Are you an Olympus fan? (long)

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phrenzy
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Are you an Olympus fan? (long)
3 months ago

I've been thinking about this a little lately, spoiler: I'm definately a fan and a bit of a collector to boot now but a good deal of my purchases have been fairly rational choices that came down to the fact that Olympus made a camera that fit my needs.

What's got me on to this is that I'm about to buy my first real non Olympus camera, a contax G series. This is really the first need I had, for a high quality fairly modern rangefinder, that Olympus couldn't supply me with. Now I'm wondering seriously for the first time what other brands might offer that I can't get in, or as good in, an Olympus.

It's not as though I dismissed other brands out of hand but after a lot of reading and researching last year before buying my first film camera I bought an om-10. Then I wanted a beginner dslr in my price range and the e-420 was a good fit and would work with the few om lenses I had. Then an om-2sp as I advanced then an E-1, pen ft, briefly an e-m5, E-3, om-4ti, pen f and a host of lenses, flashes, teleconverters and associated doodads. Frankly with the exception of a few specific cameras I've looked into I don't know that much about other bands lineups or histories.

So I suppose I'm asking if you are a fan, what about the company, its history, design philosophy or product lineup etc. draws you to Olympus?

What do you wish Olympus made but don't and what do you think is missing from their lineup now or historically?

What, if anything, do you not like about the company, it's products or the things it's done?

Lastly, what significant things do other brands offer that Olympus lacks or doesn't do as well?

I have to say that aside from the purely pragmatic fact that they had a camera that suited my needs each time I was quite taken with story and achievements of Maitani. He and the Olympus cameras of the period represent some of the truly great design work of postwar Japan and in their own little way were part of what made Japan a byword for intricate and ingenious quality rather than a place where cheap labor met cheap reverse engineering. Also being a lover of all things optical I was taken by their long standing dedication to lens quality. I'd also be lying if I said the look of the pen/om slr series didn't have something to do with their charm.

When it came to digital gear the E-1 solidified my bond with the brand. For $250 I got a very nice E-1 and a 14-54mm and it was a revelation. It feels like a natural fit in my hand, the controls are logical, the fit and finish is exceptional and even the shutter has a satisfying but subdued click. Then there is of course the sensor and the pictures it takes. Well most of you here know what that's about, stunning.  The E-3 was a worthy successor and now with my 12-60 and bigma I'm really enjoying shooting.

Now I'm looking, as I said, for a rangefinder and also a medium format camera it looks like I'll have to buy an alien brand. Something tells me I'll be an Olympus loyalist for a while longer though...I still have an E-5, om-1, om-3, pen fv and one of their old rangefinders to get plus some fast pen f glass and a shg 4/3 lens or two and that's before I dip my toe back into mft waters.

So tell me, are you an Olympus fan or just an Olympus user? How did you get to be that way and Why?

 phrenzy's gear list:phrenzy's gear list
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-410 Olympus E-420 Olympus E-520 +13 more
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-420 Olympus E-5 Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
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