I'd be inclined to carry on using the OM1 with the winder, if you want to stick with 35mm. Or look at other brands for a larger camera body - the original Pentax K series bodies are pretty chunky and still give you full manual control, big viewfinders, etc.
If you want a larger camera which will improve the image quality then go medium format and the largest frame size you can afford (different cameras can produce 6x4.5, 6x7 or 6x9 frames on the same 120 film).
The Leicas just seem to be a huge amount of money, and I'm not convinced that they're enough of an improvement over the other recognised brands to be worth the extra you have to pay. I can find a minty Pentax KX or K2, have it CLA'd, buy two or three of the best lenses available for it and still spend less than a Leica body with a single lens. Those two are every bit as long-lived and robust as any other brand providing that you don't abuse them and have them properly serviced once in a while.
It depends on how it FEELS to you. If you think you would be more comfotable with a Leica then go for it. I love the OM system, it is a true system and it suits me. As a long time MF user my thinking is that if you choose to use small format, then the camera should match. I do not see the sense in using bigger and bulkier equipment than is required.
Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback and your objective point of view between these two different cameras. Every single line helped me a lot to understand pros and cons on every camera/lens
Originally Posted by jjphoto
The lenses I have (all Zuikos) are:
- 50mm F/1.8
- 28mm F/2.8
- 21mm F/3.5
- 135mm F/3.5
- 200mm F/4
- 65-200 F/4
Thanks for your feedback Alan. In regards to the MF I already own a Rolleicord Vb and I love the image quality from this beauty.
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
Really good point Allan. Thanks for your input.
Originally Posted by Allan Swindles
Thanks for the prompt reply and your useful feedback. You're right on the Leica prices compared to the added benefits.
Originally Posted by PentaxBronica
Thanks Ed, I'll check the OM4 as an option.
Originally Posted by Ed Bray
I haven't tried handling the R8 but I DO have an R4, which is a compact SLR along the lines of an Olympus OM-1, which is a sweet caemra but equally small...that was the point.
If it is a problem for you to hold the smaller cameras, may I humbly suggest you spring the same money and buy a Leicaflex SL2-- it is a big larger and easier to hold if you have larger hands, the controls are all mechanical, the camera is built like a tank and it can use all the current and past R lenses.
It also has, many feel, a superior ground glass focusing screen AND the match-needle metering is supremely accurate (once the camera is adjusted for new batteries) and much simpler and more instinctive to use than the later automatic systems.
the shutter on an sl-2 is also really really really nice -- mechanically damped, ultra-quiet, it was made to be as nearly as smooth and quite as an M as possible, and they came darn close.
With your range of lenses I would go for the OM-4Ti (UK model) as Ed suggested, but with a winder. This would give you a larger body and a good grip for your left hand, leaving your right hand free for the controls. If you decide to go down this route do be careful. In the UK the original OM-4 had battery problems. This was corrected with the introduction of the Ti model (UK) and I believe the T model in America, but do check out the US version as I have no firm knowledge of this. I use OM-2, 2N, and 4Ti bodies, the latter is without doubt, my favourite.
I think John (jjphoto) has made some good points. Plus, he has used both cameras.
I would highly recommend trying an R8 before you fully commit and get rid of the OM system.
You'll often hear people say that a certain camera "just feels right in my hands."
It sounds like you're in search of something larger. I've always felt that way about the Pentax MX. Lovely camera, but just a tad too small.
But definitely hold the R8 in your hands, if you can. I think it's a very handsome camera. Never held one, however.