What lens to get for your Panasonic Lumix G85?
Released in October 2016, the Panasonic Lumix G85 (see on Amazon.com) is the successor to the Lumix DMC-G7, still with a 4/3 16 Megapixel micro sensor, without a low-pass filter (for clearer images).
Among the main improvements, we now have a case with a new look, which is resistant to dust and moisture, with an improved electronic viewfinder. The addition of integrated five-axis stabilization is also a very practical novelty, which can work in combination with integrated stabilization of certain lenses.
The G85 can shoot in 4K at 30 frames/second and 100 Mbps, and Panasonic has also added some features such as post-focus, which allows you to take a picture and then choose the area you want to focus on. Battery life has also been improved, thanks to an energy-saving mode that can triple the battery life. Finally, its hinged screen allows it to be used as a vlogging camera.
Overall it’s a great device, without any noticeable defects. Strong, versatile and feature-rich, I highly recommend it if you want to start in the picture with a 4/3 micro sensor camera.
The Lumix G85 is sold alone or with the 12-60 mm f/3.5-5.6 Power OIS, which offers very good performance for a kit lens. The price difference being small between the box sold alone and the kit, it’s better to take the G85 directly with the 12-60mm.
If you also want another lens that will better match your photo type (portrait, landscape, macro…) this selection of the best lenses compatible with the Panasonic Lumix G85 is here to help you.
Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions or ideas to improve this list!
Note: Product links in this article lead to Amazon.com
- Panasonic Lumix G 42.5 mm f/1.7
- Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7
- Panasonic Lumix G 20 mm f/1.7 II ASPH
- Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6
- Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 12mm f/1.4
- Panasonic Leica Summilux 15mm f/1.7
- Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH
- Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro
- Panasonic Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8
- Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6
- Comparative Table
- Useful accessories & links
This is the lens to buy if you want to paint a portrait, compact, lightweight and strong. Nothing to say about its optical performance, which is just excellent, we get superb images with a particularly high sharpness. Its focusing distance of 31cm allows it to be used in proxy photography. The maximum aperture of f/1.7 is particularly useful for shooting in low-light conditions and provides a very beautiful background blur. However, it should be noted that the vignetting is quite marked after a few returns.
It also has integrated optical stabilization, and a relatively quiet autofocus. A serious option if you want to take portrait photos with your Lumix G85.
A more expensive and heavier alternative, but which offers an even softer bokeh is the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 Leica DG Nocticron Power OIS ASPH.
This very light and compact lens is the equivalent of a 50mm lens on a full-format camera. It’s in fact a standard focal length that offers roughly the same rendering as the human eye.
If you take a portrait photo, the aperture of f/1.7 allows you to have a nice background blur, with a natural look even in low light. The focus is perfectly silent, which is an advantage for video. The tests are unanimous as to its optical performance, which is really excellent.
Despite its plastic design it looks pretty solid (it’s not tropicalized though, be careful under poor shooting conditions). It’s not stabilized, which is not really a problem since the G85 integrates 5-axis stabilization directly into the housing.
In short, it’s a great value for money for the G85 and perhaps the first lens you should have in addition to the basic kit.
If your priority is to have the lightest possible body and lens package, then the 20mm f/1.7 is for you: it offers excellent image quality with excellent sharpness and contrast, for extreme compactness and a light weight that allows you to take your G85 everywhere with you. This is one of the lightest lenses of this selection. The f/1.7 aperture allows you to take pictures in low light and get a nice background blur, and the 20mm focal length makes it versatile enough for landscape or street photography.
Some negative points though: the autofocus is relatively slow, compared to 25mm f/1.7 for example, and it does not have integrated image stabilization (not a problem for the G85 though). However, if your priority is compactness and discretion, it’s an ideal lens for your Lumix G85.
If you prefer a slightly wider field of view, there is also the Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH II. Its opening is a bit smaller than the 20mm, but it’s a good choice for street photography and it’s also a pancake type. It’s also the lightest of this selection, at only 55g.
On paper, this 9-18mm doesn’t really make you dream: a weak aperture of f/4-5.6, an all-plastic design that looks very “toy”, it isn’t stabilized or tropicalized… so why is it in this list of the best lenses for Lumix G85? The answer: it simply makes (very) beautiful images.
We can also add the fact that it’s super light and compact… and that there is little competition in the range of wide angles for hybrid devices with Micro 4/3 sensors. There is indeed the alternative of the Panasonic 7-14mm, but it’s much more expensive and heavy, and it’s impossible to put a filter on the curved glass of it. The 9-18mm is therefore the lens to have if you want to take a wide angle picture with your G85.
Weight: 335 g
Filter size: 62 mm
In the fixed focal length wide angle category, Panasonic’s 12mm f/1.4 offers spectacular image quality, with excellent sharpness and contrast, even at full aperture. Equivalent to a 24mm in full format, it’s especially suitable for those who take street pictures or who would need a reliable lens in low light.
Two other options are the Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2 (expensive), and the Samyang 12mm f/2.0, which gives excellent images with superb sharpness and low distortion, but it has no autofocus (its price is not very high though).
This 15mm f/1.7 is compact and lightweight, with a quiet and faster autofocus than the 25mm or 20mm pancake. All metal, its manufacturing quality is excellent. One downside, however, is that the dive is not as good as other Panasonic lenses, even though it offers excellent contrast in return.
If you are looking for the full size equivalent of a 30mm, there is no reason not to add it to your photo equipment. Its price is a little high, but you will not be disappointed by this lens.
If you are looking for a versatile, versatile and capable all-purpose lens for a wide variety of situations, then the 12-60mm f/2.8 is a good option. Equivalent to a 24-120 mm on full format, it has nothing to see in terms of size compared to pancake lenses, but it remains easily transportable when travelling. It’s tropicalized and can be used in difficult conditions in combination with the G85. Too bad though that the opening is not constant and that the opening of f/2.8 is only available at 12mm and not beyond….
Overall, it’s a lens that provides a good balance between image quality, weight and compactness, with impressive stabilization and a discreet and powerful autofocus in both still and video. In terms of optical quality, it does not offer a glaring difference with the 12-60mm sold with the G85, but its construction is much stronger and it’s a better choice if you make video (and you have the necessary budget).
For macro enthusiasts who would like to make super close-ups on insects, flowers or other tiny objects, the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 is the lens to own. The focal length is the same as a 120mm in full format, and the rendering of the images that can be made with it’s impressive: look at sample photos on Flickr, you will be amazed by the sharpness of the details. Big enough for a 4/3 micro lens, it fits perfectly into the G85’s template. Finally, even if it’s not its main use, it’s also powerful for portrait photography.
Another option is the Panasonic 30mm f/2.8, less expensive and bulky, but which requires to get twice as close to the subject (which can be embarrassing in the case of insects for example).
An excellent zoom for the G85, sold at a reasonable price compared to the equivalent 70-200mm focal length lenses from Canon and Nikon, while being much more compact and lightweight.
The sharpness of the images delivered by this 35-100mm constant aperture 35-100mm f/2.8 is excellent over the entire focal range (especially in the center, a little less in the corners), with little distortion and a beautiful bokeh that offers a great rendering in wedding or portrait photography.
The quality of construction is also excellent and carrying it on a trip will not be a problem. If you have the budget, there is no need to hesitate.
A cheaper alternative is the Lumix 35-100mm f/3.5-5.6 but it’s not as good in low light or for portraiture.
With a focal length equivalent to 200-600mm on a full-format camera, it’s simply an impressive zoom that can be used for animal photography, or during a trek.
Its internal stabilization works very well, especially in combination with the G85’s five-axis stabilization, and allows you to obtain superb remote photos even freehand, with lots of detail.
There are some limitations however: it will have to be photographed in good light conditions, and it weighs relatively heavy compared to the other lenses in this selection, but given the price at which it’s sold and its performance, it’s a must-have if you want to take pictures from a distance.
Another option: if the focal length range of 100-300mm is not enough for you, there is also the Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm f/4-6.3, but its price (and its weight of almost 1kg) makes it more suitable for true fans of animal photography who want an irreproachable image quality.
All of the Panasonic Lumix G85 compatible lenses mentioned above are included in this comparison chart to help you choose the right equipment. You will be able to compare them according to their price, the weight and the utility of each one to choose which will suit your budget and your style of photo.
| Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7
||$$$$$||125g||f/1.7||street photography / portrait|
|Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7||$$$$$||130g||f/1.7||portrait|
|Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH||$$$$$||87g||f/1.7||street photography / pancake|
|Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6||$$$$$||155g||f/4.0-5.6||wide angle (architecture, landscape)|
|Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH II||$$$$$||55g||f/2.5||street photography / pancake|
|Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 Leica Nocticron||$$$$$||425g||f/1.2||portrait|
|Panasonic G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH||$$$$$||300g||f/4||wide angle (architecture, landscape)|
|Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6||$$$$$||520g||f/4.0-5.6||zoom|
|Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2||$$$$$||200g||f/2||grand angle fixe|
|Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 12mm f/1.4||$$$$$||335g||f/1.4||grand angle fixe|
|Panasonic Leica Summilux 15mm f/1.7||$$$$$||115g||f/1.7||street photography|
|Panasonic Leica DG 12-60 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH||$$$$$||320g||f/2.8-4||zoom standard|
|Panasonic Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8 II POWER O.I.S||$$$$$||357g||f/2.8||zoom|
|Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro||$$$$$||185g||f/2.8||macro|
|Samyang 12mm f/2.0||$$$$$||200g||f/2||wide angle / prime lens|
|Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm f/4-6.3||$$$$$||985g||f/4-6.3||superzoom|