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Replacing items stolen in burglary

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by jamespetts, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    As I mentioned on another thread, I was burgled a few days ago, and the burglar took almost all of my photographic equipment, save for two canon FD film bodies, a Weston Master light meter, some old flashes to go with the Canon FD bodies and a Canon FD to Micro Four Thirds adapter. The Micro Four Thirds equipment that I had previously is listed in my signature, and on top of that, I had a large collection of legacy film (Canon FD) lenses and a cheap Canon camcorder, neither of which I had used very much recently.

    Happily, I have home contents insurance with a new for old policy (I am not quite sure how that will work for items bought secondhand in the first place and/or that are discontinued; I have assumed for the present that values for these will be based on secondhand prices), so should be able to replace what I have lost. Given that I almost never used the camcorder and film cameras, I see an opportunity to consolidate my equipment in the digital camera line of things, as well as update what I had, especially as regards the camera body. Whilst I do not seek people to give me a list of equipment that I should buy (I should rather make up my own mind in any event), I should be grateful for people's input on the topic more generally in case there were any matters that I had not considered adequately or at all in my own provisional assessment so far.

    As to budget, incidentally, my own assessment of the new for old replacement value on all items taken is just under £4,500, but that includes things other than photographic equipment, such as watch, that I wish to replace, and a loss adjuster is likely to reduce that amount to some extent as I have yet to find clear proof of ownership for all items and he/she may well find more inexpensive sources of the items than I have sourced (the insurance policy contains a clause permitting the insurer to replace items directly rather than pay replacement value on the basis that the insurer has bulk discounts with certain suppliers, although I have doubts that that would cover either legacy Canon FD equipment or Micro Four Thirds equipment). One might work provisionally on the basis of a budget of £2,000 - £3,000 to replace photographic items.

    System

    Although I am provisionally strongly minded to stick with Micro Four Thirds, I am keeping an open mind to some extent, just in case, for example, Sony have massively increased the selection of lenses in their NEX range since I last made the format decision in 2011, although I remain sceptical of that. What attracted me to Micro Four Thirds in the first place, as opposed to other mirrorless formats (and my view is that the DSLR is a film era anachronism) was mainly the fact that it had a far better range of lenses than any other mirrorless format. As far as I can make out, that has only become more so since 2011. I am particularly fond of macro photography since I bought the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro earlier this year; am I right in thinking that the two alternative relatively serious mirrorless systems, Sony NEX and Fuji E-mount have no macro lenses (let alone fisheyes)?

    I also think that the size advantage of the shorter lenses is a great boon for the Micro Four Thirds system over rival mirrorless systems with larger sensors (which often have similar or only marginally better image quality): one of the principal reasons that I stopped using my film SLRs in the first place in favour initially of digital compacts was the unpleasantness of carrying a huge weight and bulk just to take photographs. (I know that the Pentax and Nikon mirrorless cameras are even smaller, but they are hardly a serious consideration).

    Body

    Assuming that I do stay with Micro Four Thirds as I am currently minded to do, the camera bodies that most interest me at present are the Olympus E-P5 and Panasonic GX7. I was very happy with the handling of my E-P3, although I found myself wishing for the better dynamic range and high ISO performance of the later sensors. The in-body image stabilisation was one of the main reasons that I chose Olympus over Panasonic in 2011, and so it is that I have been watching the thread about the IBIS in the GX7 against that in the EM-5 with some interest. It is somewhat frustrating that there is not a more definitive comparison of the two IBIS systems available.

    One thing that worries me slightly about the E-P5 is the grip: with the E-P3, I replaced the grip for the optional larger interchangeable grip, as I found the original too small: it hurt my hands after a while to use the camera without the larger grip. The E-P5's wi-fi feature means that its grip is not interchangeable, and is the same size, more or less, than the E-P3's default grip. The GX7, meanwhile, looks as though it has a rather chunkier grip that would suit my hand better.

    Other outlying body possibilities that I have not ruled out are the E-M5, E-M1 or E-PL5; but, whilst I think that I should like to try them in a camera shop (if the E-M1 is in any shops here yet), I suspect that the E-M1 will be too big for my tastes and its price reflects features that I am unlikely to be interested in using more than very occasionally, the E-M5 may well be ergonomically inferior to the E-P3/5 and the E-PL5 probably has insufficient manual controls; also, I found the in-built flash of the E-P3 useful for fill-in work or for when I wanted to use the camera to take snapshots on social occasions, and none of those cameras have a built-in flash (I am not fond of adding to bulk by carrying a flash around, and the tiny add-on flashes on some of the Olympus cameras seem fiddly). However, if I am re-inventing my equipment selection entirely, it seems reasonable to consider whether an add-on flash is a worthwhile thing. What are people's views on that subject?

    Weather sealing is probably not of the greatest importance, since taking photographs in the rain is not a particularly fun thing to do in any event, but could be worthwhile at least in some cases, I suppose.

    I generally prefer to compose photographs on the rear screen than using an electronic viewfinder, but I did buy a secondhand VF-2 after using my E-P3 for a while, as I found it invaluable when taking photographs in very bright conditions, and also useful for manual focussing (although that became less relevant as I replaced manual lenses with native lenses). I found the VF-2 to be a perfectly satisfactory electronic viewfinder, although I should be very interested to go to a photographic shop and test the VF-4 and/or EM-1's EVF.

    There is also the question of how many bodies: I previously had one, which was sometimes a little limiting, as I used a good number of fixed focal length lenses, and changing them frequently became time consuming and potentially caused missed opportunities. I am also considering doing some video work, and two bodies would be a useful thing for multiple angles. The disadvantages are cost and bulk - a second body certainly would not have fitted in my previous camera bag.

    Lenses

    My previous collection of lenses is apparent from the list below. I had also been meaning to get a 17mm f/1.8 lens, but had not got around to that (which rather points in the direction of the E-P5 "super-kit"). There may be something to be said for considering afresh the question of whether to focus on fixed lenses or zoom lenses, however, In 2011/early 2012 when I put my kit together, the high quality fixed aperture zoom lenses now (and soon to be) available had not even been announced. I found the Olympus 14-42mm lens very unsatisfactory in terms of sharpness and contrast, and only really started enjoying using it fully when I used adapted manual lenses or bought my first native Micro Four Thirds lens other than the kit lens, the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5.

    However, I do like the compositional flexibility of a zoom: I was never one of the people who would always use it at one of the extremes of its focal length. When I did use the 14-42mm, many of the photographs were taken at intermediate focal lengths, 31mm, 24mm and so forth. The ability to obtain different perspectives without changing lenses is very useful.

    Balanced against that, I do like the ability to take photographs in low light either without a flash or, sometimes, using the camera's not very powerful built-in flash, and even the f/2.8 zooms are only f/2.8, rather than f/2.0, f/1.8 or even f/1.4 as were the better fixed lenses. In principle, the faster maximum aperture should mean that the lenses acquire focus faster (as the CDAF has more light with which to work), although I did used to find that the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 used to have great difficulty focussing accurately in low light, so I am not sure how this works out in practice.

    I definitely wish to replace the lost macro lens (probably with the same Olympus 60mm type as before), and also replace the fish-eye lens (I found the Samyang to be most satisfactory in most respects, although focussing manually was sometimes a bore). The Olympus 45mm lens, however, I had found myself using far less than the other lenses after I had obtained the Olympus 60mm macro, as the focal lengths were quite close. It was a useful portrait lens, but I did not very often take portraits, and the 60mm did a good job of that, too, albeit with slightly less subject isolation. The 45mm also had an irritatingly non-standard filter thread of 37mm, shared in commonly with the less than adequate 14-42mm, unlike the 46mm thread of the other lenses, which was awkward when it came to attaching my polarising filter of that size. One possibility is the Panasonic/Leica 45mm f/2.8 macro, although I am somewhat reluctant to get that one, as, from what I understand, the Olympus is the better macro lens (it was certainly more than satisfactory for my use), and is also a useful focal length for non-macro subjects - possibly more so than 45mm.Still, the f/1.8 capability of the Olympus 45mm was useful at times.

    I had previously shunned the reputedly superlative Olympus 75mm f/1.8 as bulky and expensive. It is also rather close to the 60mm focal length. However, its qualities are so renowned that, when reconfiguring my kit entirely, this lens should not go without at least some serious consideration. There is no point in asking owners of this lens what they think of it because I can readily predict the answer - perhaps a better enquiry would be how useful that people find this focal length as against 45mm and 60mm.

    I did enjoy using the 25mm f/1.4, and it can produce some excellent results, but it could be very frustrating trying to use its autofocus in low light, and it is very bulky for a standard lens, taking up, especially together with its lens hood, quite a lot of space in my camera bag. On the other hand, the alternatives are somewhat unpromising: the Panasonic 20mm, although far less bulky is, I understand, very slow to focus and has chromatic aberration problems (and I do especially dislike chromatic aberration). The Sigma 19mm lens is only f/2.8, and the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 is too noticeably wide to be a standard and has poor edge sharpness even when stopped down, which is problematic in certain contexts, although not so much of a problem in the social/street type photographs for which I suspect that it was mainly intended.

    I only occasionally used the old manual 135mm f/3.5 Pentax Super Takumar with adapter. Such a long lens required the EVF to focus accurately, which I found cumbersome to use compared with composing the photograph using the rear screen, and the more extreme the lens, the fewer opportunities that there are for using it. It was also very prone to sometimes quite extreme chromatic abbarration, in one case, showing tree branches silhouetted against the sky thrice over (one for each primary colour), where each chromatically separated branch did not overlap the other at all! Nonetheless, I did take some lovely pictures with it, including frame-filling squirrels and birds in a local park, and so I should not like to lose >100mm telephoto capacity. I have yet to decide what sort of lens with which to seek to do this, however.

    On the wide end, despite the somewhat disappointing edge sharpness in some cases, a recent statistical analysis that I carried out showed that a higher proportion of photographs that I took with the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 were "flagged" in Lightroom than any other lens that I used, and it did have a certain je ne sais quoi about it, perhaps relating to its rather pleasing bokeh. If I decide to take the zoom route, however, this would duplicate the lower end of the zooms. I am also wondering as to the relative merits of the wide zooms, the 9-18 and 7-14 (and I know that the latter has had trouble on some Olympus bodies). These are less sharp than the 12mm f/2.0, I know, and sharpness is something which really does make a photograph stand out (even if one does not immediately recognise it as sharpness).

    Camera bag

    I had previously had the Lowepro ILC Classic 100, which I found in many ways very convenient: Lowepro had even been so kind as to send me for free in the post an extra divider to add to the bag to create four small compartments instead of two small ones and one large one, which makes me very favourably disposed to Lowepro generally. The bag is also inexpensive, yet of good quality: in the time that I had it (end of 2011 until it was stolen), it had shown no visible signs of wear at all, at least that I could discern.

    However, it had become a little crowded. I had wanted a 17mm f/1.8 lens, and it would barely have fitted, if at all: a second body would have had no chance. I had already had to leave the 14-42mm lens out to fit the fisheye, albeit in view of the former lens's inferior quality, that was no great hardship. If anyone has any good thoughts on a slightly larger but still very compact bag (and one which, like the ILC Classic 100, could sit around my shoulder providing me with easy, waist level access to my equipment), I should very much like to know them.

    Another, possibly fanciful, but potentially workable, idea is to have a very small bag for one body and two or three lenses and a slightly larger bag for two bodies and a larger range of lenses. Does anyone do this? I have often in the past taken my camera out without a bag, with perhaps a spare lens in a pocket. Perhaps this is a better arrangement than a smaller bag for when travelling light.
     
  2. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Hmm - have now read the very favourable review by Tim Ashley of the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 and am considering that as an option.

    So many choices!
     
  3. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    I would plussed that, If you don't need fast lens, get the 12-40mm/2.8 together with EM5. You would then consolidate your previous experience and get a very good kit.

    But I couldn't live with a fast normal, that is why I just bought PL25mm. Also I love my 7-14mm, it's relatively cheap, and a dream come true for shooters like me (I love architecture).
     
  4. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    Adam
    I don't know about your home insurance policy, but I've always done well out of the new for old. When I was burgled last year all my old lenses, some purchased second-hand, would have been replaced with new, in some cases with very nice upgrades where superseded. One lens cost me <$100, but i was offered a $2k to replace it. It gave me a very nice budget to make the jump from DSLR to m43. :)

    My assessor accepted EXIF data as evidence of some of my lost lenses for which I couldn't find receipts - or maybe I just came across as honest.
     
  5. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Thank you very much for your responses - that is helpful. Any other thoughts from anyone on the issues raised would be much appreciated.
     
  6. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    622
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Keep in mind that a new digital body may require updating your editing software if you are as quality orientated, as you sound, and thus shoot RAW.
     
  7. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England

    Ahh, interesting thought. I currently use Lightroom 4 (latest sub-version). Does that support the GX7, E-P5, E-PL5 and/or E-M1? Those are the more recent bodies that are within my realm of consideration at present.
     
  8. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    The GX7 will give you the flash and an EVF in a single body, which is nice for saving space. With the E-P5 you get no viewfinder, but you get a flash. With the E-M5 you get a viewfinder, but no flash.

    Depending how much you end up getting from the insurance, you could consider a GM1 as a second body combined with one of the more fully featured bodies. The pancake zoom seems like it is a good one, and you can't beat the size.
     
  9. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    That is helpful. I am slightly leaning towards the GX7 at present partly for those reasons, but also partly because of the larger grip, the better video capabilities and the slightly lower price than the E-P5, but will not really have a good idea until I know what the overall budget will be and have tested the various options in the shop. As to a second body - this will only be useful to me if I decide not to get the 12-40mm zoom lens (as the need for the second body comes from the desire to avoid changing between multiple fixed focal length lenses rapidly), and the GM1 is not a body that I should consider in any case, as it does not have built-in stabilisation (which is why the GX7 is the only Panasonic camera on my shortlist).
     
  10. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    GX7 with 7-14mm and PL25mm combo would be my priority in your position.
    EM1/5 with 12-40mm looks like a dream combo too.
     
  11. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Thank you for your suggestions.

    I visited the London Camera Exchange on the Strand this afternoon, where the staff are very helpful, and spent a few minutes trying some of the recent cameras: I tried the E-P5, E-M5 and GX7. They did not have the E-M1 or E-PL5 in stock.

    The E-P5 was awkward to handle: the small, non-replaceable grip was difficult to hold (as had been the default grip on the E-P3, but that was replaceable with a much larger and more comfortable grip, whereas this is not), and I could see it becoming painful to hold after a moderate amount of time, as my E-P3 had become before I had bought the larger grip.

    The E-M5 was no better, and had the added difficulty of having an awkwardly positioned shutter button. Adding the battery grip helped somewhat, but the camera then felt a little large and heavy. The shop assistant told me that the E-M1 felt a lot like holding the E-M5 with the battery grip attached.

    The GX7 was by a long way the more comfortable to hold of the three, but the built-in EVF I found intolerable: whenever I moved my eyes, there was a visible and very unpleasant separation of the primary colours - I believe that people call it "tearing" - which was a thoroughly obnoxious experience and not one with which I should like to be confronted when using a camera. The touch screen was good, however.

    This is rather disappointing, as there is nothing, it seems, that is quite right (assuming that the E-M1 does indeed feel like the E-M5 with battery grip attached). I am seriously considering the E-PL5 (which has the same option to fit a larger grip as had the E-P3), although I am concerned about the fewness of the dials: on my E-P3, I used both dials regularly (the thumb dial for exposure compensation, and the selector dial to change the aperture/shutter speed, depending on the mode).

    One thing that it would very much help me to know from any E-PL5/6 owners is this: is it possible to customise a button to modify the function of the single dial, so that (for example) the dial can be an exposure compensation dial until the button is pressed, after which it becomes an aperture/shutter speed dial until it is pressed again?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
     
  12. Joelmusicman

    Joelmusicman Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Nov 1, 2013
    Note that I read elsewhere; the E-M1 is actually about 50g lighter than a horizontal gripped E-M5. I would imagine its probably better balanced as well. That said, I have yet to see one in the flesh to form my own opinion, though I'm not super crazy about the handling of my E-M5.
     
  13. barbosas

    barbosas Mu-43 Veteran

    283
    May 7, 2013
    Lisbon
    I recently upgraded from E-PL5 to E-P5 and I'm currently very satisfied with it.

    The E-P5 kit with the 17/1.8 + VF4 is a very good choice (the VF4 is awesome), I believe that the E-P5 + 12-40/2.8 + 17/1.8 would make a great kit, but then again, if you found the handling not so good to you this might be a showstoper for getting into this body.
     
  14. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Thank you for all your input - that is most helpful. As to bodies, I shall have to reserve my judgment, I think, until (1) I know how much money that the insurer is going to pay me; (2) I have had a chance to try the E-PL5 and E-M1; and (3) I have a clearer idea about what lenses to go for (although I am provisionally minded to exclude the GX7 and E-P5 from further consideration).

    As to (3), I have been thinking much about that to-day. The 12-40mm is particularly appealing as the image quality seems to be, in most respects, equal to, and sometimes better than, the image quality of fixed focal length lenses. The reason for me using the fixed lenses in the first place was to maximise image quality, but the inflexibility of changing between the various lenses frequently I found cumbersome on occasions.

    What I am provisionally minded to do, therefore, is go for the 12-40mm and thereafter see whether there are still enough situations in which having an extra stop, stop and a third or two stops (depending on the lens) above f/2.8 so as to justify the cost of some of the better fixed focal length lenses (such as the 12mm f/2.0 and 25mm f/1.4), which I might add later. I do plan to replace the 7.5mm f/3.5 fish-eye and 60mm f/2,8 macro, however, and also consider in the future obtaining the forthcoming 40-150mm f/2.8, which, I am told, is likely to arrive in February, or additionally or alternatively, the 75mm f/1.8 in the interim.

    I should be very interested in people's views, especially those who have used both high-end zooms and the good fixed focal length lenses, as to how often and in what sorts of situation(s) that having the faster fixed focal length lenses really makes a difference when using cameras with the current generation of sensors.
     
  15. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    The loss adjuster visited to-day, and was quite pleasant; she said that she was satisfied that the claim was genuine and the loss covered by the policy (and found it helpful that I had compiled a spreadsheet with details of all the missing items, which saved her time), but did not give an actual valuation of the loss. The policy, as many do, has a clause permitting the insurer to supply replacements itself from its chosen supplier (or, at its discretion, make a cash settlement at the discounted prices offered by its supplier), which, I was told by the loss adjuster, in the case of photographic equipment is a company called DVS. I was told that, if the items could not be obtained through its supplier, the insurer would make a cash settlement instead.

    Looking at DVS's website, the closest thing that they have to cameras are CCTV systems, so I am hopeful that they will simply make a cash settlement (and I do not know quite how they will deal with the numerous ancient Canon FD lenses stolen). I do note, however, that Panasonic is listed amongst the company's suppliers, but not Olympus.

    Does anyone have any experience of dealing with this insurer (the AA, underwritten by the Co-Operative Insurance Services (CIS)) in respect of photographic equipment, or UK insurers in this sector generally? Are they usually able to find substantial discounts through their suppliers? When I visited the London Camera Exchange, the shop assistant, who had recently bought an E-M1 for himself, remarked that he had paid almost the same price as a customer, so slim were the retailers' margins.
     
  16. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Nov 8, 2013
    On new photographic stuff the simple answer is that they are unlikely to get significant savings on individual items - and frankly given the range and nature of your lost equipement I would expect them to make you a single, total, cash offer for a number of reasons, Whether you accept that, or enter into 'negotiations' will be up to you!

    I've been following this thread waiting for the moment you get to hold and look through the viewfinder of the E-M1 and a 12-40 .... your background and stated considerations would seem to make you almost perfect to deliver a solid relative 'first impressions'. I trust you have Robin and the team (LCE Strand) calling you when they get one in? From everything you have posted I would expect you to end up with these and the 60 + 7.5FE (and there's a huge number of suitable bags that would house such a 'kit'.
     
  17. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    photo_owl - a perceptive post indeed! The insurer called yesterday and asked whether I should like their suppliers to replace all of the items directly or whether I should like to replace the items myself - I chose the latter.The claims handler said that she would need some time to go through my spreadsheet to check that the prices that I found were reasonable (which is understandable); I have not heard back yet, but, given the number of items on it, this is not entirely surprising.

    I did not think to ask the LCE to telephone me when they had the E-M1 in stock, but when I visited last week they said that they expected to have more in in a fortnight, so I shall check again next week. I am still not sure whether I should go for this one as opposed to a second-hand E-M5 with optional battery grip (and use the difference on lenses), but I though that I should at least try holding one and looking through the famed viewfinder before making any decisions (although, I have to say, I generally prefer using the rear screen, and only use the viewfinder for photography in very bright conditions or manual focussing*).

    I was indeed thinking of getting the 60mm macro and 7.5mm fish-eye again: those are two lenses whose function cannot sensibly be duplicated by a zoom. My provisional plan at this stage is to get just those three lenses and then use them for a while and see whether I am missing much by not having things like the 25mm f/1.4 or 12mm f/2.0 that I had before. As to a bag - I suppose that I had better see what things that I end up with before deciding on a bag.

    * Incidentally, with my E-P3 and VF2, I had the optional EP9 eye-cup (the VF-2 I had second-hand, and it came with the eye-cup included and fitted). This eye-cup meant that I could completely exclude anything not in the viewfinder itself from my vision and focus exclusively on the image from the camera; does anyone know whether it is possible to fit something equivalent to the E-M1, E-M5 or VF4?
     
  18. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Nov 8, 2013
    the E-M1 eye cap seems to be trying to achieve this without being too big ie it's close to excluding for me, but with a little leakage low right when using the right eye. again, only you can really tell how such things work for you.

    I'm definitely not trying to recommend you get an E-M1; merely that you should try it (and that it will be interesting to get your impressions.

    As things stand I'm not planning to be in London next week, but then again for beer my plans can change quickly! I'm sure you will get your opportunity within your timescales.
     
  19. bredman

    bredman Mu-43 Veteran

    458
    May 30, 2013
    Sherwood Forest
    Pete
    The E-M5 has a grip and a separate battery holder. The M1 is similar to the M5 + grip only -- although i'm sure that's the combo you handled at LCE. I don't think you should commit to anything until you've handled the M1, particularly with the 12-40pro. I must say also, that the 75/1.8 sits very nicely on the M1.
     
  20. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Thank you all for your feedback. Some update on the insurance position: the insurer has actually been very helpful indeed, and has offered a cash settlement (which I have accepted) of more or less the full amount for which I was asking for everything. Taking away money needed to replace some items of jewellery, that leaves about £4,000 to replace my camera equipment, including body, lenses, memory card, bag, filter(s), etc., which is enough for a decent kit.

    My brief calculations of possible solutions (all including so far three particular lenses: the Samyang 7.5mm, the Olympus 60mm macro and the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8) show a range of total prices including body, lenses, memory card and spare battery (but not bag or polarising filter) of between £2,698.63 for the EM-1 at the most expensive and £2,288.63 for a used EM-5 complete with battery grip (assuming that the battery grip comes with a second battery) as the least expensive. The difference in price between the two extremes, being £410, is almost the cost of a new Panasonic/Leica Summilux 25mm f/1.4 lens (which was my favourite lens until I bought the macro in February this year). It remains to be seen whether the difference between a new EM-1 and (used) EM-5 with grip is worth a 25mm lens.

    All that leaves between £1,711.37 and £1,301.37 to spend on a bag, polarising filter and lens(es) to cover the telephoto range neglected by the combination of 12-40mm and 60mm. I am quite undecided about what to do about this so far. I do not, of course, need to spend everything all at once. Waiting for the forthcoming Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 (I am told that it is likely to launch in February by the camera shop) is one option, although the Youtube video of a mockup of it shows it to be rather enormous, and might exceed the remaining budget. Another option is the Panasonic 35-100, which is much more compact, but covers rather less of a useful range (albeit almost the same in angle of view terms as the 35mm classic 70-210mm range). That fits within the remaining budget and leaves enough for a bag and polarising filter. There is also the option of the 75mm lens, which, while fast and of the highest quality, does not have the flexibility of the zoom options, although it could be combined with one of the slower zooms such as the 75-300mm from Olympus, which, although not the sharpest of lenses, is serviceable in daylight conditions. There is also the other thought that I might find after using the 12-40mm for a while that I rather miss some of the other fixed lenses that I had, such as the 12mm f/2.0.

    If anyone has any other interesting thoughts on these issues, I should be grateful to know about them.

    (Incidentally, since the insurance company has been very helpful indeed so far, it deserves a positive mention here: I am insured with the AA (underwritten by the Co-Op), and the loss adjuster's firm used was Cunningham Lindsey. Everyone with whom I have dealt has been courteous, and, apart from a small delay in arranging the loss adjuster's visit, which was shortly after the storms when they were rather busy, progress on my claim has been efficient and expeditious, and I should recommend them.)