The Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system was debuted by Panasonic and Olympus in 2008, and features a range of powerful-yet-compact cameras. Although other manufacturers like Blackmagic and Kodak have made MFT cameras, Panasonic and Olympus remain the primary manufacture of compatible lenses.
In this guide, we look at the best Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses for every genre of photography, including landscape, wildlife, portrait, and general walkaround shooting. For your convenience, we have paired these lenses into five specific categories: kit lens, telephoto lens, wide-angle lens, multi-zoom lens, and super-telephoto lens.
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1. Panasonic LUMIX Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Asph. Power O.I.S
This 12-60mm lens is a top kit lens and offers great features for high-quality photography.
Our favorite Micro Four Thirds kit lens is the Panasonic LUMIX Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Asph. Power O.I.S, which offers excellent image quality plus a flexible 12-60mm focal length.
Thanks to the Power O.I.S, the high-speed AF motor, and the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit lens construction, you can expect sharp images, consistently, as well as great usability.
This lens also has a rugged design that features various weatherproof coatings. We also like the flexible maximum aperture range of f/2.8-4, which means you can use this lens for nighttime photography.
2. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro
The Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro is one of the best kit lenses for Olympus OM-D cameras and offers gorgeous image quality in every situation.
One of the absolute best Micro Four Thirds lenses is the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro. Yes, it’s a kit lens, but the quality is superb, and even professionals will enjoy it in a variety of situations.
There is also a cheaper version available, but this lens is still surprisingly inexpensive and the upgrade in quality and features is worth it. The 12-40mm f/2.8 offers a constant wide aperture throughout the focal length range, which guarantees excellent performance in low-light conditions.
Also, it has an incredibly durable body; it’s drip-proof, dust-proof, splash-proof, and freeze-proof, so you should have no issue using it outdoors. We also like the advanced lens construction, which results in edge-to-edge sharpness in every situation.
3. Panasonic LUMIX G Leica Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II Power O.I.S
This 100-300mm lens has a great design that makes it suitable for stationary outdoor wildlife photography.
After a kit lens, a telephoto zoom lens is also a great thing to have. Something like the Panasonic LUMIX Leica G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II Power O.I.S gives continuation in focal length from your kit lens. As a result, this allows you to move into different types of photography like wildlife shots.
This is one of the best Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses for outdoor use. This is because it is splashproof and dustproof. It should also be comfortable and simple to use due to the tripod mount, and the Power O.I.S. The tripod mount means you don’t have to continually use this bulky lens handheld. Also, the Power O.I.S helps track moving objects and reduces camera shake.
You can also expect great image quality no matter the focal length or aperture. This is a result of the Leica Vario lens construction.
4. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II
This versatile telephoto lens is lightweight and portable compared to competitors and is a great option for wildlife photography on the go.
Micro Four Thirds shooters have a fantastic midrange telephoto lens in the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II. This lens can cover a range of photography types, from cropped portraits to wildlife photography.
To ensure quality wildlife photos, this lens has a circular aperture diaphragm and the Olympus Z.E.R.O lens coating. The circular aperture produces smooth and natural-looking bokeh, while the Z.E.R.O coating helps improve image quality and reduces reflections and ghosting.
To help track moving objects, this lens features a quick AF motor, and though it doesn’t have image stabilization, Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras all have in-body image stabilization to help negate this potential issue.
Lastly, compared to many telephoto lenses, this 75-300mm lens is relatively portable and lightweight – it comes in at 0.93 lb/421 g, which is far lighter than most competitors.
5. Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Asph.
The Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Asph. benefits from its wide maximum aperture and Leica lens construction.
While kit lenses and telephoto lenses are important, a wide-angle zoom lens will provide incredible versatility in your photography, especially if you enjoy shooting landscapes. Here, a great pick is the Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Asph..
This wide-angle zoom lens boasts various top-notch features, including its maximum f/1.7 aperture, durable build, and high-quality Leica optics. The f/1.7 maximum aperture makes the 10-25mm capable of low-light photography, while the Leica lens construction promises consistent edge-to-edge sharpness.
Thanks to the 10-25mm focal length, you can enjoy a lens that is suitable for landscapes, street photography, and even environmental portraits. As a result, it’s one of the most versatile Panasonic LUMIX lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras.
6. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro
The Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro allows you to capture more detail and width in your photos and is superb for landscape photography.
If you’re looking for a Micro Four Thirds zoom that’s perfect for landscape photography, check out the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro. With a 7-14mm focal length range, this is a specialist ultra-wide-angle lens that can create amazing, even expansive, photos. If you want to specialize in sweeping landscape photos, it’s a brilliant choice.
As an M.ZUIKO Pro lens, expect outstanding optics and consistently sharp images no matter the focal length. We also like the Z.E.R.O coating, which virtually eliminates ghosting and flare. If you’re a professional landscape photographer (or an advanced amateur), this is one of the best Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses you can buy.
7. Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II Asph. Power O.I.S
The Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II Asph. Power O.I.S is an outstanding jack-of-all-trades lens for traveling and outdoor adventures.
Many photographers prefer to carry one or two lenses on their adventures, and that’s where a multi-zoom lens like the Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II Asph. Power O.I.S comes in handy.
This incredible lens covers a focal length range from 14-140mm (28-280mm when mounted on a MFT camera), so you can use it for landscapes shots, portraits, and even midrange wildlife images.
We like the durable construction of this lens. It has a metal mount and is dustproof and splashproof, which makes it a fantastic all-in-one travel lens solution.
And the 14-140mm features three aspherical elements and two ED lenses; these help boost contrast and sharpness while reducing distortion and chromatic aberration.
8. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3
This M.ZUIKO lens can be used for pretty much any type of photography, and it has a decent AF motor, too.
If you’re looking for all-in-one zoom functionality, check out the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3, which offers a whopping 28-400mm range on MFT cameras – covering wide-angle all the way to super-telephoto.
This multi-zoom features a lens construction of 11 groups of 16 elements, which eliminates aberrations, lens flare, and ghosting. You can also expect solid optical quality across the board.
Also, the lens has a lightweight internal focusing mechanism that is virtually silent but still accurate. The only downside is that it does not have any in-lens image stabilization (though paired with an image-stabilized Olympus camera, this shouldn’t be a problem!).
9. Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Asph. Power O.I.S
This super-telephoto lens provides consistent image quality, a flexible focal length, and image stabilization.
Super-telephoto lenses are perfect for wildlife and nature photography, and one of the best MFT options available is the Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Asph. Power O.I.S.
This lens looks fantastic, plus it features a robust body. You can comfortably use it outside due to its weather-sealed exterior. And for improved ease of use, this lens features Power Optical Image Stabilization and a tripod mount.
The 100-400mm boasts high-quality Leica glass and elements, which help keep image quality consistent regardless of the focal length. Bird photographers and nature enthusiasts will love the versatility this super-telephoto lens provides – especially when you take into account the amazing (200-800mm) focal length range!
10. Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS
This Olympus MFT lens can be used with a 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverter for unparalleled super-telephoto images.
Our second super-telephoto lens is the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS. Like the Panasonic variant, this lens offers a brilliant 400mm maximum focal length for amazing detail in your wildlife photography.
Interestingly, this zoom lens is also compatible with both the MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters. The MC-14 boosts the maximum focal length to 560mm, while the MC-20 boosts it to a whopping 800mm (1600mm, when converted into MFT effective focal lengths).
This Olympus lens is dustproof and splashproof thanks to a tough exterior body. We also like the image stabilization, which promises up to three additional stops of handholding. Other useful features include a tripod mount, a focus limiter function, and a durable metal lens mount.
Which Micro Four Thirds Zoom Lens Is Right for You?
While only two manufacturers specialize in interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lenses, you have plenty of options! As you can see from our list of the best MFT zoom lenses, you can easily get a high-quality lens for virtually any type of photography.
But which lens is right for you? If you’re looking for a standard kit lens, the Panasonic LUMIX Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Asph. Power O.I.S is a highly versatile option. If you want a telephoto lens for wildlife shots, consider the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS, which offers an excellent focal range.
Alternatively, if you want a dedicated wide-angle zoom lens, grab the Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Asph., which offers beautiful image quality and an impressive maximum aperture.
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