If you’re looking for the best action and/or wildlife lens for Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras (Panasonic GH5, G9, G95, Olympus E-M1 Mark III, E-M5 Mark III etc.), you’re at the right spot. As you may know, some micro 4/3 lenses may offer an additional feature or two when used with the camera body made by the same manufacturer. For example, you may get better image stabilization because IBIS and OIS (optical stabilization) will work together to provide better results. Of course, this is true for lenses that are optically stabilized. Otherwise, all micro 4/3 lenses will work with any micro 4/3 camera. With that said, here are our favorite action and wildlife lenses for micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras:
Best Choice – Panasonic Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-4 Power OIS
This lens gives you equivalent field of view that a 100-400mm lens would on full-frame cameras, which is very popular focal length for sports and wildlife photography. Sure, we’d love it if this lens had constant f/2.8 aperture, but Panasonic decided to make it a variable aperture lens to keep the size and weight down.
The build quality of Panasonic Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-4 Power OIS is outstanding and it is weather sealed. The lens performs great and is sharp even wide open. The sharpness decreases a bit after the 150mm mark but it is still very solid. Panasonic 50-200mm f/2.8-4 also features optical image stabilization, which performs very well, especially when used in combination with IBIS on Panasonic micro 4/3 cameras! Unsurprisingly, this isn’t a cheap lens but it definitely has performance to match its price.
Option #2 – Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
If you find the variable aperture is a major turn, this Olympus lens is the perfect choice. Not only does it feature extremely useful 40-150mm focal range (80-300mm on full-frame), but it has f/2.8 aperture throughout the entire range. It’s definitely bigger because of this, but action and sports shooters surely won’t mind this. Wildlife photographers will also be happy with this lens, although the extra 100mm on the previously mentioned Panasonic Leica lens can make a big difference in wildlife photography.
Just like you’d expect from an Olympus PRO lens, this 40-1500mm f/2.8 model is very sharp even wide open and at basically any focal length. It has rounded 9-bladed aperture, which will result in beautiful bokeh. The lens is well-built and dust-, splash- and freeze-proof. All things considered, if you need a constant aperture telephoto zoom for your micro 4/3 camera, the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO is the best choice and a better option for action/sports photographers than the aforementioned Panasonic Leica lens.
Option #3 – Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Power OIS
We don’t recommend this lens for action/sports shooters, but certain types of wildlife photographers (especially those focusing on birds and other small creatures that you can’t really get close to) will love it! Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 may not offer really bright maximum apertures, but it’s a 200-800mm full-frame equivalent lens that’s surprisingly compact and lightweight (it weight slightly less than 1 kg).
Like other Leica-branded lenses, the 100-400mm f/4-6.3 is very well built and is well is dust and moisture resistant. Just like the Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-4, this model also has optical image stabilization that will be highly beneficial if your micro 4/3 camera doesn’t have IBIS. It will also work great with Panasonic cameras that have IBIS to provide even better stabilization. The lens also comes with a cool extra feature – it can focus down to 4.3 feet, meaning that you can work with close-up subjects as well (it offers 0.5x maximum magnification). Overall, this is a great lens for a certain type of wildlife photographer.