Crazy - But I'm Going Old School Digital

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Robert Watcher, May 21, 2015.

  1. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I have to say that one of the lenses I really miss, is my 70-300 (140mm to 600mm equiv.) Olympus. After selling of a lot of my 4/3 gear a couple of years ago - E-3, 50 f2 macro, 50-250 SWD, FL50R - I gladly gave an Olympus 4/3 using Nicaraguan fellow I have come to know, my 70-300 as a gift ---- figuring that I would soon get a new one in the micro 4/3 designation.

    Fact is that until it was gone, I didn't realize how much I depended on and missed that lens for my travel work. And then the reality of having to spend serious money ($600 plus with taxes) on the 75-300 version for my micro 4/3 bodies, I was left in a quandary about what to do to fill that need.

    My decision came yesterday when I perused through Kijijji Classified ads, to see what was available used for 4/3 gear in my area of Ontario Canada. Turned out to be a fair bit.

    And so today I picked up a virtually new Olympus E-520 to hang any lenses that I get on to. The owner (from Argentina), purchased it new 5 years ago, to take pics of her newborn baby with but instead ended up using her iPhone to capture most of the moments. It has a measly 2,000 actuations on it - about what I would shoot in one average wedding day. I purchased it for what I consider a steal at $150 (no 13% taxes added on obviously). It's a good thing because I still have and can benefit from my favourite lens of all time - - - - my 12-60 SWD. I have it because I haven't been able to sell it, even at give away prices

    Moments later I came across a fellow who had switched to Pen cameras and found his 70-300 4/3 lens not suitable to focusing and rather unwieldy on the bodies. He was firm at $175 (again without adding 13% taxes) - - - but that was great being it was in mint condition and came in at $50 to $150 less than what was being asked for the same lens by other sellers on the classifieds.

    So instead of moving ahead with my micro 4/3 purchases, I am finding myself digressing to the slightly less spec'd but wonderful system I enjoyed up until just a couple of years ago. Guaranteed that for 80% of my work - especially in travel and street - I will be using one or all of my 3 Pen cameras, kit lenses, and a few manual primes with adapters, that I have been using successfully recently. But now I can benefit from two wonderful lenses that I really miss - my 12-60 f2.8/4 and 70-300.

    I hoped and tried going with just one system (mirror less micro 4/3), but for the next few years at least, it looks like I will be sticking with 2 systems instead. It is just plain more economical for me. Heck I was even tempted by a couple of good condition E-1's, but the reality is that the E-520 will serve me much better. I loved and many times preferred my E-510 over my E-3, at least until it died.


    by Robert Watcher, on Flickr
    Photo taken with Olympus E-PL5 w/14-42 kit lens @ 3200 ISO

    NEW PURCHASES TODAY - OLYMPUS E-520 w/ kit lens and bag - Olympus 70-300 lens (140-600mm equivalent in 35mm)

    Last edited: May 21, 2015
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  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    As long as you are happy with what you have, then that is a great thing.

    Enjoy it and make some great images with it.
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  3. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Crazy but in a nice way. ;) In the end you saved $100 or so on shopping for a used 75-300 or 100-300 m43 lens, but still having your 12-60 FT lens is the clincher for your choice IMO.

    Enjoyed your story, thanks.
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  4. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    A huge motivator for going this route had to do with my not wanting to fork out huge money for every new micro 4/3 lens that I want and can really use (say 7-14, 12, 17, 25, 45, 75, 12-40, 40-150, 75-300 at min.). And then of course some of the lenses would require at least an E-M5 if not the preferred E-M1.

    So here was some of my logic yesterday - - - I have a huge expensive paper weight in the 12-60 SWD, with no way to use it. If I could sell it, I would be replacing it with the 12-40 f2.8. Oh wait, I can't sell it. Plus the asking price I could maybe wish for is say $500. But then the 12-40 is around $1100 with taxes. It will be kind of big on my Pens and so will be best with a new E-M5 or E-M1 body. Plus as wonderful as the 12-40 may be, it falls far short on the focal length I already have and prefer. Huge bucks for no gain.

    Then there was my desire to get the 70-300 focal length that I far prefer over the 40-150 m4/3 that I do own and use for my Pens. So was that going to be my next choice for purchase? Well at around $600 that would be a serious purchase. But hey, I also really need the 45mm so I can do some quality portrait work with my Pens. Besides that 24mm (35 equiv.) as the widest coverage of the lenses I have, isn't wide enough for my preference - so I really need either the 9-18 at $850 with taxes or the preferred but totally out of my current ball park for economical reasons - 7-14mm.

    So I either work out a practical and pragmatic way to get what I need, or do without and dream. I'm afraid that I'm a shooter not a dreamer. ;)

    My current requirements so that I can do travel and professional portrait work are at least one E-M5 Mark II (or E-M1) body with 12-40 f2.8, 45 f1.8, 9-18 wide angle, 75-300 super zoom, and for pro work, 40-150 f2.8. Those are my needs beyond the Pen cameras and lenses I already have that suit fantastically the one area on photography I am currently consumed with in Central America.

    So that is why I am going back to old cameras that provide very little difference in image quality and are manageable financially. No doubt that I benefit from the higher ISO ability of my Pens and and I will continue to make use of them when that functionality is needed. I prefer small size and flip out LCD screen for my carry around camera. So for now it appears that it will take both systems to keep me shooting and content - - - even though I was hoping to just drop the old and move on with the new.
  5. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    I shoot with an E-5 and E-P5 with the E-1 backup to E-5 and I found the E-5 still capable of churning out fantastic images. For low light work, I use the m43 with my primes. 4/3 lenses are way more affordable. I got the 14-54 for $100 and the 70-300 for $120 all Canadian. I'm eyeing on the 7-14 but it's holding its price well. I can't afford nor need the new bodies and lenses. Cost is a factor in my decision.
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  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I don't think it is crazy at all. Those lenses have the best performance and "experience" being used on their native camera mounts. Aside from comparing noise performance over ISO 1600, I don't think you are going to have many regrets.

    Here's something crazy. This would have been a 4/3 dream kit even just 5-6 years ago:

    11-22 f2.8-3.5
    14-54 f2.8-3.5
    50-200 f2.8-3.5

    Total cost at KEH today: $960

    You can barely get one high end zoom for m4/3 for that money. This is a complete pro-caliber kit.

    I don't think it is crazy at all to use slightly older gear to increase your capabilities for a lot less money.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
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  7. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I still have an E-5 and 35-100mm f2.0, however I tend to use the lens on a E-M1 body (I have two) and keep the E-5 as backup.

    The E-5 is still a fine machine and the difference between 12 and 16mp is absolutely nothing, I have however recently been considering selling it recently since I now have two m4/3 bodies... then comes the big question that you too faced, is it worth selling?
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