Why MicroFourThird (Olympus, Panasonic etc.) at all?

pip22

Member
I bought the Oly E-300 just after the E-500 was launched --- why? Because it was a bargain -- reduced to £399 to make way for the new model. I handled it first and it felt just right (I've been a pentax film SLR user for 20 years so I know how a well-made SLR should feel). The E-300 was criticised for not looking like an SLR (no prism hump on top), but it takes great pictures and it's flat top doesn't worry me at all. It's also wider than most, but I have big hands and the extra width means controls are not too small or too close together. I've handled the E-500 since, and I have to say that for me it's too small and doesn't feel as 'grippy' or as well made as my E-300. So for me I made the right choice and saved a fair bit of cash as well which puts me well on the road to affording the 40-150 Zuiko lens sometime soon. They say that, unlike film SLRs, digital ones are more expendable and more likely to be 'dumped' after only 2-3 years because of the pace of technology. Well I certainly can't afford to dump mine and get another new one in a couple of years. I had my last pentax film SLR for 18 years and I intend to keep my Oly E-300 for at least half that time unless (god forbid) it goes wrong out of warranty and needs mega-expensive repairs. If that happens I'd sooner spend the money on a new one. Time will tell of course.
Why did I not get a pentax dslr if I already some pentax-fit lenses? That one's easy. Where I live the Pentax *ist range were as rare as hen's teeth! I looked everywhere and gave up on them.
Internet? -- no way. I wanted to hold it and get a feel for it before parting with my money.
 

pjbw

Member
Why SLR?
Is there any possibility that Olympus might produce an equivalent to the Sony DSC-R1 all-in-one with its large sensor and high quality lens?
From the reviews the R1 seems a bit lacking in ergonomics though its performance is highly praised. I could no longer be bothered fiddling about with film SLR some time ago and so I bought an Olympus C-5060 to replace my Pentax 928 (I must have a wide-angle lens). I am now beginning to realise the potentialities of digital photography and the concept of Sony's R1 is very attractive. I realise that Olympus has made a big commitment to DSLR but please, think about it!
 
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walrichard

As a very happy user of the new Olympus E1 - both commercially and for my own shots - I am delighted that both Olympus and the Chinese have brought out adapters that allow use of the OM system Zuiko lenses. The auto focus and light metering is lost, but if like me you are shooting in a studio with flash, or outside with a good light meter, this is a small price to pay against buying the full set of digital lenses.
Zuiko lenses have always been as good as any and if you shoot raw files, they can be converted to tiff or jpg with adjustment to the number of pixels interpolation that still produces amazing results to blow ups from the 5 megapixels shots.
I admit that I would have preferred Olympus E1 to have a higher pixel count but I have shot magazine covers that have been cropped from the 4:3 raw format and, after interpoation, have still looked as sharp as a knife. Portraits show every hair and detail perfectly.
Lord Lichfield, the recently deceased royal and celebrity portrait photographer, used this camera and produced A) sized blowups as prints. Ifit was good enough for such a distinguished photographer, it is good enough for me.
The only downside is the slight graininess that can result from higher ISO shots, but mostly I stick to 100 or 200 ISO (max 400) and use appropriate flash or light. I would not advise using the interpoated ISO r&s to 1088 or 3200 that the camera allows. Against this is the complete lack of abberation or fall off that the camers produces with its digital lenses. (I have yet to examine the results using the OM2 lenses on an adapter).
 

mikedk

New Member
The Olympus OM1 etc. stable were cameras that in my earlier years as a hobbyist I could not afford, only aspire to. It's only relatively recently that I acquired a mint OM2n, with several lenses, T20 and T32 flashes along with other bits and pieces. My main camera at present is a Canon 10D but there are times when I want to take a small/compact SLR on a trip/shoot and be guaranteed excellent results. The OM2n always comes up with the goods. I also find it beneficial at times to have to think more about the technicalities of the shot, rather than the just the composition; yes I can do this with the 10D but when the escalator is there, who takes the stairs. I have not given up on film and never will. As a medium it still has an attraction for me, as in processing and post processing etc.
 

omtech1

Well-Known Member
> Good point. I service a lot of OM-2N and find them to be ultra-reliable. That model has all the factory improvements that ever went into the original 2. Same can be said for the transition of OM-1 to 1N. John
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weedram

Well-Known Member
The design and simplicity of the OMs are one reason I have not gone to a DSLR; those characteristics have not been duplicated in any DSLR, as far as I am concerned. The E-1 is more film-like than other digitals, and can be set up to be straightforward to shoot. But it certainly doesn't feel and handle like an OM, at least to me. Perhaps I need to use one for a few days.

This is one reason I am also very interested in the Epson R-D1 and wait anxiously to see what the Leica M8 will be like, not to mention the availability of lots of M-mount glass. AFAIK the Epson is the most analogue-like in its design, and I expect the M8 to continue the Leica values of good design and immediacy. (I fully expect a Zeiss Ikon digital rangefinder, but not in the near term; they seem committed to a 24x36 sensor, and I think it will be awhile before they integrate that at a price with which they feel comfortable.)

Then there are prime lenses. I do NOT want zooms all that much, thank you very anyway. I don't even need autofocus. (OK, if I have to have it, please give me the option true mechanical manual focus that feels the same as on my OM lenses.) Whatever the image quality of modern zooms, I do not want the extra weight and bulk. PLEASE put R&D into spectacular primes; I KNOW what focal length to use to compose, and in nearly all situations can use my 2-legged zoom to achieve the appropriate subject-camera distance.

Hence, unless Maitani comes out of retirement to design an OM-4D or OM-5dt (or better yet an OM-Rd (M mount rangefinder with OM-M adapter available), I'll be either waiting on digital or saving for a digital RF from another manufacturer.
 

gjames52

Well-Known Member
OM2N ultra-reliable.

Yes, Indeed! I shoot Hasselblad, Contax G and N, Zeiss Icons’, Yashica T4, and occasionally Nikon F100. I like all of them for different reasons, especially Zeiss glass.

It is an absolute pleasure to use my beautiful 26 year old OM2N, it is small, quite, easy to focus, has excellent battery life, it's easy too use, at time surpasses expatiations while obtaining challenging shots, flash with ease, and as you know obtains the photograph. It even works when it is turned off! I also, believe that some of the lenses are as good as any lens ever produced.

I have often wondered which system I would keep if I were only allowed one?


Regards:

Gilbert
 
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walrichard

> [I agree. I have a second hand OM2 bought in around 1978, a range of =20=

> lenses, all bought used but in great condition, from 11mm to 150mm. I =20=

> have submitted photos to the most exacting libraries (such as =20 > iPhoto.com) and had many digitally shot (on my Olympus E1) rejected =20=

> with abberations such as artifacting or lack of clear focal point. But = =20 > those taken on the OM2 and scanned have been accepted without =20 > question. The split prism focus is something I really miss on the =20 > digital camera. I keep asking myself if I should sell and shoot =20 > everything digitally but am hanging on for the time being to my OM2. > ]
 

redwood

Active Member
> Hi Richard, I to submit to picture libraries first with scanned velvia using carl zeiss and contax and more recently using the E1. My picture library alamy.com accepts E1 and personally i think for scanned image compared to pure digital the pure digital is my winner. Perhaps there is a bit of pixel size snobbery going. Clearly your work is good enough in tranny why not pure digital. Regards

David
 
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walrichard

> [Thanks for the advice David. I shall look at alamy.com. As I said, > iPhoto.com has rejected a number of shots from me, though to me they > look fine when viewed at full pixel size. I also submit without > problems to Fotolibra. I have shot for magazines digitally and > struggle to get full cover shots from RAW if any cropping is needed. I > do wish the E1 had been produced with more megapixels and - as said > before - with a split prism focus viewfinder. I have not looked at the > E500 but get the impression that it is less rugged but has 8Mp. Some > libraries see this as the minimum size for submission. Many other pros > use Nikon 12.5Mp or higher. Having said all that, I am most impressed > with the Zuiko lenses and the quality of the E1 colour and lack of > abberations. I plan to continue to use it professionally. ]
 

redwood

Active Member
> Hi Richard, > > Thanks for the reply. I use genuine fractals and end up with a 70mb file from 14mb tiff original. There is no loss in quality and if you have to crop an original image there should still be enough say for a front cover for magazine use if using GF.

Regards

David
 
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walrichard

> [David, You have done me a great service. I did not know of GF and now > I do. I shall get a copy.]
 
E

Elitephoto9

Greetings to All Olympus Users
I started using Olympus back in 1972 and was on their VIP program until 1988. I love my OM1's, OM2's OM3's and all my OM lenses, flashes,and drives and did a lot of great work with them, they never let me down, but when Minolta came out with their AF system and they offered me a very nice deal I made the switch and stayed until about a year ago. Great people I'll miss them. About a year ago I went digital and give the E1 a spin, so I'm back and Minotla is now out of business. Olympus offer me a very good deal and to this day have been very good to me. I still have my OM1, my 24 f2.8 and my 50 f1.4 from 1972. I guess I'm back where I belong and this is a good place to end my career. It's been a great and wonderful ride, a lot of great people I wouldn't trade it for anything....WOW it's been fun.

Why Olympus.......the M1 and OM system was the Leica of the 35mm slr's. It was the best. I'm sorry they didn't keep up when it came to the AF, but their back so let see what they can do. I wish they had made the new system using the OM mount.
The E1 is as smooth as my OM1 and just feels right. The glass is also very good and give great results.
It's been a long road, it's good to be home.
Have fun
Roger }}}
 

omtech1

Well-Known Member
> If you ever need sevice on your OM stuff, give me a shout. I was a technician at Olympus in Woodbury NY from 1977 through 85 nad have been servicing OM exclusively ever since.
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rey

New Member
Why did I choose Olympus?

Well, I once did alot of field work (archaeology) in exotic locations (South America). I needed a camera to record my work and travels. When I was in Grad School, my mom passed me an old Oly OMG to use. It took great photos. A few years ago, I decided to get more into photography. Naturally, I stayed with Olympus and I picked up a couple of OM-1 bodies and some prime lenses. I like the OM-1 because it is light, compact, durable, and mechanical, which translates into easy to repair. I also shoot rangefinders and, believe me, this camera is as close as an SLR comes to a leica M (Leica R's are huge). The OM's handle great, accept wonderful lenses, and should last a lifetime or two. If I buy another body, I may try an OM4.
 

weedram

Well-Known Member
I originally chose Olympus because my photography tutor did. He shot Leica M for rangefinder, and had purchased a Rolleiflex SL35 system for SLR use. That camera was very disappointing to him; the original bodies were not reliable, so the Zeiss glass was pretty much wasted.

He then purchased an OM-1 and was quite pleased. At the time, I was working with only a Konica C35V, which was a good camera but too limiting for my growth. I bought an OM-1 with 50mm f.18 (the first "silver nose" version", but really wished I could afford a Leica. David, my tutor, assured me that the OM was a great system with great glass. Coming from a working photographer that I greatly respected, I was quite pleased, and have never regretted the choice.

Today I am going on a wine tour, and will take an Olympus 35 SP (rangefinder -- G.Zuiko 42mm/f1.7) and an OM-1 with Zuiko 21mm/f2. It's a perfect pair. And as you say, the OM is as close to RF as you can get.

Earl
Waiting on Maitani
 

omtech1

Well-Known Member
> If you look at used plain OM-4s do this simple test to see if it has one of the low battery drain circuit boards. Turn on the battery check and leave it on. Battery check will turn off automatically if a low drain board is installed. If check stays on, you have an original board which can mean considerably shorter battery life. John, CPS, Inc.
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omtech1

Well-Known Member
> Sorry, I should have said that if you have the new style circuit, the battery check will stop beeping automatically (and LED will turn off) after about 30 seconds. John, CPS. Inc.
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I originally bought a Minoilta and Rokkor lenses back in 1979. Great lenses, but relied too much on plastic parts so I traded it all in and purchased 2 Nikon FMs and Nikkor lenses. Great cameras, great lenses but then I discoverd Olympus OM - small and light-weight - it was perfect for me. Nikon was moving towards auto everything and Olympus was doing brilliant things like the spot metering and highlight/shadow metering.

When digital came along I was quite angry at Olympus for not supporting their lenses in the new 4/3s system so I put my efforts into learing about Nikon and Canon digital. While still using film, I checked out everything about Canon and Nikon digtal systems and guess what - I opted for Olympus for two simple reasons: (1) I could buy two zooms and have every focal length from 28mm to 400mm at f/2.8-3.5; (2) the E-1 was a weather-sealed workhorse built much better than the similarly-priced Canon & Nikon offerings.

I have never looked back and despite all that has been written about Canon and Nikon, their features, system, lenses and cost - the E-1 performs as well as anything else out there with the same 2 lenses I bought 3 years ago. It took Canikon 2 years to put out similar wideangles and they still haven't come out with a telephoto zoom that is as good in quality as the 50-200 at the same price.

Let's face it, Olympus will never be as popular as Nikon and Canon. I don't htink they spend 1/10th the amount on advertising as Canikon. Most people respond to popular things and feel they need to own the big brand name. Fair enough. No doubt, Canikon make excellent equipment and if they were the only choices around I would be perfectly happy with them. But there is something about a niche-marketing company like Olympus that is attractive. They are doing things not to pander to the masses, necessarily, but to do things well. Sure I, too, would like to have Image Stabilisation and tracking auto-focus, but I have worked in photography for almost 30 years without it and my shots haven't suffered. I'm Olympus will have both of these one day (maybe sooner than later) - I'm willing to wait because the system I have now is doing what I want it to, beautifully.

--Terry McDonald
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