Brian's Photo Blog — Article 729
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Renting an Olympus 12–100mm f/4 Pro Lens
Wednesday 23 January 2019   —   Category: Equipment
In July 2017 I wrote an article discussing the pros and cons of the Olympus 12 - 100 mm f/4 Pro lens (24 - 200 mm equiv­a­lent), which I had been drool­ing over ever since the lens was announced in September 2016. A cou­ple of months after the announcement I had been able to briefly try the lens with my OM - D E - M5 camera at the Pro Photo Supply camera store in Portland, Oregon.

Because I was limited to taking a few shots in the store and not able to try it out in real-​world situations, I didn’t know for sure if I would actually like the lens or not. If I could shoot with it on an outing, I might find that it doesn‘t suit me after all, and then I could stop dreaming about owning it one day.

To make this a reality, I rented an Olympus 12-​100mm from for a four day trip to Washington state in early August 2017.

I had first rented a lens from them nearly five years before, and it was a good experience. With this second rental I would be able to put the lens through its paces under actual outing conditions, and find out once and for all if the 12 - 100 mm might be in my future.
The day before I left for Washington, around 11:00 AM, the eagerly awaited FedEx truck arrived. Oh happy day!
Labels on the top of the box read:



I was more than ready!
Starting to release the happy!
Getting closer to releasing the happy!
Paperwork delaying the release of the happy!
Almost there ... the happy is just inside!
My first glimpse of the happy!
Comparing the size of my Panasonic 35 - 100 mm f/2.8 lens (top) to the rented Olympus 12 - 100 mm f/4 lens.

The Panasonic measures 2.7 x 3.9 inches (67.4 x 100 mm) and weighs in at 12.7 oz (360 g).

The Olympus measures 3.1 x 4.6 inches (77.5 x 116.5 mm) and tips the scale at 19.8 oz (560 g).
After the four day outing, during which I took slightly over 700 photos with the Olympus 12 - 100 mm, I was very sad and reluctant to send this magnificent lens back to I wrote shortly after:

I’m back from my four-​day outing last week, and I’m in love! The Olympus 12-​100 mm lens was awesome! I was so sad to send it back to LensRentals! After using the lens for only four days, I can really identify with Gollum’s words: “We wants it. We needs it. Must have the Precious!”
A couple of months later I was still pining for this lens when I heard that Olympus had a special limited time deal going on: Trade in any digital in­ter­change­able lens camera or lens and get its value plus a Trade Up Bonus when you purchase se­lect Olympus products.

Over the years I had become so dis­ap­point­ed with the performance of my con­sum­er level Panasonic 100 - 300mm lens that I hadn’t even used it for the previous 18 months. So I sent that lens along with a third party tripod collar and other mi­nor accessories to for a quote.

I did not think I would get even $100 for the lens, but they offered me $175. Add­ing that to a $200 Olympus Trade Up Bonus, I paid just $925 for a new Olym­pus 12 - 100 mm instead of the regular $1,300! This made the price of the lens a lot easier to swallow.

Since I received my new lens in October 2017, almost all of my photos have been taken with it. It is a rare occasion when I put any other lens on my camera. I am very, very, VERY happy with it!

The 9 photos from the rental lens unboxing are now on display in the new Olympus 12-100mm Lens 2017 album.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 729
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