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Old Nov 6, 2006, 9:09 PM   #1
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Hello,

I've been doing a lot of research into upgrading from my Canon A620, which I like very much, but have been thinking of a DSLR. I really like the image quality from the Olympus E500 and E330, but I am shocked at the price of lenses. The two lens E500 kit would probably satisfy me for quite some time as I learn the camera and get better at photography, but thinking ahead, I really don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a single lens. Are there any good affordable lenses for these cameras or is Zuiko the only option?

A camera like the Pentax K100D seems like a nice starter DSLR and the Pentax lenses seem much more reasonably priced, with a lot of good used ones available at a good price.

I've also looked at bridge cameras like the Panasonic DMC FZ50 because the features and the reach of the lense are appealing, but I am very unhappy with the image quality from the many samples I've seen.

Your input is much appreciated.
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Old Nov 6, 2006, 9:45 PM   #2
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Well, it very much depends what type of lenses you want. Olympus makes 3 different grades of lenses. The Olympus kit lenses (14-45mm and 40-150mm) are quite inexpensive, and also pretty darn good for what you get. In particular, the 40-150 is good enough that you might not feel any need to ever spend more for a higher-end telephoto lens.

Olympus' next grade up is really a bunch of lenses that are essentially pro-caliber lenses, that tend to cost between $400 and $800 each. I personally own one of these, the 11-22mm wide angle, and it's absolutely superb. These lenses are really not any more expensive than other brands lenses of comparable speed and quality, especially considering that they are all weather resistant lenses.

Finally, Oly has an ultra high grade that tend to be unique in terms of speed or focal length range. These lenses, I admit, are quite expensive, but they are also quite specialized, and most Olympus owners don't own any of these lenses.

And of course, there are also Sigma lenses, 11 of which support the Olympus mount. These are mostly inexpensive or mid-range cost lenses, some of which, like their 100mm and 150mm macros and their 50-500mm are excellent values and support focal lengths that Olympus doesn't support themselves.

Really, unless you have a strong hankering for one of the ultra high grade lenses, Oly's lenses are not any more expensive than any other camera brands' optics.
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Old Nov 6, 2006, 9:49 PM   #3
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crsantin wrote:
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Hello,

I've been doing a lot of research into upgrading from my Canon A620, which I like very much, but have been thinking of a DSLR. I really like the image quality from the Olympus E500 and E330, but I am shocked at the price of lenses. The two lens E500 kit would probably satisfy me for quite some time as I learn the camera and get better at photography, but thinking ahead, I really don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a single lens. Are there any good affordable lenses for these cameras or is Zuiko the only option?

A camera like the Pentax K100D seems like a nice starter DSLR and the Pentax lenses seem much more reasonably priced, with a lot of good used ones available at a good price.

I've also looked at bridge cameras like the Panasonic DMC FZ50 because the features and the reach of the lense are appealing, but I am very unhappy with the image quality from the many samples I've seen.

Your input is much appreciated.
Pentax uses their forever-used K-mount, so you have access to thousands of lenses, both AF and Manual focus. Some of the older, manuallenses may only work with some limitations, but you can mount and use them. Huge advantage, Pentax.

AF lenses for Olympus cameras are limited because this particular mount has only been in use for close to 4 years now, beginning with the E-1. The kit lenses are good starters and cover a wide range, from a 35mm equivalent of 28-300mm, so unless you have an over-riding need for the more expensive glass they could serve you well for a while. Most people who'll typically buy this two lenskit probably never owned a set of lenses that covered this range of focal lengths in 35mm equipment.

The more expensive Zuiko glass, the 14-54 f2.8-3.5, 50-200 f2.8-3.5, 11-22 f2.8-3.5, 50mm f2 macroall have afeature most of the Pentax lenses you're looking at don't have, and that is that they are weather-sealed. They are very well built, made for pro use. In reality, these lenses should be compared in price to other makers pro line of lenses. If you compare thosefour Zuiko's to most other makers lenses, you'll also see they are faster then all but the pro lines with constant f2,8 apertures.I hear Pentax will be coming out with sealed lenses next year to mate with the sealed K10D. Don't expect those to be inexpensive. Pentax makes some sweet, fastprimes too like the 31mm f1.8 and77mm f1.8, none of which are cheap.

Above thosefour Zuiko's are the super performance lenses, with prices to match, such as the 7-14 f4, 35-100 f2, 90-250 f2.8, 300mm f2.8. These are lenses most people will never need, and won't be able to afford or justify the cost. Pro's who need these will buy them because they either need them to do their job, or it's simply someone who has more disposable income than most everyone else and wants the very best glass.

In the end, how many lenses do you plan to own? I have three and that's all I need. Most people don't need more than that or maybe four if you want to add a specialty lens like a macro. Olympus has the range covered, and new lenses are being introduced in 4/3rd's mount. Sigma is in the process of making many more of their betterlenses available in Olympus mount and Panasonic is going to be selling a full set of (expensive)Leica-branded lenses next year, so the choices are growing, but if you need really cheapand lots of choices, Pentax is the obvious pick.





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Old Nov 7, 2006, 6:37 AM   #4
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A useful list of available or announced four thirds lenses:
http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/lenses.html

What is available seems to be good value, but there are some gaps. Like No $100 entry level normal prime (35mm f3.5 for $200 is closest). Limited selection on wide angle. No inexpensive 70-300 yet.

And a few of the recently announced lenses could take months before actually showing up.


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