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Reliability of lenses / lifespan

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ManofKent, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    How common are failures with m4/3 lenses?

    I've principally used manual Nikkors for the last 25 years and obviously there's not a lot to go wrong with them. I've never had a problem with th handful of AF-Ds I've owned, but obviously the m4/3 beasts have a bit more to them in terms of bits to go wrong.

    I'm thinking of picking up a 25mm Pana-Leica, and obviously the saving on used/greymarket is substantial compared to UK list. I've not worried going used on sub-£200 lenses but this will be more of an investment.
  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I've had no problems with the m4/3 lenses that I currently have, however I haven't had it very long compared to other equipment.

    The 'legacy' 4/3 gear has lasted very well for me however, I still have one lens (the 35-100mm f2.0) and a backup E-5 and apart from very small wear patches on some fittings (tripod mount, lens hood mount, flash shoe) it shows very little signs of heavy use.

    Remembering that the 35-100mm f2.0 originally had a retail price higher than all of my m4/3 gear combined changes the perspective, the m4/3 gear is really built to a price point. There are advantages to this (it's generally cheaper and lighter), however I don't expect it to last anywhere near as long. I'm ok with this.
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  3. Melaka

    Melaka New to Mu-43

    Jan 5, 2013
    The only FT or MFT lens problem I have had in over 8 years was with a Panny 45-200. Apart from that all my lenses have been very reliable.

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  4. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I'm still using my first generation 4/3s Zuiko lenses on my E-M10. They are as tightly made as ever and still feel new to me. My OLYMPUS M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R kit lens seems reasonably well made. It wouldn't occur to me to worry about life expectancy over them.
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  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I suspect that the 25 would be less prone to issues since it is not a zoom and it does not have built-in IS.

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  6. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Lenses in general are much less prone to problems than camera bodies. I don't think I've ever owned a body for any extended period of time and not had some minor issue with it. I've never had any issues with any modern lenses (designed in the last 10 years) aside from AF back/front focus errors on fast Sigma lenses (well documented problem), though I have purchased some old Sigma and Tamron lenses in used/asis lots that had stripped focus gears (generally 20+ year old lenses).

    I've not owned any M43rds gear long enough to really say how reliable it is, but my 25/1.4 seems very well built, in fact better built than a lot of DSLR prime lenses in the f1.8-2.8 range (ef 50/1.8, nikon af 50/1.8, ef 28/2.4, etc). I don't forsee this lens falling apart any time soon. Maybe some of the cheaper kit lenses, but that applies to pretty much all systems.
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  7. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    I've had many troubles with camera bodies, only a few minor things with lenses. The worst case was with Oly 45mm 1.8 which had slightly misaligned element. In general all of the many native m4/3 lenses I have (or have had) are well built and reliable in operation. Reports about sudden operational failures seem to be very rare. And I think the "Made in Japan" quality is there with the 25mm Panasonic.
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  8. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I had a Sigma 70-200 2.8 that quite focusing that Sigma fixed for me free even though it was slightly out of warranty. I had a Tokina I bought used stop working, that I ended up tossing. I've yet to have a problem with one of my M43 lenses, but I wouldn't be totally surprised if it happened. I would be more surprised if it happened within the warranty period, however. I bought my O45 grey market (I guess, it was a Japan market lens I bought off eBay). So far so good.

    Good luck to you.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    I've had my 14-150 for 4 years now, it has seen a good deal of use and was bought second hand off eBay. It's been well looked after (by me, previous owner unknown!) and has never been dropped or heavily knocked and it's still tight as the day I bought it.

    I suspect that Olympus and Panasonic m43 lenses will be at least as durable as other manufacturers lenses. None OIS lenses will probably be more reliable than OIS lenses (less to go wrong with them), same goes for non-power-zoom lenses being more reliable than power zoom lenses.
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  10. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 26, 2013
    Hi David, may I ask what went wrong with your 45-200? (I've got one.)
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Of all the AF lenses I've owned (and I've owned way too many haha), the only issues have been:

    - AF motor on a Canon EF 50 1.4 kicked the bucket (this is a common problem due to poor design)
    - Aperture blades on a Sigma zoom (Canon EF mount) not responding (I asked my brother to buy a used lens for me, and he didn't know how to test it...ended up with a lemon).
    - Tamron 60 f2 (Canon EF mount, bought as soon as it was released) arrived dead on arrival.

    And that's it! I would say that on the whole, modern lenses are supremely reliable. I've been in the M4/3 game for about 2 years and my first and most used lens is the 9-18, not exactly the pride of the line-up. I've taken it all over the world, so it's constantly being lugged around, transported, etc...I've taken around 10,000 photos with it, etc...zero issues at all.

    I buy grey market stuff all the time and have yet to regret it...so I say order it and enjoy it! :) 
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