Panasonic’s micro four-thirds cameras are some of the most powerful and innovative cameras on the planet. They’re also producing some excellent quality lenses, and I’ve compiled a list of my favorites here. As a landscape photographer myself, I’ve written through the view of what a landscape photographer might be looking to buy. Of course, Olympus micro four-thirds lenses also work on Panasonic, so don’t forget to look at our picks from Olympus lineup as well: Best Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lenses for Landscape Photography
Best Panasonic Ultra-Wide Angle Lenses for Landscape Photography
Panasonic’s ultra-wide offerings for micro four-thirds are admittedly on the thin side. There a couple of offerings, but you may have to look to Olympus for the best options. Specifically, the M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is the best ultra-wide for micro four-thirds. Something solid but easier on your budget is the M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/3.5-5.6. Read more in our article on the Best Olympus Micro 4/3s Lenses for Landscape Photography.
Also, be on the lookout for Panasonic/Leica to release a new utra-wide for micro four-thirds in the upcoming year (Pansonic Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4). If it meets expectations, that lens will almost certainly take Top Pick designation on this list, and substantially bolster Panasonic’s ultra-wide offerings.
As the only rectilinear ultra-wide angle lens that Panasonic makes for micro four-thirds, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 is the de facto best choice that Panasonic offers in this category. It is a very sharp lens that comes in a remarkably small 10.4 ounce / 300 gram package. The constant f/4 aperture is a nice touch. Its mostly plastic build quality is solid enough, certainly not spectacular and does not include weather sealing. Perhaps the real turnoff for this lens is the fact it does not accept filters. This a definite problem for many shooters, specifically if you shoot a lot of waterfalls often need a circular polarizer. Overall, this is a nice lens, but perhaps a bit overpriced, and I definitely think there are more alluring choices coming from the Olympus camp, so consider those before pulling the trigger on the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.
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A specialty offering, the Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 can create dramatic ultra-wide angle landscape photos, just as long as you know how to use it. I wouldn’t recommend it as a buy for novice photographers, but enthusiasts and pros looking to get more creative with their wide end can definitely have a lot of fun with this fisheye lens. It also performs exceptionally in terms of sharpness at nearly all apertures, with it’s peak performance at f/4. This lens isn’t for everybody, but it’s a great lens for any micro four-thirds photographer looking to go fisheye.
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Best Panasonic Mid-Range and Telephoto Lenses for Landscape Photography
Panasonic has fantastic offerings in both the mid-range zoom and telephoto zoom categories. Specifically, the brand fills in the niche for mid-grade telephoto zooms, whereas Olympus only offers pro-grade or budget-grade in the telephoto ranges. If you are looking for a pro-grade weather-sealed telephoto zoom, I do recommend looking at the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO as the overall Top Pick for telephoto micro four-thirds lenses.
The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 is Panasonic’s absolute best offering for an all-around pro-quality zoom for landscape photography. This lens truly pulls out all the stops. It combines excellent center sharpness with a great focal range (full-frame equivalent of 24-120mm). The all-metal build quality is superior, and includes weather-sealing. If you’re looking for the ability to take handheld images as the light dims, it features on-board image stabilization. It’s variable f/2.8-4 max aperture is nice and fast, especially at the wide end, making it a great astro-landscape lens. Overall, this is my new favorite lens in Panasonic’s micro four-thirds lineup!
Check current prices for the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4:
The Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II is Panasonic’s top-of-line fast zoom with a full-frame equivalent focal range of 24-70mm. Solid image sharpness, weather-sealing, and a fast and constant f/2.8 aperture are all great selling points. It’s build quality is solid, although its most plastic construction may be turnoff for some photographers when considering the price. Regardless, it’s an excellent mid-range zoom that will suit a great many photographers out there. However, I do think that the Panasonic Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4 listed above is an even better choice with a longer focal ranger, better build quality, and is still fast at the wider focal lengths. The 12-35mm f/2.8 II is probably only more enticing if you have a real need to shoot at f/2.8 at all focal lengths. I think most landscape photographers would opt for the longer range vs. the ability to shoot fast at 70mm.
Check current prices for the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II:
In the running for the best value on this list, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 is essentially a “consumer” grade kit lens that happens to have above average image sharpness. This is great news for photographers looking for a sharp mid-range zoom, but for the cheapest possible price. But wait! It also features on-board image stabilization, which makes it especially valuable if you often shoot without a tripod. As you might expect from a lens at this price point, it has good build quality, but uses plastic instead of metal for bulk of the body. Its full-frame equivalent focal range is 28-90mm, which is a solid range that ventures nicely into the short-telephoto range on its long end. Overall, this is a fantastic choice if you can forgo weather sealing and a fast max aperture in favor of a sharp zoom at an affordable price.
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Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6
Straddling the line between mid-range and telephoto zoom is the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Let me tell you, if this lens was weather-sealed, I would bump it up to a Top Pick! It really is that good. First off, it’s got a huge range (28-280mm full-frame equivalent). This cover wide-angle, normal, and a great amount of telephoto range. It matches its great focal range with solid performance throughout. Sharpness is very good to excellent through the focal range, as long as you don’t stop down past f/8. This is remarkable as most lens of the “superzoom” type do not perform this consistently. To boot, it features on-board image stabilization, which makes it great when you aren’t shooting on a tripod. It’s not a fast aperture or weather-sealed lens, so if you are looking for those features, look at the Top Picks above. Otherwise, this is a solid performer that with save time, space, weight by packaging your mid-range and telephoto zooms into one great lens.
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Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4-5.6
Another screaming value, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4-5.6 is a bargain priced zoom with a long reach (full-frame equivalent 90-300mm). It’s also very sharp for most of its range, all there is a drop-off at 100mm and beyond. For the purposes of landscape photography, 100mm in MFT format is likely to be plenty of range, and the ability to go to 150mm when the need arises and still get good results is fantastic. Ah yes, also throw in the fact that it has on-board image stabilization. However, what really puts the icing on the cake is the fact that this is also a very compact lens and it is nearly perfect. It does lack weather-sealing, but at $299, you can’t have everything. Overall, this is solid lens for a great price, in a small package to boot. For my favorite telephoto offering, consider the Panasonic G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 above.
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