at just under 7. 5 centimeter, maximum image magnification: 0. 12x, focal length: 7 14 millimeter
- Manual focus Clutch Mechanism and l fan button for assignable functions
The first lens on our list is no other than a fantastic wide-angle zoom lens, ideal for taking a crazy-looking panorama and landscape shots. This MFT lens comes with a well-known crop factor that enhances the telephoto capabilities of this lens, making it a bit more viable option for capturing wildlife and sports events. Yet, with its tiny focal length of 7mm, it aims to deliver a 114-degree viewing angle and is able to capture all those landscape details with ease. Another great thing about this lens is its f/2.8 aperture which is constant and doesn’t fail to deliver astonishing image quality.
When it comes to contrast and sharpness, we can pretty much say this is one of the best lenses on our list. The pictures turn out almost noise-free, with a minimum amount of distortions. Unfortunately, the lens doesn’t include any kind of image stabilizer, so you’ll definitely need a tripod or simply a steady hand if you want to take handheld landscape shots. For an MFT lens, this one is also a bit robust, with its 534g of weight and 79x106mm dimensions. Filter attachment thread is also absent.
If you want a lens that feels like a true full-frame lens and behaves almost like a high-end DSLR lens, Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 7-14mm f/2.0 Pro is definitely worth a buy.
2. Olympus M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8
- Yields 50mm (35mm equivalent) equivalent field of view
- Macro focus range: 0; 24 m, focal length: 25 mm
- Seven blade circular diaphragm
Olympus M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8 packs a lot of cool features in a tiny MFT body. The first thing you’ll notice here is how small it is. I mean, 58x42mm sounds and feels small… does it? With its weight of only 137g, it’s going to be lighter than your smartphone and you can even keep it in your back pocket… very cool! As for the photography-oriented features, we have a focal length of 25mm, which is considered to have a standard viewing angle – nothing too wide, nothing too narrow. In that regard, this lens is great for travel photography, but can also serve as a great landscape lens, thanks to its f/1.8 aperture.
While the lens hood is sold separately here, we’re glad that we can choose between silver or black finish, which is rarely seen in most manufacturers today. The image quality is impressive and there really isn’t too much to complain about.
To put things into perspective, this lens isn’t something that will blow you away. Instead, it’s a lens that’s good for all-around usage and is intended for users who don’t want to spend a lot of cash.
3. Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f/1.8
- Ultra compact wide angle lens
- Macro focus range: 0.25 meter, focal Length: 17 millimeter
- 34 millimeter equivalent field of view captures large groups or landscapes
Travel photographers don’t buy robust lenses and this one fills in that criteria easily. Thanks to its dimensions of 58x36mm and weight of 120g, you’ll be able to carry it wherever you want. The focal length of this lens is 17mm, and when ‘translated’ to an effective focal length it’s 34mm. That being said, it’s great for travel photography, but also for portrait photography in some cases.
This focal length also allows the lens to produce a natural perspective, as well as a viewing angle that goes a notch above standard. The inclusion of the push-pull focus ring is one of the smartest things Olympus could do for this lens. With this ring, you can see the markings for the depth of field and distance scale for f/22, f/11, and f/5.6. This allows travel photographers to manually focus, making a particular zone of the photo look sharp and well-exposed.
We expected some sort of image stabilization, but with no avail. Still, this lens is a great value for the price, considering its outstanding image quality and awesome push-pull focus ring.
4. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
- 17 elements in 15 groups reduces aberrations, 3 Super ED lenses, 2 ED lenses diminish peripheral chromatic aberrations
- 180 degree angle of view
- ZERO lens coating effectively minimizes ghosting and flaring
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO lets you see the world through the eyes of fish. Before you think it’s a joke, well… it isn’t! The amazing thing about this lens is its build quality. Who would guess that a 330g lens packs so much sturdiness? It also possesses some top-grade optics which are directly responsible for the astounding image quality.
The stepper motor autofocus also greatly improves image quality. While the autofocus isn’t completely silent, we can say that it works well and is very snappy. The focal length is 8mm and with its f/1.8 aperture, the photos are well exposed and have a lot of details. As for the bulkiness, I can’t really say it’s bulky. With its dimensions of 78x60mm, it’s not exactly the largest lens out there.
Portrait and Outdoor Photography
1. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 75mm f/1.8
- 150mm equivalent field of view
- Minimum focusing Distance : 0.84 m , Focal Length : 75 mm
- Fast maximum f/1.8 aperture, great for low-light or indoor sports shooting
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 is an affordable lens great for portrait photography. The lens comes with a fixed focal length of 75mm, which comfortably sits between the ranges of ideal focal lengths for portrait shots. The stable f/1.8 aperture provides great image quality in all lighting conditions, providing noise-free images. The autofocus now takes advantage of a micro motor, reducing the noise you hear when the lens focuses. However, we found some issues with focusing as it can be a bit slower, and sometimes not that accurate.
On the brighter side, the lens looks stunning! The build quality and the attention to details is simply mind-boggling. But, the disappointment is that there isn’t any kind of weatherproofing. If you plan on using this lens in harsh conditions, you’re going to need additional protection or simply avoid using it during those moments. The weight of this lens is around 300g, which is arguably compact and is considered lightweight. Imagine holding 2 smartphones in a single hand… that’s how it feels.
If you want to shoot some beautiful portraits without hassle, this lens is probably going to satisfy your needs.
2. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 45mm f/1.8
- This version is originally intended for sale outside the US and may contain adapters, manuals, and warranties not compatible with US standards.
One might not agree that this is the ideal focal length for portrait photography. Still, have an open mind for this focal length. The main reason is that it is really hard to have any background in the frame when using more than a 70mm lens. If you want to have some background in the image and still get a blurred photo with amazing detail you will need to go 45mm to 60mm. Now we have another lens that does a great job but is also capable of day-to-day usage.
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 comes with some great and not-so-great features. First of all, this is a compact lens that weighs around 120g. But, it’s not without its flaws as it comes with a plastic body. Those who worry about build quality should definitely skip this one. Now, the good stuff – the image quality. It’s simply outstanding for the price! We have a focal length of 45mm coupled with f/1.8 aperture, which sounds and looks good. Although we’d like it to be f/1.4, it’s still not that bad.
The highlight of this lens is its quiet autofocus which uses a micromotor to do its job. However, as much as it’s quiet, it comes with some limitations. For example, we noticed subpar continuous autofocus tracking, which can really tarnish your experience with the lens. The bokeh effect on photos is creamy, smooth, and really nice, but there’s no image stabilization. You will surely need a tripod if you want to create blur-free photos. While the body itself is plastic, the design isn’t all that bad, but… it’s still plastic and plastic breaks.
If you want a lens that can perform well and not suck out the money out of your pocket, this 45mm f/1.8 lens is a great buy.
Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 60mm f/2.8 MACRO
- Weatherproof Macro lens withstands harsh conditions
- 7.4 inch minimum working distance, Focal Length - 60 mm
- 1x 35mm equivalent maximum magnification
Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro represents a crucial lens for macro lovers. This lens comes with a focal length of 100mm, which represents a golden middle for many macro photographers. The first thing you’re going to notice here is probably the design. It looks stylish, professional, and it’s really hard to guess the price for this one, as it looks much more premium and expensive. With an effective focal length of 120mm, this lens packs a much shorter focal length than any full-frame macro lenses.
In this regard, we can tell that the focal length is a bit short. However, the lens works surprisingly well for macro shots. The minimum focus distance is around 0.19m and there’s a constant, stable f/1.8 aperture. All of this grants laser-grade focusing precision, amazing for some close-up shots of tiny things or insects. Another really good feature is the focus distance indicator. We rarely see a feature like this one, so it can’t go without mentioning. And on top of that, we also get weather seals.
If you ask me, you can’t get a better MFT macro lens at the moment. It’s compact and lightweight but packs a ton of punch.
Wildlife and Sports Photography
Olympus M.ZUIKO 40-150mm f/2.8
- Dust, splash, and freeze proof construction
- Ships with lens cap (LC-72C), rear lens cap (LR-2), lens hood (LH-76), and lens case (LSC-1120)
- Manual focus clutch mechanism
Are you up for some telephoto action on an MFT camera/lens? Oh yeah, it’s entirely possible with Olympus M.ZUIKO 40-150mm f/2.8 lens that packs incredible power at a…well, a bit expensive price. This lens represents the best telephoto lens for MFT cameras at the moment. It comes with a focal length of 40-150mm, making it ideal for capturing moving subjects and wildlife. The autofocus works really well, it’s accurate and takes advantage of a stepper motor. This means that the autofocus isn’t noisy when focusing, which is a huge plus.
The image quality is exceptional. Thanks to the swift and smooth autofocus and its amazing telephoto capabilities, there isn’t anything to complain about. However, there are a couple of caveats here. The first one is that there isn’t an optical image stabilization. Such a shame, given the enormous size and weight that this lens packs, which is another caveat. With its 870g of weight, you can’t say this is a compact lens, can you? You’re definitely going to need a place to put this one.
Overall, this telephoto lens is here to give you an amazing experience, if you’re willing to pay more and don’t care about bulkiness.
1. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO
- Extensive zoom range of 24 to 200 millimeter (35 millimeter equivalent)
- 17 elements in 11 groups for outstanding resolution
- In lens image stabilization for 5 Axis Sync IS (with applicable cameras)
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 represents a solid buy for those who want a lens for everyday use. The focal length of this lens varies from 12-100mm, which might seem odd, considering that most full-frame lenses provide 24-200mm. But, having in mind that this is an MFT lens, it performs exactly like a full-frame lens with double the focal length. This means that you can easily switch between numerous focal lengths, which is great if you want to capture different photos every time. But, what about this f/4 aperture?
While the f/4 aperture isn’t the best for wide zooms, the great thing about it is that it’s very stable and stays at f/4 for most of the time. Unlike the previous lens on our list, this one DOES sport a high-quality 6.5-stops optical stabilization system that works like a charm, especially for the price. This one also includes a 72mm filter, which is a great addition. Thanks to the powerful image stabilization, the image quality remains intact, even at night time. The metal body is sturdy, durable, and maybe one of the best metal bodies at this price.
Overall, this lens represents a fine balance between price and performance. With no noticeable caveats, except for the corner softness at 100mm, this lens is one of the best buys for professional MFT users.
2. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
- Constant f2.8 maximum aperture
- Focal length: 12 to 40 millimeter, minimum focus distance 7.87 inches (20 centimeter )
- Drip proof; Dustproof, splash proof, and freeze proof construction. Lens construction: 14 elements in 9 groups (Aspherical ED lens, 2 Aspherical lenses, DSA lens, 2 ED lenses, HD lens, 2 HR lense)
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO comes with an amazing autofocus system that isn’t just quiet but also works well. With its focal length of 12-40mm, the lens provides a bit wider field of view and is generally great for taking landscape photos and all-around usage. However, with its aperture of f/2.8, we can’t call it an ultra-wide lens. The lens provides amazing image quality and its design is really professional.
As for the build quality, the lens is heavy for a typical MFT lens. It packs around 400g of weight and even includes some weatherproof and waterproof elements. Given the overall build quality, this lens can work well in every given condition. We’re also glad that you get the lens hood with this lens, meaning that you won’t have to waste a lot of money upon the purchase. The slight downside of this lens is that it produces a bit softer images on the far reaches of the focal range.
Of course, this lens is pretty robust, meaning that you’ll need some place to keep it if you’re traveling.