oly 300mm pro pricing

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by oly.sol, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. oly.sol

    oly.sol Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 14, 2015
    Cambridge, MA
    so i see on one of the m43 rumors that the 300mm will cost 2600 euros. yes, that's just a rumor and even if it's true, i assume that must be the suggested retail price so street price would probably be somewhere around 1600-2000. i also assume olympus would sell the lens for the same price in dollars rather than converting euros to dollars...so 2600 euros would be 2600 dollars.

    BUT...what if 2600 is the price? do you think the lens will sell at that price? or maybe the question is, how many does olympus expect to sell at that price? if that pricing is accurate, it seems pretty outrageous to me, like planning to fail. and i'm someone who doesn't mind spending more on great gear. but this pricing starts to eat away at the price advantage of m43. size is a non-issue since anyone looking for a lens like this has to expect size and weight unless they believe in magic. but m43 starts to make less sense when the gear is priced at the level of dx and used ff lenses. and in terms of product success, given how small the m43 market is i don't think offering m43 as a straight up alternative (i.e. equally priced as dx, for example) to dx or maybe used ff--that seems like a recipe for failure. and this is coming from someone who bought the 75mm new. i'm not opposed to dropping a lot of money on a m43 lens (even on a focal length w/ limited usability). anyway.

    what do y'all think?
  2. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    I do wish this and the new Panasonic 100-400 were cheaper. But I'll wait and see what the actual street price is.

    For reference though the old f/4 Canon and Nikon versions are in the $1300 range with the new Nikon version at $2000 so.....
  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    This has already been long debated here: 300mm Pro cost is $2499?!?!

    My opinion is that the price is right for a professional/high grade 600mm equivalent lens designed in 2015 (stabilized, weather sealed, MF clutch, dual AF engine I presume, etc.).

    In your post you talk about a used ff: ok, then check the price and weight for a 600mm lens for full frame. Otherwise is apple and oranges. Unless you plan to use it on a 64MP ff sensor(?) cropped down to one quarter of the sensor size (getting the noise performance of a m43 sensor...).
    Even on APS-C you get a 420/450 equiv. lens.

    A fixed professional 600 equiv is a very specialized lens IMO. You need it or you do not. A lens like this is all about reach, you cannot ignore this aspect.

    I think that you pay an item for what it allows you to do, not for hypothetical manufacturing costs (plus design, test, distribution, sales, support, expected sales volumes, wages, etc. all costs not dependent, or barely, on optical focal length). So this lens IMO costs much less then comparable options.

    BTW I've never seen m43 specifically as a budget option when compared to DSLR systems. For me the advantage is size, EVF, etc..
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  4. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Almost completely agree. For me size, weight, AND budget are part of my reasons. My complete m4/3 kit cost less then either of my FX bodies and less than most of my FX lenses individually (but those are for work so...).
  5. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Real Name:
    Now that some of the Oly 300mm f/4 specs are known (but still not official), I thought I would make a direct comparison against my 6 year old Nikon 300mm f/4 IF-ED lens. I use this lens with a adapter for an effective 600mm fov on my EM1, but of course in manual focus only, as there is no adapter like the ones for Canon that work with the AF.

    Olympus 300mm f/4 IS PRO
    Estimated Price $2,600 +/- new with 1 year warranty?
    3.66” x 8.93” @ 52 oz. - 93 x 227mm @ 1475g (with lens tripod foot)
    17 Elements in 10 groups - Likely have numerous ED elements
    55.1” - 140cm minimum focus
    IS Lens stabilization-works with OMD IBIS
    MSC silent AF – Sliding MF clutch
    7 aperture blades
    77mm Filter ring-sliding built in lens hood
    Weather sealed
    (I’m sure) Very sharp lens
    Bokeh unknown, hopefully “less busy” than the 40-150 PRO

    Nikon AFS 300mm f/4 IF-ED
    Purchased Sept 2009 $1,087 New with 5 year factory warranty (Now $1,300 +/-)
    3.5” x 8.8” @ 50.8 oz. - 90 x 222.5mm @ 1,440g (With lens tripod foot)
    10 elements in 6 groups, 2 ED elements, SIC coating
    56” - 142 cm minimum focus
    No lens stabilization (but IBIS works with EM1)
    Silent Wave motor AF – Sliding AF/MF switch on lens
    9 aperture blades
    77mm Filter ring-sliding built in lens hood
    Not weather sealed
    Very sharp lens
    Really great bokeh

    So what do you get for an additional $1,300 ? (or in my case, $1,513)
    1. Auto Focus
    2. Weather sealing
    3. IS and IBIS, vs IBIS only. Maybe 1 stop more? (Oly tends to embellish their IBIS claims in my opinion.)

    The size and weight is almost identical with the Nikon being slightly smaller, as the Oly is 3mm wider, 5mm longer and 25 grams heavier. Both use 77mm filters, have a built-in sliding lens hood and a AF/MF on-lens adjustment. Close focusing distance is within 20mm - 1 inch. As the Oly with have I'm sure a gaggle of ED, Super ED and other special elements, it may be optically a slightly better lens, although the 300 Nikon is just super and one of my sharpest. Bokeh wise I have to believe the Nikon will be creamier, based upon its 9 blade aperture and my experience with Oly 75 f/1.8 and 40-150 f/2.8 Pro.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  6. azjsb

    azjsb Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2015
    Spec Foto, what adapter are you using to get Nikon 300mm f/4 to attch to E-M! so that it is 600mm FOV? If it was a speedbooster, it would be f/2.8 and about effective 420mm FOV? Interested in your comparison and want to learn what you used to adapt to get f/4 600mm. Thanks,
  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Lenses have very long sales lives compared to camera bodies that get updated every couple of years. Olympus lenses don't sell for 1/3 off of MSRP from day one, or even day 1000. At $2,600 it's an expensive lens and very few lenses that price are sold, regardless of brand, to hobbyists. I think the biggest issue for this lens is that long focal length lenses are typically used for sports and wildlife photography where really good AF is required, and that is the weakness of µ4/3 cameras. It's playing the weakness of µ4/3 against the strength of DSLRs. The 300/4 is primarily a boutique lens to make the Olympus lens line up look better. Olympus will probably never amortize the cost of development and tooling for this lens, let alone make a profit.
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  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I'm wondering if your caps key is broken ;)
  9. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Real Name:
    Just a cheap fotodiox MF lens adapter, there is no glass in it. The adapter does not change the aperture, it stays at f/4. (or whatever the widest f/stop the lens you mount is).

    I think your getting a lens system adapter confused with a tele-convertor. The Nikon and Oly are both 300mm; it is the M4/3 camera body (sensor) that makes them 2X or 600 mm fov. A tele convertor such as a 1.4x, which has glass lenses inside, will lose a stop of light and change the aperture to f/5.6, but magnify the 300mm lens to 420mm (840mm M4/3 eq).
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  10. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    @SpecFoto@SpecFoto, I think you mean 840mm in 35mm equivalent.
  11. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    The official price to use for a comparison is $1500 for the old unstabilized version and $2000 for the new VR one:

    AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED from Nikon
    AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR | Interchangeable Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

    (assuming there were no rebates at all since release, and inflation alone would place the first lens in the $2000 range too, unless they rose the price recently).

    Then, if we should set the price based on the optical focal length alone we should make these comparison too:
    Canon 24mm f1.4 L : $1449
    Nikon 24mm f1.4: $2000
    Pana 25mm f1.4 : about $600

    Canon/Nikon: 8mm 1.8 FE : ???? (this?)
    Oly 8mm 1.8: $1000

    Canon/Nikon: rectilinear 7-14 f2.8 : ????

    IMO these comparisons do not make much sense.

    @SpecFoto@SpecFoto In the advantages you do not include an (hypothetical) better IQ. For a Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 manual focus, no stabilization, etc. you pay $3000 more then the Canon/Nikon alternatives just for that. We could do the same comparison for the short tele m43 lenses vs the Nocticron.

    Then you are talking about an adapted lens, priced for a different system. I could take the Canon FD 300/4 s.s.c., $350, and make about the same considerations you did (except for the warranty). Yes, there are good cheaper options.
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  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    For Nikon you have to go to the focal length EQ so:

    10.5mm f/2.8 DX - $772
    16mm f/2.8 FX - $1000
    Neither sealed

    For really good wide zooms there are too many options to list ranging from $750 - $1900 in both the DX & FX range. While only the $1900 FX lens is sealed it also offers a 2mm wider angle of view.
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Using the actual focal length and not the equivalent is exactly my point, it was just a provocative comparison about this. If you use the actual focal length you get the non-sense comparison I made in my post.

    I totally agree with you that equiv. focal length should be used, so this should be compared with $10k+ lenses. We compare the 12-40 to the 24-70, the 42.5 to the 85 and so on, but for this lens looks like this does not apply.
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    I agree, just filling in the ???? you had in your post for reference since I shoot Nikon and I knew most of the details off the top of my head.
  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Ok, got it. I got confused because the lenses you posted are much longer then the m43 examples and looked more like a 2x/1.5x replacements.
  16. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Real Name:
    Barry13 - Correct

    Pricing- Unlike Olympus, You cannot buy from Nikon direct. The price at most major retailers for the Nikon IF-ED 300 mm f/4 lens I have is $1,3xx+/- , B&H is $1,309, so that is the price I used and why I put +/- behind the pricing. The pricing on the Olympus 300 f/4 in the US has not been announced yet. I hope is it less than $2,600.

    You said I did not mention the possible advantages of a better IQ ?? Read the last paragraph where I said " As the Oly with have I'm sure a gaggle of ED, Super ED and other special elements, it may be optically a slightly better lens, although the 300 Nikon is just super and one of my sharpest." Nikon is renowned for the extremely sharp telephoto primes they make (I have 6). I have zero complaints about the sharpness of mine.

    While my comparison may have not made sense to you, it made great sense to me and hopefully others with a existing 300mm prime lens. 300mm prime lenses are very specialized and not something that 95% of photographers use. I own and use the Nikon 300 f/4 IF-ED and was specific to this lens being used on my EM1 vs. the Olympus 300 f/4. Why you brought up other focal lengths makes no sense, that is not what I was comparing. Mostly shooting now with my M4/3 gear, I adapted this lens to us on the EM1 or other M4/3 bodies, it is the exact same fov of the Olympus 300 f/4. The Olympus 300 f/4 does not "magically" become 600 fov and the Nikon doesn't. Since I also have the Pany 100-300 f4-5.6 AF, what this comparison showed me is that I will not be buying the new Olympus 300 f/4. (However I did buy the Olympus f/2.8 PRO 7-14, 12-40 and 40-150 lenses.) In my mind, it is just not worth $2,600 +/- for the AF I would pick up and the weather sealing on a 300mm prime. IBIS is not recommended when on a tripod, and a my 300mm prime is mostly used on a tripod. Maybe if I didn't have my Nikon 300 and was so happy with it, I would consider the Olympus 300 f/4, but not until it is under $2,000. Others, possibly you, who may not have an alternate 300mm lens may decided to buy the Oly 300 right away. I sure it will be a great lens.

    Regarding you comparing a older Canon 300 mm, if that is what you have then yes I agree.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    What 600mm f/8.0 lens exists, let alone costs $10k?

    Either compare based on what producing the item costs (300mm f/4.0) or on what it's capable of (600mm f/8.0). Mixing and matching makes no sense.
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  18. Mooring

    Mooring Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Lee Mooring
    I'm not going to get into what I think the cost of the new 300mm should or should not be but all this talk about equivalency really doesn't apply when you are talking about what the cost should be. A 300mm lens is a 300mm lens no matter what format it is manufactured for. Put a Nikon 300mm on an Olympus with an adapter its still a 300mm lens with all the same properties of an Olympus 300mm. The Olympus 300mm may be equivalent to a 600mm on a full frame camera but that is not because of anything the lens does but is due to the sensor size of the camera and the corresponding crop factor. The physical cost involved in producing 300mm are in no way comparable to the cost involved in producing a 600mm lens...they are quite simply two different animals.
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  19. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    This is a little more controversial then this. We are talking about a (rumored) official $2600 Olympus price. A MSRP, RRP, call it like you want. Not a retailer price. I think the prices on the Nikon website are exactly that, even if they do no directly sell. Maybe retailers will sell the Oly 300 at that price, more probably to a lower price like they are doing with almost any other lens. I just tried to compare apples with apples.

    About IQ you did not include it in the 3 point list and to me looked like a marginal thing in your evaluation.

    I think that your post is useful for those considering alternatives to this lens, I just think that it was not addressing the main topic that is Oly price choice.

    Sorry, I won't get into the "equivalent aperture" thing. That assume that m43 and FF have the same noise performance (total, not per inch!). Then we should discuss pixel density (because cropping with this kind of lens is relevant). And then we should completely ignore shutter speed (again relevant). I pass.

    I answer about manufacturing costs here to @Mooring@Mooring too.

    I'm sure, but I could be wrong, that manufacturing costs have:

    1. very little relation to the focal length
    2. very little relation to the final price

    1. I think that the raw amount of material in a lens is not a good indicator for the price. The number of elements and, secondarily, the specific material could be a better indicator (it is not). A 17 element elements lens requires much more work to grind, test, "glue", put in place then a lower elements count for example. Then, given the higher pixel density of the m43 sensors the tolerances should be smaller then a 15 years old FF design.

    Making/grinding a larger lens takes a significantly longer time than a small one? I do not know.

    Otherwise please explain me the price of the Otuses or Nocticron in terms of "raw material amount" and focal length only.

    But even looking at the weights, as an exercise, a Nikon 600mm costs about 6 times more and weights a little more then twice, with similar element count. So it does not look like a "weight" thing.

    2. When I pay a lens to Olympus I pay for: R&D (wages, software development, hardware, etc.), investments for factory construction, wages of management, marketing (wages and commercials), transport, customer service, distribution, warranty service, offices (electricity, rental, heat, PC, software licenses, etc.), unsold items, etc. and manufacturing. And I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things. Most of these things have nothing to do with the specific lens produced.

    Lens design of a PRO lens maybe has a higher costs then a kit zoom. But just maybe, considering that kit zoom design has very strict cost constraints and that will be the introduction to the Olympus world for most customers so not exactly an irrelevant lens. Maybe better grinding, tolerances, more discarded elements, etc. for PRO lenses (I remember a long LensRental article where they said they found that sample variation was no better for higher priced Canon lenses). So here there is something that could make the PRO lenses raw manufacturing price higher.

    But how many kit zooms go into warranty? That alone could make the kit zoom the most expensive lens for Olympus. How much margin is there on the kit zoom lens? None probably.

    All the costs of the "non productive" roles at Olympus are not related to any specific lens.

    Then the price depends on how many copies of that item you expect to sell.

    Then the price also depends on customer demand, alternative offers, "boutique value", profit margin, etc.
    It's even possible that Oly decided to make no direct profit from this lens, selling it at "production cost" or even below, "loosing" money, just like any company does with commercials, because being able to declare a 7mm-300mm coverage is a big enough value to attract customers to the system.

    IMO price have really little to do with manufacturing costs that are no different from all the other costs, in the end the retail price has to cover all of these. Please correct me if you have actual details on lens production.
  20. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Real Name:
    Fwiw, I rarely see Oly lenses selling for less than MSRP new. They almost always mirror Olympus' web site including whatever discounts or sales Oly has going. That is at least true of the Pro lenses.
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