Today I only received news from Amateur Photographer magazine that Yoshihisa Maitani, the creator of the OM1 and the Olympus OM system, passed away on 30th July 2009.
Once I found out of this sad news I felt honour bound to use my OM system.
I've used an XA for years (the only mini-35 that's held up for me of many, many tried), bought a Pen-FT last week, have a stylus zoom (that has also taken some great photos!) have a few OM variants and, I think, just bought an OM-1n... So just noted that Maitani designed all these greats and looked him up... There is a mirror of a great old 'geocities' Maitani fan page that's especially good:
Can't believe there are only two Posts in a Tribute to Maitani Topic . It's late to honour this Superstar of photography - but better late than never. Thank you for the Invention of the OM System!
I'm surprised that Olympus hadn't recognized the marketing value of "star" designers, enough to nurture succeeding generations of them, and give them the creative control and support Maitani supposably had. The passing of one skilled leadership and engineering as Maitani without transfer of his creativity leads me to wonder if there was any thought to expand on his contribution to other optical designers. A farm team of sorts. I can almost picture after the OM, the "OT" or "OS" or Olympus whoever their last initial... I think the OM-D5 is only a tribute in the general sense of similar shape, certainly not mechanics... With a separate noted designer applied to a particular optical creation, we could look back or forward to those "accomplishments" with that particular machine. Also, I think there would be an increased application of creativity at Olympus with that in mind...