How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Discussions
K Mcgregor
Contributing MemberPosts: 789Gear list
Like?
How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
Jan 18, 2013

This is probably the kind of gloomy question you folks are sick of dealing with, especially since there is likely no way to really know the answer. However, I find myself in a dilemma, which possibly quite a few of you are in.

I LOVE my 4/3 lenses and my E520 is an excellent camera which produces pictures I like a lot. However, I am painfully aware that, as things stand, I'm probably at a dead end and will have to sell them and move on to another manufacturer if I want to ever upgrade.

I really don't want to, I love my lenses, especially the 14-54 and 9-18. Olympus is what I want. But I do not think that even if Olympus make an E7 I'd buy one unless it turns out to be cheaper, smaller and generally better than I'm thinking.

What I want is an E720, or an E50- a smaller, cheaper, lighter model than the usually very bulky and very pricey E5-type ones. And so far as I've heard, it's never going to happen.

At the moment, I am content with my E520, but I don't want to get into a situation where there's no upgrade path possible and I have a lot of 4/3 lenses that are then useless to me and unsellable.

I am considering buying the 70-300 lens for my E520, but am held back by the thought that I'm putting more money into a camera system I probably won't ever be able to use with another camera body.

I would be interested in speculation on the longevity of the second hand market in Olympus lenses. Obviously, the E7, if it arrives, will keep things going for a bit longer, though my lenses are more the prosumer sort. But supposing it doesn't, is there some precedent about how long it would take for second hand lenses to start losing all value on a dead-end system?

 K Mcgregor's gear list:K Mcgregor's gear list
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-520 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 +1 more
Olympus E-5 Olympus E-520 Pentax Optio E50
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
pris
Senior MemberPosts: 2,151
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

K Mcgregor wrote:

I would be interested in speculation on the longevity of the second hand market in Olympus lenses.

Because heavens know we had none of that

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jev2000
Junior MemberPosts: 45
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

Considering that OM lenses are still "sellable", I'd expect that the 4/3 ZD lenses will be "sellable" for a long time.

Even if Oly discontinued the 4/3 line, existing 4/3 cameras will continue to function as designed for years to come. It's even possible that 4/3 gear will attract a cult following at some point making the lenses even more attractive on the second hand market.

The future is bright.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JiminDenver
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,157Gear list
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

It sounds like the next camera that will be usable with our 4/3s lenses will be a OM-D style, so it will be smaller.
Personally, I wouldn't fret over a lens you can pick up for a few hundred used and sell for the same if you move on. Wait for the feel good feeling of knowing Olympus will provide you with a upgrade path of your liking and there will be many shots you wont be taking with a kit that currently is meeting your needs.

-- hide signature --

--
JimB
Bug Whisperer
Join us in The Weekly Close up every weekend

 JiminDenver's gear list:JiminDenver's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-3 Olympus E-330 Olympus E-5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro +15 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nyfalls
Contributing MemberPosts: 792
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

I put my mint 7-14 up on ebay for 2 weeks at buy it now for $900 and did not sell. Most BIN were 1000. I have monitored other auctions for it. It's going for just under 900 and seems to be dropping. When i bought it 2 years back it was perhaps going for $1200 used.

I will have to take a big hit on it to get rid of it. It's a nice lens, but i don't think I ever shot a highly marketable pic with it. Maybe I made back $300-400 in sales from two photos I made with it.

Anyways.. 4/3 lenses are dropping. There's a mass exodus from the platform. Ebay auctions are flooded with 4/3 gear. Probably because yeah there's a possibly a body that will come, but no one wants to wait. There aren't any new accessories or lenses. And the competition's offerings are way too tempting.

I should have sold it last year.

-- hide signature --

Upstate NY Waterfalls and Photography
My Galleries: http://nyfalls.exposuremanager.com
New York History in Photos! http://NYHistoric.com
Scenes from a Public Market: http://scenesfromapublicmarket.com/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
goblin
Senior MemberPosts: 2,645Gear list
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

They'll be sellable (second hand) at least for as long as I'm willing to buy them (second hand)

We should worry less if we want to actually use our stuff rather than wonder how long we will be able to buy more stuff. This reminds me of the centipede in Donald Bisset's "Talks with a Tiger".

 goblin's gear list:goblin's gear list
Ricoh GXR P10 28-300mm F3.5-5.6 VC Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-330 Olympus E-400 +31 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Art_P
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,081Gear list
Like?
Forever ;)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

Well, maybe not... but Olympus hints at a body that will take the micro lenses and still focus the old glass fast. once that becomes reality, you should see used prices improve.

2) there's still a base out there, and when lenses fail some may just replace rather than fix

3) a lot of 4/3 lenses have no m43 equals, those lenses still have value to some micro users as well as diehard E-system users.

On the other hand, those SHG lenses are quite large compared to what is available for m43 and as such appeal less to someone looking for a compact system.

For the $200 or so you'll spend on a 70-300, I wouldn't worry- use it a few years and average the cost over those years.  If you move over to m43, it will still work for you. If you sell it at a loss, consider it the cost of 'renting' the lens.

Are you buying for investment or to use?  If for investment, maybe you should be looking at Leica lenses instead... or gold, or fine art,

-- hide signature --

Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

 Art_P's gear list:Art_P's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dave gaines
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,162Gear list
Like?
More doom and gloom, buy an E-620 or E-30
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

K Mcgregor wrote:

This is probably the kind of gloomy question you folks are sick of dealing with, especially since there is likely no way to really know the answer. ...

Boy, you got that right. We're sick of this kind of doom and gloom. Especially since no one has any way of knowing what's coming next.

Olympus has said there will be a new camera that utilizes 4/3 lenses by the end of 2013. That would be 3 years after releasing the E-5. That's the normal release cycle for Olympus E-x cameras.

I really don't want to, I love my lenses, especially the 14-54 and 9-18. Olympus is what I want. ...

You probably want a smaller, cheap, lightweight DSLR. Olympus is hoping you'll adopt the OM-D m4/3 MILC but that is not a cheaper option. If you add the grip and a lens adapter to the EM-5 you're paying $1460. For that you'll have slow AF with your 4/3 lenses using CDAF on the sensor. Then add m4/3 lenses - lots of primes or expensive zooms that don't match the IQ of 4/3 HG lenses.

A good option for you is to pick up an E-620 or E-30 at ridiculously low prices on eBay. That should keep you in good camera bodies until you see what Olympus releases next.

Take two and call us in the morning if you're not feeling better.

I would be interested in speculation ...

We've had more than enough of that here on Olympus DSLR Talk. Read threads from the last few weeks to find lots of it. After Olympus said there would be a new Olympus camera that fully utilizes the 4/3 lenses, 3 blogs followed up with boundless speculation, guessing and wishfull thinking. Lots of people here confused that speculation with the simple statement from Olympus.

Most reasonable, loyal Olympus DSLR owners expect the next camera will be an upgrade to the E-5 with a new Sony sensor similar to or better than the one in the EM-5. We're expecting another weather-proof, rugged, mag-alloy body with a big bright OVF, a mirror, PDAF using a typical DSLR AF sensor and all of the Pro access buttons and large dials - an E-7.

It's probably not the smalll, cheap, lightweight upgrade you're hoping for. Buy an E-620 and an E-30 or consider moving on to a cheap small plastic body from another brand.

-- hide signature --

Dave
No thought exists without an image. Socrates
http://whaleshark.smugmug.com

 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
veroman
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,254Gear list
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

There are thousands upon thousands (millions?) who are shooting 4:3 with kit lenses (or just slightly better) and who love the output ... as you do ... of their Olympus bodes.  These folks are likely future candidates for a used or refurbished 14-54 Mark II, 9-18, 12-60, 35-100, etc.

There's also the M4:3 fans who can use Oly's better glass on their OM-Ds and other M4:3 cameras, not to mention whatever M4:3 body Oly comes up with in the weeks and months to come that makes absolute best use of the best 4:3 lenses.

Nothing to worry about here.  As another poster said, The Future Looks Bright.

And let me add this: I'm firmly convinced that cameras like the E-5, E-3 & E-30 will achieve a "cult" status in due time.  There will be any number of photography enthusiasts who will come to appreciate the exceptional IQ and handling of these cameras, as I have, and come to realize as well that an E-3 or E-5 is really all the camera anyone needs.  An "upgrade" from an E-5 is unnecessary ... unless one routinely shoots at ISO 1600 and above.  But that's another story ....

-- hide signature --

SteveG
'When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.'
— Found in a Chinese Fortune Cookie
www.stephenmichaelgarey.com

 veroman's gear list:veroman's gear list
Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus PEN E-P5
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
pris
Senior MemberPosts: 2,151
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to nyfalls, Jan 18, 2013

nyfalls wrote:

there's a possibly a body that will come, but no one wants to wait.

"No one" is a strong word. Someone does buy those lenses, and there is always someone to take advantage of dip in prices. When that body that can handle 43 lenses comes out, they'll turn out smart money that saw and used a chance to snatch good equipment at favorable prices.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Peterd21
Regular MemberPosts: 127
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to veroman, Jan 18, 2013

As long as people like me (and others) keep buying them !

I picked up a used 50-200 a couple of months ago which I haven't really tested in this cold UK weather. The difficult part is whether or not to sell the 70-300 which was the first extra lens I got t go with my E510. Will I need it ?

Peter

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
GBC
GBC
Contributing MemberPosts: 783
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

You are worried about losing a hundred dollars on the resale of a lens over a year period, which is essentially a piece of consumer electronics!?!

You lens has depreciated by maybe 10% over the past year, lowering your equity by maybe $100 bucks, but as if you couldn't sell your 7-14 for $950 if you were patient.
You talk of buying a 70-300mm, but you are worried you are wasting your money. Find a used one for $250 and use an amazingly nice lens today for practically nothing. In 5 years you will still have a market for a 70-300, you'll get at the very least 50 bucks, leaving you a net 200 dollar expenditure for a 5 year period of use, which is nothing for what you get in photographic potential return.
I think you are buying lenses for the wrong reasons, and need to worry about the photography more.

I have over 10 grand in lenses for the 43rds mount. I spent over 5 last year buying 4/3rds lenses, and I want to acquire 7-14 soon. $900 is easily in my range. 35-100 next and the 300mm after that.
I think those lenses are going to go up in price (35-100 and 300, the 7-14 panasonic is some genuine competition for the zuiko) after the new Olympus comes out.
If there is a new Pro panasonic camcorder with the micro mount like the AF100 or whatever it was called, the SHG lenses will have a market for sure.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Craig from Nevada
Contributing MemberPosts: 622Gear list
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 18, 2013

Anything can be sold.  Ebay proves that.

Your lenses and cameras are like cars--they lose money the minute you drive them out of the dealer's lot.  Same for camera gear.

Cameras lose value faster--the minute the new model comes out.

Now the Olympus problem/opportunity is that the there are no cameras for the entry and mid-level buyers.  No need for lenses.  You are selling into a limited market.

It is a buyer's market.  Great used gear is now available at prices that were unthinkable only a year ago. I have one SHG lens and I am looking for another.  I never dreamed I would own even one SHG.

Buying used means that you will not have the most modern kit, but ask yourself, do you have a kit that is better than your skills?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Byrne
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,836
Like?
Re: Why torture yourself?
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 19, 2013

So much pessimism, who knows what the future holds with anything photgraphic, but I'll tell you one thing for sure the sun WILL rise tomorrow, for your sake and to halt your anguish lets all just hope its the "Olympus Rising Sun"

Cheers,

JB

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Roger Engelken
Senior MemberPosts: 2,813Gear list
Like?
Re: Why torture yourself?
In reply to John Byrne, Jan 19, 2013

Regardless of the "brand" of the sun, I will be up tomorrow and enjoy at least a part of the weekend with my four thirds camera bodies and lenses. Torture hurts too much, whereas shooting with any decent camera system does not.....welll except maybe for those who look at my shots....that might hurt or be considered torture.

 Roger Engelken's gear list:Roger Engelken's gear list
Olympus TG-830 iHS Olympus E-1 Olympus E-420 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-620 +22 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RoelHendrickx
Forum ProPosts: 22,227
Like?
I'll buy them after their expiry date.
In reply to K Mcgregor, Jan 19, 2013

By now, from the statements made by Olympus officials, I believe I can say that I have seen confirmation of my optimism that their will always be a camera body on which I can use those great lenses.

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Craig from Nevada
Contributing MemberPosts: 622Gear list
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to nyfalls, Jan 19, 2013

nyfalls wrote:

I put my mint 7-14 up on ebay for 2 weeks at buy it now for $900 and did not sell. Most BIN were 1000. I have monitored other auctions for it. It's going for just under 900 and seems to be dropping. When i bought it 2 years back it was perhaps going for $1200 used.

I will have to take a big hit on it to get rid of it. It's a nice lens, but i don't think I ever shot a highly marketable pic with it. Maybe I made back $300-400 in sales from two photos I made with it.

Anyways.. 4/3 lenses are dropping. There's a mass exodus from the platform. Ebay auctions are flooded with 4/3 gear. Probably because yeah there's a possibly a body that will come, but no one wants to wait. There aren't any new accessories or lenses. And the competition's offerings are way too tempting.

I should have sold it last year.

-- hide signature --

Upstate NY Waterfalls and Photography
My Galleries: http://nyfalls.exposuremanager.com
New York History in Photos! http://NYHistoric.com
Scenes from a Public Market: http://scenesfromapublicmarket.com/

I am in the market for a 7-14mm and have been following prices.

$900 is a bit steep.  Everyone claims their gear is mint.  A lot depends on the description you included plus pics.  There was a seller a few weeks ago who got more than $1000 but he/she has some very nice pics.  I doubt the lens looked that good the day it was manufactured (kudos to the seller).  I have seen these lenses go for as low as $780 just before Christmas.  Someone paid $929 this week for a lens from 1080camera.  So you may have some hope to get $900.

My personal choice is about $835 for a mint lens.  I am willing to wait.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Forgottenbutnotgone
Regular MemberPosts: 173
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to Craig from Nevada, Jan 19, 2013

Craig from Nevada wrote:

nyfalls wrote:

I put my mint 7-14 up on ebay for 2 weeks at buy it now for $900 and did not sell. Most BIN were 1000. I have monitored other auctions for it. It's going for just under 900 and seems to be dropping. When i bought it 2 years back it was perhaps going for $1200 used.

I will have to take a big hit on it to get rid of it. It's a nice lens, but i don't think I ever shot a highly marketable pic with it. Maybe I made back $300-400 in sales from two photos I made with it.

Anyways.. 4/3 lenses are dropping. There's a mass exodus from the platform. Ebay auctions are flooded with 4/3 gear. Probably because yeah there's a possibly a body that will come, but no one wants to wait. There aren't any new accessories or lenses. And the competition's offerings are way too tempting.

I should have sold it last year.

-- hide signature --

Upstate NY Waterfalls and Photography
My Galleries: http://nyfalls.exposuremanager.com
New York History in Photos! http://NYHistoric.com
Scenes from a Public Market: http://scenesfromapublicmarket.com/

I am in the market for a 7-14mm and have been following prices.

$900 is a bit steep. Everyone claims their gear is mint. A lot depends on the description you included plus pics. There was a seller a few weeks ago who got more than $1000 but he/she has some very nice pics. I doubt the lens looked that good the day it was manufactured (kudos to the seller). I have seen these lenses go for as low as $780 just before Christmas. Someone paid $929 this week for a lens from 1080camera. So you may have some hope to get $900.

My personal choice is about $835 for a mint lens. I am willing to wait.

That would go nicely with the E-5 that sold in the low $700's a few weeks ago. I was watching it and then fell asleep. When I woke up and saw where the bidding ended, I suffered a temporary bout of incontinence!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Craig from Nevada
Contributing MemberPosts: 622Gear list
Like?
Re: How much longer will 4/3 lenses be sellable? (second hand)
In reply to Forgottenbutnotgone, Jan 19, 2013

LOL

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Forgottenbutnotgone
Regular MemberPosts: 173
Like?
Re: More doom and gloom, buy an E-620 or E-30
In reply to dave gaines, Jan 19, 2013

dave gaines wrote:

Boy, you got that right. We're sick of this kind of doom and gloom. Especially since no one has any way of knowing what's coming next.

It may be doom and gloom, but the fault is Olympus'. Look at the age of some of the threads on the front page, look at how many staunch Olympus users have migrated to other brands. You can't really be upset at a forum that reflects reality. That's what it SHOULD do.

Olympus has said there will be a new camera that utilizes 4/3 lenses by the end of 2013. That would be 3 years after releasing the E-5. That's the normal release cycle for Olympus E-x cameras.

Whatever is "normal" for Olympus is precisely what has gotten them in this present state. There are normal procedures for operating a water vessel, and then there other procedures that fall into play in the event that said craft is in imminent danger of sinking.

A good option for you is to pick up an E-620 or E-30 at ridiculously low prices on eBay. That should keep you in good camera bodies until you see what Olympus releases next.
Take two and call us in the morning if you're not feeling better.

Only good to a point. For instance, you gain small with the 620 but you lose fast focus in low light. Basically, you are forced to go back to something you may not have been satisfied with the first time.

We've had more than enough of that here on Olympus DSLR Talk. Read threads from the last few weeks to find lots of it. After Olympus said there would be a new Olympus camera that fully utilizes the 4/3 lenses, 3 blogs followed up with boundless speculation, guessing and wishfull thinking. Lots of people here confused that speculation with the simple statement from Olympus.

Once again, what you had is what reflected the sentiments of a majority of people here. Why should it be any different? Nobody was confused by it that didn't choose to be.

Most reasonable, loyal Olympus DSLR owners expect the next camera will be an upgrade to the E-5 with a new Sony sensor similar to or better than the one in the EM-5. We're expecting another weather-proof, rugged, mag-alloy body with a big bright OVF, a mirror, PDAF using a typical DSLR AF sensor and all of the Pro access buttons and large dials - an E-7.

Most reasonable, loyal Olympus DSLR owners? In whose eyes? Reasonableness and loyalty work both ways. In the opinion of a large number of people, Olympus has been neither. An occasional cryptic hinting of better things to come does not constitute being reasonable.

The E-5 may have been a demonstration of good faith but even it was shrouded in uncertainty for quite a while. The E-7 that the so called reasonable and loyal owners are expecting may indeed prove to follow the E-5 as being again, too little too late. And contrary to the opinions of those such as yourself, (and me for that matter) it's the dollars of the majority that end up having the final say. It's high time for Olympus to resort to emergency procedures, and high time for the reasonable and loyal Olympus DSLR owners to complain until they do!

...or consider moving on to a cheap small plastic body from another brand.

Yep, that hull is definitely leaking!

Robert

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads