. . . about something now and what I wrote about it then aren’t always the same. That’s the single main reason I started writing this blog a year and a half ago.
With it looking likely that I will move completely away from Nikon, the process of choosing what the next alternative (to Canon) bird-chasing gear will be began. Seeing how I’ve been less than comfortable with even some of the newer, “lighter” full-frame options, I recalled having forayed back into m43 last year in the midst of my lengthy tornado of gear changes.
Knowing that there’s a difference in my vernacular between “reason” and “justification,” the only thing I could recall about why I subsequently and quickly ditched the format again was weight. So I dug into my archives to see what I’d written then.
First of all, the images with the Panleica 100-400mm and the Oly 300mm f/4 Pro, with the help of DXO Photolab’s denoise module, were a clear notch above what I’ve been getting with the Canon plastic lenses, good as they may be. I do recall being happy with the Panleica, and quickly acquiring the Oly because I thought it would be even better.
Two other things were being spooked by the thin flange of the M43 mount, especially with the Oly and1.4X attached. I remember telling myself I should have stopped with the Panleica setup, as it had turned out to be on the same level as the Oly.
But what did I write? Sure enough, weight and thin flange were “excuses;” but m43 was sacrificed on the premise that I’d get an RF 100-500mm which, with the R6, weighed only a couple of ounces more than the Oly setup. There was no reason for ditching the Panleica, other than, figuring I wouldn’t use it anyway, to augment the war chest a bit more.
With that in mind, I started looking into m43 this afternoon, eventually heading over to an area where many of the gear shops are located. Oh, the things one learns on these “reconnaissance” missions!
Bottom line: little m43 stock anywhere, in spite of there having been a more than robust market for it here at one time. Oly is almost sold out, and OM hasn’t brought anything in yet. My dealer friend in one shop told me that Panasonic, out of the FF market here almost as soon as it went in a few years back, had cut its authorized m43 dealers down to just two shops.
Heading over to one of them, I inquired about the Panleica 100-400mm. He had no stock, but phoned Panasonic while I stood there.
“No stock,” he said. “And they said there won’t be any more coming in because production has stopped on the lens.”
“Wonder if that means they’re exiting the m43 market?” I asked.
“That’s what the rumor is,” he replied.
Heading back outdoors, I happened to think about Lumix and Leica’s indecipherably vague statement about their L2 venture. And the CL. Hmmm……looks like they’re now sharing product strategy and marketing staff as well!
But what about an alternative setup? Well, I’m pretty sure there’s an alternative source that ships, if I go that route . . .