Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?

Started Jan 3, 2013 | Discussions
Thomas Kachadurian
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Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
Jan 3, 2013

Years ago I used Leica cameras for making photos and while I did I learned that about half of the people buying Leicas were more like followers of a religion than photographers. I don't personally understand it, but in many ways I can see where the craftsmanship of Leica cameras, particularly the older ones, does make them objects beyond their function.

But I'm starting to get the impression that there might be just the same level of zealotry for Olympus cameras with a certain segment. I've owned various Olympus cameras over the years (RC, Stylus Epic, E-10, and now EM5) but they've never struck me as things to love for their form or that inspire allegiance. But there are few few threads here now, and I've noticed them in the past where the posters are clearly not asking about M43 cameras or lenses, but about Olympus only.

Things like "which Zuiko lens to buy" As if there are no Panasonic lenses that are native to Olympus M43. Where which option to get is limited not by what is needed, but by what specifically Olympus offers. Or other comments to questions about the EM5 menu where the writer responds that Olympus menus have always worked this way as if the only people who might buy Olympus cameras were part of a club.

Is this just that some people don't realize the universal compatibility of M43 stuff? Is it a new thing fostered by the lovely retro look of the early Pens and now EM-5? Or, has there been this subculture of Olympuphiles for a long time and I've just swerved into their world by virtue of using M43?

Tom

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

Good question. I've been thinking it's a lot to do with SHC lenses and 4/3 users interested in the next best Oly thing that would take 4/3 and µ4/3 lenses. The recent DPR poll too I'd guess turned some heads in this direction.   Lot's of new faces on the forum, that's for sure.

Hello there, faces all.  

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dwstv
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

Actually, it seems the Panny people are the lens purists in my experience. M43 has benefited from the friendly competition between Panasonic and Olympus. What is your problem with Olympus?

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EarthQuake
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to dwstv, Jan 3, 2013

dwstv wrote:

Actually, it seems the Panny people are the lens purists in my experience. M43 has benefited from the friendly competition between Panasonic and Olympus. What is your problem with Olympus?

Actually it would make more sense for Panasonic camera body owners to gravitate towards Panasonic lenses, as no Olympus lenses have IS. Since no Panasonic bodies have IBIS, its important to buy Panasonic lenses with IS for Panasonic bodies.

That's the only reasonable thing I can think of that would be a compatibility consideration.

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jcharding
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All camera brands and forums have zealots
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

This one is no different. And over the years I've spent a significant amount of time on quite  number of these forums and used many different brands of cameras.

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jimoyer
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

I'm an FNG here at m4/3 (and under this screen name at DP, but only because I lost the log in info on my original screen name since 95), so maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see that one bit. I personally have seen as much, if not more love for the Panasonic lens's as the Olympus.  From high end primes to zooms, I personally see, or at least it seems that way, at least as much, if not more interest in the Panasonic glass with the exception of a few Oly lens's.

I've seen a HUGE increase in GH3 threads and traffic.  Absolutely, OMD owners (and those who wish they were) love the OMD, but most of that love seems to come from the images it produces, not the camera itself although it's certainly a beautiful camera.  I've seen more threads and comments about the E-PL5 having the same sensor, image quality, etc. and "is it a Sony sensor" than I have about the camera itself or anything to do with the fact that it's Olympus.

Finally, I've not seen all the threads about menu's, but based on those I have, as well as what you referenced in your post, it seems to me that it is not so much a matter of an exclusive club so much as the menu being familiar to anyone who has used, on a regular basis, a previous generation of Olympus, just as my E1 menu's felt instantly familiar coming from an E10 and E20, and a D300's menu felt familiar coming from a D200 (although as Sean mentioned in an earlier thread, the D200's menus SUCK).

I'm certainly not trying to outright disagree with you.  I guess it's just another example of perception is reality, and your perception in this differs significantly from mine.

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ryan2007
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to EarthQuake, Jan 3, 2013

EarthQuake wrote:

dwstv wrote:

Actually, it seems the Panny people are the lens purists in my experience. M43 has benefited from the friendly competition between Panasonic and Olympus. What is your problem with Olympus?

Actually it would make more sense for Panasonic camera body owners to gravitate towards Panasonic lenses, as no Olympus lenses have IS. Since no Panasonic bodies have IBIS, its important to buy Panasonic lenses with IS for Panasonic bodies.

That's the only reasonable thing I can think of that would be a compatibility consideration.

I agree and your preaching to the choir.

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drj3
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

Unfortunately using a Panasonic lens on an Olympus camera is not the same as using an Olympus lens.  Many Panasonic lenses correct CA in the camera software.  If the lens is used on an Olympus camera, that will require post processing to remove the CA, which would not be necessary with Olympus lenses.  Olympus does not (and would almost certainly not want to) provide software correction for another companies lenses.  In addition, Olympus uses in camera stabilization which means that Panasonic lenses with lens stabilization are larger than necessary for Olympus cameras.  I believe that most Olympus users would be very happy to use non-Olympus lenses which are optically equivalent to Olympus lenses and of appropriate size.  Most are willing to use Panasonic lenses even given the additional processing required when they offer better performace than available Olympus lenses.

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dwstv
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to EarthQuake, Jan 3, 2013

That makes sense for long lenses. Not all Panny lenses are stabilized. I really haven't noticed Oly owners being unusually allergic to Panny lenses. I own several and like them a lot.

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tedolf
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The answer is........
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

Thomas Kachadurian wrote:

Years ago I used Leica cameras for making photos and while I did I learned that about half of the people buying Leicas were more like followers of a religion than photographers. I don't personally understand it, but in many ways I can see where the craftsmanship of Leica cameras, particularly the older ones, does make them objects beyond their function.

But I'm starting to get the impression that there might be just the same level of zealotry for Olympus cameras with a certain segment. I've owned various Olympus cameras over the years (RC, Stylus Epic, E-10, and now EM5) but they've never struck me as things to love for their form or that inspire allegiance. But there are few few threads here now, and I've noticed them in the past where the posters are clearly not asking about M43 cameras or lenses, but about Olympus only.

Things like "which Zuiko lens to buy" As if there are no Panasonic lenses that are native to Olympus M43. Where which option to get is limited not by what is needed, but by what specifically Olympus offers. Or other comments to questions about the EM5 menu where the writer responds that Olympus menus have always worked this way as if the only people who might buy Olympus cameras were part of a club.

Is this just that some people don't realize the universal compatibility of M43 stuff? Is it a new thing fostered by the lovely retro look of the early Pens and now EM-5? Or, has there been this subculture of Olympuphiles for a long time and I've just swerved into their world by virtue of using M43?

Tom

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Yes.

Being an Oly owner is a little bit like being a Leica owner in that both have maintained certian characteristics over the many years that are endearing to thier self selected owners.

Like Leica owners, most Oly owners remember their old Oly cameras with fondness.

Leica owners gravitate to the mechanical sublimeness of the camera's construction and attention to optical perfection.

Oly owners gravitate to compact cameras with excellent for the $$ optics. Oly owners always thought themselves slightly more intellegent than say Nikon owners becuase the OM-1/2 was a better camera than the Nikon F1/2 at a lower price. Zuiko lenes were always good and cost less than the Nikon counterpart. Smaller and lighter too.

The M. Zuiko 40-150mm is a good example. Optically very good and very inexpensive.

So Oly owners have a bit of an inferiority/superiority complex: they know that their's is the optimal system but can't figure out why everybody else doesn't recognize that as well.

Oly owners have been saying since the E-pl1 came out, "why can't Oly just make a digital version of the 35RC!", a rangefinder that was sold 50 years ago, just like Leica owners waited forever for their digital M4.

So, yes it is sort of a religion.

Tedolph,

High Priest of the Cult of the Rangefinder.

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Landscapephoto99
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Re: Yes
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

Except that we're right.  Seriously, I love any good lens I can use on my E-M5 -like my new SLR Magic 35mm T1.4, which I can use quite effectively with IBIS.

Thomas Kachadurian wrote:

Years ago I used Leica cameras for making photos and while I did I learned that about half of the people buying Leicas were more like followers of a religion than photographers. I don't personally understand it, but in many ways I can see where the craftsmanship of Leica cameras, particularly the older ones, does make them objects beyond their function.

But I'm starting to get the impression that there might be just the same level of zealotry for Olympus cameras with a certain segment. I've owned various Olympus cameras over the years (RC, Stylus Epic, E-10, and now EM5) but they've never struck me as things to love for their form or that inspire allegiance. But there are few few threads here now, and I've noticed them in the past where the posters are clearly not asking about M43 cameras or lenses, but about Olympus only.

Things like "which Zuiko lens to buy" As if there are no Panasonic lenses that are native to Olympus M43. Where which option to get is limited not by what is needed, but by what specifically Olympus offers. Or other comments to questions about the EM5 menu where the writer responds that Olympus menus have always worked this way as if the only people who might buy Olympus cameras were part of a club.

Is this just that some people don't realize the universal compatibility of M43 stuff? Is it a new thing fostered by the lovely retro look of the early Pens and now EM-5? Or, has there been this subculture of Olympuphiles for a long time and I've just swerved into their world by virtue of using M43?

Tom

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ohmydentist
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beg to differ
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

what you call "zealots" make up only tiny percentage of OMD owners.  Leica crowds have to invest $20,000+ so they have to be kind of crazy about Leica.  But owning Olympus gears doesn't cost that much compared to other camera brands.  Most people switch back and forth between Olympus and Panasonic, or even NEX for that matter.

Let's face it, OMD even won the popularity contest here, beating D800!!  OMD deserves lots of credit for making people happy to own it.  Bad blood between Olympus and Panasonic crowds are NOTHING compared to between Nikon and Canon.

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JeanPierre Martel
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A TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT !
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

If you look at the first message in this tread , it seems that Olympus is offering a 20% reduction on its lenses in certain parts of the World (Australia, at least). So a few people want to take advantage of this offer.

That's why we're seing treads started by owners of Olympus cameras who are just interested in M.Zuko lenses. If ever Panasonic starts offering that kind of special and many people start looking for the best Lumix lenses, will that be a proof that owners of Panasonic cameras are zealots ?

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s_grins
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

I think your observation is accurate and fair.

I have my explanation to existing bias toward Olympus:

During 2012 M43 forum became a final destination for refugees from Olympus DSLR. That is why you can find lots of posts about difficulties of accommodation superior ED lenses on M43 bodies. And for sure, Olympus folks team together.

To be concise,  I'm ending here.

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s_grins
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to drj3, Jan 3, 2013

drj3 wrote:

Unfortunately using a Panasonic lens on an Olympus camera is not the same as using an Olympus lens. Many Panasonic lenses correct CA in the camera software. If the lens is used on an Olympus camera, that will require post processing to remove the CA, which would not be necessary with Olympus lenses. Olympus does not (and would almost certainly not want to) provide software correction for another companies lenses. In addition, Olympus uses in camera stabilization which means that Panasonic lenses with lens stabilization are larger than necessary for Olympus cameras. I believe that most Olympus users would be very happy to use non-Olympus lenses which are optically equivalent to Olympus lenses and of appropriate size. Most are willing to use Panasonic lenses even given the additional processing required when they offer better performace than available Olympus lenses.

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drj3

I do not understand your "Many Panasonic lenses correct CA in the camera software"

Lenses do not correct, bodies do correction. I use Olympus lens (40-150) on Panasonic body, and body does CA correction (OOC JEPG). Olympus bodies do not do CA correction for OCC JEPGs so do not expect CA correction for M. Zuikos, and for Panasonic lenses as well.

I guess you know that RAW files come out without CA on both camera bodies.

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Raven15
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Re: The answer is........
In reply to tedolf, Jan 3, 2013

tedolf wrote:

Oly owners gravitate to compact cameras with excellent for the $$ optics. Oly owners always thought themselves slightly more intellegent than say Nikon owners becuase the OM-1/2 was a better camera than the Nikon F1/2 at a lower price. Zuiko lenes were always good and cost less than the Nikon counterpart. Smaller and lighter too.

So Oly owners have a bit of an inferiority/superiority complex: they know that their's is the optimal system but can't figure out why everybody else doesn't recognize that as well.

Tedolph,

High Priest of the Cult of the Rangefinder.

Exactly. I used to put cameras and lenses in a spreadsheet to decide which to buy, and without exception Nikon was largest, heaviest, and most expensive of any comparable system. It never even came in second heaviest or second most expensive, always most. However Olympus seemed to maximize the price/size, price/performance,and performance/size ratios of their system, without exception for at least two of those three in any given case (except some third party lenses for other systems).

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amalric
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Respect more than religion...
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

I have towards a company which is about one century old, and has developed its own traditions in respect to photography and lenses.

There is no *camera fetish* like Leica in Oly's followers, some at 1022 worship lenses. And indeed the Tetsuno factory is respected like Wezlar, or Jena used to be.

Olympus however is much the innovator, so some of the followers drop out because they cannot adapt to disruptive change. Zealots are extremely conservative so you can see Oly often attacked as much as it is loved.

There is perhaps a subtle feeling that goes from the colour signature of the lenses, their microcontrast, and extends to the organisation of menus according to photographic principles, mostly, and not to consumers' whims.

In other words Oly's is sometimes pedagogic, often indipendently minded. They also have some of the best engineers ever. Everytime I look at the IBIS mechanism, I a mere layman, I am overawed. The sensor is magnetically levitating!

You can find that in a 500 $ camera, so you can't say that Oly is undemocratic like Leica. OTH they too offer 3000 $ lens, so you must believe that they are among the best.

Because cameras must be sold there is a constant influx of newcomers that ignore these aspects, and ignorance is conducive to jealousy and hate. In its bumpy ride to mirrorless Oly also made some big mistakes, and people preyed on that.

The success of the E-M5 seems to show that despite the financial stress, the design teams kept doing outstanding work for a moderate price all considered. Therefore the rare execs' statements are taken with respect. They are often valuable for the camera industry as a whole and for photography. The Japanese have also a visual culture 1000 yrs. old and they clearly respect that tradition too.

One of their concepts, Wabi Sabi, transient beauty, could be applied to camera manufacturing too: cameras come and go, but a feeling of transient beauty remains.

Some of this of course applies to other camera makers, and their precision work. So there is no reason to have an object of worship only. It's more a matter of taste and of memory: some film cameras are remembered for a long time after they ceased to be.

Their lenses however can still be used, so you can verify whether  that respect was ill placed or not.

Am.

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TrapperJohn
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For me, it was the glass
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

The better 4/3 ZD lenses have rendering qualities that I really like. Don't have a technical formula to explain it, I just like what those lenses can do. Have compared to C/N setups shooting the same subjects at the same time, and at least to me, the Oly shots looked a bit more 'alive', a bit more defined.

Outside of the 4/3 ZD lenses, some that have really impressed me are the Pentax DA Limited, and the fast primes for Fuji X. And Leica, of course, but for the price...

In the M43 world, the MZD 45 1.8 is pretty good, especially considering the price, and the 75 1.8 is a winner. I was about to buy one, when I came across a ZD 35-100 for not much more than the 75 1.8.

I have no aversion to Panasonic lenses... one of my favorite 4/3 lenses is the PL25 1.4, and it works very well on the EM5. A very special lens - when used where it's at its best, the results are absolutely sublime. Couldn't see selling it for a M43 version, that one loses a bit of IQ as compared to its big brother.

The couple of Leica devotees I know love their system for about the same reason - the lovely shots it can capture. The only difference between them and me is - they have a larger budget.

I don't see it as zealotry, just a fine appreciation of detail.

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david kohn
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Why Zuiko
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

We are more interested in M.Zuiko lenses because the Oly cameras have sensor-based IS and most of the Panny lenses are  comparatively large to accomodate their OIS.

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sgoldswo
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Re: Are Long-time Olympus users like Leica Zealots?
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, Jan 3, 2013

Thomas Kachadurian wrote:

Years ago I used Leica cameras for making photos and while I did I learned that about half of the people buying Leicas were more like followers of a religion than photographers. I don't personally understand it, but in many ways I can see where the craftsmanship of Leica cameras, particularly the older ones, does make them objects beyond their function.

Things like "which Zuiko lens to buy" As if there are no Panasonic lenses that are native to Olympus M43. Where which option to get is limited not by what is needed, but by what specifically Olympus offers. Or other comments to questions about the EM5 menu where the writer responds that Olympus menus have always worked this way as if the only people who might buy Olympus cameras were part of a club.

Is this just that some people don't realize the universal compatibility of M43 stuff?

Yes, there is, it's daft when you see people prattling on about "when is Oly going to release a 25mm F1.8?" as if the PL 25mm didn't exist (and if you post on those threads no one replies to you...). I take it as a lack of familiarity with M43s. People will learn...

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