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  1. #51

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    The OM-1 and OM-2 are indeed in many ways actually better-built than the OM-3/4 - anybody who's ever held one can tell. Smoother and possibly more solid. They were professional bodies, built to last. The OM-3/4Ti are just famous for having actual weather seals protecting the electronics etc, but they are not any stronger than their predecessors. My OM-3Ti lightly fell half a meter onto a tile floor (the joy of Cats...), and its (plastic) internal shutter speed coupling ring was buggered, needing replacement. I had to salvage one off an OM-2SP.

    Also, the OM-3Ti and OM-4Ti had revised circuit boards that completely solved the battery drain issue of the earlier (plain) OM-3/4. Mine goes for almost a year with moderate use - who could ask for more? Of course, when the batteries in my 3Ti dies, I just go on using it

    Anyway, the OP should hopefully have some insight - but not as much as just giving them a try. Granted, an OM-4Ti is not easy or cheap to get hold of, but not impossible either. The real magic lies in the more interesting Zuiko lenses, however. Especially the wide-angle lenses (like the 21mm f/2.0 here) are particularly excellent, better than anything Nikon had to offer:


  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by philosomatographer View Post
    The OM-1 and OM-2 are indeed in many ways actually better-built than the OM-3/4 - anybody who's ever held one can tell. Smoother and possibly more solid.

    Thank you. One swipe of the film advance lever will tell you this.
    - Bill Lynch

  3. #53
    Ken N's Avatar
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    The film advance in the OM-1 is indeed smoother. But that's probably totally related to the change in gearing in the later models that shortened the stroke. I prefer the raspier ones as I like to get the job done with the quicker, shorter movement.
    http://www.zone-10.com

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  4. #54

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    I agree with Ken here, I don't think one can attribute better build quality to "smoother film advance" - it's not about that. If you've ever taken one apart, the OM-1/2 is just that little bit simpler / more solid. I think an OM-1/2 will take a drop to the ground better. Not much, but it's there.

  5. #55
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    Especially the wide-angle lenses (like the 21mm f/2.0 here) are particularly excellent
    In an old interview with Maitani-san himself that I read somewhere, any of the F2.0 Zuiko lenses are particularly good. He used to use them himself FWIW. I have the 35mm F2.0 and 85mm F2.0 and I can agree that they are very good indeed. Especially the 35mm - which one can find quite easily and at reasonable prices as well. Not so with the wider ones.

  6. #56
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trasselblad View Post
    In an old interview with Maitani-san himself that I read somewhere, any of the F2.0 Zuiko lenses are particularly good. He used to use them himself FWIW. I have the 35mm F2.0 and 85mm F2.0 and I can agree that they are very good indeed. Especially the 35mm - which one can find quite easily and at reasonable prices as well. Not so with the wider ones.
    +1, 85mm F2.0 is one of the gem. Some said, 35mm F2.0 exhibit 'Swirl-Effekt'.
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by philosomatographer View Post
    There are a couple of areas where an Olympus OM4-Ti (or OM-3Ti) are simply unbeaten - in absolute terms - compared to other 35mm SLRs:

    • Viewfinder size and brightness, especially with the 2-series Lumi-Micron Matte focusing screens. It's unbelievable, the view is literally as bright and crisp as seen by the naked eye, and better even than the best glass rangefinder viewfinders (e.g. Leica M3)
    • Ergonomics: Ability to operate by feel, because of co-axial shutter speed, focus and aperture controls all focused around the lens axis, operated by the left hand. No other SLR can be operated "by feel" like an OM, period.
    • Physical size and weight: These bodies are TINY, but very robust (see OM-4Ti crash test). Not Nikon F robust, but among the most robust electronic film SLRs you'll encounter.

    The interesting thing is, these attributes don't necessarily make them "better" unless you really value them. For example, I spend as much time with my plain-prism Nikon F these days than what I do with my OM-3Ti. There is absolutely no question about it that the Nikon F, or the early (metal scalloped focus ring) Nikkor lenses are built to a much higher standard than the Olympus gear. Old Nikkors are built to the highest mechanical standards ever achieved by anybody (including Leica) as far as I am concerned.

    Want a simple test? Squeeze your Olympus Zuiko lens really hard between your fingers while focusing - you'll feel increased resistance or possibly be unable to focus at all. Squeeze a 1960s Nikkor 50mm f/2.0 for all it's worth (this was one of their cheapest lenses) and the focus is still smoother and better dampened than even new Zeiss ZF lenses, which feel like giant off-brand 1970s cheapies by comparison.

    Is this important? Probably not - the Zuikos are lighter, and very often optically better, than their Nikkor counterparts. The marvelous Zuiko 21mm f/2.0 is as small as a Nikon 50mm f/2.0! However, my 50-year-old, never-serviced Nikon F leaves me with no doubt that it'll be working in another 50 years' time (when it's a 100 years old). Not so for the Olympus / Zuiko equipment I have, which are all in various states of operational smoothness, etc. But the Nikon equipment weighs a ton, and is much more primitive. I am certainly extremely happy in using both the ultimate finesse that the SLR world has ever achieved (OM-3Ti, OM-4Ti, Zuikos) and the ultimate unbreakable, simple SLR (Nikon F). I am hard pressed to pick just one.

    I am comparing to Nikon's ultimate SLR here - the F - and not a more budget-oriented SLR like the FE series (because I use an F, and have only held an FE2 once). I like not being distracted by silly light meters these days, which is why the F appealed to me. Compared to an FE(2), I would probably choose the OM-4Ti every day. The lenses focusing the "wrong" way will get to you though!

    (Nikon's way is "wrong", of course, and not Olympus' - older or not!)
    You really got me on this one. I pulled out my Nikon F with the original 50/1.4 and yes I am in Heaven.
    Akiva S.

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  8. #58

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    There really is no comparing the FE2 with the OM4. I love Nikon gear, and my old black F is my favorite SLR camera, but for a light, compact, and feature-packed camera, the OM4 is nearly impossible to beat. Others have mentioned the meter, which even the latest digital wonder cameras cannot compete with, but there is also the brighter finder, a diopter adjuster (the FE requires screw-in diopter lenses), and, with the T cameras, the ability to use the F280 flash at any shutter speed. The OM is also smaller, and a bit quieter than the Nikon.

    As for lenses, I find the plain-Jane Zuiko 50/1.8 lens to be my favorite. Nikon lenses may be more sturdy, but they are also more heavy, and don't seem to focus with the same smoothness/preciseness as the Olympus lenses. Also, I prefer the quality of the images from the Zuiko 35, 24, and 21mm lenses over their Nikon equivalents.

    But, after all that I have written above, I actually shoot an FM3A. I feel that the OM system is superior in several ways, but I find Nikon equipment more suitable to myself.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by kivis View Post
    Considering 2 of the high points in aperture preferred cameras. Both classics. Which would you choose and why? Don't worry about glass, this camera will hitch it's wagon to a 50mm lens only.
    Lots of interesting reading here. Was fun to go through it. Here's my best advice: forget all the nit feature comparisons. Lie down in a quiet, calming room. Close your eyes, and imagine yourself with that strap around your neck, that hunk of metal resting on your chest. First, while relaxed, imagine that chunk of metal has "Nikon" emblazoned on its face. Imagine a deep voice in an echo chamber, saying the word, "NNNiiikkkoonnnnnn". Now do the same exercise, fully relaxed, same chunk of metal, with "Olympus" on its face. The deep voice chants "OOOlllyyymmmmpppuuuuuusssssss".

    Which experience made you *feel* better?

    That's the camera you're going to take great pictures with.


  10. #60
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    OooooMmmm
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.



 

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