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Do lens prices tend to increase or decrease?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by odie91, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. odie91

    odie91 New to Mu-43

    Oct 18, 2014
    Technically I'm asking about 4/3, not micro 4/3.

    Due to a poorly worded Ebay listing, I was able to score a E-410 with 14-42 kit, 40-150 kit, and also a bonus Zuiko 70-300. The 70-300 alone sells for more than the price I paid for all four items combined. I figured I would flip the 70-300 so I essentially got the body and two kit lenses for free. However I can foresee myself using the 70-300 maybe once per year. So if the price does not depreciate, I might just hold onto it for now, and maybe sell it in a few years. Would the lens be worth less in 5 years than it's worth today? (I'm not talking MSRP prices, rather a used lens' value).

    On a related note, I wonder if the aforementioned question depends on the make? The CaNikon folks have a steady stable of lenses that will always have a market, whereas some may perceive 4/3 as not being guaranteed to still be around in 5 years or 10 years or, well you know..... ;) 

    Thanks, this is my first post. Hoping to get into a micro 4/3 package soon, so I can post more relevantly in the future ;) 
  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Probably less. The 4/3 system is pretty much dead. It's not going to be a collectible, certainly not in 5 years. I wouldn't count on that lens being worth more than it is today in your lifetime.
  3. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Most likely 4/3 glass will keep dropping in price. With kit glass like the ones that you have acquired, even including the 70-300, no one will really want to adapt any of these to m4/3 because these lenses have been replaced by better and relatively affordable kit m4/3 versions. Right now, the 4/3 lenses that hold value are more exotic ones like the 50-200mm, because they are quite good and there is nothing like it (yet) in the m4/3 world. However, once the m4/3 40-150mm 2.8 (+ convertor) comes comes out, I'm sure the demand (and price) of the 4/3 50-200mm will fall as well. In addition to this, some people that currently have the 4/3 50-200mm will want to sell it off for the m4/3 40-150, flooding the used market with 50-200mm lenses and deceasing the price even more.

    However, with the lenses that you have aquired, you are primarily targeting the people that still have 4/3 gear and haven't switched to a new system yet. This group of people is slowly dwindling away as they replace their system with new cameras, and so is the demand for the lenses that you have acquired. So my guess is that the price (and demand) will keep decreasing, and my advice would be to sell the 70-300mm off today to at least recoup your money, and enjoy the camera with the other 2 kit lenses for free.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Is it just me or does it seem that 4/3 lenses seem to be dropping in price more slowly than they were two years ago?
    I haven't seen the prices go up, but I haven't seen them go down much beyond what they landed at back then.
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    They are, but that's because the realization for the 4/3 system not being continued has been factored into those prices for a while now. And also, it depends on the lens. Recently, some sellers have been dumping large quantities of the 14-54 mk I into the market, so those have continued to drop - nowadays, they sell for $120 or less - even though that lens is more than useable on the E-M1.

    BTW, you can now get one of those lenses AND an E-1 body, for $160 all in from an ebay seller in SoCal. I already have an E-1, and I bought a 14-54 earlier this year from that same seller (I paid $108 including tax in California) but if I didn't I would jump on that just as an inclement weather setup - as the weather sealing is first rate. The pics are only 5 MP, but they are plenty good.

    BTW, the kit lenses for 4/3 including the 40-150mm tele, sell for nothing nowadays. Always under $50, and if you shop carefully, $25-35. Most of the other lenses have held their value better because the supply is lower and they are good enough that some folks are using them on Micro 4/3, especially with the E-1.
  6. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I saw that... That one particular guy who has a bunch of spit-n-shine-refurb E-1s for sale. If I had cash to burn I might drop some for the kit. Looking back, I remember the E-1 fondly for the rare few times I got to use one. It was a nice camera but I was locked into Nikon glass at the time.
  7. odie91

    odie91 New to Mu-43

    Oct 18, 2014
    Thanks for the insight guys. Kind of like trading stocks it seems =) Everyone knows 4/3 is dead, so today's prices already account for that, maybe drop slightly more, but probably plateaued by now for the most part.
  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I found for the cheaper 4/3 lenses there's not much interest, though for the faster exotics I think those have risen in price since the release of the E-M1.
  9. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Yes, the 50-200mm SWD definitely has been going up a lot this year, but as said above the 40-150mm Pro will probably put a stop to that.

  10. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    If you plan to get an EM1 in the future then I wouldn't be to hasty selling the 70-300, adapted to the em1 it is good lens, faster, brighter than the native 75-300 and focuses fine on the em1.
    All the outdoor images in this album were shot with it. https://flic.kr/s/aHsk4yawZ
    I also have some bee images shot in near macro mode on the 70-300 using caf.
    Basic em1 kit goes 12-50, sigma 60 and 70-300, I think a lot of people right the 70/75-300 lens off to easy as being to long whereas they start just above the common lenses and provide optional reach.
  11. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    The E-M1 is currently the only m4/3 camera that functions well with these lenses. Since 4/3s is longer produced the demand will continue to decline even more so as the 4/3 cameras become nonoperable and there becomes no repair service for them - unless Olympus produces more cameras capable of using them.

    4/3s lenses were produced in three groups, Standard, High Grade (Pro lenses) and Super High Grade (Top Pro Lenses) - the names of which depends on what literature is read.

    The standard lenses have been replaced by m4/3s lenses so the 4/3 lenses have probably reached close to their low resale value.

    The high grade lenses that are yet to have m4/3 counterparts, 11-22mm, 12-60mm, and the 50-200mm are all viable and less costly alternatives to the more expensive Pro lenses being introduced. I believe they will hold onto their current resale value for some time until replacement m4/3s come along. My opinion here contradicts some others as I don't believe most owners of these lenses will flood the market in order to purchase the newer lenses. For me the 12-60mm still fills a need the newer 12-40 doesn't; and the 50-200mm definitely still fills a void left by the upcoming 40-150 especially considering the closeness in size and weight.

    The Super High grade lenses: 14-35 f/2.0, 35-100 f/2.0, 90-250 f/2.8, 150 f/2.0 and 300 f/2.8 will decline in value after very similar lens are released for m4/3s, but will manifest a resale value that allows a very economical price point for any new m4/3s lenses that can achieve the same results. But from what I've seen, great prices for these lenses are hard to come right now.

    I don't know who is buying the new 4/3s lenses that are available, but it must be quite a few as they are still carried by the larger brick and mortar stores. And for as many 4/3s lenses that had to made and sold, there are relatively few of them on the used market.
  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I suspect that Olympus will continue to produce cameras that utilise on-chip PDAF and most likely enlarge on this feature, as it's proven to be superior for many fast focussing requirements. Other manufacturers are not abandoning PDAF or hybrid version thereof, just because they are embracing mirrorless cameras. The 4/3 lenses are still available and I believe that Olympus Japan said in one interview that the SHG (and HG?) lenses will still be available, and they most certainly will still be repairable and serviceable for some time to come.

    To that end, I would suggest that these lenses will continue to demand a premium price and may in fact become more valuable to owners as cameras improve. The SHG lenses were designed for sensors (and MP) far superior to what was available in the day and it's unlikely that Olympus will produce the equivalent in f2 configuration in m4/3. These lenses may attract a unique group of users, but they are not without their supporters (nor those wishing to own one or two), so I'd say that their desirability will only grow, not diminish. Anyone who has owned or owns any of these lenses, will not dismiss them too readily.
  13. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    My E-M5 functions perfectly fine with them actually. All of the OP's lenses when updated to the latest firmware will function perfectly with CDAF, if a tiny bit slower.

    The 4/3's lenses have a number of selling points. For instance, the µ4/3 75-300 is a bit slower and more than twice the cost of a used-but-still-great-shape 4/3 70-300. The 4/3 9-18 is said to have better sharpness consistency across the frame and better CA performance than the µ4/3 9-18 and it doesn't extend noticeably as you focus, unlike the µ4/3 version which extends significantly when zooming (a personal pet peeve of mine). The 4/3 14-54ii and the 12-60 have a better range than their µ4/3 12-40 and 12-35 "pro" counterparts, with comparable quality at somewhere between a quarter to half the cost. Fat-fingered folks like me may like the larger rings on 4/3 lenses. It's really all about the individual photographer's wants and needs.

    To the OP, I wouldn't worry about the lens values dropping. They've seemed to reach a "used market value" point and will likely hang around there. Lenses tend to retain value very well. Olympus has shown commitment to compatibility with 4/3 and their performance can only be made better with future cameras and updates which will increase their value. Selling it off now when you have no kit to replace it just loses you a long lens to shoot with. I can't think of a lens line whose value has aged away rapidly in the history of cameras (my two most expensive lenses are from pre-WWII and the 1980s). Most importantly, your e-410 is native to the lenses you bought, so there's no reason to even be talking about compatibility so far as your world is concerned. Take them out and enjoy them :thumbup: I have an e-450 that still goes out with me and does lovely work
  14. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    The 14-54mm lens (both versions) is also a High Grade lens, and well worth using on the E-M1 given how cheaply it can be bought nowadays (the Mk. 1 version sells currently for $120 or so 2nd hand - I paid $108 for mine recently). The mk II version will focus reasonably well on cameras other than the E-M1, but typically sells for $350-400, and is optically identical to the Mk 1. The Mk II has held it's value due to scarcity and the fact it works with all Micro 4/3 lenses, whereas the Mk I has plummeted in the past couple of years due to a supply demand imbalance between the large numbers produced, and the limited number of E-M1 cameras that can really still use it.

    I would also add that the main issue with the 50-200 4/3 lens vs. the new 40-150 pro Micro 4/3 lens is bound to be focusing speed, as the new pro lens seems to be designed to max that out, and focusing speed has always been the only issue with the 4/3 50-200, even after the SWD version came out. That is going to be the reason that the old lenses sell for much cheaper than the new one, and also why the 50-200 non-SWD sells for around $300 less than the SWD version on the used market. For a lens like that, focusing speed matters for most applications.
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