Best lenses for the Olympus OM-D EM-1: Wide angle and telephoto zooms and primes

By Kevin Carter - Monday December 02 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best wide-angle primes for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 | Best wide-angle zoom lenses for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 | Best trans-standard zoom lenses for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 | Best telephoto zoom lenses for the Olympus OM-D E-M1

Both Olympus and Panasonic offer numerous models in this category, and their similarity can be quite confusing. Olympus even makes two versions of the ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6; both are the same price but the newer version may be recognized by the letter R in its name and by a more modern appearance.

The two have the same optical construction the older model tested here is one of the better performers of the group. The Panasonic version shares the same rating for optical quality but it has more consistent sharpness across the range of focal lengths and aperture settings. It even boasts stabilization, which is attractive to Lumix G camera users, but the more modest price and competitive performance may sway Olympus fans.

The 14-140/150mm models look promising for their huge flexibility, the equivalent of a 28-280/300mm in a small and lightweight package. Of those Panasonic has recently updated and upgraded the optical construction of the 14-140mm, adding the improved Power OIS stabilization as well, but at $920 it’s the most expensive on offer. Still it has similar IQ to the other 40/45-150mm models, and if just one lens is all that’s needed this model is the one to choose.

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6236136
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.300136
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.920136
Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.383126
Panasonic LUMIX G Vario HD 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 ASPH850105
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 MEGA O.I.S.255105
 

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 vs Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. vs Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.