Did Olympus make a 'professional' 35mm camera?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by gordonbennett, May 11, 2019.

  1. Sneaky tip on de-silivered OM prisms, - the consumer oriented OM-10/20/30 cameras used the same pentaprism but did not use the the rotting foam. So you can pick up a working or non-working OM-10 or 20 for next to nothing, steal the pentaprism from it and put in in your OM-1 or OM-2.

    The other OM design flaw was the accessory shoe. They're plastic and almost all of them you see around are cracked. The top of the camera is just like a log splitter and when people cranked those shoes down too tight, - they split. Usually it's just cosmetic, but sometimes worse.

    In spite of these flaws I love the OMs.
  2. You must have much stronger grip than I do. ;)

    I was curious and just tried that with two different Zuikos. The rings didn't distort at all, at least if they did it wasn't enough to notice and didn't have any effect on focusing. But they designed a lot of them, and maybe some were more prone to that problem.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  3. FWIW, so that I can experience both ends of what's being discussed here, I also have an OM-1 kit on the way. Hopefully I won't have to deal with de-silvering.

    I've mostly avoided it on Nikon Fs also, and I think I'm up to about 10 of those. Unfortunately, the one desilvered one I DO have is a black FTN-I need to pick up a spare FTN from somewhere or another and swap the front plates on them since I think that's the only part on black ones that's different. I did have a candidate for the swap that came on a 6.4 million F that I found a really nice flag Photomic for, but let it sit too long and a motor driven F with an F2 DL-1 followed me home one day(and needed a prism after I robbed the DL-1 to put on an F2).
  4. I think I'm up to about 5 OM-1 or OM-2 s that have have passed through may hands now. Two have had the desilvered problem though one was very minor, - just a bit on the bottom. Other one was pretty bad and I replaced the prism with one from an OM-10.
  5. Gary Naka likes this.
  6. Well, by chance both of my cameras arrived today-the OM-1 and OM-4. The OM-1 came with a 50mm f/1.8 "Made in Japan", which some quick internet research tells me is considered better than the plain "Japan" one, along with a 28mm f/3.5 and a Kiron 80-200mm f/4.5. I'm usually not wild about 3rd party zooms from this era, but I know the Kirons are generally well regarded. The OM-1 came with a 50mm f/1.8(Japan) along with a Spiratone 28mm that I'll probably never use and a Spiratone 80-200mm f/4.5.

    In any case, both came right to life with fresh batteries(alkaline 76s in the OM-4, a single zinc-air in the OM-1) and seem accurate enough. I ran a roll of TMAX-100 through the OM-4, and I'll be anxious to see what it looks like. The OM-1 had a roll of Gold 200 pre-loaded in it(which I found out the hard way) so I'll finish that off and see what happens.

    I have to say I like the handling of both bodies. I was glad that my OM-1 prism was clear, and the viewfinder is indeed big and beautiful. Depending on how much I like the system, I'll need to round it out with a 20mm and/or 24mm, plus at least some moderate Zuiko teles.
    gordonbennett likes this.
  7. If you decide to keep the OM-1 you'll want to remove the foam on top of the prism.

    A lens that has turned out to be one of my favorites is the Zuiko 135mm f3.5. It came with two other lenses that I was more interested in. The image quality is good but probably not as good as what you'd get from a more premium lens. What I like about it though is its relatively compact size and the focal length seems to be about right for the kinds of pictures I like to take. The built in retractable hood is a nice touch. They can be had for very little money.
  8. A very successful London fashion photographer named David Bailey used Olympus cameras exclusively. He was the photographer that the film Blow Up was loosely based on. He photographed many of the most beautiful and famous women of his time (the sixties). Dennis Stock (Provence Memories) also used Olympus OM cameras to produce a number of beautiful books about the south of France and New England. A nice feature is that he annotates the books with camera and lens data. I used Olympus OM1, OM2 and OM4 for a while, wonderful little cameras with very excellent lenses. In the digital world John Isaac and Scot Bourne stand out as outstanding users of Olympus OMD EM1X cameras.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  9. My brother worked as a photojournalist from the early '80s to the mid-'90s. He used all Nikon kit (not strictly pro, though, he preferred the FM2n with an MD-12 motor drive). I only ever remember him praising one other camera, and that was the Olympus OM (either the OM1 or 2, I can't remember). I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually want to see what appealed to him about this camera system and I bought an OM1n. I think it's a great camera and I love the fact that it is part of a system. I like the looks, the compactness and the results, which I can't fault.

    If this isn't a pro camera, I'm a banana.
    denny_rane likes this.
  10. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... how would you
    like to come over for
  11. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    gordonbennett likes this.
  12. OK, it's a pretty short list, then. I like that; I tend to favour the underdog.
  13. My second SLR was the OM-4. It was the advertising showing adventure photography that grabbed me.
    Fiddlefye likes this.
  14. I feel for Olympus. Seems it is always struggling for a bit of respect despite the wonderful cameras it has made over the years. I have an Om1n, 2n, RC rangefinder and the 1st version EM1. None of these cameras will be sold anytime soon. Good stuff. Pros need what they need but you know there will always be a bit of an ego appeal carrying big DSLR's and lenses.
  15. I could have written exactly the same thing. Second SLR, and the advertising.
  16. Maybe I'm just getting lost in the thread, but it looks like you did write exactly the same thing. :)
  17. Where's the :smackhead: smiley? It looks like I'm the one getting lost!
  18. I gor the prism in my SL-2 resilvered last summer. Pain finding anyone to do a proper job these days, but it worked out nicely. The SL has no issues so far, nor does my OM-1. Plenty of Canons with similar issues according to my tech (who sees them all)....
  19. Since this thread has popped up again, I also want to mention that although no OMs had interchangeable prisms/waist level finders they did have the Varimagni Finder which provided an additional level of versatility.
    Fiddlefye likes this.
  20. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Just a follow-up to my earlier comment about OM cameras being favored with some notable mountaineers. I was just reading First Across the Roof of the World by Peter Hillary and Graeme Dingle, about their first-ever (5,000 km) transverse of the Himalayas back in 1981. Olympus supplied expedition members with cameras and lenses including the OM-1, OM-2, XA, and XA2. Many photos in the book were taken with the 28mm, 50mm macro, and 75-150mm Zuiko lenses.

    Allen Steck is also shown with an OM-1 in the book Storm and Sorrow in the High Pamirs, about the ill-fated 1974 joint Soviet/US expedition.

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