Wide-angle lenses can be a lot of fun because they allow you to play with perspective and geometry like no other type of lens. They are great companions for landscapes, architecture and astro-photography, but also work well for events and other genres where a wide angle of view can enrich your work and vision.
The Micro Four Thirds system has been around for some time now so there is a good amount of choice, regardless of whether you prioritise high quality, portability or affordability. We are lucky enough to have tested and compared most of these lenses, so listing them along with our personal recommendations felt like the next logical step. Happy reading!
Note: many standard zooms (including kit lenses) have a range that starts from 12mm or 14mm, allowing them to qualify as wide angle lenses. However to keep the article more concise, I’ve excluded them from the main list. I’ve mentioned these products briefly at the end with a few useful links to full comparison articles.
Note II: all the lenses listed here lack optical stabilisation. Olympus and Panasonic rely on in-body image stabilisation (5-axis stabilisation) and, except for older models, most of the current line-up has IBIS (excluding specialised cameras such as the GH5S). I prefer to mention this here rather than repeating the same sentence throughout the rest of the article.
Ethics statement: All opinions expressed in this article are based on our real-world experience with each lens. We were not asked to write anything about these products, nor were we provided any compensation of any kind. Within the article, there are affiliate links. If you decide to buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!
Wide Angle Zoom Lenses for Micro Four Thirds
You can’t beat the convenience and versatility of a zoom lens. Although wide-angle zooms don’t provide the same flexibility as standard zooms, they start from a shorter focal length and give you an interesting range of fields of view to work with.
Our favourite: Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH.
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 16-36mm
After reviewing this lens two yeas ago, it immediately became our favourite of all the wide angle zoom lenses we’ve tested.
First of all, the optical quality is superb across the frame – it’s the very best the system has to offer. The 23cm minimum focus distance is constant through the entire zoom range and the bokeh is surprisingly pleasant. There is no vignetting, chromatic aberration or distortion to speak of. The only thing you’ll come across are small ghost flares when shooting into direct light.
Second, it offers a nice balance between size, weight and price in comparison to the larger and more expensive M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8. The build quality is premium with an all-metal construction, weather sealing, and precise and smooth rings. It can take 67mm filters making it a more convenient choice if you like long exposures photography. The AF motor is fast and silent as you would expect from this kind of product. The cherry on top for video makers is that it behaves like a para-focal lens (the focus point doesn’t change when zooming in or out).
The only real limitation is the non-constant aperture. I think in most cases it isn’t a problem, as you can take advantage of the in-body stabilisation of Olympus and Panasonic cameras, so the only situation where you might want to look elsewhere is if you need a lens like this for events. Astro-photography works best if you’re happy to stay at 8mm and f2.8 where coma in the corners is very well contained.
Why choose the Leica DG 8-18mm f/2.8-4 for your Micro Four Thirds camera:
- the very best optical quality
- premium construction with weather sealing
- versatile zoom range with useful close focusing capabilities
- you can mount circular filters on it (67mm)
- non-constant aperture
Widest and fastest: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 14-28mm
If you need a bright constant aperture, and want to go as wide as possible, then the answer you’re looking for is the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 Pro.
Pro implies a high quality build with weather sealing and the 7-14mm doesn’t disappoint. The focus ring can be pulled back to switch to manual focus and provide a better experience than pure fly-by-wire rings. The AF motor is very fast and discreet.
Sharpness is excellent across the frame at all apertures and, as you can imagine, the constant f/2.8 aperture makes this lens more versatile for all sorts of low light work. But perhaps the aspect that surprised me the most was the close focus capabilities of just 7.5cm, which make this product an interesting solution for semi-macro shots with an unusual wide view. Even the bokeh looks good.
The only small negatives are the softer corners at f2.8 (10mm and 14mm only) and small flares that can be a bit annoying at the shortest focal length. It is also large and heavier than many other products mentioned here. It is expensive but not unreasonable. Another thing to consider is the lack of a filter thread, so you’ll have to look for an adapter in order to attach filters.
Why choose the M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO for your Micro Four Thirds camera:
- 2.8 constant aperture
- superb build quality with weather sealing
- stunning short focus results
- the corners are a bit soft at f2.8 and 10mm, 14mm
- no filter thread
Widest on a budget: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH.
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 14-28mm
The Panasonic 7-14mm is much older than the two zooms mentioned above, but it holds its own quite well. Sharpness and distortion are on par with the M.Zuiko version and while the f4 aperture makes it less appealing for low light work or astrophotography, it makes the lens much more compact and lightweight.
Its Achilles’ heel is ghost flares, which can be quite invasive. There is no weather sealing or filter thread which means you’ll have to find an adapter. Autofocusing is fast and reliable however.
Price is another advantage if you find it on offer or even second hand. Be aware though that in some cases it is not far off in price from the 8-18mm which I consider a superior lens (unless you want that 7mm focal length or smaller dimensions).
Why choose the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 for your micro four thirds camera:
- excellent optical quality
- compact design
- no filter thread
- flares can be invasive
On a budget: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 18-36mm
The least expensive zoom lens on this list is the old 9-18mm from Olympus. It is also the lightest and most compact but there are a few limitations as you can imagine: no weather sealing, a plastic construction (the mount is metal though) and a slow/non-constant aperture. It is one of the lenses that Olympus continues to ship without a hood.
From an optical point of view, the 9-18mm defends itself quite well at the centre when it comes to sharpness, but the corners are not as good as the lenses above. (That said, they’re not horrible either.) Distortion and flare are minimal but the lens can be quite susceptible to chromatic aberration in the corners. Nothing to declare concerning the AF motor: it does the job just fine.
Why choose the M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 for your Micro Four Thirds camera:
- very good optical quality
- compact design
- plastic build, hood not included
- slow aperture
Wide-Angle Zoom Lens Comparisons
If you’re hesitating between two specific lenses, one of the following articles might be of help:
- Panasonic Leica 8-18mm vs Olympus 7-14mm f2.8
- Panasonic Leica 8-18mm vs Olympus 9-18mm
- Panasonic Leica 8-18mm vs Panasonic 7-14mm f4
Wide Angle Prime Lenses for Micro Four Thirds
Prime lenses (fixed focal length) have the advantage of being smaller in addition to offering superior optical quality and faster apertures. They don’t offer the versatility of a zoom lens but, if you carefully select the characteristics you need, you’ll be surprised at how many different uses you can find for one focal length.
Fisheye Prime Lenses for Micro Four Thirds
Well, since we’re going from widest to narrowest, why not start with the fisheye lenses! Fisheyes are ultra wide-angle lenses designed to deliver a very wide view with distinctive distortion.
Personally, I always find this type of product difficult to use. It can be fun for the first few days, but I get bored of it quickly. But that is my personal limitation. The take-home point is that they offer a unique point of view that creative photographers know how to take advantage of.
The best: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye Pro
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 16mm Fisheye
The 8mm 1.8 is a unique lens because it combines the extreme wide angle of view of a fisheye with a fast 1.8 aperture (a world’s first). Add to this the very close focus capabilities and it becomes quite the creative tool to have in your bag.
The lens is part of the Olympus Pro series which means weather-sealing and an excellent build quality. It is compact and light so it will fit most cameras well. The focus ring can be pulled back to instantly switch from auto to manual focus. The AF motor is fast and silent.
The optical quality is excellent with sharp results right from f1.8, at close and long focus distances. The fast aperture makes it an interesting option for low light and astrophotography. Even the bokeh is pleasant when focusing close wide open. If you de-fish your photos to have a normal “rectilinear” result, the quality remains good but the extreme corners can deteriorate a little. There is a bit of chromatic aberration, as well as some scribble-like flare when the sun hits the lens at an angle.
It is not a cheap lens by any means, but it is quite unique. If you love fisheyes, it is worth taking a closer look.
Why choose the M.Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Fisheye Pro for your Micro Four Thirds camera:
- excellent build quality and weather sealing
- unique 1.8 aperture, great optical performance
- very close focusing distance
- on the expensive side
- de-fishing works well but you lose a bit of sharpness in the extreme corners
Budget option: Samyang Rokinon 7.5mm f3.5
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 15mm Fisheye
If you don’t want to break the bank or are curious to experiment with a fisheye lens, the Samyang 7.5mm might be the better choice. It is less expensive and offers excellent optical quality. It is also well-known in the Micro Four Thirds community for giving good de-fishing results.
It is well designed, feels solid but there is no weather sealing. There are no electronic contacts and it is manual focus only, although most of the time you won’t have any issues keeping your scene in focus given the slow aperture and very short focal length.
Why choose the Samyang 7.5mm f3.5 for your Micro Four Thirds camera:
- affordable price
- solid build quality and very compact
- great sharpness and can be de-fished with good results
- manual focus only
- slow aperture
Super-Wide Prime Lenses for Micro Four Thirds
Super-Wide, or Ultra-Wide, are rectilinear lenses that offer a wide angle of view that is bigger than 85˚ and usually up to about 110˚. They can work well for interiors, urban cityscapes and astro-photography, or any scene where you need your frame to be as wide as possible.
The widest: Laowa 7.5mm f2
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 15mm
The Laowa 7.5mm is the widest rectilinear lens you can find for Micro Four Thirds, and its fast f/2 aperture makes it ideal for a variety of applications including astro-photography.
The design is very compact (the lens weighs just 170g) which makes it a viable option for drone work (Laowa even sells a lighter version that is 150g). The lens feels solid thanks to the metal build. Given the tiny size and ample angle of view, you have to be careful not to place your fingers too close to the front element or they will become part of your photo! It is manual focus only and there are no electronic contacts, which means that the exif data is not recorded. You can mount 46mm filters.
Sharpness is superb across the frame with good performance from f2, and peak performance at f4. There is some slight astigmatism at f2 in the corners when taking pictures of the night sky, but it’s gone from f2.8. You will encounter some barrel distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration at the fastest apertures but nothing drastic that can’t be corrected in post. The only real annoyance is flare, which can be quite severe.
Why choose the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 for your Micro Four Thirds camera:
- tiny and lightweight
- excellent sharpness across the frame
- fast aperture is ideal for astrophotography
- not too expensive
- manual focus only without electronic contacts
- flare resistance is not great
The best: Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 18mm
Like the 7.5mm, the Laowa 9mm has compact dimensions, is very light (215g) and has a full metal build but no weather sealing. The rings are smooth and precise to operate, and the lens can take 49mm filters at the front. Here as well there are no electronic contacts.
We tested the APS-C version and sharpness is already spot on from f2.8 from corner to corner. I have no doubt that it performs fine on Micro Four Thirds cameras too. There is minimal distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting. Once again the only weak spot is flare, although it’s not quite as invasive as with the 7.5mm.
Why choose the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D for your Micro Four Thirds camera:
- compact and light
- solid build quality
- fine optical performance at all values
- manual focus only and no exif data
The fastest: Voigtländer Nokton 10.5mm f0.95
Equivalent field of view in 35mm format: 21mm
The Nokton 10.5mm is nothing like any other lens mentioned in this article. Its unique fast aperture of 0.95 combined with the close focusing capabilities lets it deliver a unique look. The lens is a tad too soft at 0.95 for astro-photography, but it gives you good results at 1.4 with contained coma in the corners.
Other positives include a very good build quality and a very nice mechanical focus ring. The aperture ring can be de-clicked for video work. Note that this lens is manual focus only and there are no electronic contacts to communicate information to the camera.
It’s not a lens for everyone and there are things you need to be aware of. First it is a bit heavy if you plan to use it on a tiny Micro Four Thirds camera. Sharpness is good overall but there is a distinctive loss when focusing close. There is chromatic aberration at almost all values, although it isn’t too difficult to eliminate in post with a good software. Finally it is not exactly cheap.
Why choose the Voigtländer 10.5mm f/0.95 for your micro four thirds camera:
- unique characteristics and attractive shallow depth of field when focusing close
- excellent build quality and smooth manual focus ring
- good sharpness at long focus distances
- soft results at close focus distances
- on the expensive side