This blog is a user's perspective on the Micro Four Thirds camera system. Read more ...

Lens Buyer's Guide. Panasonic GH4 review.

My lens reviews: Olympus 9mm f/8 fisheye, Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, Leica 25mm f/1.4, Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8, Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm f/2.8, Sigma 19mm f/2.8, Lumix X PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, Lumix X PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Panasonic Lumix G 100-300mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Leica Lumix DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro, Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/4-5.8, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 fisheye, Lumix G 7-14mm f/4, Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye, Tokina 300mm f/6.3 mirror reflex tele, Lensbaby 5.8mm f/3.5 circular fisheye lens
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Tuesday 23 March 2010

Four Thirds lens compatibility

Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras can use all Four Thirds (FT) lenses, provided that you use an adapter. You can use either the Panasonic DMW-MA1, or Olympus MMF1/MMF2 adapters.

However, you should note that not all FT lenses will autofocus on Panasonic MFT cameras. Only fairly recent lens designs that are prepared for contrast detection auto focus (CDAF), will work. The compatible FT lenses are

These lenses will autofocus on Panasonic Lumix MFT cameras, like G1, GH1 and GF1.

Newer Panasonic cameras like GH2, G2 and G10 feature some improved autofocus functionality using some FT lenses. For example, the GH2 can autofocus using the Olympus 50mm Four Thirds lens, but the focus is very slow. The Panasonic G1, GH1 and GF1 will not autofocus this lens at all.

All Olympus MFT cameras can autofocus with all FT lenses, so Olympus camera users can ignore this list. This also goes for Panasonic FT lenses used on Olympus MFT cameras. The autofocus can be very slow with some FT lenses, though.

For those combinations of lenses and cameras where autofocus works, you will still experience slow autofocus with FT lenses on both Panasonic and Olympus MFT cameras. I have made a comparison of autofocus speeds using some MFT and FT lenses on the Panasonic GH1. Also, a similar comparison for the Panasonic GH2.

Even if autofocus does not work on some camera/lens combinations, other functions like aperture control will still work. And using manual focus is not that difficult. Here is an illustration of using manual focus with Olympus 50mm f/2 macro on Panasonic Lumix GH1.


  1. I tried the 12-60mm on the GF-1 yesterday - the thing with MF is that the camera recognised that I was focusing and zoomed in to 100% like it does with its own lenses, which is basically what I want it to.

    When trying this same thing with the Panasonic 20mm lens on the Olympus body in MF, it didn't do this. Do you happen to know if this is just a setting on the camera that can be changed, or are the Panasonic lenses less compatible on the Olympus bodies?

  2. I can't say for sure. The Olympus E-P1 has these focus modes:

    • Single-AF
    • Continuous-AF
    • Manual focus
    • Single-AF & Manual focus
    • Continuous-AF & Manual focus

    Perhaps the one you want to try is one of the two last on the list?

  3. Yea it's just a setting called MF Assist. I have a ep-1 w/ panosonic 20mm lens. When you focus mannually if Mf Assist is turned on the camera will zoom 7-10x to help focus when the focus ring is turned. It will zoom out
    after a few seccond or pressing the shutter half way. Tom

  4. Thank you for the blog and comments.

    I'm new to the MFT format, but have been a satisfied owner of several FT bodies and numerous lenses.

    Here is a question, and I apologize for posting this. I meant to email you instead, but couldn't find an email address to use.

    I recently bought a used GH1, used DMW-MA1 to use my existing FT lenses with - primarily for video.

    The camera, adapter and my FT lenses work fine in manual focusing, but none of the FT lenses will auto focus.

    I own the Lumix-PanLeica 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5, Olympus 70-300mm, Olympus 50mm/F2 that are mentioned as supporting auto focus.

    Thinking it may have been a firmware issue, I upgraded the GH1 from 1.1 to 1.3 but still these lenses won't autofocus.

    Not sure where to turn to try and figure out this nuisance issue. Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

    You can email me (prefered) at Jerry AT Jelineks DOT com

    Thank you.

  5. The Olympus 50mm f/2 lens cannot autofocus on the GH1. It is mentioned in the text above.

    The other two should autofocus. I don't know why it doesn't work for you, sadly.

  6. I could not get the Pana Leica 14-50 to work at all with my GH1 (with mmf2). Only black screen and error message.

    With GH2 and I could get it to "boot" by pressing the release button MMF2 (weird I know). Then the lens can just as suddenly jam and cease to funtion. Usually the O.I.S keeps making noise too.

    Is there anyone with same kind of experiences?
    I bougth the lens used from BH Photo and they claim it is workin just fine. And that the problem is due to combination GH1 + MMF2 + Pana Leica 14-50 2.8-3.5

    I think the lens was broken... now I need proof.

  7. Does this list of lenses apply to the panasonic lumix g5?

    1. Yes, it does. The lenses are the main limiting factors here. The old Four Thirds lenses will autofocus slowly (or not at all) will all Micro Four Thirds cameras, at least with the current technology.

  8. I recently purchased the Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 Aspherical Macro MEGA OIS Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras for my Olympus EPL-3. It doesn't focus at all and the shutter button is barely responsive. I can't figure out if the lens is defective or if the lens/camera combination is incompatible. Any help or advice you can provide would be most appreciated.

    1. The lens should work well with your camera. No problem with compatibiliy here.

      The shutter button is part of the camera, and should not be affected by the lens. However, if the camera thinks the lens is out of focus, it may prevent you from taking the image. I guess this is what is happening: For some reason, the lens is not focusing properly, and therefore the camera will not let you snap the image.

      There are two switches on the lens: One for the OIS (try to leave it off at first), and one for the focus range. Be sure to set the focus range switch to "Full focus".

      And be sure there is enough light when trying to focus the lens, for example, point it out the windows at daylight.

      If this does not work, check that the camera is set to autofocus (AF-S). Or, try to set it to AF-C, and see if you are able to take images that way.