Why are 4/3 lenses still expensive

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Speedliner, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Why are 4/3 lenses still so expensive given they are orphaned products.

    And why is the 50-200 so inexpensive?

    I realize the SHG glass is great, but it's all old design now with mediocre AF. Just surprised when I see the prices.
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    50-200 expensive? Compared to what? It's the cheapest if it's kind across any system by at least half.

    Many 4/3 lenses are dirt cheap. Some are not. Usually the expensive ones have no direct replacement option on m4/3.
  3. m43happy

    m43happy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 18, 2012
    Which lenses in particular are you talking about? All their SHG glass? Their optics are still top notch.
  4. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    The SHGs. The 50-200 is a bargain, but the "tunas", 90-250, 300 seem very expensive for orphaned products. They're often more expensive than their Canicon counterparts which are still current.

    Just surprised they aren't more reasonably priced, that's all.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. The idea of them being orphaned is not really true when you consider that they still work with current model cameras. The E-M1 in particular has a 4/3 compatible autofocus system that is in advance of any of the dedicated 4/3 cameras that the lenses were originally designed for, allbeit still not great by world standards. The SHG lenses have not so far and maybe never will be replaced by native Micro 4/3 versions.
  6. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    The SHG lenses are as good or better than any lens on the market. There are no native lenses of the same quality or aperture available for u43. There's a limited supply on the used market and the demand is still high enough to keep the prices high.

    That's the bottom line really; supply and demand.

    • Agree Agree x 4
  7. But still requires an appropriate adapter is that right?

  8. summerkl

    summerkl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Kevin L
    Andrew, yes it does require an adapter. I use the MMF-3 adapter which preserves the weather sealing and electrical contacts .. unlike the dumb adapters with legacy lenses. I am using it with an Olympus 35mm f3.5 and Olympus 14-54mm 2.8-3.5. I find the AF to be quite fast for general use ... I don't shoot moving action or telephoto so I can't comment on that. As to size, the adapter is not that large and the four third lenses I have are also not oversized or imbalanced with the e-m1.
  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yep, & I got myself another one so I can use the 14-54 II lens on my E-M5 (since it works well with CD-AF) & the 50-200 SWD lens on the E-M1, having them both at the ready in that set up (my lighter version kit would be the 12-50 on one & 75-300 on the other).
  10. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    What they said. Most 4/3 lenses sell for a quarter to a third of their original price which is pretty reasonable given that they're some of the best zooms ever made. µ4/3 hasn't matched the SHG quality or speed. The 4/3 HG series is at least equal to the µ4/3 PRO series while featuring superior reach at a fraction of the price. "Old design" is baseless silliness and since they're fully supported in µ4/3, they certainly aren't "orphaned."

    You can get the 12-60 and the 50-200 for less cost than the 12-40 by itself. The real question might be "why am I so lucky to live in a time where 4/3 optics are so cheap?"
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    I purchased a used ZD300 almost 6 months ago. It has surpassed all my expectations wrt image quality and resolving power, even when used with a 2x TC.

    It's important to remember that the SHG glass was Oly's all out grab at pro's, trying to steal them away from canikon. They set out to surpass the competition optically, and did. Sadly, the 4/3 sensor needed to make the most of that glass didn't come around until the E-M5, and it was still in a camera that couldn't run 4/3 glass worth a darn. The E-M1 completely changed all that, and the market for 4/3 SHG glass has only grown stronger with each firmware release for the E-M1. Once an E-M1 successor is released, and there are then 2 modern bodies that can run the SHG glass, I suspect it may make the SHG lenses even easier to sell(and harder to find for those looking).

    The PRO lenses are great. I have 2 of them, and will likely eventually have them all. They aren't equal to the SHG glass optically. The simple fact that modern lens design in m4/3 uses digital correction in combination with the lens elements, whereas 4/3 lenses were corrected strictly optically, means that the output with SHG glass will be higher in detail. I'm ok with baked in correction, but there's no denying that clean sensor output will have more detail than adjusted and interpolated pixels in digitally corrected images.

    Really the proof is in the puddin'. Check out the showcase threads here on mu-43 to see what the tunas and other SHG glass can do in capable hands. If you're ever in Cleveland, you're welcome to come strap your body of choice to my 300 and take some test shots. Or my 7-14. Both are amazing optically, and quite capable mechanically, if not as svelte as the PRO lenses, with their fast, silent operation.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Think of the SHG lenses as koolaid, anyone who has drunk it understands perfectly why it's so.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    @faithblinded@faithblinded pretty much said it perfectly. While the SHG glass may have slower aperture and focusing mechanisms, the optical quality is top notched and only equalled by a few lenses. Up until about 9 months ago the 50-200 had been a pretty steady price. I think that you are seeing used 40-150 Pro's on the market has caused the price of the 50-200's to drop. I still believe that when it comes to optical quality the 50-200 is the best deal in any system.

    I initially got my 50-200 SWD because I needed a weather sealed setup with good reach for my wildlife photography. Even tho the 40-150 Pro was about to come out, I was worried that it would not provide enough reach (that 100mm difference really does make a difference). My intent was to use it until the 300/4 came out and then I would see it and pick up the 40-150 Pro on the used market. While I will still eventually pick up the 40-150 I have decided that it has dropped to the bottom of my list. I am very happy with the performance of my 50-200 SWD and that replacing it with the 40-150 is not something that I am in a hurry to do, it really is that good.

    I now have the ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 and there is just something magical about the images that this lens produces. I do not think there will ever be another 300mm ƒ2.0 equivalent lens made and I have no intentions of ever selling mine. I can use the EC-14 and have a 420 ƒ2.8 lens or the EC-20 and have a 300 ƒ4.0 lens and with the TC's the IQ is not drastically effected. I am really going to be interested in testing the IQ difference between the 150 w/EC-20 and the 300/4 when it comes out.
    • Like Like x 3
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