When a Camera or Lens reach the cult status

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by baachitraka, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I was wondering why my OM-1n have cult following so I am thinking when a camera or lens have cult status or following.
     
  2. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    Some cameras just get it all right the first time -- usability, quality, endurance, a nice elegant feel that you naturally love. OM1 is one such camera. Leica M3 is another, early Nikons and so on and so forth.

    Almost a pity they felt a need to come out with new models. Except for adding meters and, of late, that whole digital thing, Leica almost hasn't.
     
  3. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That camera had a cult following way back in the early 1980s; In our bicycle touring days criss-crossing the country with friends, I have owned an OM1N, OM2N, OM4, OMTi... (the OM4/Ti is my pick for its brilliant multi-spot/averaging metering, still on a par today with the best spot meters) ... virtually any of the OM cameras still have a keen following, especially with digital-to-analogue students/hipsters. It's the quality and small footprint — always friendly to people with small hands, even if the top plate layout was a little unorthodox (well, so too was the OM4). And lenses can still command a pretty penny, though you don't see many of them.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    With the OM1, Olympus seemed to come out of nowhere to a position of some prominence in the 35mm SLR market.

    Suddenly, there was another professional system in the marketplace, and because of its size it was significantly different when compared with the rest of the marketplace.

    Early adopters were almost religious about their appreciation for their cameras and lenses.

    Other brands responded by either reducing the size of their competing models or adding smaller models to their line.
     
  5. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    I don't think myth will ever produce a cult following, the product has to be really good. And, the OM's are really good.
    I have 2 of them, and a Canon AE-1, and a Konica Autoreflex and 2 Pentaxes, and the OM's do 90% of the shooting. The lenses are compact, high quality and almost all use the same filter size. I can carry 2 bodies and 2 lenses all day and not get shoulder sag.
    Olympus just plain got it right.
     
  6. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I remember when the OM1 first came out. I think I saw my first one in 1972. Other than its size, I considered it otherwise pretty neat, but just another brand that wasn't a Nikon or a Pentax, which were the leading 2 brands. I never considered at that time, that it would indeed withstand the test of time and emerge as it has as a very respectable camera line indeed.
     
  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    What a pity that they have gone down the pan since.

    However for me it was the Pentax Spotmatic series. The popular advert at the time for them was:- 'Just hold a Pentax'. It was just right, a bit bigger than the Olympus which suited me because they were just a bit small for my hands. I tried an OM1n and an OM2n and then went back to Pentax but with a Model KX which was even more perfect. Try and find a decent KX these days it is a bit like looking for Rocking Horse droppings.
     
  8. Chamaeleo

    Chamaeleo Member

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    Remember that when the OM1 was launched, Olympus was building on its reputation with the high-end half-frame Pen series, like the Pen FT my wife had. The FT was a super camera but half-frame was actually a pain - too many shots on a colour film, difficulty getting films of choice processed and mounted, lack of full-frame quality in terms of grain. So when the full-frame OM1 appeared there was general rejoicing and buying. My boss bought one of the first (replacing his Praktica and lenses). We were blown away by its size, quality and handling. Olympus really did make a winner. Later, I had an OM2n, OM2SP (the only camera I have had that broke at a key moment) and OM4Ti (the best of them all). I only sold them when I realised that life with autofocus was much easier. It is interesting to see how the makers of some cult cameras (Pentax as well as Olympus) just took the wrong decisions that left them very much as also rans a decade or so later. I suspect cult status comes from brilliant industrial design that manages to combine ergonomics, elegance in looks and operation, and quality.
     
  9. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    is the second half of this strange sentence a question? if so, i can tell you why i light a candle for my F2 in every forsaken chapel in iroise--when i dropped one on the ferry to ouessant last month, there was a dent in the steel manhole cover... for the life of me i could not find the point of impact on the F2

    :laugh:

    an attempt at generalization--it fits the hand and does the job. always

    can you name a "cult camera" that explodes when you hit that button?

    :cool:
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    You are badly mistaken. See the silly prices that f/1.4 and f/1.9 Boyer Saphir lenses bring at auction. These are not particularly good lenses.
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    OP, Vilk, opinions about the OM system differ. And we're not all equally exacting.

    Back when, one of my friends sold his Nikon system (F2 and many Nikkors) and replaced it with an OM (sorry, don't recall which one) and comparable Olympus lenses. Not long afterwards he sold his Oly gear and replaced his Nikon kit. He liked the OM's size and lightness, found that his Olympus lenses weren't up to the Nikkors he'd had.

    Re Olympus history and all that, the Pen FT's metering system was not user friendly. It was TTL, stop down IIRC. The meter needle pointed to a number (1 to 7), after that one had to take the camera down from the eye and set the camera's aperture scale to that number. And then one could shoot. Not a good way to work.

    Oly's first 24x36 cameras were larger heavier Spotmatic clones with, like the Spotmatic, stop-down metering. When new they were seen as low second tier or high third tier cameras. The better grades of OM were seen, when new, as much superior to their predecessors.
     
  12. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    c'mon, the first google links are all ebay, that's a clear cult no-no, no salvation on ebay :laugh:
     
  13. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    sure. but when we start talkin' cult, we should be--cults are, you're this (never that) or bust

    the nikon cult is much a taurus thing, does the job, bug off. (and they know it)

    olympus is kinda gemini--flair, but show me the money

    :D
     
  14. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    For those of us who have the lenses to sell eBay is the path to heaven. For cultists who want them and have the money the keys to the kingdom are available on eBay and, sometimes, from houses such as Westlicht.

    I didn't mention fast lenses from TTH, but then some of them really are good.
     
  15. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, what is a Gemini? Do you mean the second-rate Isuzu thingy? I never thought they had much flair, even the version breathed on by Lotus.

    Nikon cult? I wasn't aware of one. All of the Nikon users I know take the position that their equipment works as expected, is usually long-lived, and what more could one want? They're not at all like the Leicanuts, who seem to believe that the best defense is a strong offense. And they can be offensive. OM cultists are much more polite. I suppose that a true Leicanut would say that an OM cultist has much to be polite about.

    I don't think that Ford, at least in the US, has ever made a car in the Nikon class. Honda Accord, even more the Prelude, is probably a better parallel. Competent, reliable.
     
  16. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    long story. zodiac. predestination. tauri pull the cart and dig in, gemini skim the cream and break :D

    i always thought my F2s were land cruisers. until i drove one :whistling:
     
  17. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    :wink:
     
  18. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I don't want any cult following me around when I photograph, think of the mess.
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Before cameras, Olympus competed with Nikon & Zeiss making microscopes & precision optical dinguses(dingi?)
    The first full frame SLR foray was the FTL with a locking screw mount lens. Using my mighty powers of recollection(HAH!) it wasn't compatible with SOME other M42 lenses.

    It was a bowser and lasted for about two years.
     
  20. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    Dan F, I see your point.
     
  21. pen s

    pen s Member

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    I started with Miranda and didn't want anything bigger. The Nikon FTn was the thing everyone lusted after but was too big and heavy for me. Also had a couple of Pen F bodies. They didn't have built-in meters but I was used to a hand held incident meter anyway. When the OM-1 was introduced I bought one as soon as I could afford it. My first accessory was a 1-4 plain matte screen, I'd had one in the Miranda and still prefer them over any micro prism or split wedge screens. (Now I use 1-10 screens, plain matte with grid lines) Never cared for the later single digit OM's as the humble OM-1 or 1n has always fulfilled my needs and have been not too expensive on the used market.

    As to what is a better camera, Pentax or Nikon or Canon or Minolta or Topcon or Konica or Olympus, that is a meaningless question. These were all top notch systems, (although Topcon suffered from dearth of lenses). Each had both advantages and liabilities, strong points and weak points. Some have aged better than others to be sure and some were made in huge numbers and are more available today (I'm looking at you Nikon).

    So.....cult or no cult, if you can, try out several then pick what you like. Fine 35mm film SLR's are still a great deal.