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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!