OM4 alternatives

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by pcsaba1981, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. pcsaba1981

    pcsaba1981 Member

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi All,

    This is my first post here in this really nice forum. I'm shooting film for about 4 month. I'm a happy owner of a nice OM2n camera, and I really like it. I learned about photography much more during this small period than with my DSLR in years before!

    I've also realized the drawbacks as well. The first big drawback for me is scanning which is a pain. :sad: The second big drawback that I want more and more equipment.

    To be honest I'd like to have more than one camera bodies for different types of films. One for Color-slide, one for fast B/W and one for slow B/W.

    I'd like to have a second body with spot metering abilities. Here it is my issue: I find my logical choice the OM3/4 family too expensive (although they are very attractive cameras). For me Canon EF mount is also an alternative, but I don't know too much about these cameras. I'm looking for a cheap one (less than 100 euros/dollars) with spot metering abilities, if there are any. What's your experience, is it possible?

    My last secret wish is a portable medium format camera. It's a completely unknown territory for me. Any ideas with these constrains (spot metering, reasonable size and price (max 2-300 euros))?
     
  2. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

    Messages:
    729
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To keep it simple, the most obvious solution would be to add a second OM body. If you find the OM3/4 too expensive, maybe an OM2sp can fit your need. It is pretty similar to an ONM2 with spot metering capability.

    The question now is to find one 100% working. I am not sure these cameras age well so it could be a challenge.

    Other solutions exist (Nikon, Pentax, you name it) but you lose the compatibility with what you already have.

    For $200-300, I am not sure you will find the MF camera you want as such camera would be rather recent and would command a higher price tag.

    Take care... and welcome to the forum!
     
  3. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    lancashire,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ha Ha GAS GAS GAS!!

    Seriously, before I built a darkroom, I used a lab which would develop and scan, so I got back negs and files. I hate home-scanning too.

    Once you have built your darkroom (!!) you will find at least B&W is easy to process and print yourself. I still send colour out, and doubt I will ever bother doing my own colour processing.

    Re portable MF camera. TLRs like the Yashicas are good fun, good quality and easily fit your budget - but lightweigt and easily portable. Some have meters, but not spot. I have just bought a Mamiya 645 with two lenses for £150. This is (reasonably) portable with a prism finder and in-built metering, but again not spot. Bigger and heavier than a TLR but with the benefit of easily changeable lenses and SLR handling.
     
  4. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Buy a spotmeter.
     
  5. Soeren

    Soeren Member

    Messages:
    2,439
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Naestved, DK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Never had that issue when shooting OM cameras. I started out with an OM10 and after it broke I got me an OM1. Then I bought the OM2SP which I sold again after a year or so due to the battery consumption. I replaced it with an OM2n and I never missed the spotmetering function. Mostly I carried 3 lenses. 28mm, 50mm and 135mm but I also had the 300mm f/4,5 though it saw little use.
    For odd reasons I would like to get an Olympus again but Im put of by the lens prices which, to me at least, seems higher than the compareable nikors though I have seen 180mm f/2,8 that wont break the bank.
    Best regards
     
  6. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,462
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Hill C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OM 2S is the answer and you may still want to go to an OM 3 or 4 in the future. I have all of the single digit OM series of bodies and several of the OM 2S. It is my "go to" body. The downside is that when the meter goes, there is no fix. The circuits are no longer available. You should be able to get one for under $100. Good camera. Bill Barber
     
  7. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You will struggle to find a MF camera with built-in spotmeter. Most of them are intended to be used with a handheld meter, although metered prisms are usually available.

    I just use the beeCam LightMeter app on my phone with my Bronica ETR, it's an incident meter and seems accurate enough for negative film providing you work within its limitations (eg metering from an area with the same light levels as the subject).

    €200-€300 should bag you a Bronica ETRS or ETRSi with 75mm lens, waist level finder and 120 film back. If you're lucky you'll have some money left over to spend on another lens or more film backs. The interchangeable backs are brilliant as you can just swap between them in seconds according to the situation - I tend to keep one loaded with Ilford HP5, one with FP4 and one with either Pan F or Delta 3200 depending on mood. One thing - if you buy one with a prism viewfinder (or decide that you don't get on with the waist level finder) then you will probably want the speed grip, as I find it almost impossible to hold the camera firmly without the grip if a prism finder is fitted. The waist level finder is fine without as you hold the camera lower and can therefore get a better grip.
     
  8. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Battery consumption with the OM2SP and the OM4 was not one of their finer points. The later OM4 models and the OM4Ti were OK after the circuit boards were modified. There was a way to tell which model of the OM4 was OK but I cannot recall at this minute.

    Mind you I did have reasonably good luck with the OM2SP when I remembered to turn the Shutter speed ring around the lens to the 'B' position when I had finished and this seemed to stop all battery usage when it wasn't being used and not just 'switched off' and the batteries lasted a lot longer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2012
  9. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

    Messages:
    216
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Maarssen (NL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am not an expert, but as far as I know there never were later OM-4 models that did not suffer from the battery drain problem. There are OM-4 camera's with updated electronics, but Olympus only replaced the boards of camera's that came in for repair. The way to find out if a OM-4 model has an updated circuit board is to switch the camera to battery check mode. If the battery is full, the camera beeps. If the beeping stops after 30 seconds or so, the battery has the updated board. If the beeping does not stop, the camera has not been updated. The OM-4T or OM-4Ti never suffered from the battery drain problem.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,824
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For clarity, the OM2-Sp and the OM-2S are one and the same camera - just sold into different markets.

    I've been using my OM-2s since the 1980s. I just buy the silver oxide batteries in quantity, on the internet, and keep 4 or more in my camera bag at all times.

    Each set tends to last a few months.
     
  11. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,316
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OM-2sp is one good camera, the batteries will last for two months even if you shoot intensely. Never hesitate to carry two or more battery pairs. OTF/TTF metering is very good and this camera goes really well with METZ CL-4 45 with an adapter too.

    * Do not illuminate the viewfinder, which eats the batteries.
    * Put it in B, when not in use.
     
  12. pen s

    pen s Member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Olympia, wa.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you like the OM-2n you have then just get another one or two bodies of the same. John Hermanson, well known expert on all things OM and repair guru for the Olympus OM system thinks the OM-2n is the best overall value in the OM line of cameras. Having three bodies that all operate the same way will also be a considerable advantage. The OM-2n's are also bargain's now on the used market.

    I have a OM-2sp that ate button cells. I never liked the feel of the body anyway but as a dedicated contraption builder fashioned an 'L' shaped grip for the camera that uses 2 AAA batteries to supply 3V to the greedy little beast. Now a set of AAA alkaline batteries will last 3~4 years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2012
  13. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm

    Do you know, I think you are right. I used to work for a dealer in 2000/2001 and he would not take in an OM4 2nd hand that had not been modified. I had forgotten exactly how to check.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Get a lightmeter. TLRs are a good choice for a medium format camera.

    Jeff
     
  16. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Just for information, the Minolta 7000i which takes expansion cards has the ability to average 7 spotmeter readings using the Spotmeter card. Only problem is that the camera is reasonably big, but if your hands are big it might work out for you. Fantastic viewfinder tho. Generally they in sell in the range of $20 to $35 for the body.
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,984
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Haaa,

    I brought my OM-4 in twice complaining of battery drain and they never replaced my board. Left me a note instead telling me my batteries were dead.

    In the long run, I grew experienced in the matter and only missed a few shots due to dead batteries. The secret? Use cheapest Alkaline A-76 and carry no fewer than 6 spares. Even on week-long backpacking trips, the camera never went through all 6.

    When it locks up dead battery... Just spin the shutter to the manual 60 or B and fire a shot. Change battery and be back in business with no drama.

    ---
    I'll second what E. von Hoegh said... get a spotmeter. Get one with a holster for your belt. Then you will have spotmetering for every camera you own - and you never have to use a built-in camera meter again.
     
  18. Trasselblad

    Trasselblad Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The above method doesn't work and does nothing to conserve battery life. The only thing it does is disable the metering system from turning on when you press the shutter button half-way down.

    However, battery technology has come a far way since the 80'ies. You can replace the SR/LR44 button cells with single-cell 3 volt Lithium ones which last a lot longer. My OM-3 "runs" for months at an end with such a cell. And my 4Ti hasn't needed a new cell for 14 months.
     
  19. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

    Messages:
    531
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    AFAIK the OM4Ti never suffered from this problem and I suspect the OM3 didn't either. The latter I really do not know. May be someone more knowledgeable can shed some light as I own one for some days now :smile:
     
  20. Halka

    Halka Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Location:
    SVK, EU
    Shooter:
    35mm
    There is also the Cosina-manufactured OM-2000 which takes the same lenses and has spot-metering (and is mechanical to boot). You will lose aperture-priority auto-exposure (at least I think) and flash TTL metering though. They seem to be quite cheap.
     
  21. Trasselblad

    Trasselblad Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You are right that the 4Ti had the new circuits with lower battery wear - according to 80ies standards - but the original series OM-3 had the same battery problem as the original OM-4 did. Maybe a bit less, since it only uses the power for metering, not shutter operation, but it still tends to go through batteries quite fast. Much faster than my 4Ti at any rate. The 3Ti was a totally different beast and I would almost trade my dogs for one of those...:smile:

    Congrats on your OM-3. I have owned mine since brand new in 1987. It has never failed me all around the world, in any climate, from -40C to +45C, dry or humid, rain or shine. Fantastic mechanical contraption. Pinnacle of Japanese mechanical micro-engineering (well almost, the 3Ti...) IMHO.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2012
  22. MikeTime

    MikeTime Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Contax S2 has spot metering. It's not an Olympus, and it's not cheap.
     
  23. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    I have one alternative not mentioned so far.

    It doesn't have spot metering but with its ESP matrix metering you might not need that.

    The OM-PC (OM-40).

    It is ~functionally~ the same as the OM-2S but the manual spot metering is replaced with ESP metering, which does wonderful things for slide films.

    So it depends on how you intend to use the spot meter. If it's to average out the scene or take into account backlit situations, you might consider an OM-PC.

    But, like the OM-2Sp, OM-PC seem to have a higher failure rate and for both models there are a lot of 'parts' cameras out there. They are practically unrepairable so be careful.
     
  24. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,374
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Spot metering and Matrix metering is 180 degrees from each other. One you make multi spot measurement and make your own decision the other the camera makes multi spot measurement and it decides how to set the exposure. The OM-2Sp seems a good alternative or simply use the OM-2n and use a hand held spot meter.
     
  25. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    As I said, it depends on how one intends to use a spot meter.

    One needs to ask one's self what the goal is that led one to the 'need' for spot metering in the first place.

    I can take a half dozen spot readings on my OM-4T, marking highlights and shadows, which could take a minute or two. Or I can let my OM-PC measure all those spots and come to the same conclusion, in a microsecond.

    I offer an alternative that may well suit the OP's goal.
     
  26. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I agree with this advice.
    A hand-held spot meter will solve your spot metering problems forever and with every camera.

    As you already have an Olympus system, buy only Olympus cameras and maintain interoperability between all cameras and all lenses. In the long run this will save you more money than the cost of a hand-held spot meter.