In this guide, we’re looking at the best zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds. The Micro Four Thirds system, pioneered by Olympus and Panasonic, has built up over more than a decade into an incredible stable of compact but sophisticated mirrorless cameras, and lenses to match.

One of the best things about the system is that you can use lenses from either brand on your Micro Four Thirds camera. So, if you’ve got an Olympus/OM-System camera body, you can use a Panasonic lens, and vice versa.

One thing to keep in mind when picking your lens is that the crop factor incurred by a Four Thirds sensor is 2x. This means that the ‘equivalent’ focal length of any lens is double its stated focal length – so, a 12-35mm lens will actually behave like a 24-70mm lens. This is one of the reasons that Micro Four Thirds can offer incredible value for money, especially when it comes to telephoto shooting.

We’ve compiled this list of the best Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses based on our extensive testing and reviewing experience with lenses of all types. Before we dive into the list, let’s look at what you might like to think about when picking your Micro Four Thirds zoom lens.

What to consider with the best Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses

The main thing to think about is which class of zoom lens you want to use. For this guide, we’ve separated the zoom lens options into standard, all-in-one (or superzoom), and telephoto zoom lenses.

Standard zooms are great options as ‘everyday’ or ‘walk around’ choices. They give you a good degree of flexibility for a range of different situations, such as landscape, travel and even portraiture. They also provide quite a naturalistic perspective, similar to that of the human eye, which is great for documentary-style shooting.

All-in-one or superzoom lenses cover a very  broad focal range, and let you do a bit of everything. They’re also useful as everyday or walkaround lenses, allowing you to zoom way in or way out at a moment’s notice. They also tend to be relatively inexpensive as they aren’t often used by professionals – the reason being that the big zoom range generally requires some compromises in terms of optical quality.

Telephoto zoom lenses are more suited to specific types of photography, such as wildlife, sports or action. Anything that requires you to get closer to the action is a good candidate for a telephoto zoom.

Still picking your Micro Four Thirds setup? Check out our guides to the best Olympus cameras and the best Panasonic cameras for plenty of great options. But for now, here are our choices for the best zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras in 2022…


Best standard zooms for Micro Four Thirds

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro review image

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro attached to an Olympus body. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 16-50mm
  • Street price: £899 / $1,099

Now, an  8-16mm lens may sound a little wide for our standard zooms section. But remember that 2x crop factor, which transforms the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro into a 16-50mm lens for MFT cameras. This puts it firmly in the realm of a useful, everyday walk-around lens, just one that can also zoom out to an ultra-wide perspective. And, what’s more, it’s an absolutely excellent lens. In our review, we found the optical quality to be near faultless at all positions on the focal range. Normally you expect some sharpness drop-off towards the telephoto end of a lens, but the M.Zuiko 8-25mm F4 Pro really does hold its detail well.

Read our Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4 Pro review.


Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 II LUMIX G Vario ASPH Power OIS

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 II LUMIX G Vario ASPH Power OIS

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 II LUMIX G Vario ASPH Power OIS.

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 24-70mm
  • Street price: £799 / $797

This standard zoom lens is equivalent to the classic focal length of 24-70mm which is favoured by many full-frame shooters. It’s also got a nice wide constant f/2.8 aperture. It’s suited well to larger cameras such as the Panasonic GH5, and makes for an excellent walk around lens. At its widest, it’s ideal for landscapes and travel, while the tele end is great for portraiture and street work. You can use it in low light conditions, using the widest aperture of f/2.8. It’s also great for throwing the background out of focus for shallow depth of field effects. Support is available for the Power OIS (optical image stabilisation) as well as in-camera 5-axis Dual IS 2 when used with certain cameras such as the GH5, GH5 II and G80.


Panasonic LEICA 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 DG VARIO-ELMARIT POWER OIS 

Panasonic LEICA 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 DG VARIO-ELMARIT POWER OIS 

Panasonic LEICA 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 DG VARIO-ELMARIT POWER OIS.

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 24-120mm
  • Street price: £879 / $897

Panasonic has a great working relationship with Leica, which it has teamed up with in order to create this standard zoom lens. Offering more reach than the 12-35mm lens, as a trade off, you have to settle for an f/4 aperture at the telephoto end of the lens. Again, due to its reasonably large size, it is best used with larger cameras, or those with body designs that resemble DSLRs, such as the Lumix GH6. This lens is also splash-proof and dust-proof, making it ideal for all kinds of outdoor work.


Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO.

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 24-80mm
  • Street price: £799 / $999

A classic ‘walk around’ focal length for Olympus users, this lens gives a touch extra reach than the Panasonic 12-35mm equivalent, while offering the same f/2.8 constant aperture. A great choice for cameras such as the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, it’s a versatile option for lots of different subjects ranging from landscapes to portraits. It is also weatherproof, which makes it ideal for outdoor work.
Discover more about the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO


Best all-in-one zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO on test. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 24-200mm
  • Street price: £999 / $1,399

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO lens offers an impressive zoom range, equivalent to 24-200mm, giving a versatile all-in-one zoom lens. It’s also been designed to give high image quality, and the lens doesn’t disappoint, scoring an impressive 5 stars in our review.

In our review, we said, ‘this lens brings an unparalleled combination of high image quality, compositional versatility, robust construction and near-magical image stabilisation. It’s not one to choose for shallow depth of field, but if you want to shoot a wide range of subjects without changing lenses, from sweeping landscapes to close-ups, it can do all of these with remarkable ease. It’s an outdoor photographer’s dream.’

Read our Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO review


Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 tested by AP’s review team. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 24-400mm
  • Street price: £669 / $899

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 all-in-one ‘super zoom’ lens offers a somewhat incredible 24-400mm equivalent zoom range. The lens benefits from a weather-resistant construction, but due to the lack of optical image stabilisation, it’s not recommended for use on cameras that don’t feature in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), as it could be tricky to get sharp shots when using more of the telephoto zoom. It’s also not as sharp as other lenses, particularly at the telephoto end of the lens, however, this is often the case with super zoom lenses.

Read our Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Review


Best telephoto zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds

Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 II LUMIX G X VARIO POWER OIS

Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 II LUMIX G X VARIO POWER OIS

Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 II LUMIX G X VARIO POWER OIS.

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 70-200mm
  • Street price: £799 / $897

A classic focal length enjoyed by traditional full-frame photographers, the equivalent focal length of this lens is 70-200mm. The maximum wide aperture of f/2.8 is constant, making it ideal for lots of subjects, including portraiture, as well as being great in low light. This lens is one of the pricier options for Micro Four Thirds, so if you want to save some cash, take a look at the 35-100mm f/4-5.6 option.


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

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

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

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 80-300mm
  • Street price: £1,099 / $1,499

This versatile optic from Olympus is ideal for quite a few different subjects, including portraiture and wildlife. It features an f/2.8 constant maximum aperture, which makes it useful in low light. For those who spend a lot of time outdoors, the splash, dust and freeze proof construction of the lens will surely be appreciated. Focusing is also near silent, and if the 300mm (equivalent) isn’t enough, you can purchase an extra 1.4x teleconverter to extend it to an equivalent of 420mm. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the high asking price of this lens, there’s also a 40-150mm f/4-5.6 offering available.
Read our Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Hands On Review


OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO

OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO

A new lens under the OM System branding. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 80-300mm
  • Street price: £799 / $899

Announced alongside the flagship OM-1 camera, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO was the second all-new optic under the OM System brand. It’s a compact, weather-sealed telephoto zoom that employs a space-saving retractable design and promises premium optics. With a zoom range equivalent to 80-300mm on full-frame, it’s designed for use with Olympus and OM System cameras but, of course, it can also be used on Panasonic Lumix G-series MFT bodies.

In our review we said, ‘the 40-150mm f/4 is a fine little lens that neatly fills a gap in the M.Zuiko line-up between the entry-level and f/2.8 Pro zooms that cover the same range. It’s a particularly good match for compact Micro Four Thirds bodies such as the E-M5 Mark III, but is just as good a choice for E-M1/OM-1 users looking to travel light. It would make an excellent companion for either the 12-40mm f/2.8 or 12-45mm f/4.5 standard zooms.’

Read our OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO Review


Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm f/4-5.6 II POWER OIS

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm f4-5.6 II POWER OIS

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm f4-5.6 II POWER OIS

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 90-400mm
  • Street price: £359 / $447

If your main concern is extra reach, but you don’t have a large budget to match, this 45-200mm lens from Panasonic could be the ideal choice. The maximum aperture isn’t particularly wide at f/4-5.6, but you can get very close to the subject. It’s also splash-proof and dust-proof, making it ideal for subjects such as wildlife and outdoor photography.


Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II.

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 150-600mm
  • Street price: £435 / $549

This extraordinarily good value lens gets you super close to the action, offering one of the longest focal lengths available for Micro Four Thirds. It boasts super fast autofocusing, which makes it well-suited to subjects such as sports, wildlife and action. You could also use it for some other subjects, such as events and weddings, where you need to get close to the subject.


Panasonic Lumix 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Power OIS

Panasonic Lumix 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Power OIS

Panasonic Lumix 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Power OIS

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 200-800mm
  • Street price: £1,149 / $1,597

This beast of a lens gives you incredible reach, being up to an equivalent of 800mm at its furthest. It’s great for a variety of subjects, including wildlife, sport and action and is dust-proof and splash-proof. The lens zooms silently, making it ideal for video recording, while autofocus is also very quiet.


Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS mid-test. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 200-800mm
  • Street price: £1,099 / $1,499

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS lens is a mid-range telephoto zoom that gives a 200-800mm equivalent, although with a relatively slow aperture, you do need bright sunny conditions to get the best out of the lens and camera. It’s also compatible with the Olympus MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters if you want even more reach.

Read our Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS Review


Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO

At a glance:

  • Equivalent focal length: 300-800mm
  • Street price: £6,499

For the professional sports or wildlife photographer, this lens offers a 300-800mm equivalent range, which can be extended to 375-1000mm (at f/5.6) using the built-in 1.25x teleconverter! When used with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 X it’s also said to be able to give up to eight stops of image stabilisation! At 1.875kg it’s also considerably lighter than full-frame equivalents. It’s also compatible with the Olympus MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters if you want even more reach.

Read our Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC 1.25x IS PRO Review


Discover more…

For more MFTs lens options just click through to have a look at our guide to the Best Micro Four Thirds lenses in 2022.


Further reading

The best lenses for Olympus


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