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Old Oct 10, 2006, 4:22 PM   #1
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Looks like oly lenses are not coming cheap.Should I understand that all the FOUR-THIRDS lenses will be 100 % compatible with E-500? Maybe some of you guys can give some cheaper alternatives to Oly lenses

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Old Oct 10, 2006, 4:37 PM   #2
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sigma lenses are cheap. yes, all 4/3 lenses can be used with Oly. e series (some with minor limitations though)
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Old Oct 10, 2006, 4:42 PM   #3
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thank you! I was looking at sigma lenses however i don't see what are the limitations.Is something that has to do with yhe lens microchip?
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Old Oct 10, 2006, 4:45 PM   #4
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The faster, weather sealed and pro lenses are not cheap- those type lensesnever are cheapfrom any OEMmaker,but the twokit lenses (14-45 and 40-150)are hard to beat for the price, especially if purchased as a set with the body. The 18-180 lens is somewhat affordable for what it gives you and the 8mm fisheye is very comperable to other makers fisheye lenses in terms of price. The 35mm f3.5macro is downright inexpensive for what it is.

Sigma is in the process of releasing additional lenses now and supposedly next year sometime all their line with be 4/3rd's compliant. Some Sigma lenses are truly mediocre, some are good value and some are pro quality. You'll need to hash those all out yourself. Too many for me to even think about, but there are no compatibility issues with Sigma lenses and Olympus bodies at all.

Panasonic is releasing lenses branded with the Leica name, some with limited image stabilization ability with Olympus bodies, butnone that will be cheap..

Any lens that is a 4/3rd compliant will be fully useable on any Olympus body, including the E-500. The image stabilization Panasonic (Leica) lenses have two image stabilization modes, of which one mode (on all the time) will be available on all Olympus bodies. That's the only area I know of where there is a limited ability of any 4/3rd's lens on an Olympus body. Again, anything associated with the Leica name won't be cheap, so don't even worry about those....you probablywon't want them if you think Zuiko's are expensive.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 12:36 AM   #5
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Olympus publishes a document that "grades" their lenses into 3 categories - it's a pdf file under the E-system category / lenses - the grades are roughly

"PRO" ($1K+)

"Really good" ($400-$900)

"Cheap" ($150-$300)

Yes, the bodies come with ones in the "cheap" category (unfortunately) - China made quality lenses. I've used the "really good" category ($400-$900) (Japan made) and there is a noticable difference. The 50mm "ED"prime lens F2.0 is razor sharp across the field - though sold as a macro I did an entire photo shoot with it. It can be purchased around $400 and focuses from 9" to infinity. It also accommodates the ring flash for even illumination and includes modeling lights in the ring for focusing up close.

The "PRO" lenses have 4 figure pricetags in the $1K-$6K range - most people will be really happy with the "Really Good" line. If you shoot in Aperature mode and stop down to F10+ with a FL-50 flash you'll probably be happy with any of the lenses.
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Old Oct 15, 2006, 6:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting this question, andthanks to those who answered it!
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 2:08 AM   #7
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You could always use some inexpensive older manual focus primes. Nowadays, the adapters for the various other mounts can be gotten for around $30 each on ebay.

In my experience, the best really cheap older MF lenses are pretty much any good macro lens (I have personal experience using a Nikkor 55mm f3.5, and a Tamron 90mm f2.5 on my Olys, with excellent results), and a a fast 50mm prime - pretty much ANY older 50mm f1.8 or f2 lens will be excellent, and some of the 50mm f1.4 lenses are also quite outstanding. By excellent to outstanding, I mean these manual lenses are generally comparable in optical quality to the modern Oly 50mm f2 macro DZ lens.

You give up autofocus, and program and shutter priority modes, but, especially for macro work, I find this to not be a sacrifice at all.

And the fast 50mm lenses make great portrait lenses.

Also, while these require better technique, there are also tons of fast telephotos out there (particularly in Nikon mount) that can be bought for a small fraction of the cost of the Digital Zuikos.

I personally use the Oly 11-22 and 40-150 lenses, and for all of my other needs, I rely on these older manual focus optics (generally in Nikon or Pentax M42 mounts).
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