A couple of things to look out for on the OM2 (which not only would be my choice, but is my choice).
1 - An issue with foam in the prism. http://olympus.dementia.org/Hardware...val/index.html
2 - The hot shoe is removeable. Make sure the one you buy (if you do buy an OM2) has it.
By now, both the OM-2 and the AE-1 will need to have new foam seals.
I can't recall if the AE-1 had interchangeable screens. The OM-2 did.
As others said, the AE-1 was aimed at the consumer market. At that time, there was discussions about the AE-1 because it was the first camera to use a plastic top deck. And once Canon discovered plastic, it couldn't stop. Unfortunately, it dragged others down this unholy path.
There are some advantages to plastic in that it can take a knock here or there and won't leave a ding. On the other hand, I think it encouraged the camera makers to continue to find ways to cut corners and in the end cheapened the quality of construction (and I mean this in a negative sense).
Now that my rant is finished, I really like the OM-2. It's a sturdy reliable camera with some great lenses available, and as others have pointed out, most are available at bargain prices.
You also should know that neither lens mount (OM or FD) is supported anymore, although that shouldn't be a problem with the amount of used lenses on the market.
As a AE-1 user for the past 33 years, I can say they are great cameras. I can also add that the OM2 is a great camera as well.
If you get a chance, handle both of them and then make your decision.
I don't know about the AE-1, but a few weeks ago, on a whim, I bought an OM-2 with a 50/1.8. It has quickly become one of my favorite cameras. It's small, easy to use, has a great meter and the 50/1.8 produces some really nice results.
While I haven't owned anything in the Olympus camp being mostly a Canon or Nikon and sometimes Pentax user, and I know that people speak highly of them, I think you would be better off in the Nikon camp with a comparable body. The OM's were just too long in the tooth when I researched them and I decided to go elsewhere. Check into the smaller Nikon bodies and have a slew of lenses to buy from besides parts being readily available. I personally shoot an A1, N80, FTBn, M3 and Nikkormat in that order.
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"Shutter squeak" is when the bearings, I think, in the mirror mechanism dry out so when you fire the shutter it makes a very annoying "squeak", had it on a T90 but it was easily fixed.
Originally Posted by geauxpez
Another vote for the Olympus OM2, thinking about getting one to compliment my OM4
Stack of 35mm stuff, some 120 stuff and lots of other junk to make it work
Keep it simple. ~ Alfred Eisenstaedt
Welcome home-- I'm an Oly user from the stone age -- go for an OM-2s program. You get manual, auto AP, auto program(shutter/aperture combo),TTL flash, and more. More than that-- Zuiko optics. At one time Zuiko suplied glass for all Japanese cameras, including Nikon. Bodies are smallish, and yes the shutter speed is controlled via ring mounted at the bae of the lens(not the lens itself) however you do NOT have to change your grip on the camera to change shutter speed. I've found this to be VERY handy over the last millenia. You might check an OM-4 once upon a time the flagship of the Oly lineup. Spot metering with highlight, or shadow bias at the touch of a button. OM-1 is manual only with match needle meter.
well enjoy the hunt for your next camera.
Excellent responses! Thanks all for your time!
Since I'm absolutely addicted to aperture priority, I won't buy the Canon AE. You guys said some very nice alternatives, like the Pentax Spotmatic and the Pentax ME Super. Since these are more cheaper than the Olympus, I'm still not sure what to buy now
It was mentioned that the Olympus was old and would almost certainly require servicing. How much would this cost approximately, and does anyone know where in Belgium or Europe this could be done?
If on Ebay the seller says it's in good working condition, does this mean it still might require servicing, so do the e.g. broken light seals only affect the quality of the shot, instead of making the camera totally unusable?
Regardless of the camera you buy; you'll probably ha to do a CLA. Cleaning, dusting, calibrating the meter, replacing the foam behind the mirror, etc. After 40 or 50 years light seals tend to desintegrate and become a dark, gummy thing that doen't do it's job ( impede light from hitting the film other than through the lens) If I had to choose a different one; I'd go for the Pentax Spotmatic with a Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 50mm f:1.4 ( screw mount M42)
Is KEH.com trustworthy? Will the cameras still need servicing? There are some very good prices on there, especially on the OM2S + 50mm F1.4 ($130 :o ). Too bad they're in the US, which means high shipping costs and at least 21% import duty.
Originally Posted by mudman
Any such second-hand sites in Europe? I've found a few through Google but none carries the Olympus OM2