Investment over time

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jtibau, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. jtibau

    jtibau Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2013
    Blacksburg, VA
    Real Name:
    Javier Tibau
    I have this somewhat obscene doubt that I think a lot of people here must have analyzed.

    I switched to m43 from Pentax for both size and what I thought was an exaggerated increase in premium lens prices. Now, I am on a budget but this was the first time that I wanted to consider paying more for lenses than camera body. I bought a GX1 and a PL25 and O45. On Pentax I used a K-7 and FA50 1.4.

    We all know that premium lenses hold their value better over time. My question is, are the m43 primes stellar lenses? In the sense that some full frame oldies are? The question stems from recently noticing that good full frame glass is perhaps only a few hundred dollars more in instances. Or maybe I'm really trying to compare a $500 lens to Leica glass and that's not going to ever be fair.

    Just in case, I'm not thinking of the value of these items for more than 5 to 10 years. Just wanted a good quality/price comparison.
  2. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Unless you are buying collectable camera equipment, then you are just buying tools. Tools are bought to do a job they are designed for and are not investment items.
  3. jtibau

    jtibau Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2013
    Blacksburg, VA
    Real Name:
    Javier Tibau
    Well thanks, I do understand and have read this argument being made. However, I was weighting the value proposition between continuing a m43 investment (mine conservatively borders some $1200 so far) or regretting it all and switching again to a DSLR. My next purchase was probably going to be an OM-D and that pushes the whole thing to around $2000 and thats close to a one or two legacy lens FF setup of sorts.

    Maybe I'm using the wrong word, investment, although the more I think about it am certain that's what it is. If I'm spending, what's the best I can choose? What's gonna make me happier on the "long" run? I kind o want to be convinced that I made the right decision...

    This whole conversation could be blasphemous for some haha. If it is, just call me a noob and to go away lol, I'll understand.
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I shoot Canon FF and the premium µ4/3 are at least on par with Canon L.

    Canon L's I own:
    70-200 f/2.8

    µ4/3 Premium Glass I own:

    Up to 16x20 you cannot distinguish between the Canon L's on a FF and the premium Oly and Pany glass. If you need a computer to see a difference, then there isn't any difference.

  5. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    OP just asked a question, it's not against the law.

    You are really posting several questions here. Which is the one you're really interested in? Different lenses hold their value differently, even within a system.
    Which primes?
    IMHO lenses that hold their value well have to be:
    1. desired by a lot of people because of their optical qualities
    2. built to last
    Many modern lenses are designed to make them lighter and cheaper. So, 20/1.7 will probably not hold the value the same way as, say 75/1.8.

    This is too general of a question. Do you have a particular "full frame oldie" in mind?
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I, like b_rubenstein, feel that the OP is approaching photography from the wrong angle. I see this all the time and really don't quite understand buying equipment based on re-sale value. Purchase equipment based on what it does for you here and now. Photographic equipment are tools to be used for capturing an instant of time, a memory in a fraction of a second. And that, jtibau, is priceless.

    Yes, it is great to be able to sell lenses and camera gear for what you paid or even more, but that should be an extra, icing on the cake. I think you should qualify your purchases based upon what the lenses can do for your photography not what the lenses can do for your bank account.

    If you are looking for an investment, buy stocks. If you want to take photographs buy lenses.


    PS- When I first read the title I thought, wow that is interesting, "Investment over time" ... you know that is what photography is all about, a little investment in a camera and you have conquered time, frozen time in these little digital files. I was disappointed when I read true intent of the poster.
  7. jtibau

    jtibau Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2013
    Blacksburg, VA
    Real Name:
    Javier Tibau
    :) lets see

    I've been thinking of buying an O75, maybe more to understand what's it like shoot the truly best there is in the m43 land. However, I'm not sure but I think it's near the same ballpark of some Canon L glass for portraiture, at least in a price basis. So there you go, I'm not expecting my current two to last forever but I do enjoy them as they are now. However, if I'm to continue my spending I'd like to think that a few years from now it's still gonna feel like I shouldn't have started with the Canon gear instead. This is mostly subjective or irrelevant as Gary pointed/implied.

    To the last question. Before deciding that the GX1 and the two lenses was too good of a deal, it truly has been an improvement, I was looking at used 5Dii with 35 or 50s for starters. How does that sound for a comparison?
  8. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    I agree in principle with your post but disagree with the words... today, in 2013 a computer is where 99 percent of photos are viewed, there for it is by far the most important medium to judge on (unless you have specific desires or comercial needs to be printing).

    Having said that, it actually lends more weight to your argument as most screens are only about 2mp so most differences between cameras and lenses are scaled out of existance...
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Okay, I wasn't clear ... if you need a compute to produce a 100% crop in order to see a difference, then there isn't any difference.

  10. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    Sometimes if you need to be asking... it means you're not ready/don't need it. At least that's my personal theory (about a lot of things).

    As been mentioned, camera equipment is not an investment, it's not even a commitment, you can sell and buy anytime you want. My personal theory is to buy what you need today, and sell and buy different if and when your needs change. I would be asking myself if I needed the 75 now or if I needed a 5dii now... I can always sell what I have and buy those when I'm ready for them or when I need them.
  11. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    It's the quality of your photography that ultimately determines the value of your investment.
  12. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    That an odd reason to buy something that expensive on a budget :smile: Believe all the reviewers that 75/1.8 is good.

    Frankly it sounds big and expensive, although it really depends on which 35 and 50 you're talking about. It's a bit odd you are considering systems almost on opposite ends of the spectrum.
    :43: vs FF is actually really simple - do you value more great portability and cheaper price or super shallow DOF and extra low noise? If GX1 + 25/1.4 and 45/1.8 are satisfactory what would be the attraction of FF? I don't see price to be it, FF bodies will always be more expensive.
  13. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
  14. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    If your objective is to make pictures, buy the tools that meet your needs the best. Use them to achieve your objectives as long as it suits you and change it up as your needs and the available tools change. Whatever else happens is just going to be what it will be... up, down, or sideways. Almost impossible to predict and hardly worth the effort to try.

    If your objective is financial investment... that is another matter entirely.
  15. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    IMO, none of this stuff is investment. The only real question is, how quickly the value drops. Another issue with the digital stuff is that it only works (ap adjustment and focusing) if the computer knows how to speak to the lens. On the old, manual stuff, if you could adapt the mount, you could use the lens. This doesn't work anymore. So, IMO, there is a definite shelf-life to all of this.
  16. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Real Name:
    If you think about photography as an investment, I don't think you will enjoy it much. It's a losing investment whichever way we look at it.

    I always look at it as a hobby and therefore treat the money I spend on it as something similar to spending money part of daily expenses etc.

    I consider any resale value I could get out of the gear I've used as just a bonus.

    I abused my nikon gear for 3 years before I changed format, never really regretted selling it for a bit lower than used markets price afterwards as I thoroughly enjoyed using it.

    You should get the system you think suits you better. Be careful, when GAS settles in, there's no holding back :D

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  17. m1pui

    m1pui Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sunderland, UK
    If really you are looking at minimising your losses on whatever you buy, then you may as well buy second hand from the outset.

    Lenses, whether 1 month or 3 years old, will invariably sell for similar amounts on the used market.

    Bodies will gradually decrease over time and as new versions are released.

    Unless the GF-1 or GX-1 suddenly assumes hyper-collectable & classic status, I don't have any aspirations that I'll recoup a great deal if I was to ever sell them. I bought both when they were (or seem to be in the GX's case) on the verge of being superseded so were pretty much at the bottom price of what they'd be brand new.

    Lenses, much the same. I spent a lot of time debating whether they suited what I needed before I bought the ones I now own and don't envisage selling them.
  18. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    who knows ?
    will M4/3 be dead ? then chances are you will be left holding a bunch of worthless glass
    if it keeps going then chances are with nice primes if nothing comes out way better you will recoup at least half if not more after your 5-10 years

    I just sold all my L glass various ages 7-12 years old and got about %60 or more of the original price
    IMHO that is really good !!!!
    my bodies got about %20 of original price ! so investing in good glass should outlast your bodies any day of the week IMHO investing in glass is what most pros have the most in !

    so buying a 75 1.8 and enjoying it for say 5-10 years then selling it for say $450 would IMHO be a great return
    speculating of course

    the thing is my canon glass lasted through about ten cameras but working pros change cameras more quickly

    if you buy a new camera every 2nd model and we get a new one every 1.5 -2 years in theory
    so yours now and the one in say 3-4 years and another in 3-4 years and maybe one more at that could be 3-4 bodies you got to use that great glass on !!!!

    IMHO glass is way more important than the body these days in technical abilities of getting a better shot
    and the body might help you out with ergonomics or other things meaning small enough you have it on you etc..

  19. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What he said ^^^

    Consider all purchases of photographic equipment pure expenses... nothing more. Once you have that perspective you stop worrying about such things assuming you have some sort of self control of expenditures. If you want an investment, there are 100s of other ways to invest... investments that may (or not) completely fund your expenditures in photography.
  20. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Ask yourself: ten years ago, had anyone heard of m4/3 lenses? Skip forward ten years: do you have a high level of confidence that m4/3 lenses will still be useful for anything but paperweights? :)