Cost of native u43 Lens vs other systems

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by ckjy, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. ckjy

    ckjy New to Mu-43

    5
    Sep 12, 2011
    I'm coming into the u43 system after using only P&S cameras for many years. I knew about the benefits, and cost of interchangeable lens systems, so I was prepared to pay $300 for a Lumix 20mm (which is, apparently, sofa seat change compared to some high end lenses).

    After doing some more comparison shopping, I'm finding that native u43 lenses seem to cost much more than similar lenses from the Nikon or Canon system. The new Oly 45mm 1.8 is $400+ if you can find one. A similar lens receiving accolade like the Nikon 35mm 1.8m, runs less than $200.

    I can understand there being a premium for the newness of u43 and perhaps increased unit costs of manufacturing these lenses. I had decided to invest in the u43 system over other larger frame systems like APS-C because of the smaller size, and what I perceived to be lesser cost.

    Is it in fact the case that the long-term cost of investing in u43 lenses at a consumer/amateur level will exceed that of investing in a Nikon or Canon system? Is the image quality of the higher priced (but half the size) u43 lens actually comparable to these Nikon/Canon lenses which cost half the price? I am wondering if I decided I could get by with a larger camera, could I move into a larger frame DSLR system for about the same cost as u43?
     
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Supply and demand, sadly. Canikon lenses have been on the market for years, and brands like Sigma and Tamron drive competition. I've never felt that :43: was out of line in performance per dollar, but the used market is thin and options are few. A 400 oly prime might match or outperform the equivalnt for another system, but if you only wanted 200 worth of performance, tough :/

    Not sure about full frame, but you could absolutely assemble an APS-C DSLR system for less, especially if you don't mind used gear.
     
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Panasonic I give more leeway too. Most of all their lenses are made in Japan. The Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4 is a good example of a higher quality control 50mm equivalent. Plus it's nano-coated. Canon and Nikon I believe make their 50 1.4 lenses in China. Olympus on the other hand is probably more on a price gouging run. As nice as the 45mm 1.8 is optically, the build quality isn't quite there.
     
  4. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    685
    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Olympus, price gouging? *psshh* Nooo way...






    :rolleyes::smile:
     
  5. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    All of the native m43 lenses are "very good" or better. Even the "dogs" in the bunch will give the OK Canikon lenses a run for their money, and are far better than the "dogs" in the Canikon kennel.

    For example, no plastic lenses in m43 (that I'm aware of).
     
  6. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Well... Hmm... The 35 1.8 is great and cheap and sharp (so I've heard) but isn't it supposed to have horrid bokeh? So it's not exactly comparable to the oly 45/1.8.
     
  7. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    No doubt you can build APS-C system cheaper. I think M43 prices will come down when (and if) user base grows substantially. But that also means current m43 lenses are more likely to lose its value long term.
    The additional cost is well worth the size and weight reduction and many lenses are excellent. I much rather pay double for a smaller system that I will use vs. larger, heavier but cheaper system which will stay at home most of the time.
    Since you are coming from P&S you'll find yourself at home with LiveView.
    As for Oly 45mm, it's very typical for Olympus to price their products quite high at launch. After all, even 17mm f2.8 lens is priced at $299 but the street price is less than $200. There is little doubt in my mind that Oly 45 could be easily found for under $300 next year.
     
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You can't put a price on quality. ;)
     
  9. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    do you mean no plastic mount? the 14-42 is. and in terms of build.. aren't quite a few plastic? or more specifically, not metal. The oly 45 is a bit of a disappointment for the focus ring compared to the 12/2 for example.
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well, the Micro Four-Thirds system does have more primes than zooms and the overall quality (both optical and build) of the primes is generally better.
     
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is what bugs me about Olympus. No lens hoods, no pouches, overpriced items built in China. If they're going to charge premium prices, they need to offer to offer those little things which are mostly standard for every other camera brand.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Actually, these things were always standard with Olympus Four-Thirds lenses, but not with other brands. None of my peers buying Canon lenses got all the fancy hoods, velvet pouches, and lens bags that my Olympus lenses came standard with. They bought all that stuff extra, for big bucks (ie, like $70+ for a plastic Canon bayonet hood which differs from the free Olympus ones only in felt lining as opposed to plastic ridges).

    If anything, Micro Four-Thirds is only lowering themselves to the mass-production quality of other brands. This is a big disappointment to us Four-Thirds users, but I wouldn't say it puts them under the competition (who are no better). Olympus used to step up above others with these thoughtful little things (to me, the hoods were the big deal!), which they simply don't do anymore with Micro Four-Thirds. I can't totally blame them though, as Micro Four-Thirds is a very consumer-targeted product and Olympus is struggling to stay in the black. Those thoughtful little extras were wonderful, but do add up in expenditures...
     
  13. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    685
    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Tell me about it. I'm fine with Oly not including these items but to add salt to the wound, the accessory prices are just disgustingly offensive. Leica much? At least their hoods are metal and quality made.

    You'd think, once they grasp mass production/ assembly in China, they'd also price to move and distribute?

    Here's a 30K car, but the car cover is $6,000.
    Here's our 50K car, but the car cover is $10,000...same material. Problems?

    I don't condone knock-offs but there's a smirk of satisfaction on my face when I see unofficial ebay oly stuff distributed by way of Hong Kong.

    end rant/ sorry OP.
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You mean like the $250 viewfinder? I agree... but I do also see Olympus taking steps to combat that, like introducing the lower-cost VF-3... which received a lot of bad reviews and criticism from first-time EVF users. So maybe Olympus was right to produce the higher-quality and more expensive VF-2 in the first place?

    I don't at all disagree with your sentiment, but I can also see the efforts made from the other side...
     
  15. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Most DLSR systems have 2-3 tiers of lenses. I am not too familiar with Cannikon stuff, but folks like Sony have a standard line, the "G" line, and the Zeiss. Most standard lenses, which are priced very reasonably, have no internal AF motors (or an inferior version), and are made of mostly plastics. The G and Zeiss lines are made of mostly metals and most have internal AF motors that are quieters and AF faster than their standard counterpart. I believe the more expensive Canon lenses have the USM motors.

    It's my understanding that most if not all m4/3 lenses have internal AF motors. Other than the original Oly kit 14-42 and to a certain extent, the Pany 20, all of the m4/3 lenses AF pretty fast. Some Pany lenses also have optical image stabilization, which also increases the price. And most m4/3 lenses AF pretty quietly as well.

    If you compare the prices of m4/3 to the 2nd tier of lenses from most DSLR systems, the prices are fairly competitive.

    Like someone already said, you also need to keep in mind that the first tier lenses from Canon and Nikon have been around for years and years. They are old designs that have been produced in mass over the years. So the sheer number of lenses in the market also dictates pricing.

    My 2 cents. :)
     
  16. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't agree with that argument. If Panasonic m43 can offer these features, while offering Made in Japan quality, then Olympus can at least can offer hoods and pouches at the very least.

    Nikon's 50 1.8 AF-S G offers a built in AFS motor, metal mount, lens hood and pouch for $214 on Amazon.
     
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    IMO, the lack of hood and pouches is pretty weak, especially for a premium lens like the 12/2.

    I don't think it's price gouging, but it certainly doesn't convey good will towards the Olympus faithful.

    I reserve gouging to high pricing on essential items such as the abnormaly high gas prices and even bottled water prices whenever a hurricane comes by here.
     
  18. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Huh? Sounds like your issue is where the lens is manufactured, not necessarily the true quality. I've purchased plenty of optics out of china(Mostly Telescope eyepieces and telescopes) that were as good and in some cases better than what was made in Japan.

    Most of what Pansonic and Olympus offers is different enough from each other that it is really hard to do direct comparisons for the overall value and quality of their lenses.
     
  19. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Exactly. I moved up from a compact, so I had no idea what lenses were going to cost. Those who are used to shooting dSLR had in some cases other options too from Tamron and Sigma for AF lenses. There isn't as much demand and R&D has to be paid for, unlike APS-C lenses from Canikon. R&D has long been absorbed into their lenses.
     
  20. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    The lack of a lens hood is absolutely gouging--when then charge you $25 for something that should have been included with the lens in the first place, and which probably would have cost them $0.50 to include.

    I got a great deal on the 40-150mm for $108. Even at that price Olympus was probably making money.

    But, unlike the 4/3 version, which comes with a hood, you've got to buy one separately for the m43 version. Here it is on Amazon: Amazon.com: Olympus HOOD LENS 14-42mm LH-61C: Camera & Photo. Yup, that's $23 plus shipping. In other words, it'll cost you nearly 1/4 the price of the whole stinkin' lens to buy a cheap piece of plastic they should have included in the first place.

    I'm a huge Olympus fan, but that's just a terrible policy. Hard to feel all warm and fuzzy about a company when it's trying to gouge you like that.

    EDIT: I use the term 'gouging' because a lens hood isn't an accessory like a case or leather skin, something that's truly optional. In many cases a lens hood is ESSENTIAL for taking the best pictures. It should be part of the lens--heck, it's DESIGNED to be part of the lens (it fits on the bayonet backwards when not in use).