30 July 2016

the E500 saga

While toying with µ43 gear I decided to try the E500 and 4Thirds lenses. Several of those are both unique and well liked, and they can be adapted to the newer micro cams. So why not? I added both K-4T and 4T-µ43 adapters to ensure my many lenses could take advantage of as many systems as possible. The E500 takes Compact Flash and xD cards; I bought adapters to use microSD inserts but that didn't work too well, so I ended up with an 8G CF and 2G xD for the ever-increasing pile of gear that the experiment was requiring.

Well here's a bit of what happened - -
The e500 and lenses (35mm macro, 18-180mm and 11-22) arrived about the same time. And the E500 battery would not charge.  That sent me out to buy a spare battery, which arrived the absolute day that I could still return the lenses. A few quick tests led me to cancel the returns that I had filed - these lenses were quite good. The 18-180 had typical superduperzoom challenges (especially f/6.3 at the long end) but it looked like a good investment.

Then the bargain µ43 adapter arrived.  It didn't really work, waaayy too tight mounting to the lens. I got the 35 macro to work and it was fine. I got the 18-180 to barely fit, and AF speeds were awful (as expected and reported by every 4Thirds/µ43 owner). The 11-22 would not fit at all without becoming permanently fixed to the adapter.  Hey no worries, I bought from a US listing (as reported by eBay).

When asked to return the adapter a Hong Kong address was listed. Oh sure, the "USA address" was "Ontario, United States" - a vague drop-box sort of address. You could add California to your fake listing at least.. but they had me. No way was I going to ship internationally for a $30 refund, wait two weeks and learn I get 80% or nothing because they cannot duplicate the problem.

So what to do with all this stuff?  The most productive answer would be to buy an EM1 with phase-detect AF on the sensor; that allows the 4Thirds lenses to reassert themselves as excellent lenses.  Oh wow those are $500 used, $900 new - no thanks.

So I ordered another Pentax camera and will dump this experiment ASAP.

The µ43 gear is already gone, victim of the last pre-IRA financial crunch - so there's no point to holding 4Thirds gear. As noted in an earlier post, the E500 cannot easily do action or low light (in its era 3-point AF and iso400-max shots were the rule).

If nobody speaks up soon for the gear soon it's off to the resale companies where I'll be lucky to get $200 for the bunch.  Better than keeping it here and recalling these moments. These are still excellent lenses and hopefully an EM1 owner will give them new life. It's just not for me.

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