Micro 4/3 Kit lenses - are they any good?

It is a funny question to ask with no opinion given.

Anyway, are kit lenses any good. Like all things, kit lenses vary in quality. There are some that I am happy to have and others that I have bypassed (or would bypass if I could have a second go).

Generally speaking, kit lesnes represent outstanding value for money. When purchased with a camera, they are as cheap as chips and provide respectable peformance.

I would rate the current kit lens provided with the Olympus E-P3 as excellent. Even the original provided good optical performance with outstanding resistance to flare and the latest incarnation has overcome some of the diabolical shortcomings of the first (e.g. inablity to take cokin filters and weak af-motor along with rotating front element).

No doubt there are some dogs out there but when you consider that one of these lenses often adds less than $100 to the price of a body, often comprised of a dozen or so elements, has a buit-in AF motor, sometimes even image stabilisation, is generally very compact yet robust - that's a pretty amazing package.

The most variable item in any photographers kit is always the photographer. A good photographer can get a good shot with a bad lens but a bad photographer will struggle with a good lens.


Hall of Famer
Brisbane, Australia
I've found the M Zuiko 14-42 MkII to be a great little lens. I hardly ever used the original version. The difference in AF speed between the two is night and day.

I assume the 18-55 Canon mentioned in the blog as being not very good is the original version that was sold with the 400D and earlier. The later IS version of the lens is very good.


I have been pretty happy with the kit zooms on my Olympus and Pentax DSLRs - the weakest perhaps the Pentax AL18-55 for being flare prone but was very good at closest focus, better than the more modern 18-55 WR. My current 14-42 M.Zuiko is probably the best I have ever had, film or digital - very pleased with its resolution with the much maligned E-P3 sensor.