The Best Focal Fixed for Micro Four Thirds

Recently have come rumors of some zoom format Micro four thirds that can give much to talk about, because they point directly to the high range: in particular, a version of the 12 Olympus is rumored – 60 mm f2.8 – 4 for December, and a duo 12 – 35 mm and 35 – 100 mm, sealing and steady opening, by Panasonic.

This zooms range, yet to populate, in addition to a significant amount of fixed focal lenses, that conform perfectly to the small size of the bodies. And it is that Olympus, Panasonic and some third party manufacturers, has been created in just two years a set of optical full and complex, covering almost any need.

In fact, when asked me to summarise the CSC world, I usually do this approach: Sony has technology tip, balance Samsung, Pentax/Nikon factor “ cool ”, and the Micro four thirds the best range of objectives.

We will review all the objectives fixed natives of this last mount, so you can check if this is true. It is important to consider the factor of 2 cut x, and that all mentioned prices are the official, quite more expensive than those you can find in many stores, but more righteous when comparing.

Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and 25mm f1.4, normal nada normal

Here does not God. Panasonic 20mm f1.7. Photo: Javier Prieto, from our Flickr group

Olympus was the first to arrive on the normal focal pancake, with its 17mm f2.8 (35mm equivalent), a target of average quality and very small size, which would have had a much better press if it weren’t for the quick response of his competitor. If you find it at low price, anyway, not descartéis check it out.

And, if you choose a target that you mark the road to be followed by the rest of the focal fixed Micro four thirds, it would be known Panasonic 20mm f1.7, possibly the platform best rated lens. Although slightly more expensive that the previous (official price of 400 euros), its small size, brightness and their sharpness even at full opening, many consider it the objective to must be to begin to assemble a team of this system. Also stresses its ability to focus to 0 ’ 3m.

Exmoor National Park. Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4. Photo: Niva Explorer, from our Flickr group

Recently, Panasonic searched you one older brother with the Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4, even more luminosity and quality, and at a price that is not excessively high (600 euros). In this case the pancake world is abandoned, and offers a robust and optics with a certain weight (half a kilo), that honors the words “ Leica ” and “ Summilux ” and improves everything I already had good the previous: sharpness in the Center (good even at maximum aperture) and corners, contrast and bokeh.

As soon as the autofocus, the 20mm f1.7 is slow and noisy, and does not support, continuous approach that does the Summilux, more modern and care. Anyway, none of them stands out especially for this aspect.

Olympus 45mm f1.8 and Panaleica 45mm f2.8 macro, radically different

Anurovna. Leica 45mm f2.8 macro. Photo: Tom Foss, from our Flickr group

First to arrive at this focal was another fruit of the collaboration between Japanese and Germans, the Leica 45mm f2.8 macro. It must be clarified as the Summilux, making Panasonic, following the guidelines mark Leica makes it: it is a guarantee of quality, but this does not have to match why the Leica factory directly.

After this clarification, few objections can be you this macro 1:1, the only available natively for the mount: is small and lightweight, stabilized, it has focus limiter (to speed it up in normal situations), and has a focus ring manual comfortable and accurate (albeit with too much travel when we do macros).

The quality is good, the features also, what is the problem? a very high price, 1200 euros, making it a hardly justifiable purchase. Personally, I hope to lower its price fairly when Olympus are encouraged to remove other macro for platform.

Madrid-wander. Olympus Zuiko 45mm f1.8. Photo: Rod RC from our Flickr group

Opposite is the Zuiko 45mm f1.8 Olympus, a lens that apparently lies in the range medium/low for its 300 euros, but which has surprised many by performing surprisingly well. Despite not having the stabilizer, construction or the previous macro capabilities (although it can focus from medium metro), costs four times less and have comparable image quality, brighter, and without being a pancake is very small.

In addition, against the lazy (reasonable, being a macro) Leica autofocus, the 45mm from Olympus is very fast When equipped is in a body of art such as the Olympus E-P3. If at 20 / 25mm had to choose between cheap or quick, in 45mm we can have both, whenever we are away from the macro and have no fear of plastic.

Voigtländer 25mm f0.95 Nokton, Dame speed

SMS. Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95. Photo: Rod RC from our Flickr group

I have mentioned several times to Leica in this article, and this is not casual: since the first CBC cameras, the comparison with this manufacturer has been incessant. If we had to choose an object of desire for Leica, this would be the Noctilux 50 mm f0.95, so… why not emulated him in this mount?

The first to try were the technicians of SLRMagic, with the Noktor HyperPrime 50mm f0.95, matching focal and openings, at a reasonable cost (less than 600 euros), but obviously not their quality, really is a lens adapted Senko for CCTV cameras. The result was a perspective that only stands out for its specifications, but that will have to be close enough to sharpness.

Much more can we expect from a brand as Voigtländer, and this is confirmed by its 25mm f0.95 Nokton: It is a heavy and completely manual lens (does not share any information with the camera), but tine a good quality and skill of close approach remarkable (17cm), that together with its luminosity will give us some very nice and soft blurs. To more closed openings also makes more than well, making it a good alternative for any occasion.

The official approximate price of the lens is about 900 euros (although it is easy to find best price looking for some), but I see them much more justifiable than the 600 of the SLR Magic Noktor. Even so, you may have noticed that I have dedicated a separate section with 20 and 25mm for Panasonic, and it is this is a very special target, It is not suitable for all audiences, but that can give many joys.

Completing the focal

Beautiful Edinburgh VI. Panasonic 14mm f2.5. Photo: André Delhaye, from our Flickr group

Now with less detail let’s review some other ratings, as of the large angle. In this field we have two options “ official ”, the leading manufacturers, and one “ unofficial ”, newly landed and also interesting.

In particular, Panasonic offers its Lumix 14mm f2.5, a pancake tiny, attractive and with a moderate price of 400 euros. Olympus ups the ante with its 12mm f2, metallic, quick, very sharp, but with twice the cost. Personally would opt instead for the cheap, since the difference in quality and brightness is not so much the price.

Informal competition that speaking is the SLRMagic 12mm f1.6. This manufacturer, almost unknown until Steve Huff began to sell its benefits in their blog, usually works with low-cost lenses and results almost toy, but in this case it seems that it has given in the key with one angle of more than good. Pending still see some further analysis, seems that it is worth considering it if manual purely going. In its favour, is “ almost macro ”, enough light and seems to give a contrasting look very personal.

Panasonic 8mm f3.5. Photo: Seong J Yang

We close the review with the fish eyes, represented by the Panasonic 8mm f3.5, and the Samyang 7. 5 mm f3.5, in a new case of David and Goliath: prices of 800 and 300 euros, the main difference is the autofocus on Panasonic and Samyang manual, since the two have fairly high optical quality.

As a curiosity, I’ve missed the Panasonic 12 ’ 5mm f12 3D, which due to its special characteristics (there are not too many three dimensional objectives with those who compare him), deserves to treat it separately. Quiet, that soon we will tell you more things about it.

As you may have seen, we have enough to choose. Miss less telephoto lenses exceeding 45mm (90mm equivalent), perhaps a legacy of the “ spirit Leica ”, but these focal are well covered in the zoom range, so we can forgive them.

Conclusions and advice

If you want a particular Council, pick up the whole Panasonic 14mm + Panasonic 20mm + 45mm Olympus, equivalent in full format at 28/40 / 90mm, for nearly a thousand euros, bright and very high quality. In addition, the first two are pancakes and the third approaches him, so all the kit will weigh less in the stock market than many-body reflex by Yes solos.

It would be the equivalent of high-end Olympus 12mm + Panaleica/Voigtländer 25mm + 45mm Panaleica (24/50 / 90mm equivalent), but if you take the calculations the budget comes up a lot, so I would raise my only specific changes with respect to the kit “ cheap ”, in order to meet specific needs or to emphasize the focus of more intensive use.

In terms of the market of second hand, not cost you much find some Panasonic 20mm f1.7 for 300 euros, or the Olympus 17mm f2.8 200: are two perfect kit aims to begin to assemble a team. If you still do not have any fixed, is the best way to start using them.

You now you decide what CSC and what lenses are the most appropriate: I have already spoken of excellent Sony sensors and you just see the range of Micro four thirds lenses, will try more to fund systems as the Nikon. You have the decision, as always,.