Current diagnostic tools for the assessment of lung function are limited by global measurements or the need for radioactive tracers. Ideally, these tools should allow quantitative, regional distinct analyses without exposure to radiation. The current paper presents oxygen-enhanced functional MRI for assessment of lung ventilation. First applied in humans in 1996, a considerable amount of experience is now available on 1.5T scanners. The generation of quantitative T1-maps shows a high clinical potential. Low-field MR scanners, which are mostly open-designed, are especially interesting for functional lung imaging. The open design has advantages in respect to patient comfort by lower noise production and easy access to the patients and the costs are lower (no need for helium cooling). Lower signal-to-noise ratios can be overcome by changing the relaxation times. New navigator techniques allow further compensations. This article focuses on the presentation of low-field scanners and the application of T1 and T2* maps is described for healthy volunteers and first patients.