The Best OM SYSTEM Lenses for Night Photography


I think we can all agree that there’s something wonderful about night photography. The photos are akin to an almost spiritual experience at times. A common belief is that you need large lenses with a fast aperture for this. But, what if we told you that’s not true with OM SYSTEM? Here are the best OM SYSTEM lenses for night photography.

This piece is presented in partnership with OM SYSTEM. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you.

The Phobographer’s Various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed in these roundups. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How We Chose the Best OM SYSTEM Lenses for Night Photography

Here’s some insight into how to use this roundup of the best OM SYSTEM lenses for night photography and what to expect:

  • Our Editorial Policies don’t allow us to include products in our roundups that we haven’t fully reviewed. Lucky for you, The Phobographer has done the most real-world reviews of lenses on the web! And all the product and sample images were shot by us. While this piece is done as part of a sponsorship with OM SYSTEM, they’re well aware of our transparent policy.
  • When considering the best OM SYSTEM lenses for night photography, know that “PRO” means it’s their highest-end option. Luckily, those options aren’t beyond the budget of most people into photography. Some of these lenses have the PRO moniker while others don’t.
  • Zuiko is the name OM SYSTEM (and Olympus before them) chose for their lens lineup. It means “Light of the Gods” – just a cool bit of history we thought you should know! M.Zuiko stands for Micro and therefore alludes to Micro Four Thirds products.
  • The very best OM SYSTEM lenses for night photography have weather resistance. (Notice how we’re not saying “weather sealing.” Barely any products are weather sealed, but resistant to the weather.) If you’re picking up a PRO lens, know it’s boasting weather resistance. Also, know this doesn’t only help with durability, but it keeps your camera’s sensor cleaner too. As it is, OM SYSTEM has great vibration technology that helps keep dust off the sensor.
  • We know some of you don’t really care about weather-resistance, so there are some more affordable options here that don’t have that level of build quality.
  • Use features on the cameras like Live Composite, Live ND, and more to get the photos that you’re dreaming of.
  • This is the Micro Four Thirds system. So, when you’re considering focal lengths, you have to multiply them by two. This means a 14mm lens is actually 28mm in traditional photography speak. It makes for excellent photography of wildlife and for getting more of a subject in focus.
  • There’s a lot to take into consideration when it comes to editing portraits. You need to worry about color grading, skin smoothing, and so much more. In this case, our staff recommend working with Capture One to get the best colors.
  • All the best OM SYSTEM lenses for night photography in this roundup can be used with any Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus and OM SYSTEM.
  • With cameras like the OM-D E-M1 III and other newer models, you’ll get an enhanced autofocus system and massively improved eye AF. These will get the most out of the lenses we selected if you’re shooting portraits. But if you’re photographing food, your dog, or anything else, you’ll quickly realize it’s tough to make bad photos with these lenses.

M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14MM f2.8 PRO

Pro tip

Use it with Live Composite and Starry Sky AF to capture some of the best composites of the sky you’ll ever create. Some of the photos of the sky above NYC in this post were shot with this lens.

BUT HOW IS IT?

In our review, we state:

The M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO is a stellar lens when it comes to image quality. Quite obviously, it’s designed for wide angle shooting: landscapes, architecture, interiors, and at the longer end you can probably squeeze in a portrait or two if you don’t position the subject near the edges.

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M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-40MM f2.8 PRO II

Pro tip

This lens can do pretty much anything. So if you’re photowalking during the day on your vacation, this is a great lens to also take with you at night. It might just end up living on your camera!

BUT HOW IS IT?

In our review, we state:

“The colors from the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO II are certainly nothing to complain about. Overexpose by a stop and you’ll get the beautiful, muted colors so popular with film photographers. Expose perfectly according to a light meter and the colors will pop out at you. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with this lens’s colors.”

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M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8MM f1.8 FISHEYE PRO

Pro tip

This is a fisheye lens. And honestly, these are some of the most in-demand lenses for our staff to review. They’re so incredibly fun because of how unique the perspective is!

WHAT WE THINK

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In our review, we state:

Slap this lens onto a camera, autofocus (or manually focus), and shoot. There’s very little to this lens. It’s going to nail the focus even in low light. In fact, it never missed a single shot during my testing. The challenge lies in creating interesting images with it.

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M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12MM f2

compact cameras Olympus Pen F

Pro tip

This lens focuses insanely quick. So if you’re using it for candid photography, you can immediately switch to using it at night with ease.

WHAT WE THINK

In our review, we state:

On the camera, it has a 24mm equivalent field of view: one of the ideal focal lengths for street photography. At reasonable distances from your subject, you’ll have lots of space to focus the lens and then recompose your image based on the rule of thirds. It’s so nice to be able to do this with a fast prime lens on the Micro Four Thirds camera system.

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M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 17MM f1.2 PRO

WHO SHOULD BUY IT?

If you want a lens that’s fast and silent, weather resistant, and has beautiful bokeh, then reach for this.

WHAT WE THINK

Here’s a quote from our full review:

This may well be one of the sharpest lenses, even wide open, that we have ever had our hands on. It follows in the steps of the 25mm f1.2 PRO as being a great all around performer with good bokeh and image quality traits that will have Micro Four Thirds photographers drooling.

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