Monday, December 12, 2011

The Hunt for the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens

A week ago, I was in a conundrum. I was finally going to buy it: Olympus' 45mm f/1.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. I had done my homework, and read the reviews. By all accounts, it is a stellar lens that isn't super expensive. (If you need more convincing, head on over to this site for a look at some lovely photos by travel photographer Ferdz Decena.) The lens itself is in the $400 ballpark, which is quite reasonable for a high quality fast prime lens, but I wouldn't call it cheap. Nevertheless, I had saved up and I was finally going to buy it. There was just one problem: I couldn't find anyone selling it.

We've got it all for you

I spent an afternoon in Megamall hunting for a whiff of the lens. No such luck. Why Megamall? Well, a journalist friend of mine had been talking with the new distributors during the Olympus E-P3 product launch and I asked her to ask them where the lenses were available and they replied, "SM." 

A little skeptically, I headed over to SM Appliance Center and found a handful of Olympus compact cameras. No lenses. No Micro Four Thirds stuff. The guy behind the counter didn't even know what Micro Four Thirds was. I was not surprised. Maybe they meant Cyberzone.

I went to Cyberzone and checked out as many of the stores I could. I wasn't able to check them all, but those who were selling Olympus stuff were again selling compact cameras. Some were selling Micro Four Thirds cameras, like the E-PL2, but no one was selling lenses. Maybe I just missed the store, who knows. I went home empty-handed. Well, I did get some Christmas shopping done.

Courage, online buyer

I thought it was time for me to hit Amazon and Johnny Air (again). Then I bumped into Ferdz Decena's travel blog and met an online seller there by the name of Richard dela Rosa.

Now the mere mention of online sellers and meetups is enough for me to break into hives, but I was desperate (and getting impatient), so I thought "What the heck" and arranged for a meetup.

Turns out all my fears were for nothing. Richard is an official seller, and he gets his stuff from the official distributor Red Dot Philippines. So that means you get the official 18-month warranty. And Richard's not just an online seller, he's also an Olympus enthusiast and a member of Club Olympus. In fact, within seconds of meeting, we were talking about cameras and juicy Micro Four Thirds rumors (which I can't publish here, sorry) like two camera geeks. 

The best part? I got a good price, and I was able to save on spending on shipping costs too.

Of course, prices change, so I'll leave the negotiation up to you. Give Richard a call at 0922 6821669 if you're interested. He also sells other Olympus cameras and lenses. A lot of friends have been asking me where to buy an Olympus E-P3. Here's your guy! 

Who'd have thunk it? My search for this lens had a happy ending after all. The full review of the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 is coming soon.


panzerpuff said...

Great article, but no price. You realize that by not giving all the details, we get the same amount of vague information like the guy who told you to look for lenses at "SM".

More information & more transparency is the only way to get more MFT enthusiasts out of hiding.

But that said, thanks for a fine read on MFT stuff. More power to you!

The Third World Nerd said...

Hi panzerpuff. You're right! I forgot the price. Official SRP is P17,995 last I checked. BUT I'll have to side with the retailer this time around and not tell you how much I got it for. Hint: cheaper. Of course that's entirely up to your negotiation skills and how much the seller likes you, haha but true.