Photography / Buying Guide

Micro Four Thirds Lenses for Wedding Photographers

11Share

The Micro Four Thirds system is becoming popular among a passionate group of wedding photographers. The compact size of the cameras and lens system, as well as the sheer number of available lenses from Olympus, Panasonic, and other manufacturers, not to mention the nearly limitless option of adapted lenses, means that the wedding photographer has many options for capturing the action.

Portrait Specialist

You won’t be photographing a wedding without making portraits, and when it comes to portraiture, there is one lens that rises to the top of the Micro Four Thirds lens pile: the Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH Power OIS lens. With a 35mm equivalent field of view as the traditional 85mm portrait focal length lens, this Leica-engineered gives razor-shallow depth of field with its ultra-wide f/1.2 maximum aperture. Combine optical image stabilization with the latest coatings, two aspherical elements, and other cutting-edge features, and you have a serious portrait machine.

For those looking for a similar portrait prime, the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 is a fantastic option at a lower price point than the Nocticron.

Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH Power OIS Lens

Wide-Angling

Aside from wedding portraiture, other definites on the shot list are wide-angle views of the ceremony, reception, and more. Nothing gives a sense of place like a well-executed wide-angle image.

When it comes to wide angle Micro Four Thirds zooms, the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens is a great option, with the 35mm equivalent field of view of a 14-28mm lens. Like all the Olympus PRO lenses, it is optically superb and has a fantastic feel in the photographer’s hands.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

The Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 gives a 35mm equivalent field of view of a 24mm lens and is packed with technology in the form of DSA, aspherical, ED, and Super HR lens elements. It also has a silent autofocus system—great for staying quiet during the ceremony and for video. The Panasonic 12mm f/1.4 offering is another Leica-designed number, the DG Summilux 12mm f/1.4 ASPH.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 Lens

If you need to go slightly wider, the Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS and Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 manual focus lenses will bump your field of view out a few more degrees.

Fisheye images can be perfect for weddings and give the client something just a bit different. When you want to go really wide, like 180o wide, the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO lens is your ticket to the fisheye party. Just be mindful of where your own feet are in the frame!

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens

The New Normal

In the world of Micro Four Thirds, the 25mm lens, with its 35mm equivalent of 50mm, is the “normal” lens. For wedding photographers, the normal field of view and perspective usually makes the normal lens the single most versatile prime they carry in their bag. Capable of everything from environmental shots to portraits, this lens needs to be in your bag.

The two top options for normal shooting are the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH lens and the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO. Both lenses are packed with the latest optical technologies from the two companies, with the Olympus lens packing a record (based on my research) 19 elements in a single prime lens.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH Micro 4/3 Lens

For those Micro Four Thirds shooters looking for a classic feel in their normal lens, the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 Type II manual focus lens is tied with a few others as the widest-aperture lens available for the Micro Four Thirds system. Also, at an exotically wide f/0.95, is the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95 lens. It is also manual focus and incorporates a click-less aperture ring for movie making.

Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 Type II Lens for Micro Four Thirds

Close-Up

There are a handful of macro options for the wedding shooter looking to grab all the beautiful tiny details of the ceremony and reception at life size.

Panasonic has a pair of options with the LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. and the Leica DF Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lenses. Both capture 1:1 reproduction, and the LUMIX has a 35mm equivalence of 60mm, while the Macro-Elmarit features a 90mm field of view when equated to the 35mm format.

Sample image taken with the Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. Lens

Olympus’s macro offering is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 lens that features ED glass and a 35mm-equivalent field of view of 120mm.

Zoom Pairings

Wedding photography demands flexibility and the ability to compose images from often disadvantaged locations. To get the shot when your feet cannot get you in the correct spot, the zoom lens becomes the weapon of choice. Luckily for Micro Four Third wedding photographers, there are some terrific wide-aperture zoom lenses that lend themselves to the traditional (35mm format) 24-70mm and 70-200mm professional zoom kit.

On the Olympus side, besides the aforementioned wide-angle 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO zoom, shooters can get their 24-70mm fix with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO and then quench their 70-200mm thirst with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. These professional zooms cover the 35mm equivalent field of view of a 24-80mm and an 80-300mm lens. Yes, that is an equivalent of a 300mm f/2.8 packed into a very portable zoom lens.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

Panasonic offers the new Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S. lens with the traditional 35mm equivalent 24-70mm coverage. Version I is still available at press time. For the telephoto reach, the newly released Lumix G X Vario 35-100 f/2.8 II POWER O.I.S. lens gives the 35mm eqivalent 70-200mm field of view. The original version is also still available, as well.

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens

Which Do You Prefer?

Are you a wedding photographer using the Micro Four Thirds system? Tell us about your experience and which lenses you use. Are you thinking about switching to Micro Four Thirds and shooting weddings? Send us your questions!

Discussion 11

Add new comment

Add comment Cancel

what the best body m4/3 camera for wedding ?

Hey morten,

My guess would be the flagships are the best for weddings, or anything else...

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Both fantastic cameras...

I still doubt about the quality of the "bokeh" of the camera m4 /3. I want to find a camera for the wedding but is also reliable for video. If my budget is $ 2400, can you help me choose from several options below:

1. Panasonic G85 + some micro 4/3 lenses are cheap and lightweight 2. fuji XT2 with the lens kit. 3.sony a6500 + adapter + canon / sigma lens 4. booked the cheap fuji xt20 +zoom lenses + fixed lens+ gimbal My focus here is the wedding video and photos

Hey morten,

I understand your hesitation as far as bokeh as concerned, especially with all the noise online about how you need a big sensor to get bokeh. The math says it is kind of true, but check out the proof in this image:

https://static.bhphotovideo.com/explora/sites/default/files/Vorenkamp%20638-1250171.jpg

That image was taken for this article [https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/news/announcing-olympus-om-d-e-m5-mark-ii-and-tough-tg-860] where I was shooting a 14-150mm "kit" lens. That is some creamy bokeh, in my book...even without a wide-aperture lens.

Anyway...to your 4 options...

That is a wide-ranging selection and each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you want a small system, the Sony is out. Their lenses are, in general, DSLR sized. I am a fan of the size and performance of the Fujifilm systems. Their lenses are unbeatable, in my opinion. And, Panasonic is a leader in the video world, so if you are doing video, the Micro Four Thirds option might be your choice. I've enjoyed all the MFT cameras and lenses I have used and I love that the cameras are heavily packed with stellar features accompanied with great lens options.

I haven't really narrowed it down for you, but I recommend you shoot an email to askbh@bhphoto.com with the same criteria or give B&H a call to get a second (or third) opinion.

Standing by for follow-ups!

Thank you for your response. I think I better wait for a fuji xt20. It has the same sensor with the XT2 but with a cheaper price, so I can invest my funds to buy several nice fuji lenses...It can do fantastic still and video result...

Thnks...and GBU

Thanks, morten!

Enjoy the X-T20!

Todd Zimmermann Todd

I've been shooting weddings with micro four thirds cameras for years alongside my Nikon full frame cameras, but for the past year I pretty much leave my Nikons at home! I love the small size and selection of amazing lenses that are superbly sharp wide open. I typically shoot with three cameras at a time, one with my Olympus 12-40mm another with the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 and a third with either the Olympus 75mm, 17mm, 25mm or 40-150mm, depending upon the situation. I use 2-3 spider holsters on a belt and can very quickly swap cameras instead of swapping lenses.  My primary cameras are the Olympus EM1 Mk II, EM5 Mk II and two Panasonic GX85's. They each have specific strengths and weaknesses in different areas and so I use them for different roles at different times/situations. 

Cheers from Todd @ Pictures by Todd photography

Thanks for writing in and sharing your experience, Todd!

Cool name, by the way!

"Olympus’ macro offering is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 lens that features ED glass and a 35mm-equivalent field of view of 60mm"

Last sentence is incorrect. In terms of 35mm, 60 Macro is equivalent to 120mm.

Whoops! My bad! Thanks, Arsalan! I guess I was thinking faster than I was typing! I will have the text corrected ASAP.

Whoa! The error has been corrected. The Free World is momentarily safe again. Thanks for the eagle eye, Arsalan.

— Copy Editor

Close

Close

Close