The Panasonic GH4 is a powerful micro four-thirds body with a lot of options, especially for videographers. We’re going to review the best lenses for the Panasonic GH4 to help sort through the good and the bad.
First, let’s look at the different lens types available.
Native MFT vs Adapters (Metabones Speedbooster)
The GH4 has a micro four-thirds sensor, so it supports all lenses with a micro four-thirds mount. There is also the option to use Canon EF or Nikon lenses, but in order to attach them you’ll need to purchase an adapter. Metabones offers a nice solution for this: the Metabones Speedbooster. This is not only an adapter, but the built-in optics also increase your field of view .71x and add an extra stop in exposure (usefull for low light situations).
If you already own some nice Canon or Nikon lenses that you want to use with the GH4, the speedbooster should definitely be on your list.
If you want to read more about the metabones speed booster head over to fstoppers here.
If you don’t already own any Canon or Nikon lenses, then we’d recommend going with native micro-four thirds lenses. In this overview, we are going to cover the best lenses for Panasonic GH4, all of which are compatible with the native micro four-thirds mount.
Best Lenses for Panasonic GH4: An Overview
Best ‘All-in-One’ Lens (Standard Zoom)
Along with its wordy name, the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm comes with a good list of features including image stabilization and autofocus. The added IS is going to make the Lumix G X Vario great for video and handheld photography.
Priced at around $900, photographers adding the Lumix G X Vario to the kits will feel it coming out of their budgets. However, Panasonic offers a f/2.8 aperture and a 12-35mm focal zoom to the mix to make this a great all-in-one lens for the videographer and photographer looking to shoot on the move.
The Olympus Zuiko line adds another versatile and element proof lens to the roster. The Zuiko 12-40mm boasts a splashproof, shockproof, dustproof and freezeproof body along with it’s versatile focal range capable of wide-angle and organic photos. The icing on the cake is a clutched focus ring which is great for linear focus control (a feature that the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm lacks).
Not to mention, Olympus has packed this lens with Dual Aspherical, High Refractive and ED lens elements to produce high resolution pictures with crisp details. A drawback of this lens is that it lacks image stabilisation (this is due to the fact that most Olympus cameras have got image stabilisation built into the camera body). The Olynpus M Zuiko 12-40mm comes in at $900.
Best Telephoto lens
If you want a durable wide-range telephoto lens, the Panasonic 35-100mm is exactly what you need. The 35-100mm range provides reach when needed but allows for close-up photos at the wider 35mm range. This lens comes fully equipped with image stabilization and a constant aperture of f/2.8 making it perfect for video production and shooting on the go.
For $1000, this 35-100mm lens provides crisp images from all ranges along side of more expansive features like fixed aperture and image stabilization. The only down side is shelling out the cash required to make this a regular staple in your kit.
The Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm offers a huge focal range for a low cost. This $400 lens can create anything from portraiture to telephoto images in one humble body. Plus, it comes fully equipped with image stabilization in a low cost market making this a viable lens for low light and long range photography.
The downside? This cheaper lens is going to lack auto focus and some of the crisp resolution a higher end camera will provide. However, the versatility and cost make this an easy addition to any photographer’s kit.
This super Telephoto lens has a 100-300mm focal length with Mega Image Stabilization. Combine that with a contrast inner focus AF system and turn your telephoto images into crisp, high resolution shots with reduced blur and flare.
The only con for this lens is that the high range which limits it’s use outside of telephoto photography. It comes in at a reasonable $500 and covers the necessities of telephoto photography.
Best Wide Angle Lenses
The Panasonic 7-14mm covers the lowest focal range you can find without using a distorted lens. This makes the 7-44mm perfect for active subjects, expansive scenes or capturing movement. Not to mention, the constant f/4 aperture function allows for great videos and quick shots.
This beauty comes in at $900 but makes up for it considering the range of focal lengths. However, the 7-14mm comes with a relatively limited aperture at f/4, but the 7mm focal point makes up when a shallow depth of field is needed. However, the closed aperture is not ideal for low light shooting or macro stye photography.
Best Portrait Lenses (Primes)
This is Panasonic’s fastest lens to date with a 25mm focal point and a f/1.4 aperture. The wide aperture and fast speed make the Lumix G 25mm perfect for low light photography with crisp details.
This prime comes in at $599 which is a bit higher than competitors. Its also a bit wider than other lens of the same prime, which means it takes up more bag space. However, the sharpness and speed when wide open make up for the differential.
The Olympus Zuiko 45mm lens is Olympus’ response to the 50mm prime market. It sports a fast auto focus with a comfortable focus ring. Not to mention, the f/1.8 aperture takes great photos with a shallow depth of field.
Overall, this is a great lens for a micro four-thirds body that produces organic portraits in a timely fashion. It comes in at $399, which it is a bit lower than competitors. On the downside, this lens can’t compete when rapid focus is needed.
Best Macro Lens
The MSC is a weatherproof 60mm prime with a competitive resolution. Aside from being splashproof and dustproof, the wider than average f/2.8 aperture allows for a shallow depth of field and autofocus features to back you up.
The MSC prices at $499.00 and is a great lens for those wanting to capture macro images. The low aperture creates a clear boca and a sharp image. However, the low cost is going to leave image stabilization out of the picture.
More info and reviews on the Panasonic GH4