Best lenses for your Olympus PEN E-P5: Zooms and Primes

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best performing standard lenses for the PEN E-P5 | Best performing standard zoom lenses for the PEN E-P5 | Best performing wide-angle primes and zooms for the PEN E-P5 | Best performing telephoto primes and zooms for the PEN E-P5

Wide angle primes

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 500 22 7
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2.0 769 21 10
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f2.8 300 15 7
Olympus 15mm 1:8.0 Body Cap 79 6 3

Wide angle zooms

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH 1100 15 10
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 700 15 9
 

While we’ve yet to analyse the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f1.7 models or the 14mm f2.5, the best performing prime in the database is the new $500 Olympus 17mm (35mm equivalent) f1.8 with a DxOMark lens score of 22 points. If image sharpness alone is the most important criteria, with a P-MPix score of 10 the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm (24mm) f/2.0 is the highest performing of those tested. Although the 17mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.8 is one and a third stop faster than the f/2.8 version its overall sharpness is similar.

Another option to consider is the ultra-wide Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm (14-28mm equivalent) f/4 ASPH zoom. At just $1,000 it’s not exactly cheap but with a f/4 maximum aperture it remains highly portable and with a 10P-Mpix sharpness score it’s an very good performer optically.

Like most zooms better results can be seen at the shorter end but it compares favourably with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2.0 in sharpness at 12mm (albeit with not quite the same edge-to-edge performance).

Olympus_17_vs_12_vs_Panasonic_7-14_Sharpness

The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 may be an option. It compares favourably with the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 in the centre of the field and has better sharpness still at wider focal lengths. The 17mm f/1.8 is appealing for its full-aperture but even two stops down sharpness levels are somewhat disappointing.