Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO Lens


Pitachu

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Sep 18, 2019
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Just saw the pricing for this lens so many of us are waiting for .....

The Olympus 100-400 F5-6.3 is about US$1399
And the Pana Leica 100-400 F4-6.3 is about US$1597.
I was really expecting the price to be maybe about US$3000 to US$3500.
Was really taken aback when the RRP is US$7995 (B&H selling at US$7499)

For a constant aperture F4.5, with 6 stops IS for handheld at 1000 mm,
it is really a huge premium to pay.

But would not say my dream was being crushed yet. Just hope to pick it up in 3 years time
a used one for maybe about a more affordable US$4k :)
 

swifty

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Oct 12, 2004
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I think the price is probably in line with expectations.
A Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II is about $2400USD whilst their 200-400 f/4 TC1.4 is $11k.
The Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 is $2300 whilst their 180-400 f/4 TC 1.4 is $12.4k.
So we’re talking in the order of 4.5-5.5X the price premium for 1 stop faster constant pro zoom with built in TC.
If you apply that to m43, you get $6300-$7700 using the Olympus 100-400 or $7200-$8800 using the Pana-Leica.
 

Pitachu

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Well, it really get me to go back and look at what are the alternatives in the market.

The best so far is the Olympus 300mm F4 with a 2x TC, allowing me to get 1200mm F8.
I have shot very small birds on top of trees quite far away that is almost a dot to the naked eyes.
The 300mm F4 is only about US$2700.

Question: Is there anything to shoot beyond 1200mm?

Even if there is, say at 1600mm,

I can also consider the Olympus 100-400mm F5-6.3 for US$1400.
With a 2x TC, I can reach up to 1600mm at F12.6 (which can be quite a bummer
on not so sunny days).

I don't now the cost of the R&D and manufacturing, but I felt Olympus can
sell a lot of the 150mm-400mm F4.5 at US$3500 together with their bodies too
(based on my personal perception of value and pain price point). USD7499
is really painful and have to think very carefully in order to explore this lenses.
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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JIP people are mainly accountants. They are probably not fans of photography.
This is an ingenious pricing strategy by JIP.
Because Heads they win, Tails they also win.

If the price is very high and yet a lot of the lens is sold, then good. JIP makes money.
JIP stated target is to make the OM Digital Solution Corp profitable within 1 year of divestment from Olympus.
If the lens sells like hot cakes at very high price, it will help JIP to achieve this promised goal.

If the lens has very poor sales at this very high price, then it is seen by all as a failure.
JIP can check if OM Digital Solution Corp can or cannot achieve profitability within 1 year.
If not, JIP has justification to wind up OM Digital Solution Corp and sell off the assets in pieces.

After 1 year say, on 1 Dec 2021 - ask how many of this particular lens was sold world wide, at this price.
 

richiemccaw1

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Feb 21, 2013
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I hope they sell many lenses and make good money so the team continues to make good camera equipment.
 

Pitachu

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I think JIP would have already known that the demand for this lenses is not high in the first place.
Stripping a company down and sell only its assets usually is a loss, unless there are undervalued land or property.
I don't think JIP would want to do that unless it has no choice.

It is more likely that JIP is "creaming" the market [let the eager buyers pay more first]

After all, the E1mx was launch at US$2999 and now it is only US$1999
and there is certainly more users at US$1999 after the 33% discount.

I am quite sure when JIP drop the price of the lens by 33% after 2 years,
there will be a lot more users too! :) Only time will tell



If the lens has very poor sales at this very high price, then it is seen by all as a failure.
JIP can check if OM Digital Solution Corp can or cannot achieve profitability within 1 year.
If not, JIP has justification to wind up OM Digital Solution Corp and sell off the assets in pieces.

After 1 year say, on 1 Dec 2021 - ask how many of this particular lens was sold world wide, at this price.
 

Blu-By-U

Senior Member
Aug 2, 2006
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Think it's in line with those special purpose lenses that Oly have done in the past. How many actually then own that 300/2.8 and that 90-250/2.8? So unless to really NEED those, you stick to their not so pro alternative.
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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Is this SGD$10,000 lens made in Japan?

Only imagingresource.com dares to say

Quote
[ Built in Japan, the new supertelephoto zoom feels like a "spared-no-expense" affair, offering an exotic array of optical elements, a rugged magnesium alloy construction, faster AF performance and, as the name suggests, a built-in teleconverter -- a first for an Olympus lens. ]
UnQuote

(Edit : a later check with a reviewer suggests that this statement in the above-quoted article may be incorrect)

Is this an obvious question?
Are reviewers stupid or just warned to shut up or else.....

Then how come almost all of the Internet articles on it, dare not mention.
Is it so difficult to photograph the engraving on the lens that says
"Made in XXXXX" ?

None of the photos accompanying the numerous articles dare to show this.
No idea why.
Are they hiding something?
Is it something to be ashamed of?

What if it is really Made In Japan?

Then say so.
When you charge SGD$10,000 would you not want to highlight the selling point that this lens is Made In Japan?

Is the marketing team a bunch of idiots?
Maybe not.
Perhaps they are afraid of triggering the next question.

Which is:
Why are your other lenses not Made in Japan?

Some may say, no difference as long as got good QC in a 3rd world country.
When they are paying top dollar (for this lens), it matters.
For brand image it matters.
 

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Pitachu

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So are Sony Zeiss lenses.....they are now made in Thailand (but don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that)

Seriously, it's no big deal nowadays, as business gets more competitive, manufacturers have to make ways to be
more cost effective.

The 150-400 is probably the last Olympus lens made in Japan, but even if it is made in Vietnam, I will still buy it
if I have a use for it and use it often enough, as long as they do what they are supposed to do, it does not matter
which country they are made in.

My faithful iPhoneX made in China with a huge premium price lasted me 3.5 years before I sold it away when my
iPhone 12 ProMax arrives. IMO, consumers focus more on the benefits of the products nowadays rather than
which country they are made in. My iPhone X lasted long enough for me, so I bought another one from the same brand.

As long as Olympus has not failed me yet, I will continue to have faith in them, and maybe I am unlucky, I have already
sent my Sony RX10 and Sony A7R for repairs and have not sent my Olympus Body or any of the 6 lenses for repairs.
..
 

Pitachu

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The 2nd point I note is that while everyone is looking at the 'break-thru' range of this Olympus lenses for a mirrorless camera (eg. up to 2000mm and 8 stops IS etc), you choose to focus your obsure grudge against Olympus that their other lenses are no longer made in Japan.
 

JW73

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Dec 6, 2003
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I hope my photo will improve because the lens is made in japan.

If you think the lens is too expensive, it is probably not suitable for you. It’s not a lens that you buy and try and sell later.

It’s not a lens for the mass. I don‘t expect this lens to sell well especially in sg. The birders will have many other systems and many cheaper lens choices. Most birders here drive or take grab with their huge setup so the 150-400mm , little more ”portability” advantage is not that great.

But if I am a EM1x or EM1iii birder, this lens is worth considering without changing system. Got to do your own maths etc.
 

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ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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Some one has done the math. See from start to 8:08. You may not agree wit him.

I will delete the video after a few days. (Done)

You can then Google it using the title.
{ LAST EVER Olympus lens! The Sony FX6 is a BETTER pro video camera than the a7S III! PHOTO NEWS }
 

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ricohflex

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I made some enquiries to reviewers who were given the lens to test.
I asked them to check and read the label of where the lens was made.

Video link is deleted after a few days.

You can Google it using this title.
{ M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens review }

This is what I asked.
[ Good review. Can you do me a favour?
Since you have the lens with you. Check the engraving on the lens and let me know where it is made. As in "Made in XXXXXX". Thanks.
Is it made in Japan or China or Vietnam? I have checked various video reviews.
No reviewer dares to say. Why?
Have they been threatened by anyone to be silent on this detail? ]

The reviewer Mr. Rob Knight has kindly replied.
Quote
[
Rob Knight
48 minutes ago
The hood says Japan, and I don’t see another marking anywhere else ‍ ]
UnQuote

To which I commented while thanking him.

[ Thanks, Mr. Rob Knight. Only the lens hood says "Japan"? Nothing at all on the lens barrel or on the mount. Oh dear. This is what I feared. This the worst of all worlds. How can a USD$7,500 lens be made with the manufacturer NOT wanting to tell the buyer where it was made? There is something very wrong about this.]

So it looks like the website imagingresource.com was wrong to say it was built in Japan.
"Japan" on the hood is not the same as "Made in Japan on the lens barrel or mount.

It seems reviewers who have the physical lens in their possession are unable to find any marking denoting where the lens was made.

Strangely, none commented on this glaring missing detail, in their video reviews. This {be silent about it} is probably not a coincidence.

There is an outside chance that the reviewer may have missed spotting the "Made in XXXXX" engraving or printed label.
I have missed spotting some serial numbers on my equipment because they were hidden in unusual places; only to discover them later.

The reviewer has since further said that this was a Pre-Production Sample .
Suggesting that when they actually make the thing to sell, the [Made in XXXX] label may be present.


Most of the video reviews were uploaded on Youtube 1 or 2 days ago circa 19 Nov 2020.
Major shops in USA namely B&H and Adorama already advertised for pre-order sale.

Nevertheless, some die hard fans who can afford may still buy it.
Launch date is about 22 Jan 2021.
This lens is sold on order basis.
 

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Blu-By-U

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Aug 2, 2006
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I wonder @ricohflex if the lens is made in germany, will it improve the photograph? BUT I will be greatly worried if the lens is made in USofA. There may be orange hair stuck inside that refuses to go out. (Ok..that was a tat hitting below the belt)

Olympus did not sell Tatsuno. It's not part of the imaging that was cut to JIP.
 

JW73

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Rob ask our singapre clubsnapper to chill. It’s just a sample lens.
But probably Rob was threaten this time by JIP after JIP learn from Olympus on how to threaten reviewers. OMG..
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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It is probably Olympus last chance to scrape some money back if this lens was not part of deal to divest to JIP.
Although Olympus said this lens is made to order.

Think about the logic.

Made to order means nothing is made yet.
Until the customer orders.

Production line cannot start and stop for only 1 order.
Common sense says production run is batched for X number.
When and if the company gets X number of orders, considered worthwhile to start 1 production run, only then they will do so.

But if Olympus already made up its mind to leave the camera & lens manufacturing business, on 24 Jun 2020, and divested the division.
Why continue to ask for orders and make limited production runs for 1 lens?
Olympus can just stop asking customers.
Let JIP decide if it wants to take up the challenge to produce this lens.

Thus my guess is that if the idea is to claw back money spent on making this lens.
Then Olympus is likely to have already produced it, kept in reasonably large numbers in the warehouse; and ready to ship.

Remember the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics? This lens was mainly made for the Olympics originally scheduled for 24 July 2020.
So there is no way that this lens is "Made to Order" if they wanted to make them available in large quantities.
For sports photographers or reporters to cover the Tokyo Olympics of 24 July 2020.

Just a guess.
Is Olympus wrong if this is true?
No.
It is just a normal business tactic.

Now if many of this lens were already stocked in warehouse.
Or many will be made if sufficient number of orders are placed.
Then it is no issue for Olympus to state openly and firmly that this lens is Made in XXXXX.

Instead there is silence by Olympus.
And reluctance by most reviewers to shed light on the issue or even bring notice to { Where is this made?}.
Reviewer feedback is that there is no indication (Made in XXXX) on the Pre-Production Sample.

This is not a low grade cheap lens.
It is something the company wants to be proud of.
So why the fear to state a simple truth.
 

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JW73

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I don't know what's the point of writing so much and making a issue of where this lens were made or built?

Did Olympus or JIP mentioned it is made in Japan before the official launch? If yes.then it is an issue.

If one find it is too costly as it not made in japan, you are entitled to do so. No one forcing you to buy.

You want to warn a consumer who has $10,000SGD about the possible conspiracy with Oly /JP with the reviewers? I think the buyer with $10,000 to spend will know what he/she is doing.

Let the market decide itself.

Chill and enjoy shooting with what you have and can afford.
 

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Pitachu

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Yep, this is like looking at the flaw of others when you have a big log stuck in your eyes.

The Olympus 150-400 has so many good points, and Ricohflex chose to focus on 1 minor weak point and try to persuade others to condemn the new break thru.

For photographers with a need for a focal range beyond 600mm or 1200mm, the Olympus 150-600 is a good solution, unless you want to use even smaller sensor bridge cameras (eg. Nikon P1000 etc). For those who have a need for the Olympus 150-400 and have $10,000 to spare, where the lens made in does not matter.

After all, there are thousands of Toyota Vios in Singapore costing about $90K, made in Thailand / Philippines.
And it is made from old assembly lines dismantled from Japan when Toyota upgrade the assembly lines.
Do Toyota advertise where is it made in? NO
Are consumers aware which country it is made in? OF COURSE
Is it as reliable? YES - in fact still better than a lot of other brands!

So, remove the log in your eyes and try to appreciate the benefits of new break-throughs instead of trying to make
a big hoo-haa of the whole thing :cool:
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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Ask 1 simple question that they dare NOT answer, so far, which is very strange. [ Where is this lens made? ]
Even a SGD$200 lens states clearly where they make it.
Some fans rush to defend not telling or to deflect from the question - and attack the person asking.
It is sad.
This is a SGD$10,000 lens.
The lens could very well be made in Japan.
Or in China.
Or in Vietnam.
Or Malaysia.
Or Taiwan.
Or Thailand.
Or other country.
Not unreasonable to ask the manufacturer to say so firmly.