Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Unreasonably depressed...

A few days ago, I decided to get rid of almost all of my old Olympus OM gear and to use the proceeds to buy a second camera body. I have a couple of big trips coming up (one to shoot macro at a "Rainforest Experience" in Berkshire in early March - a Christmas gift from my lovely wife - and a trip to the Farne Islands in June), and I have been reminded how useful a second body can be to save changing lenses.

We were lucky enough to go to the Farnes last June, and changing lenses was a real pain. While a long lens is invaluable, you can get so close to the birds that something shorter is also very useful. And then, while you're changing lenses, you get showered in Kittiwake poop!!! Luckily, it got me rather than the camera. It's also, quite a problem changing lenses when the Artic Terns are dive-bombing you to keep you away from their chicks, blundering all over the boardwalk right under your feet!

With the Farnes, and, indeed, a week in Northumbria coming up, I wanted to get some time in to get used to any new kit. I plan to eventually buy an Olympus E3 when prices fall (hopefully not too long to wait...), but in the meantime, I decided to get an E1 to give me a weather-sealed option alongside the Image Stabilisation in my E510, and which would be replaced by the E3 in due course.

I settled on the E1 after seeking views from users on DPReview (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1022). The other options would have been either an E330 (Live View LCD screen, but not weather-sealed) or an E400 (small size and light weight). The consensus was strongly for an E1 on the grounds of superior image quality and build, despite "only" being a 5MP camera.

I was also partially prompted by seeing some very good prices for 2nd hand E1s in Ffordes of Inverness's ad in Amateur Photographer... so I emalied Ffordes and they gave me an estimate. Joy! More than enough to pay for one of the E1s, and enough left over for an HLD2 grip/power-pack if I put a bit towards it. We agreed to do business...

Predictably, I suppose, my gear was worth less than their estimate. Not really complaining about that as I wasn't altogether surprised, although I was disappointed. What I may think is "good" or "excellent" doesn't cut any ice when they actually have to sell it to someone else. What I was narked about was that they had sold the cheapest E1s and only had a more expensive one left - despite them having agreed to hold one for me. I suppose it's my fault for not saying: "hold the cheapest one for me!" So the credit card had to come out just for the camera...

The excellent Olympus UK E-System User Group forum (http://e-group.uk.net/) currently has a draw for the HLD2 grip, courtesy of some surplus stock from Olympus, so I will have to hope I can win one from them!

It's so depressing though when I think how much I paid for the OM kit 15-20 years ago. One item actually still had the original price sticker on the back cap - £79 in 1990 money! I wonder what that equates to now - probably about what I got for an OM10, five Zuiko lenses, a T20 flash and some other BNIB items today.

Here's another image from last year's Farne trip to cheer myself up!

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