Panasonic cameras are excellent for landscape photography and traveling, thanks to their compact size and light weight.
In this guide, you’re going to see the 6 best Panasonic lenses for landscape photography.
However, both Panasonic and Olympus lenses fit on Panasonic bodies. This is because all of their cameras use the same sensor size, called Micro Four Thirds (MFT). Since this guide would be too big if we included all options, this one only has Panasonic lenses.
If you want to see what lenses Olympus offers for your Panasonic camera, check out our guide below.
Because there are so many Micro Four Thirds lenses on the market (this is a good thing), we didn’t want to confuse you with a ton of options. Both companies produce amazing lenses, and in this guide we made sure to focus on great image quality, sharpness, versatility and what you get for the price.
Best Panasonic Landscape Lenses:
We discuss all of these lenses below, but first let’s go through what matters when buying a lens for landscape.
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What’s Important for Landscape Photography?
Just to remind you again, Panasonic cameras belong to the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) format. This means you can mount Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma and many more lenses on your camera!
Also, Olympus puts image stabilization into their bodies, not lenses like Panasonic does. Unless the lens has stabilization, you won’t have it.
Here are the 5 most important factors that make a good landscape lens.
Focal Length – Wide angle lenses are most commonly used for landscape photography. Best focal length for Panasonic cameras is anything between 12mm and 150mm. A wide angle allows you to capture beautiful scenery, whereas a telephoto lens allows you to crop more precisely. Why? Because when you’re hiking or traveling, a lot of amazing scenes aren’t directly in front of you, but far away. By having such a long zoom, you can isolate that specific part. Nonetheless, the majority of landscape shots are taken with wide angle lenses, zoom or prime.
Aperture – Most landscape photographers never shoot with big apertures, like f/1.4 or f/2.8. Instead, when you want everything sharp in your shot, you choose something like f/5.6, f/8 or even smaller, because the depth of field will be so small. The only scenario where having a big aperture would be useful is if you photograph at night and need as much light as possible, but unless that’s you, you shouldn’t worry about buying the lens with the biggest aperture if you know you will never shoot that big anyways.
Auto Focus – It’s great to have reliable and fast auto focus if you don’t have the time to focus manually. For traveling, hiking or just shooting on the go, all of the lenses below have good auto focus so you can expect shots that are perfectly in focus. However, many landscape shooters (that also carry a tripod) often prefer focusing manually.
Weight & Size – Photographing is fun, carrying a ton of heavy gear is not. Make sure to look at how big and heavy a lens is, especially if you always travel with lots of other stuff as well. While Panasonic’s MFT mirrorless cameras and lenses are great for landscape shooters due to their compactness, some people may still prefer carrying 1 zoom instead of a few primes, or simply just a pancake lens.
Image Stabilization – Image Stabilization (Panasonic calls it O.I.S) is a welcome feature for landscape shooters, especially when you’re tired or shooting in low light. Most wideangle lenses don’t have it since this is more problematic when shooting telephoto, but it simply doesn’t hurt if the lens has it.
Image Quality – It’s all about image quality, sharpness and colors. You want good center and corner sharpness, especially if you print large. Panasonic has excellent glass quality and we made sure to select lenses that offer a lot for the money.
Panasonic Lumix G 7-14mm f/4
For those in need of ultra-wide coverage in the form of one handy zoom lens, the Panasonic Lumix G 7-14mm f/4 is a convenient mid-priced option. While suitable for a wide range of shooting situations and styles, you will find this lens particularly useful for photographing interiors, landscapes, travel, street photography, events, or extreme sports.
Equivalent to a 14-28mm lens in the 35mm format, it provides an extremely wide angle field of view. Seven circular diaphragm blades make for pleasing background bokeh, and aperture settings run from f/22 to f/4 – with a constant maximum aperture throughout all focal lengths.
Often the versatility and convenience of a zoom lens must be paid for in the form of a corresponding compromise in features and performance. With it’s relatively slow f/4 maximum aperture, this lens is no exception. Indeed, photographers with an interest in shooting hand-held in lowlight should probably skip this lens and go for a faster prime option, such as the 12mm f/1.4 Leica Summilux.
Having said that, there appears to be little or no compromise on image sharpness. This means that if you mostly shoot with the aperture shut down for a deep depth-of-field, the 7-14mm f/4 could be a great solution for your ultra-wide angle needs. Bear in mind though, that there’s a lot of glass packed into this thing: 16 elements in 12 groups to be precise. Consequently it’s not the lightest lens around. Also, due to a non-removable lens hood, it won’t take filters.
Panasonic Lumix G 12-35mm f/2.8 II OIS
Equivalent to a 24-70mm lens in the 35mm format, the Panasonic Lumix G 12-35mm f/2.8 II is a great all-round zoom covering all the main focal lengths the average photographer will need for general shooting. With a constant aperture of f/2.8 across all zoom settings, this is a lens that is fast enough to satisfy everyone except the most demanding of low light shooters, while also being versatile enough to deal with nearly any photographic style or situation.
Whether you shoot portraits, landscapes, travel, documentary, sports, or events, if you only have space to pack a single lens in your bag, this will likely be the one you’ll reach for.
The lens is pin sharp at the center, with only slight softness detectable towards the corners. Meanwhile, Panasonic’s nano surface coating keeps flare, ghosting and color aberrations to an absolute minimum. Bokeh appears very pretty, with nice rounded light-circles.
When it comes to shooting video, image stabilization has been much improved compared with the Mark 1 version of this lens. There’s also a handy switch on the side of the barrel to toggle OIS on or off, allowing you to change modes mid-take.
The 12-35mm f/2.8 is highly portable and reasonably compact, at least when contracted. Aside from the metal mount, the lens is largely made of plastic, so it’s not as rugged as some of Panasonic’s other lenses for the MFT format. However, it is dust and splash proof.
Panasonic Lumix G 12-60mm f/2.8-4
If you’re looking for the all-around super zoom, the Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4 is a solid workhorse for serious photography at a huge range of focal lengths. It’s got a relatively good aperture range, although this is not something you will use in really low light situations. For this reason it will be of most interest to photographers producing landscapes, architecture, interiors, and even portraits – provided ultra-shallow depth-of-field is not required.
Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating means that there’s almost no flare whatsoever, at least when shooting stills, and only the subtlest of chromatic aberrations are visible. Sharpness is generally excellent, although there is some detectable fall off at corners – particularly when used wide open at around the 50mm zoom setting. A nine-blade aperture makes for some very nice bokeh, and color rendering is highly attractive.
The exterior, mount, and lens hood are of metal construction, and the overall build inspires confidence. As does the fact that the lens is dust-, splash- and freeze-proof right down to -10c.
On the negative side, the 12-60mm’s widest aperture of f/2.8 is only available when zoomed out to the 12mm setting. Nonetheless, the Leica 12-60mm is faster than Panasonic’s otherwise comparable f/3.5-5.6 Lumix 12-60mm. The Leica is also optically superior to the Lumix, however for those concerned about either price, weight, or size, the Lumix offers some advantage in all three areas.
Panasonic Leica DG 12mm f/1.4
The Panasonic Leica DG 12mm f/1.4 is a super-fast prime lens that is ideal for flash-free events, sports, documentary, street, or nature photography in low light. Despite being a fairly wide angle lens (equivalent to 24mm in the 35mm format), the 12mm f/1.4 excels at shallow depth of field shooting – making it something of a rarity among wide angle Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The 12mm f/1.4 is an undeniably heavy lens. However, this is really just a sign of how well-built it is: everything from the barrel to the hood is made from sturdy metal and there’s a considerable amount of glass within: 15 elements in 12 groups. A 9 blade diaphragm further adds to the load.
The lens is also weather sealed, making it a good choice for extreme sports. The only potential drawbacks here being that there is no image stabilization and that auto focus occasionally struggles to latch onto subjects in low light when shooting video. This fact also makes it perhaps not the ideal choice for vlogging. Although it will be less of an issue for more professional video uses, where in any case you’re more likely to use the “manual” focus-by-wire option.
As focus-by-wire lenses go, the 12mm f/1.4 works very well, but for a more satisfying manual focus experience, you might do well to consider one of Olympus’s “snap focus” lenses instead. Finally, while the 12mm f/1.4 is not cheap, optically it equals many much more expensive lenses.
Panasonic Lumix G 15mm f/1.7
The Panasonic Lumix G 15mm f/1.7 is a great all-purpose moderately wide-angle lens for the Micro Four Thirds format. While not offering any particularly innovative features or gimmicks, this is just a good quality lens for everyday shooting. With its excellent image quality, fast maximum aperture, and very usable angle of view (35mm equivalent: 30mm), this is a lens that will keep most documentary, travel, stage, and event photographers fully satisfied.
Thanks to a nano crystal coating, image sharpness is commendable even wide open, and there are no noticeable color aberrations. However, slight barrel distortion is detectable, and there is some evident vignetting at the widest apertures. Apertures can be changed manually using a ring on the lens barrel.
The lens employs 9 elements in 7 groups, and features a rounded 7 blade diaphragm, providing excellent bokeh. Autofocus is fast and silent, and although the “manual” focusing setting is in fact focus-by-wire, it is more satisfying to use than most lenses employing this system.
Made in Japan, the lens is mostly constructed of metal, with the use of some sturdy plastic here and there. Overall though, the 15mm f/1.7 is very well built and even comes with a solid metal lens hood. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that although the lens is quite reasonably priced for one carrying the Leica name, this is somewhat offset by the lack of weather sealing.
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
The super-slim Panasonic Lumix G II 20mm f/1.7 is a fast pancake lens for the Micro Four Thirds format. An all-metal barrel and lens mount update the cheaper build-quality of the Mark 1, making it a sturdy and compact choice for all-round shooting. Mounted on a suitably small body, it can easily be thrown in a coat pocket for quick and candid photography without compromise on image quality: ideal for travel, street, documentary and other discrete low-light uses.
In addition to being extremely sharp and displaying no color fringing, the lens is fast, compact, lightweight and well-built. It’s also quite cheaply priced. What’s more, 20mm is identical to a 40mm lens (35mm format equivalent): making it an excellent compromise between a standard and a wide angle lens. All in all then, this is a handy little all purpose piece of glass you can rely on to pull something out of pretty much any imaginable shooting situation.
On the downside though, autofocus in low light is really quite slow. To make matters worse, the focus mechanism is also quite noisy, meaning that for video use you’ll need to focus manually. Furthermore, if camera shake is a concern, you’ll have to use this on a body with on-board image stabilization, as the lens itself does not offer any of its own. Those looking for better spec within a similar focal range (but willing to spend a little more) should investigate the 15mm f/1.7 Leica Summilux as an alternative.
Our Top Panasonic Landscape Lenses:
You can also check out Olympus lenses for your Panasonic camera here.