Keep or sell the Olympus 12mm/2.0 Special Edition?

m43man

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When I bought the Olympus 12mm/2.0 Special Edition last year, it was dream come true. Shiny and slick in metallic black, it's totally discreet for street shooting. The large f2.0 aperture provides low ISO shots even when shutter speeds were high.

But ever since the 12-40mm came out, I don't know why I've just stopped shooting with the 12mm. Haven't used it since November last year. Maybe it's the biting sharpness of the 12-40mm that made me wonder what's the point of carrying the 12mm.

Finally I was just about to pull the trigger and list it on craigslist and in the Buy & Sell section here, but then I had cold feet, starting to wonder if it makes sense to keep it and one day sell it as collectors item, especially if only 3000 units were made worldwide. Amazon has only a few copies left, whereas getOlympus.com has no more stock available, and the cheapest one from eBay starts at $1149USD but it comes from Korea.

So my question is, since I've kept the lens in pristine and complete condition, would I be able to get at least $999USD for it? I've kept the original Olympus packaging in pristine condition, which includes all original accessories like black hood, UV filter, plastic and metal caps, housed in 5 separate smaller boxes inside the big box, all individually wrapped in rice paper, topped by another sheet of premium rice paper which gives the whole package a super premium look. My dilemma is whether to sell it or just keep it for now until it gains an even higher "collector's item" status, potentially fetching higher pricing later?

Update: I've just looked at some of the shots I made with this lens, although they are not biting sharp like the 12-40, but they certainly have a filmic quality that is not found on the very clinical 12-40mm. Now I'm not sure anymore whether to sell or not to sell. Any thoughts, thanks.
 

GFFPhoto

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Keep or sell the Olympus 12mm/1.8 Special Edition?

I don't know if you could get 1K for it, but it is a bit disappointing that the m43 wide primes lack the sharpness of the zooms. Getting that slight bit of extra speed is expensive, and I'm not sure it's worth it. I guess the smaller size is nice.


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htc

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Here in Europe they sell used 12 mm for 400-500 euros, no real difference if it's "limited" or not, so good luck with the 1 k price :)

I think my 12 mm prime is a fraction sharper than the zoom. They both are good though. At least the Dxomark agrees with me. I don't know if that counts anything... :)
 

MichaelShea

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I've also got one of these and would be pleasantly surprised if I could get much more than half the figure you're expecting. I wouldn't have bought it at all if the 12-40mm zoom had been available at the same time and that applies for everyone now. Size and build quality are in truth the only things going for it and in terms of colour and contrast, the ZD 11-22mm zoom is at least as good and without any of the visible barrel distortion. I think your decision should be based entirely on whether you expect to use it in the future - lenses are not supposed to be hidden away inside a box, however decorative it is. Don't get me wrong - I like the lens but it has always been overpriced and now there is more competition than ever. Good luck with whatever you decide though.
 

carpandean

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If you look at "Sold Listings" on Ebay, most of them fall in the $750-$850 range. If you're patient, you might get more, but I wouldn't expect it. I really don't see any "Collector's Item" value increase. Maybe I'm wrong, but prices seem to be decreasing, not increasing.

Personally, I often find that if I have a fast, high quality zoom, then I am less likely to swap in a faster prime than I probably should. It sounds like you are doing the same, so perhaps there is another lens that you've been thinking about that would provide you with something you don't cover almost as well with one you have. Looking at your lens list, there aren't many, but maybe one of the new Olympus Pros when they come out.
 

yakky

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I think it's on Pawn Stars that they say anything that is a limited or collectors edition is usually just the opposite. It was limited to 3000 units because their marketing guys figured out that was as many as they could sell.
 
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personally, I would sell it and get what you can for it (I did the same thing with mine). I purchased mine at the time because I had the 25 & 45mm lenses from Olympus, and I wanted a 12mm lens as well. I picked one up on ebay for just under $1000 brand new. I used it for a couple months, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was a stupid purchase. So, I ended up trading it to a guy for a virtually brand new Panasonic G6 (I had been wanting a second one since I loved my first one so much) and $350 cash, which I then put towards purchasing a Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8. Honestly, I'm glad I made the trade. The zoom of the 12-35 is SO much more useful than the 12mm (obviously), and the 12mm was never "outstanding" in regards of optical quality, especially considering it was a prime.

If you're not shooting with it (which it sounds like you aren't), I'd sell it, get what you can for it, and put it towards something else that you'll use more often.
 

Johbremat

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I bought the O12 AFTER picking up the O12-40. The size, build quality and focus clutch are an absolute joy.

It's often a toss between it and the O17 attached to my E-P5 ready to shoot from my everyday carry, though I've always got both on hand. Couldn't imagine carrying my zoom around (and until the O7-14 and O40-150 are released, it'll stay glued to my E-M1).

Disregarding the lack of actions it's seen recently, consider the use cases before bailing on it.
 

Wisertime

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I'd sell it while you can get the max value. It's not going to hold any value based on phony "collectors edition". It's overpriced to begin with.
 

m43man

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Personally, I often find that if I have a fast, high quality zoom, then I am less likely to swap in a faster prime than I probably should. It sounds like you are doing the same, so perhaps there is another lens that you've been thinking about that would provide you with something you don't cover almost as well with one you have. Looking at your lens list, there aren't many, but maybe one of the new Olympus Pros when they come out.
Yes getting the Olympus 12-40mm zoom is one reason that I haven't used much of the 12mm. Actually I don't use much of the 12-40mm lately either after shooting more and more on the GR for wide shots. The IQ and ISO from the GR is way more superior than m43. And if I want to go a bit wider, I pop the 21mm adapter on the GR to get even wider.
 

m43man

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I don't know if you could get 1K for it, but it is a bit disappointing that the m43 wide primes lack the sharpness of the zooms. Getting that slight bit of extra speed is expensive, and I'm not sure it's worth it. I guess the smaller size is nice. Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
If someone lives in the zone of low light, the extra stop could effectively lower ISO from 1600 to 800, which would be super useful in terms of IQ.

And yes, the smaller size is one of the reasons that I'm still considering whether to keep this. It's not practical nor possible to carry a big zoom like 12-40mm all the time which makes me look like a FF photographer ;)
 

m43man

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I bought the O12 AFTER picking up the O12-40. The size, build quality and focus clutch are an absolute joy. It's often a toss between it and the O17 attached to my E-P5 ready to shoot from my everyday carry, though I've always got both on hand. Couldn't imagine carrying my zoom around (and until the O7-14 and O40-150 are released, it'll stay glued to my E-M1). Disregarding the lack of actions it's seen recently, consider the use cases before bailing on it.
Wow, so nice to hear from another O12 owner who appreciates it like I do. Both of us realize that the O12-40 is not O12. Just like you said, the size, build quality and focus clutch are not just absolute joy, but it actually makes me want to take pictures with it. The O12-40 on the other hand is sharp but sterile, just like a professional tool, perfect for meeting job requirements but not inspiring fun in me with its size and weight. I think you're totally right, every time when I pick it up, I marvel at its engineering so it's not time to dismiss it based simply on lack of action. The ease of setting hyperfocal distance for street shooting are all intangible benefits not described on the feature list. I should try it on the GM1 to see how I like it.
 

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pdk42

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I bought my O12 recently, a full year after picking up a 12-35. Wide open at f2.8, the 12-35 at 12mm is slightly sharper than the O12 wide open at f2 - but at equivalent apertures, the 12 is sharper. However, they are both more than sharp enough and there is a lot more to a lens than sharpness. The 12 is smaller, lighter, faster, gives great colour and contrast and the clutch focus is useful for street shooting. Horses for courses!
 

m43man

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The 12 is smaller, lighter, faster, gives great colour and contrast and the clutch focus is useful for street shooting. Horses for courses!
Yea, the O12 is truly unbeatable in terms of size, weight and zone focusing which no other lens in the M43 lens could compete with, especially in the black edition. So I will be listing it for sale at $999 but unfortunately there is already another seller who has the limited edition for sale too at the same price, I don't really want to compete with him but I do hope both of us sell them soon!
 

orfeo

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I really doubt it will ever be any kind of collector item. It's an electronic lens.
Looks like one of the best tool for speed street shooting in mu43 world as we have no physical scale of focus on our lens... Enjoy it, or sell it to someone who will!
 

m43man

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Yes I agree with his price too, especially given the condition. Perhaps the used market for this lens is very good?
 

m43man

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Here are some sales where you can compare against the sold price: .
Thanks Amin for the links, as much as it pains me to let it go, but if it's been sitting for almost a year unused, I think it's time to let it go so some other owner can enjoy this magnificent lens. Based on the sales history, I have re-priced my listing to $899USD, which is lower than almost every other listings in the market right now.
 

Edmunds

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This lens is without a doubt overpriced, but my, is it a beauty, and the size is unbeatable. I think I am going to get a GM1 for my girlfriend so she can also use it. The only thing I hate is the barrel distortion!

Saying there is no point in f/2 vs an f/2.8 zoom... I'm sorry what? That's like saying there is no point to an f/2.8 zoom when the Panasonic kit lens is good enough at f/4.

The silver one's going for about $500-600 used, so I think you're gonna net maybe $750-900 for a black one. If you put it up on ebay auction, I would expect less, so just keep it at BIN and maybe in a month's time somebody will buy.

I live up in the north, so I am probably never selling mine, need every last bit of light possible. I crave for a zoom during summer, but well, winter will also inevitably arrive!
 
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