The Olympus OM2-sp: any comments?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Galah, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I have recently acquired an Olympus OM2-SP and would like to hear opinions of this camera from other users, please. :smile:

    I have put a film through this one and have the prints, which seem -to me- to be very well exposed -using the various exposure modes available on the camera.

    So far, the light meter, the exposure modes, the battery indicator, the viewfinder light, the delayed shutter release, and the audible signal all appear to be working (without shorting out the battery:tongue: which, I understand, can be an issue). It came with a G Zuiko 1.4 lens, skylight filter and ready case and was in excellent cosmetic condition.:smile:

    However, there was a problem: once I had it at home and put a film in it (and the camera has gone back to see what to do about it), it skips frames. That is, after taking a shot, when you wind on (manually), the "interlock" appears to malfunction. Consequently, I lost 6 frames out of 24, as the shutter didn't cock and fire before winding on to the next frame (sometimes several in a row).:sad:

    This is something that was not evident without a film in the camera. Without film it appeared to work flawlessly: no winding or shutter operation issues whatever. With a second film, it just kept winding the film through without cocking the shutter, so I applied the rewind button and rescued the unexposed film for later use. At this point, the rewind button became stuck in the "down" position and the winder remained stuck in a half-way position, with the rewind button still down.:sad:

    (We are now waiting to see if it can be fixed -by the supplier- or if I get my money back: there's no problems there) :smile:

    Other than that, it would have appeared to be a desirable unit in excellent shape, and I'm still hoping it can be fixed.

    I am inviting any comments/experiences regarding the OM2-SP from other users.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I bought mine new oh so many years ago, and it is certainly one of my favourite cameras. IIRC I traded in my original OM1 (non-MD) for it.

    The spot meter function isn't as advanced as in something like an OM-3 or OM-4, but it is very useful.

    The built in hot shoe plus OTF metering for both ambient and flash are both very good.

    The aperture preferred auto exposure doesn't have the incredible range that my OM-2n has, but the range is extensive.

    The program mode is pretty basic, but certainly convenient.

    The camera is essentially as rugged as the other professional bodies in the Olympus system.

    The camera has the proprietary off camera flash link cord connection, which works very well with my Olympus T-32 flash.

    I have only two real concerns, plus one potential concern.

    1) The camera only came in black, and tends to easily show brassing;

    2) You need a good source of silver oxide batteries, because the camera really doesn't ever turn off. This site has worked well for me:

    http://www.sr44.com/; and

    3) The electrics/electronics in the camera are both robust, and unrepairable. If the main circuits go, you cannot get the camera repaired.

    Matt
     
  3. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    My favorite OM. I have 6 or 7 of them. I've had a couple die on me over the years, however it is my easy to use "go to" camera. Usually has an 85mm f2 attached to front, however the kit that sits on the sofa in my motel room tonight also incldes the 21mm f2 Zuiko and a 17mm f3.5 Tamron. If the circuit dies, the camera is dead. Problems other than dead circuits go to zuiko.com to be made new again. Few disappointments with the OM 2S. Bill Barber
     
  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    I picked up an absolutely ugly beater OM-2Sp which looks like it took a hammer shot to the front of the prism housing. It works great, and because of it's really ugly battle scar, it cost me around $20.
     
  5. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Had one years ago but the battery problem was a PITA so I sold it and got an OM1
    instead.
    Now Im a Nikon guy but I must admit Im tempted by the OM3
    Best regards
     
  6. E76

    E76 Member

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    From what I understand, storing the camera with the shutter set to one of the mechanical speeds (the red B or 60) will keep the battery from being drained. I've only recently acquired an OM-2S Program myself, and obviously haven't had a chance to test this fully, but it seems like it will work.
     
  7. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Agreed: from my limited experience, so far, the metering/viewfinder display switches off after 2 mins and can be reactivated by a light touch on the shutter button. Obviously, in storage, there is very little to prevent the meter being activated constantly by accidental contact with the case etc. It was recommended to me that, when in storage, the shutter be set at one of the "manual" settings (60 or B)

    Other than that -in theory- the camera is supposedly a very "light" user of battery power, although I have read that malfunctions of the viewfinder light and the battery charge testing circuits can drain the battery in "one go".

    Personally, in my very short experience, I had no problem with excessive battery drain.
     
  8. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    I find the wind-on problem you mention in a lot of 2S, 3, 3Ti, 4, 4T, 4Ti. What can happen eventually, is that (since the wind mechanism is not automatically latching after one wind stroke) some of the wind gears reset to a start position under spring tension, but the other wind gears catch them before they stop and the whole camera jams up. Repair involves disassembly, degreasing and rebuilding wind emchanism. John, www.zuiko.com
     
  9. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    PS Soeren mentioned considering purchase of OM-3. Just so you know, most of them have same battery drain as OM-2S. John
     
  10. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks all for responding, especially to you, John, for your illuminating comments! :smile:

    Oh, well, it doesn't appear likely that this particular copy will be "a goer" for me, but we'll see when I meet up with the seller on Friday.

    He does have, also, a silver OM2 and a black OM2n, so we may swap over for one of them instead of the OM2-sp. Which one would you suggest, John?:confused:
     
  11. glockman99

    glockman99 Member

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    I also had an OM-2sp for about a year, but I guess I was smart-enough to sell it before I had ANY problems with it. Unless you NEED automatic exposure, get yourself a OM-1n, as that is one excellent mechanical camera.
     
  12. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    I love my 2 - OM2's - I never use the program mode. The Olympus system micro/macro rocks.
     
  13. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Darned
    Thanks John. Saved me the money and probbly made me stay with Nikon :D
    Best regards
     
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  15. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Great news: I just had a phone call from my supplier to say the problem -apparently attributed to hardened lubricant- has been "fixed" and the camera is working again.:D

    Thank you all for your helpful and informative contributions. :smile:

    BTW, John, I would still value your opinion as to whether -all things being equal, and in general- the OM2 or the OM2n would be the better buy. :smile:
     
  16. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I have just the regular OM2 (I'm not sure what the difference is.) I paid $130 for the body & 50/1.8.
    I'm not a fan of SLRs but the OM2 is nice to use: it's quiet, small and the optics are excellent.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    John's website may already have your answer :smile::

    http://www.zuiko.com/index_031.htm

    Matt
     
  18. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Dear Matt,

    Thanks for the suggestion: I did follow up the link. However, it does not indicate what John's own preference would be vis-a-vis the two options, OM2 or OM2n, or why.

    In essence, it would be interesting to hear from an experienced specialist repairer which -in his opinion- of the two cameras -on average- is the more reliable long term proposition.

    What I hear, so far, is that the OM3's, and 4's (and above) have inherent design flaws that lead to longer term problems.

    The OM1's have the issue of the "obsolete" Mercury cell.

    That just leaves the various OM2's: which one of these is the more reliable/durable?:smile:
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Galah:

    I think you may be overestimating the importance of the battery drain problems for the 2sp, 3 and 4 - at least in most cases.

    The reason I say that is that the batteries involved - MS-76 or the various other applicable designations - are currently easily obtainable and via the internet cheap, and I would expect will remain that way. In addition, as they are silver oxide, they store very well.

    For that reason, I would suggest that if you like the feature set on any of those cameras, then buy and use one.

    As for the OM1s, I spent $30.00 or so for an adapter, and can now use my OM1n with readily available silver oxide batteries. John can either sell you a similar adapter (IIRC), or modify the OM1 or OM1n to the same effect (as can others).

    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that John's answer to your question will be something like:

    1) unless you need the extreme metering range of the OM2, than reliability will depend:
    a) first, on what condition the camera is in;
    b) second, given similar condition, how old the camera is (i.e. a high serial number OM2n will be more reliable than a low serial number one; a low serial number OM2n will be more reliable than a high serial number OM2, and a high serial number OM2 will be more reliable than a low serial number OM2).

    When you consider this advice, you should remember that my advice is coloured by the fact that I recently sold my OM1 (with battery adapter), which means that I am down to just:smile: 5 bodies - 2 OMGs/OM20s, 1 OM1n, 1 OM2sp, and 1 OM2n.

    With the cost of most of these cameras being what they are (the OM3 being a possible exception) you might want to consider buying an additional body like an OM1n to complement the OM2sp (which I would recommend you keep and use).

    You will note that I have 2 OMGs - don't ignore the advantages of some of the Olympus "consumer" models. The OMG/20 is a refined version of the OM10 - light, very effective, and cheap - and has most of the design problems of the OM10 worked out.

    Matt
     
  20. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Dear Matt,

    Thank you for your careful and considered advice.:smile:

    I already have: an OM2 (may need a CLA, "new" prism, adjusting the lightmeter -as it seems to underexpose by up to 2 stops- & new seals) to bring it to perfection, an OM2n (perfect), an OM10 with winder (honest wear & tear, but functions perfectly), and now an OM2sp (brought back to life, apparently), as well as a swag of OM lenses. I do intend to keep all of these for now at least.

    It's just that -currently- there are available a silver OM2 and a black OM2n, both in apparently good working and cosmetic order, and I wondered -if I was to double up- which would be the better to choose.

    Which do you think is the better model?:smile:
     
  21. bpaties

    bpaties Member

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    Hmmmm ... my 2c, for what it is worth outside of Australia ...

    It would be a very tough call to make if I had to choose between two of my children and take either the OM2n or OM2sp. I have never had trouble with either of the 2sp's that I have or the 2n. If anything, the 2n winder is much smoother than the sp and its meter takes a bit of getting used to after using a 2sp/4/4ti for a while.

    If I was forced to choose, I would probably take the 2sp if I thought that I might need a flash (it has a permanent hot shoe) and the 2n for other times. The only exception is if I am taking one as a backup to an OM4/4ti where I find it easier to switch between a 4 and 2sp.

    As far as battery consumption goes, I get between 6 and 12 months out of a 2sp battery and always carry spares no matter what body I have ... batteries are very easy to get (I use SR44 for all my Oly bodies) and this has never been an issue on any shoot - although sometimes for fun I do take the batteries out of the 2sp/4/4ti and shoot a role at 1/60 just to practice what I would do if I did get stranded without any power (there is no facility on my 2n to do this other than on the "B" setting) ...

    Both models are a joy to use and carry with a selection of lenses and anyone is likely to be equally happy with both.
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If faced with this question, I would base my decision on:

    1) what flash equipment I already have (and what shoe is on the camera(s); and
    2) if flash doesn't matter, I would chose the OM2n, because it is newer, and therefore slightly more refined (very slight differences) and slightly less likely to be worn out.

    In my case, I have a bunch of shoe 4s, and I have T32s, T20s and a Metz 60CT2 with Olympus adapter, so the flash considerations would cause me to choose an OM2n.

    Matt
     
  23. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks for your insights, bpaties, it is always pleasant to share an interest!:smile:
     
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  24. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks for persevering with me, Matt:smile:.


    Currently, I have no OM flash equipment, preferring to use "available light' with my OM's.

    However, when I do need to resort to flash, I generally use my (very nice and easy to use) Olympus iS1000 ( http://zuserver2.star.ucl.ac.uk/~rwesson/esif/om-sif/is-series/is-series.htm ), which has both an excellent on-board as well as an excellent accessory flash (the G40): both of which are able to work collaborately together at the same time, and results in very satisfactory exposures, although it does rather make me feel like Buck Rogers:D.

    Yes, all in all, the OM2n does seem a very good choice.
     
  25. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    I've had my OM-2S for 23 1/2 years now and other than the ISO selector dial being flaky (common dirty-contacts problem every OM-2 numbered body has), it has performed flawlessly. It's due for another CLA (third one), and it'll be good to go for however long I still shoot film. It already has over 100,000 pictures taken on it.

    My take is that the OM-2S is ultra-reliable if you have one that has proven to have worked over a period of time. What is happening, though, is that you'll see pristine OM-2S bodies for sale which look nice and everything, but the electronics may be either dead or almost ready to die. There was an "infant mortality" with the OM-2S and if a camera was to fail it would most likely fail within the first 50 rolls. As mine has had over 3000 rolls run through it, I'm pretty confident that it'll stay working. As "closet queens" owned by gear-heads or "I bought it for that vacation to Yosemite back in the summer of 1985", most of them have been lucky to have more than 10 rolls of film ever run through them. I consider those "high risk".

    I did have the flash circuit replaced in mine. The visual indication that this has been done is that the in-viewfinder flash-ready light is red instead of green. This revised circuit changed the powering of this flash-ready light from the camera's internal batteries to the flash itself. There is voltage present on the hot-shoe pins and this voltage is used, by the revised circuit, to power the indicator light. This was a HUGE improvement in in-camera battery life for me, because of the amount of TTL-OTF flash I used.

    One extremely important note about batteries. The OM-2S MUST use silver-oxides, not alkaline or lithium batteries. The OM-2S does not tolerate the voltage drop of the other batteries.

    Even though I now primarily use the OM-3Ti and OM-4T(i) bodies, the OM-2S' control layout and ergonomics is superior.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2009
  26. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    In my ON 2SP, some of the sections in the display don't work anymore, making it difficult to use.
    Apart from that, great camera.