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Monday, 21 May 2012


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Following on my purchase of an OMD (I refuse to designate it an E-M5 - in fact I can't usually remember that) I've just ordered one of these 14mm lenses from a UK supplier. A little more expensive than the far eastern offers but still pretty cheap compared to my shelf full of FF Nikkors. I already bought a Panasonic 20mm 1.7 and I'm looking lustfully at the Olympus 45mm 1.8. This body and these three lenses are my substitute for an almost-purchased Fuji X-Pro 1 kit - a narrow escape I believe.

Now every time I pick up my D700 it feels like it's doubled in weight since the last time I used it. But the controls and the viewfinder! An OMD doesn't even come close. Mind you the live histogram's not bad.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the OMD Mike!


This has been, for some time, the most underrated lens in 4/3, IMHO. I bought it with the GF3 last August as an entry into 4/3 and a high quality small camera I could use when I didn't want to carry my Pentax K-5.We spent a month in Provence. I ended up using this combo for 50% of my pictures and 50% of my blog posts. I also had the 20mm which accounted for another 30% and really didn't want for anything else. Once home I got the G3 and just took delivery of the E-M5 which I love. I have added the 45mm Oly and a long zoom and feel like I'm set (and then they announce the new fast zoom!!!).

I still use the GF3 a lot because of it's size and I don't miss the extra 4 megapixels at anything under 13x17. It's a winner.

Having taken delivery of Ctein's wonderful print and read his printing scold, I must go back to the woodshed and at least buff up my burn/dodge skills.

Good advice and may I add check KEH used prices to compare used items on Ebay.

Ebay is good for two things. Finding items at a bargain price and finding items you can't find elsewhere. If the price is the same I might as well buy from a reputable retailer like B&H or even Amazon.

I sold more than one used lens on ebay for the price of new ones from b&h. It always surprised me so I carefully asked once. Turned out buyer had nothing to do with photography; she was a single mom who wanted to photograph her baby. She had no idea about any camera stores on Internet.

I too always check at B&H first. But after a recent purchase at B&H I then found it cost less at Amazon. So now I check at B&H and Amazon before making a purchase.

And I always check the shipping costs.

I have to admit if B&H is more but not by much I will go with B&H. Customer service is tops there. Amazon not so good but better than most.

I bought a GF3 because of your post. I have a G2 and had been thinking about that lens, and my wife has a 5 year old point and shoot that she wanted to upgrade, so this was the perfect solution. She gets a camera that's perfect for someone who's getting more interested in photography and wants a better camera, and I get to use that lens. Plus, I signed up for the Amazon card and got an additional $30 off, so the whole thing was only $280.

So thanks, TOP!

Ebay often proves the axiom about a fool and their money. I buy much of my gear second hand on the Bay with great savings and success, but the first rule of buying there is always do your research!

I got a GF3 with 14mm pancake in the UK recently for about the same price after cashback. It looks like retailers had a lot of stock to clear now that the GF5 has been announced.

For the price, it was an astonishing deal. My LX5 is now redundant - the GF3 is the same size, has better performance and is 2/3 of the price. It will be interesting to see if comparable discounts are offered on the GH2 in due course.

Good advice here Mike. I bought my Pentax FA* 24/2 on eBay, after waiting about 3 months for a good auction (which ended up being a Buy It Now, and not really a bargain price, but solid).

Incidentally, within hours of this auction popping up, the other related auctions dropped their prices. Like any market, there are also expert sellers, so the buyer should beware.


I took advantage of this deal. I'm looking to this to see how a micro 4/3 camera can do with some of my Nikon macro stuff (got an adapter coming as well). And I hope to evaluate the image quality relative to the LX5 I usually grab as my small camera. For daylight shots the LX5 is pretty good, but it's not so hot as the light fades.

I find ebay most useful for selling things.

I do sometimes buy photo gear there, but only if I'm sure I know what the current state of the market is, and if I feel I have the self-control to wait for a good price.

I got one of these from a US address - not quite as cheap as from Asia ($185 vs $165 as I remember, but came with a small neoprene bag, and was well packaged); still a decent price for a lens of this quality. I haven't used it much (it's been a hell of a semester), but hopefully things will change now that I'm not teaching anymore. Of course there's always the house which needs to be cleaned up as well.

Sometimes, eBay pricing just bamboozles me.

Some of them are so outlandish as to suggest they're hoping for buyers who hold an unshakeable conviction that eBay is always the cheapest place to buy, so much so that they won't even bother to check elsewhere.

A year or two ago I saw someone selling a Pentax *ist-D and whatever kit lens came before the DA lenses started to appear. They wanted something like $600 for it. At the time KEH were asking about $250 for the same body with the newer 18-55 kit lens.

Some dealers, and even Amazon UK are selling these "de-kitted" lenses. It should be noted that such purchases will be very unlikely to qualify for any "cashback" offers.

As I commented in the earlier post, in the UK there's a £50 cashback offer running on most Panasonic lens purchases until the end of May. That applies to some kits too.

A lot of folks believe that "you get what you pay for" business, and figure that the most expensive item is the best. There must be something wrong with the cheaper ones, otherwise why should they be so cheap?

I really wish I could justify buying this lens because it's so cute, it's my most used focal length, and (at the moment) it's rediculously cheap. But I already have two lenses (Panasonic 7-14 and Olympus 14-42II) at this focal length, and I can't figure out how I will use the little prime. I'm not very concerned about "pocketability" or speed in a wide angle. Most test sites don't seem to rate the sharpness of the 14mm higher than the zooms I already have at that focal length (except the tests that were recently posted on the Lensrentals blog). Ideas?

As I said economics makes no sence.

1) Pana sells an excellent 14 for lets say about 303 dollars....

2) Pana/Amazon sells it in a kitt with a GF3 for 314 dollars

Now personally I think about the profit models of these pricings and then I know someone with a Pana system is not supposed to buy the GF3/14 kitt. And also that the resell value of the GF3 will go down.

I think someone at Pana sure knows how to call Amazon and B&H......or the other way around, and I now have a bad taste in my mouth. That is why:




are the places were I buy my stuff. Always secondhand and never new. It reduces the amount of energy and materials wasted as well which makes ecological sence.

Greetings, Ed

Gotta love it when deals like these come along. I just bought a GF1+20/1.7 new for 2990 SEK, whereas the 20/1.7 alone cannot be found for less than 3850 SEK here.

Dammit, I wasn't going to look any further at this lens and now I've gone on eBay for a quick check and oh wow, I'll never get a wide angle for my digital stuff at that price any other time, BUY IT NOW!

Budgeting now starts again in June.

I have been buying from B&H from this site for a while now. I think they are excellent. Very good customer service and unlike Amazon they will ship to a PO Box in Volcano Hawaii. Amazon will ship books and CDs to me but not camera stuff. I have no idea why that is.

I believe that there is also a "check the price on KEH" corollary to your "check B&H" postulate.

Well of course you should check B&H, if the item is current. But I'm surprised only 2 people mentioned KEH.
They sell used equipment, so their stock spans the whole history of modern photography. They are completely reputable, and have a liberal return policy. Their prices are a bit high, but their grading of condition is very conservative.

If the eBay price gets even close to the KEH price, then it isn't a bargain any more. How close depends on how much you value "peace of mind."

(Selling stuff to them is a whole different deal, though.)

this Panny 14mm 2.5 lens is excellent! I can really recommend it :)

Thanks for the tip, Mike. I just bought one locally that I found on Craigslist. The guy sold it to me on the street outside my workplace, for $210, which is about $20 more than I'd pay for one from Hong Kong or Taiwan (including sales tax that I would have to pay at my door before the postman handed it over).

The guy said that he had sold three of them; all from GF3 kits. The list price in my local shop is $430. Can't beat that kind of savings (and door-step service). And don't worry about my local shop just yet. I bought my 25mm f1.4 from them for full list price a couple months ago.

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