When choosing a camera system, one must pay attention to the lens line-up. It is not wise to select a camera if most of the focal lengths you need are not in the line up. Without a doubt the micro 4/3 system has the largest lens line-up among any digital mirrorless system. It offers over 40 different AF lenses from Olympus and Panasonic with a few Sigma additions (I am not even counting the manual focus lenses available for the m4/3 mount for this ranking). Recently olympus added some highly professional lenses with the 4/40-150mm and the 4/300mm. Other highly regarded lenses from their build and performance include the Panasonic 1.2/42.5mm or the Olympus Zuiko 1.8/75mm.
However lots of m4/3 users chose the system for its diminutive size and weight. The light traveler is also going to pay a close look at small lenses for the systems. Most of these very light lenses bring about a lighter build and smaller maximum apertures . But what you lose in DOF control and build does not necessarily means you have to compromise too much on performance. Early on Olympus and Panasonic proved that they could offer useful lenses being very small and light while providing very good to excellent performance and at a very reasonable cost. I voluntarily excluded ANY m4/3 lenses which retail at $400 or more. the Olympus 1.8/45mm and the Panasonic 1.7/20mm were among the first to establish this trend in the m4/3 system years ago but we got more little gems over the last few years.
I would like to add that I own ( and have tested) ALL the lenses included in this article.
The Sigma 2.8/60mm DN (here in black and here in silver) is both a useful focal length of 120mm (in 35mm equivalent) and a lens getting great reviews. It is currently priced at $209 and $239 for the black and silver versions respectively and includes both a pouch and the hood which is really amazing at that price-point.Therefore probably deserves to be on this list but since I never tried it, I decided not to include it for the time being.
Now,without further ado, here is MY TOP 5 selection for small and lightweight m4/3lenses which offer great value for the price : [Read more…]