Wide Angle Lenses for Micro Four-thirds

I love wide-angle photography. When I bought my first SLR film camera I quickly realized that the 50mm lens that came with it was just not going to work for me. I moved on to a 35mm then a 28mm, finally settling on 24mm as my wide-angle lens of choice. When digital cameras first came out it felt like we had to start all over again. 35mm seemed to be the widest angle digital SLRs could achieve for far too long as far as I was concerned.

Lumix 14mm

Panasonic and Olympus Micro Four-thirds cameras both had kit lenses that started at 28mm. Both companies also make nice and expensive wide angle zooms but I wanted an inexpensive, small fixed wide angle, which the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 lens fit perfectly. Then Olympus came out with a beautiful, sharp 12mm f/2.0 lens that was a little out of my price range at $800 but stunning nevertheless.

14mm-with-wide converter

Then Panasonic announced an inexpensive conversion lens that turns their 14mm into a little less than a 12mm. For about a $135, the size and quality are great. Olympus has a wide angle conversion lens for their kit zoom that is also great optical quality and price.

14mm with Fisheye

To take it one step further both companies also have inexpensive, fish-eye conversion lens for select MFT lenses. The Panasonic Fisheye and Olympus Fisheye each cover a 120-degree angle of view that is not a circular fisheye, but more of a slightly distorted 10mm equivalent as you can see in my sample images.—Mark Toal