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Four Thirds lenses


  • Four Thirds lenses are those designed for the Olympus Four Thirds dSLR system and can be used on Micro Four Thirds cameras via an adapter, although on some bodies, AF may not work or be slow.
  • Panasonic initially made some very nice Leica-D optically image stabilised lenses for Four Thirds but have since apparently abandoned the Four Thirds format to concentrate on the extremely popular Micro Four Thirds format.
  • Olympus officially discontinued the Four Thirds lens range in March 2017 - 14 years after it created the Four Thirds System

Four Thirds lens accessories


  • 25mm extension tube for closer focus capability
  • AF is maintained when used with the ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro but AF may not be possible with most other lenses
  • AF will probably NOT be possible when used on Micro Four Thirds via an adapter
  • examples of use on a Four Thirds dSLR:
    • with ZD 14-54mm II:
      • need to set lens to 54mm, auto focus is possible from 4.5-5.5cm in front of lens
    • with ZD 50-200mm II:
      • at 200mm, will auto focus from 54.5cm to 175cm from the subject
  • see Four for further details on focus range when used on various lenses


  • high quality 1.4x teleconverter
  • 1 stop less light


  • high quality 2x teleconverter
  • 2 stops less light

Olympus Super-High level pro lenses

  • these are very expensive, weather-proofed, high quality lenses

Olympus ZD 7-14mm f/4

  • rectilinear ultra-wide angle zoom with field of view as for 14-28mm in 35mm terms
  • cannot use filters as very convex glass element
  • minimal barrel/pincushion distortion, almost zero at 10mm focal length.
  • very sharp;
  • performs best at f/5.6-f/8.
  • this lens is so good & allows unique creative opportunities, I just had to get one :)
  • perfect for indoor work
  • seems to have an inbuilt polariser-like effect on blue sky - perhaps the Brewster effect?
  • a little purple fringing wide open outdoors at 7mm in high contrast situations at the periphery.
  • flare spots if you allow light sources to hit its convex outer lens.
  • 780g;
    • the ZD 7-14mm thrashes ANY Canon wide angle lens including their 14mm L lens for sharp, distortion-free images across the frame
  • see my photos using the 7-14mm:

Olympus ZD 14-35mm f/2.0 SWD

Olympus ZD 35-100mm f/2.0

  • released in 2005, it is the world's 1st lens to give f/2.0 over the entire zoom range
  • a much loved lens for videographers as it is constant f/2.0
  • now this would make a brilliant available light portrait lens with nice bokeh ~$US2500 or $A4400
  • BUT weighs 1.8kg with tripod lock which is similar to Canon's 70-200mm f/2.8 IS but 1 stop faster.
  • 77mm filter; close focus 1.4m;

Olympus ZD 150mm f/2.0

  • in effect, give the telephoto reach of a 300m f/2.0
  • this could be one of the best lenses for astrophotography as well as high-end work if you can afford it
  • combined with a TC you get reach of 420mm f/2.8 (1.4x TC) or 600mm f/4 (EC-20)
  • plonk this on an Olympus E5 and you have one very light super telephoto system for sports or wildlife use.
  • 1.61kg; 82mm filter; $A4300
    • with EC-20 2x TC it is half the price and weight, and faster focus with more DOF than the ZD 300mm f/2.8 but not quite as sharp, and f/4.0 wide open.

Olympus ZD 300mm f/2.8

Olympus ZD 90-250mm f/2.8

Olympus High-level pro lenses

  • these are the ones most enthusiasts aim for

ZD 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5

ZD 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD

  • equiv. to 24-120mm lens
  • perhaps the BEST standard zoom for Four Thirds (and perhaps better than available for any dSLR) giving versatility and AF speed, a 5x zoom while still retaining excellent resolution comparable to the 11-22mm and 14-54mm at the expense of a little more barrel distortion at the wide end.
  • some complex distortion at wide angle (thus if doing architecture, consider the 11-22mm lens instead) but overall a superb lens.
  • 72mm filter thread, does not rotate on focus; internal focus; macro to 0.25m; 0.58kg;
  • would combine very well with:
    • 7-14mm, 50mm macro & 50-200mm SWD - a total of 4 lenses that give excellent quality and a focal range of 14-400mm in 35mm terms plus a macro/portrait lens.
  • AF fault identified in those with serial numbers between 230005416 and 230010688 - see free inspection & repair
  • see:
  • RRP $A1499

ZD 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5

mark I

  • a standard zoom equiv. to 28-108mm; some vignetting at f/2.8 in extreme corners but less than the Leica; $A840
  • when compared to the Leica D 14-50mm (see here and open the pdf):
    • very similar performance but Zuiko has less vignetting and better corner resolution wide open at wide angle while the Leica has better corner resolution at wide angle at telephoto.

mark II

  • adds CD-AF capability

ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5

non-SWD original version

  • Olympus macro flashes can be attached via the bayonet method
  • nice lens but some vignetting wide open; good bokeh; ~$A1400;
  • 1.07kg; 67mm filter; close focus 1.2m;

SWD version

  • no longer allows the macro flash to be attached
  • similar to older model but adds faster SWD autofocus and improves color blur property
  • 157mm x 87mm / 6.2 in. x 3.4 in.
  • 1.07kg / 2.4 lb (with tripod plate)
  • filter 67mm
  • 16 elements in 15 groups, including 3 ED elements
  • 7 rounded blades
  • see some of my photos with this lens
  • matches beautifully with either the TC-14 or TC-20 teleconverters
    • see my photos with the 2x teleconverter giving 800mm reach at f/7
  • RRP $A1599

ZD 8mm f/3.5 fisheye

ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro

  • a brilliant diffraction-limited lens with almost no aberrations
  • this is one lens you should have for portraiture, general use and macro work - I bought one.
  • hopefully Olympus will update this with a new SWD version with a focus range limiter switch to improve its AF performance.
  • alternatively, OM macro lenses for really close macro work where manual focus is preferred anyway.
  • ~$A850
  • see my photos using the 50mm macro

Olympus consumer level lenses

9-18mm f/4-5.5 ED

14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED

40-150mm f/4-5.6 ED

25mm f/2.8 pancake

35mm f/3.5 macro

18-180mm f/3.5-6.3

70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED

older non-ED budget kit lenses

  • 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6
  • 17.5-45mm f/3.5-5.6
  • 40-150 f/3.5-4.5

Panasonic Leica-D lenses

  • XSM is Leica's ultrasonic motor for quiet AF
  • Mega OIS = optical image stabilisation
  • the aperture ring on these do not work on Olympus bodies and transient mode IS by pressing the shutter button as on a Panasonic or Leica body is not possible, and the Olympus can't change the IS modes as this is done via menus on the Panasonic or Leica body.

Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 ASPH

Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 Mega OIS

Leica D 25mm f/1.4

Leica D 14-150mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS XSM

Sigma lenses in Four Thirds mount

  • esentially these are just full frame lenses with a Four Thirds mount and thus not optimised for Four Thirds
  • HSM = hypersonic motor for quiet high speed AF and also full time manual focus;
  • EX = superior build & optical quality
  • DG = lenses for digital and 35mm
  • DC = especially designed for smaller digital sensors
  • OS = optical stabiliser

24mm f/1.8 macro

30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM

18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC

18-50mm f/2.8 macro

18-125mm f/3.5-5.6 DC

55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC

105mm f/2.8 EX DG macro

150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO macro

  • discontinued
  • beautiful optics - sharp wide open, low distortion, nice bokeh but slow AF - slower than the Olympus ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro lens, and on some cameras has front-focus AF error issues requiring microadjustment to give sharp AF images.

50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM APO

Samyang / Rokinon lenses in Four Thirds mount

  • also called Vivitar, Bower, Walimex, Opteka, and Falcon

manual focus Cine lenses

Rokinon 14mm T3.1 cine lens

  • announced July 2012

Rokinon 24mm T1.5 cine lens

  • announced July 2012

Rokinon 35mm T1.5 cine lens

  • announced July 2012
photo/fourthirdslenses.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/11 10:30 by gary1

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