Macro shootout on Micro Four Thirds: four lenses, one winner

_5009894 copy

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s review of the new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 60mm f2.8 Macro; aimed at answering two questions: what is the best macro lens for Micro Four Thirds, and just how much better are the system-specific lens designs? Firstly, a bit of background logic. I’ve selected lenses around the same focal length range – 50mm+/- – in mounts that can easily be adapted to fit M4/3; this pretty much means native lenses and Nikon; Canon and Sony do not have mechanical aperture control, and thus no way of stopping down; besides, Zeiss makes the same lens in multiple mounts. I haven’t used conventional lenses with extension tubes* as these are not real macro lenses; their optics have not been designed with optimization for close range performance in mind. Exotic optics and things that aren’t easily available such as the Coastal Optics 60/4 APO-UV-VIS-IR were also excluded for obvious reasons.

*With one exception, explained later

This left us with four practical contenders: the Panasonic Leica 45/2.8 Macro-Elmarit (PL45), the Carl Zeiss ZF.2 2/50 Makro-Planar, the Nikon AFS 60/2.8 G Micro, and of course the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 60/2.8 Macro (ZD60). Some are going to cry foul at not having the older Zuiko Digital 50/2 Macro present, but there’s a good reason for that – I didn’t have one handy, and the newer lens has a much higher MTF. Basically, we have here the best short focal length macros available for the respective systems – I might have missed one, but the test would be meaningless unless repeated with all lenses at the same time.

These tests would be useless without consistent methodology – so a quick note on that is necessary to provide some background context to the tests. The camera used was an Olympus OM-D, the highest resolution camera available for Micro Four Thirds, and with a pixel pitch equivalent to a 64MP full-frame sensor; this was shot RAW, converted in ACR with identical settings and zero sharpening. I used a Manfrotto 468MGRCO Hydrostat head and Gitzo GT 5562 GTS legs with no center column; this combination is rock-solid and rated to far higher loads than I can even physically carry. To completely rule out camera shake, the test subjects were illuminated with flash – in this case, a pair of Olympus FL-600Rs, triggered wirelessly using the supplied flash for the OM-D. The lens was defocused serveral times for each shot and the best image selected.

Focusing was performed with either AF and checked with 10x live view, or manually with 10x live view, at the intended point of comparison. A G-compatible adaptor was used to mount the Nikon and Zeiss lenses; the aperture on the 60mm was set to the same approximate size (as viewed from the front, object side) as the Zeiss when stopped down. The magnification of each scene was matched between the different lenses by moving the tripod.

The test scenes were artificial constructs to investigate specific properties: resolution at center, border and corner wide open; bokeh, longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberrations and distortion. The lenses were tested in the range they would be typically used – moderately close distances down to the 1:1-1:2 magnification range. All use floating elements, and infinity performance is excellent across the board – it isn’t difficult to design a normal lens that performs well at infinity.

With regards to the commentary, please go off what I say and not what you see: even though these are low-compression jpegs of screen shots of 100% crops, there will inevitably be some differences in color and resolution compared to the actual files which I’ve viewed on a calibrated monitor, at full resolution. Clicking on the ‘full resolution’ links takes you to the original screen shot file.

1. Center resolution at mid distance, f2.8

_5009081 copy
Full frame

ZD60 comparison center mid distance
Click here for the full resolution 100% screen crop.

Wide open, the ZD60 has both the best resolution and microcontrast here, taking the crown from the PL45 by a hair; there seems to be just a tiny bit of CA or bleed on the edge of the lettering of the PL45 that’s robbing the lens of crispness. You can also see that the lens doesn’t seem to be resolving on as fine a level as the ZD60  – note the fiber in the right hand center edge black portion. Neither the Nikon nor the Zeiss are anywhere near in the running here; both have internal veiling flare that clearly lower contrast and resolution, especially in the texture of the label. The Zeiss is a bit better than the Nikon, but then again it should be; it’s the only lens in this group that’s been stopped down by a stop. The legacy lenses are a little disappointing but not entirely surprising; even on the larger pixel pitch D800E they require some stopping down to reach optimum resolution.

2. Bokeh and longitudinal CA, f2.8

ZD60 comparison loca-bokeh
Full resolution. From the previous frame. A set of keys was lit directly with another flash to provide a bright, contrasty and reflective background subject.

Bokeh is pretty good in all of these, but not perfect in any of them. If I had to choose one, I’d say my vote is betweens the Nikon and the Olympus; the Nikon appears the smoothest of the bunch, but also suffers from significant longitudinal chromatic aberration. The Olympus has almost no longitudinal CA, but it does have some texture in the OOF highlight area, as well as a bright edge to the same area. The PL45 is clearly the worst of the bunch, with uneven highlights, bright edges, and longitudinal CA to top things off; it seems that it might also be prone to double imaging with certain out of focus subjects. The Zeiss falls somewhere in the middle for smoothness, but has the worst longitudinal CA. Remember that the relative merits of bokeh are very subjective – what might be to my taste may not be to yours. CA, however, is CA, and can require significant postprocessing work to fix if present in the OOF areas.

3. Corner resolution at approx. 1:3 magnification, f2.8

_5009115 copy
Full frame

ZD60 comparison corner
Full resolution

As with the initial center crop, it’s a very close race between the PL45 and the ZD60; both appear to have contrast, but the ZD60 has slightly higher resolving power and microcontrast. I see a small amount of CA on the PL45 image too; the top edge of the white line has a slight green fringe. The Nikon lags behind both for resolution, and has some visible CA; note the top edge of the white line. The Zeiss is the worst here – there’s visible CA, a tiny bit of coma, low contrast, some flare, and markedly lower resolution than the others. It also has the warmest rendition of the lot (WB was manually set to the same Kelvin temperature for all images).

4. Center resolution at 1:2 magnification, f2.8

_5009132 copy
Full frame

ZD60 comparison center 1-2mag
Full resolution

Things haven’t changed much in the center and at closer distances; the two legacy lenses are closer in resolving power to the native M4/3 lenses, but both still lack microcontrast. In overall resolution, there’s little to choose between the Nikon and Zeiss, the PL45 is only a bit better. It’s actually surprising how much crisper the ZD60 appears here.

5. Border resolution at 1:1.2 magnification and distortion, f5.6

_5009170 copy
Full frame; a 20mm extension tube was required for the Zeiss ZF.2 2/50 MP to achieve this magnification as it’s normally limited to 1:2.

ZD60 comparison edge 1-1
Full resolution

A more practical application – for me, at any rate. None of the lenses had any noticeably distortion, so I didn’t bother to include full crops from them. For all intents and purposes, it’s a non-issue. The focus point of this image was the center pinion of the second hand of the watch (the round thing), not the 60 text. Note that the hand is very dark blue, and the left-edge blue highlight is the color of the hand. The color fringing visible on the high contrast edge of the steel pinion itself, on the other hand, is chromatic aberration. On stopping down a little, the Zeiss has caught up with the PL45 and ZD60 in both resolution and microcontrast; there’s very, very little to choose between the three. The PL45 appears to have the most contrast overall, followed by the Zeiss; the ZD60 still seems to be resolving slightly more than the other two (note micro-machining marks in the highlights of the silver guilloche pattern) but with lower contrast; perhaps its coatings cannot deal with the reflections from the silvered pattern as well as the Zeiss T* or Leica coatings. The Nikon is clearly struggling to deliver the same macro- and microcontrast, though resolution appears to be only a hair behind the other three. I think the PL45 looks the best here, with the Zeiss and Olympus tied for second, but it is very, very close indeed.


Given that you’ll have to shoot all of these lenses at relatively large apertures (for a macro lens) to avoid diffraction, wide open performance and close to it are both very important. Although both the Zeiss and Nikon are relatively modern designs, it’s clear that the legacy mount lenses simply don’t do as well as the dedicated designs, which isn’t surprising. As a practical option, although image quality is more than acceptable – we are very much into the realm of pixel peeping here – the dedicated M4/3 lenses are simply much easier to use thanks to autofocus; it’s nearly impossible to nail critical manual focus wide open and handheld, though quite doable on a tripod. If resolution is your priority, then your choice should be either the ZD60 or PL45; however, if it’s bokeh, you might want to think about an adaptor. Bottom line: if you have these lenses around, and work in a controlled environment, you could quite happily make do with an adaptor.

All of these lenses are capable of producing stellar images technically; the artistic content is of course very much down to the photographer. I don’t think it’s difficult to pick a winner here; although the PL45 and ZD60 are both excellent lenses, the ZD60 simply has far fewer optical shortcomings than the PL45, and a transparency about it that makes it look as though the other lenses have a veil or film or something pulled over them. I own all of these lenses, and have extensive experience with them. The Nikon has been my mainstay lens for watch photography since its release several years ago; the Zeiss I use for food, and the PL45 has increasingly been my lens for both product and food shoots because of the extended depth of field available with an 45mm real focal length and the M4/3 system. I’ve generally avoided shooting wide open with the Nikon and Zeiss at close distances, though. However, this test (and the preceding review of the Olympus ZD60) is seriously making me reconsider the position of the former two lenses; the Olympus is so much better on M4/3 than the other two even on the Nikons, let alone adapted to M4/3.

I think you don’t need me to tell which lens is the clear winner here…MT

The various lenses tested are available here from Amazon: Olympus ZD 60/2.8 Macro, Panasonic-Leica 45/2.8 Macro-Elmarit, Nikon AFS 60/2.8 G Micro, Zeiss ZF.2 2/50 Makro-Planar.


Visit our Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including Photoshop Workflow DVDs and customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the reader Flickr group!


Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards. All rights reserved


  1. Thanks for your review, Ming!

    I’ve long been a fan of Olympus macro stuff, which is a big reason I got in the OM system decades ago, and why I continue to use Oly digital today.

    I realize that autofocus is a must for many, but for copy stand work, one might consider older OM-system macro gear adapted to digital bodies, Olympus or other. They can often be had for a bargain on evilBay.

    You may be interested in a comparison I did years ago, with the OMD 50 macro and various OM Zuiko macro lenses: 20, 38, 50, 80, 90, and 135. (Spoiler alert: the OM Zuiko 90mm macro is the clear winner!)

  2. Can you use a circle flash with this lens and body?

  3. I love macro as well as landscape photography which is causing me a lot of headaches…. it seems that from body/lens combinations they are on the opposite sides of the spectrum….. let me explain

    I have a Sigma 150 macro lens which I absolutely love. I used this lens on my (old and trusty) D300 for 18 months or so. After using this combination for a while I realized that, to shoot macro photos, I had to get something with better High ISO performance (to keep high enough shutter speed and smaller aperture for greater DOF).

    Since I also like shooting landscapes, I sold my D300 and bought a D800E and kept the Sigma 150 macro lens as its full frame compatible. I am really impressed with the resolution and the High ISO performance of D800E but I have noticed that my macro photos do not have the DOF that I am expecting and I have to shoot at f/22 to get reasonable DOF.

    After reading this article I am thinking along another tangent…… I am thinking of buying a micro 4/3 camera along with the 60mm Olympus macro lens as my dedicated macro kit and keeping the D800E for landscape photography. From what I have read, the 2x crop factor on micro 4/3 will give me the benefits of the extended focal length as well as greater DOF.

    Do you think I will benefit from switching to micro 4/3 for the advantages stated above?
    Is the resolution good enough for macro?

    Any opinions are welcome.

  4. Bharat Varma says:

    The full resolution link for this image is incorrect and gives an error.
    5. Border resolution at 1:1.2 magnification and distortion, f5.6
    The correct link is this one –

  5. Hi Ming,
    Thanks for the great reviews.

    Now that you’ve had some time with the Oly 60mm, and I’m assuming you’ve been shooting more with that lens I wanted to know your current thoughts verses the PL 45mm.

    I want to purchase one of these lens, both for marco and a faster mid-tele and I currently use a Panasonic G6 so no in-body stabilization.

    I like what I see with the Oly 60mm in your examples and based on that and the price would be my first choice. However I would have OIS with the PL 45mm for general photo shooting (probably use a tripod most of the time when shooting marco) and for that the PL 45mm might be a better fit, but it does cost more and per your review is not on par with the 60mm for image quality.

    Can you share your experiance and thoughts having used the 60mm for over a year now and in comparison to the PL 45mm?


    • I thought my opinion was pretty clear in the review. The 60 is better. I sold my 45. Why keep an inferior lens that does almost the same thing?

      • Just checking since the review was in 2012…

        I was thinking having OIS might be useful with a Panny body. I’m new to 4/3 and the Canon G series compacts have IS so I’m just used to that feature always being there.

        I also saw your Photo Assay about using the 60mm as a street/portrait lens and you mentioned 45mm was probably a better focal-length so although a compromise in some areas maybe a benefit in others.


        • Olympus IBIS is better than OIS, so I don’t miss that feature from the 45. 60mm is a bit long for street – I just prefer 85mm and under. It has nothing to do with the optical qualities of the lens, just the perspective.

          • I had already ordered the 60mm before having these second thoughts so it’s already on its way to me. I just checked and for the price I got the 60mm for ($399) plus the price for the 45mm 1.8 ($349) that would equal only $30 more than what the PL 45mm would cost me so this might be a better solution.

            And I am considering a GX7 later so then I would have IBIS.

            Thanks for your time,

  6. Peter Boender says:

    “A G-compatible adaptor was used to mount the Nikon and Zeiss lenses” – I’m looking for a good adapter for my Nikon lenses. There’s quite a variety out there… Which adapter are you using Ming? (You may have told us elsewhere, but can’t seem to find it right now). I suppose there are no adapters out there with electrical contacts, if only to transmit the lens data into the file’s EXIF data…

    • Cheap one I got off ebay – I lucked out and it focuses to infinity, so I’m happy.

      No electrical contacts – the pins aren’t compatible because the communication protocol is obviously different for each mount…

      • Peter Boender says:

        Okay… And by “G-compatible” you mean it’s possible to change the aperture? How does that work, is there some sort of aperture activation button or lever? Focus and compose first wide open, and then stop it down to the working aperture to obtain an exposure? Really curious to find out what features are important, c.q. I need to look for. Thanks in advance!

      • Peter Boender says:

        Thanks Ming! Looking into it!

  7. Hi, I am interested in photographing teeth. So DOF is important. Would there be less diffraction stopped down with a larger sensor, such as those used in a DSLR? I plan to use a ring light that syncs with the shutter speed at 1/100. So, I guess it is the ISO and f stop as the variables.

    • Diffraction is a property of your aperture and pixel pitch. So the tradeoff is that with a larger sensor you get larger pixels and diffraction kicks in later, but you have to stop down more to get the same depth of field.

      • That’s interesting. Thanks for that info. If I were to buy a 4/3 format macro, I would probably go with the Panny for my G3 for image stabilization, or the Oly with an Oly body for the same reason. I did like the Oly images better.

        • Good point – and definitely valid if you do a lot of handheld shooting. I have a GH3 on loan at the moment and am finding that with non-OIS lenses, the minimum shutter speed you need is much higher, meaning higher ISOs required and lower ensuing image quality etc…

  8. Hi Ming. Just wondering if you have used the 60mm in non-macro settings? I’ve now got my second copy of this lens, and it seems to suffer quite bad filed curvature issues when focusing at infinity, which is absent at closer focusing distances.

  9. Hi MT,
    Thank you for another spectacular review, just like all your other work and blog.
    I am in the market to buy my first macro lens and as a nikon shooter I naturally look into the Micro 105mm and the 60mm. My current interest is to take pictures of my newborn child but I also want to heed the warning about having a longer focal length so as to not cast shadows or scare away insects if I choose to shoot them in the future. I had rented and used the 105mm and liked it. It’s slow autofocus kills me though. Then I recall reading this article (thanks to your promptly midnight articles that I usually read before I sleep) and now am considering buying the ZD60. My wife has a mini-PEN micro 4/3. With a lower price tag and better quality, I am planning to buy the ZD60. However, given this is my first macro lens and that I haven’t shoot with 4/3s cameras a lot, do you see my purchase reasonable and fitting for newborn/baby macro photography?

    Another thought, given that I shoot with a Nikon D800 and a D300s where the latter gives me extra space to work with due to its crop factor, is whether or not the sensor size plays a role in the magnification? I’m green in macro but I hear 1:1 is the best ratio, hence would a full frame beat a micro 4/3s in any way? I am guessing crop factor gives me the advantage of shooting farther with a shorter focal length but I was wondering if I’d lose any quality?

    Thanks so much for your time.

    • I don’t shoot babies so I honestly wouldn’t know, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for that. Magnification is magnification, and is a reproduction ratio at the sensor. 1:1 on 4/3 means a 17x13mm subject. 1:1 on FF means a 24x36mm subject. If you put the same lens on both cameras, they will give the same reproduction ratio but different subject area. Thus if you need more working distance, use a smaller format because for a given focal length, the same subject area can be achieved with a lower magnification ratio.

  10. Can you comment on the actual length of the Pan/Leica 45 and new Oly 60mm M43 lenses at 1:1? Is the Panasonic not internal focusing and the Oly is not IF?

    Also, you mentioned diffraction issues at small apertures. Where does this start to be a real issue?


    • Both are IF, and both shorten the actual FL a bit but not that much – perhaps 10-15%. I don’t have a scientific measure for this. Diffraction appears beyond f8, and noticeably at f16.

      • MUCH appreciated! Great review of these lenses.

        One more question regarding diffraction. I do a lot of highly magnified (1:1) macro shooting, so I’m always looking for maximum DOF at a given focal length. Is the diffraction enough of an issue to NOT shoot at f11 and f13?

        Thanks again!

        • Not really. I’d do it if I had no choice, but you’d definitely know that results were worse than f5.6 or f8. I suppose the ideal would be some sort of tilt shift on M43…

  11. this macro seems like a great lens. I think it’ll be my next lens for sure! thanks for this review.

  12. How is the manual focus action? I find that the focus ring throw is very very long. A tad too long…

    • Always too long on the fly-by-wire lenses. I much prefer mechanical focus rings. In this case, the limiter switch helps quite a bit with getting the AF ‘in the zone’ so to speak

  13. Thanks so much for your very informative blog. Reading your meticulous review about the EM-5 was what caused me to buy one and the article and photos about the 60mm macro got me really excited. I ordered one from my local camera shop about 6 days ago assuming that I wouldn’t see it till late October- but it showed up 2 days later. My first trial shots were at the Como Park Conservatory here in St. Paul, MN. I’m astounded at how well they turned out- especially because I have a Canon 7D and the 60mm macro from Canon and finished results from that combination are just not up to what I got with the Olympus combination.

    In case you’re interested in looking at a few shots. These were all taken with the 60mm macro from Olympus and I used the fl-300r
    flash for illumination. All RAW captures processed using DXO software with a little tweaking by Apple Aperture. A few need to be tossed out due to not quite getting the focus dead on- but I’ll wait a while.

  14. Thanks for the shootout Ming,i will definitely be buying the 60mm oly after what you have said and shown,Now that will make lens number 4,and my first foray into the world of macro.yours Tony

  15. Good review – less comments compared to the more ‘glamorous’ D600 review but for me more useful 🙂

    Does show if Olympus comes up with a few more advanced flashes than they are close to competing with the more complete Nikon CLS – their lenses are definitely up to the task! Is it possibly time for Nikon to come up with a new macro release?

    • We had a few new macros but nothing spectacular – DX 85/3.5, 40/2.8. The 60 and 105 are both pretty new so I don’t see a replacement anytime soon.

      If they just fixed the triggering issue and UI on the flashes themselves, it would be pretty interesting competition. But for now, Nikon’s flash system is still the best by some margin – both in results and usability.

  16. Thanks for the review. Given the price, the Olympus 60/2.8 looks like one of those strong lenses in the m4/3 that add to the appeal of the cameras themselves. I wasn’t going to get it, but now will probably have to think again…

    I actually own the Nikkor 60/2.8 and the Zeiss M-P 50/2 myself, the former I user for portraits and action, the latter for everything else (I like the microcontrast). My experience is that adapters always have penalties in image quality and handling and thus the only appeal in using a Micro-Nikkor or Zeiss on micro 4/3 is in case one already has them. I also don’t like the “oversize” lenses on micro 4/3. But the “bigger lenses” would really come into their right on a D800, where a bigger part of the imaging circle can be used.

    The end result wasn’t so surprising, given that dedicated designs tend to work well and Olympus is very respected for their macro/micro lenses. I feel this bodes well for the upcoming 17/1.8, which will hopefully be a higher quality alternative to the Panasonic 20/1.7.

    • Absolutely. The 60/2.8 and 50/2 are excellent lenses on the Nikon system, though the results actually corroborate well with what I see in practice – both lenses need to be stopped down a couple of stops to achieve optimum performance on the D800E, and that doesn’t even have anywhere near the pixel density of the OM-D. Dedicated lenses are invariably better because they are designed specifically for the required relationship between lens and sensor (i.e. telecentric or not etc).

  17. Thank you so much for this Macro shootout. You share so much information with us! But I think:

    a) of course it really IS Pixel-Peeping and not something near Pixel-Peeping. The four lenses are so close together, espacially if you would stop down the “second winners” Nikon and Zeiss a little bit… but: Why not? Pixel-Peeping is fun!

    b) what I don´t understand is -in this relations of very very very small differences- your test Picture in “4. Center resolution at 1:2 magnification, f 1: 2.8”. The large photo of the cuban billet, that is also on flickr, shows quite mediocre sharpness on the right top site of the billet. It is really NOT sharp. It is just remarkable, because the paper seems to be absolute flat and parallel to whatever you wanted to shoot…
    It was shoot with the 45 mm Panasonic Leica. Does it mean that this lens has at 1:2 magnification really big problems with that what we call in Germany “Bildfeldwölbung” (curvature of field)? Why is that problem just at the right site? Is it a problem of Centering the lens in production?

    How would the other lenses perform in the corners at this (heavy) magnification? It is just because it is really VISIBLE softness, even under condiions of viewing the small resolution pictures in the blog (and not in flickr)…
    Is the centering and curvation of field of the Olympus 60 mm 1 : 2.8 perfect? / or at least: better than the centering /curvation of field than that of the Panasonic Leice 45 mm?

    • Hi Thorsten,
      a) Absolutely – but sometimes, I need to do this to know which tool is best for a given situation. Then we stop and move on.
      b) At this distance, any very, very slight differences in planarity will cause unsharpness. I couldn’t get alignment of the test subject perfect – we’re talking fractions of millimetres here – so it’s almost certainly because of this. I of course focused the lens at the desired comparison point. All of the lenses, as far as I can see in practical use, are flat-field.

  18. How do you think works this objectiv on a E-Pl3, witch I possess.
    Is it better to have a OM-D E-M5 with his better Sensor and more pixels?
    Regards, Inken

  19. Ming, thank you for sharing all your work in such an eye opening and informed manner.

    I notice that the Oly 60mm seems to the brightest lens of the bunch, especially noticeable in the 1:3 corner shot. The cash border is much brighter than in the other pics. I also note that this lighting effect seems to make the photos from the Oly 60mm look more natural (and less macro, other worldly). Assuming all else equal, I found this feature of the new Oly 60mm very attractive.

    It’s sad you did not have an Oly 43 50mm for this lens shootout, since you did such a great job, and your comparison would be great to see for an Oly head to head 43 50mm v. m43 60mm.

    Your macro photography, analysis, and blog write-ups are excellent and educational. Thank you for sharing.

    • No problem. Transmission of the Olympus lens is very high; all were set to the same manual exposure (and manual flash value). The 4/3 50mm has a noticeably lower MTF than the new lens, which would suggest that it wouldn’t be much of a fight…

  20. William Jusuf says:

    great article this one…
    unlike me who shoot all the watches in LX3

    but this made up my mind about macro watch photography

    Thanks Ming

  21. The lack of LoCA is extraordinary. The only lenses that I know f that can focus this close and have this little LoCA cost three to six times more!

    • Actually, the only small handful I can think of are the Leica 120/2.5 APO-Summarit S, the Nikon 85/2.8 PCE (and even then, not quite) and the Coastal Optics 60/4 APO-UV-IR-VIS. All of those are many times more expensive…

  22. Thanks for the great review. It would be interesting to compare the MP and Nikon on their native platform with the PL45 and ZD60 on EM5.

    • I thought about that but it wouldn’t be fair – the focal lengths are much too different, and I don’t have an equivalent resolution Nikon body. Then it raises questions of whether you match FOV, FL, pixel level magnification…too big a can of worms.

  23. Thanks Ming. I can’t get the 60mm Zuiko here yet, as it’s not released, but I can get the PL45 at about half of its usual retail price, so I think I am going to opt for that in the meantime.

    • They’re pretty close, as you can see from the crops – but if you must have the absolute best, then the Olympus is the way to go. It becomes a bit of a different equation if the price points are reversed, however. Pay a bit less, get a bit less optical performance – seems fair to me.


  1. […] stable are tack sharp when you do get the focus right.   Much better photographers than I have chosen this lens above all other micro 4/3 lens.   Overall I am very satisfied the the field use of this lens and hope to get some great shots […]

  2. […] Oly 60/2.8. Not sure why. But I think Ming Thein's shootout may have had something to do with it. Macro shootout on Micro Four Thirds: four lenses, one winner ? Ming Thein | Photographer Thein shoots watches professionally, so he's pickier than most about his macro gear. I shoot […]

  3. […] back again tomorrow for part two: a four way shootout between the M.Zuiko Digital 60/2.8 macro, Panasonic Leica 45/2.8 Macro-Elmarit, Zeiss ZF.2 2/50 […]

  4. […] Today's post is a continuation of yesterday's review of the new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 60mm f2.8 Macro; aimed at answering two questions: what is the best macro lens for Micro Four Thirds, and just how much better are the …  […]

  5. […] one for starters. Macro shootout on Micro Four Thirds: four lenses, one winner All the primes are good (the 17 isn't great). And the new 2.8 zooms, 7-14, 9-18 have been tested […]

  6. […] Macro shootout on Micro Four Thirds: four lenses, one winner __________________ White G3:P20/1.7:P45-200:PL45/2.8:P8FE:PL14-50/2.8-3.5 WHITE GF1 FOR SALE Pictures here: […]

  7. […] Wong has written about general shooting using the lens. Ming Thein’s part 2  review is out with comparison test. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: 60mm macro video zuiko […]

  8. […] 60/2.8 macro has proven to be one of, if not the best lens I’ve used on M4/3, and one of the best macro lenses ever, period. I’ve acquired one for myself, along with the 15/8 body cap – it’s a fun […]

  9. […] De nieuwe Olympus OM-D E-M5 Macro shootout on Micro Four Thirds: four lenses, one winner in dit artikel schreef Ming Thein het volgende: 'The camera used was an Olympus OM-D, the highest […]

  10. […] 3 The Olympus 60mm and Panasonic Leica 45mm macro lenses are compared directly in a shootout. Macro shootout on Micro Four Thirds: four lenses, one winner […]

%d bloggers like this: