why isn't olympus as highly regarded as it should be?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by Mike Henley, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Mike Henley

    Matt Clara Guest

    I agree, more or less.
    Matt Clara, Jul 1, 2004
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  2. Mike Henley

    Photodad Guest

    Swing by my house. I have a Nikon F and a Nikkormat Ft that still work fine
    and get significant use. On the other hand, my AE-1 started having problems
    after only a few hundred rolls of film. That's why I switched to Nikon.

    As far as the F vs F5, well, when you can use an F5 without batteries, I'll
    be impressed.

    Photodad, Jul 1, 2004
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  3. Mike Henley

    Sabineellen Guest

    I have the same tendencies, but i'm no longer sure it matters much? batteries
    are eaiser to carry and less often replaced than film (though admittedly
    annoyingly expensive)
    Sabineellen, Jul 1, 2004
  4. What time frame are you talking about? Are you talking about the time before
    the introduction of the Nikon F in 1959? As far as I know, the Nikon F
    was quite popular in the sixties.

    And in what sense was the LX was a more comprehensive 'system body'? It
    looks as if in the sixties Nikon produced every possible accessory you
    can imagine for the F.
    Philip Homburg, Jul 1, 2004
  5. Mike Henley

    Justin Thyme Guest

    Perhaps things were different in USA compared to Australia. Pentax and
    Olympus here were pretty much THE name in cameras until maybe 10-15 years
    ago. Most working pro's that I know that have new equipment are using Nikon
    followed closely by Canon, but I also know many who are still using old
    Pentax's (eg K1000), and the odd old olympus is still in service too. I
    don't know of any with old Canon or Nikon equipment. Most speak highly of
    the old olympus gear however. In medium format (something I confess I know
    diddly about), I don't know of any who use anything other than Pentax
    equipment. Personally, I've never used Olympus gear other than the new E1,
    I've always been a Pentax guy myself (but I am a long way from being pro).
    Justin Thyme, Jul 1, 2004
  6. Mike Henley

    Photodad Guest

    Yes, I think things must be different in Australia. My first paid position
    was as a sports photographer for my local daily in 1976. At that time I was
    shooting Canon. But as I got to know the "seasoned" pros at the games, I
    realized that no one was shooting Canon. They were all shooting Nikon. So
    I started to ask why.

    Mind you, this was almost 30 years ago, but the answers I received were
    mostly about reliability. Their complaint against Canon was not about poor
    bodies, but about poorly constructed lenses. So when I started having
    trouble with my Canon, it was an easy decision to switch. I bought a used F
    off of one of the other pros in town and started collecting lenses.

    I knew of a few studio pros who used Olympus, but just as their personal
    cameras. They didn't use 35mm for their "real" work. A few others used
    Pentax, and only the rare wealthy one would use Leica.

    As far as MF is concerned, at least in my area, Mamiya was the most popular,
    followed by Hasselblad. I used a Rolleicord, and I had a Speed Graphic when
    I wanted a larger negative.

    On the other hand, at the camera store I had the pleasure to be able to
    "check out" whatever camera I wanted for my weekend shoots. I loved the
    glass on the Contax, and the Olympus was the easy choice for traveling
    light. But I never really liked Minolta, and we rarely sold one in those

    None of this applies now of course. The lines are completely different now.
    But, it has been nice to remember the "old days."

    Photodad, Jul 1, 2004
  7. Mike Henley

    Bandicoot Guest

    Late fifties early sixties. Leica had been the first camera to bring 35mm
    into this market, and Pentax was the first SLR to become popular in it.
    Since they had the first instant return mirror, first TTL meter, and so on,
    this is not that surprising, together with fairly small rugged bodies that
    would appeal to people used to Leicas. The Nikon F seemed to be targeted at
    the same market and began to take share away from Pentax because of Nikon's
    much better on the ground support, but it was really the F2 that saw Nikon
    take over as the _universal_ press/sports/war/news photographer's system
    of choice.

    I think the Nikon copy of the Contax rangefinder helped them here too, by
    introducing Nikon glass (and some of the best lenses Nikon ever made) to
    news (and particularly war) shooters who wouldn't have looked at an SLR
    before. It was a niche product compared to Leica at the time, but an
    influential one.
    Well, obviously I'm not a Nikon expert (though I used them professionally
    during the eighties) but the LX seems to have a much more integrated range
    of options, where a lot of the Nikon 'add-ons' felt just like that: chunky
    bolt-ons rather than integrated parts. The LX had more finder options (and
    meters with all of them) and they were very nicely integrated into the body
    rather than great chunks that felt like an afterthought, and a very wide
    choice of focusing screens. Then you have the obligatory winder; high speed
    drive with four power pack options and two charging options; intervalometer;
    remote releases of various types; remote battery pack for the camera, for
    the winder, for the drive; bulk film back; four dedicated flashes (if you
    include the dedicated ring flash, which in turn had a dental macro add-on),
    plus multiple power options for the flashes; various off-camera flash
    options; choice of having vertical or horizontal strap fittings, two
    data-back options; and a whole array of macro choices. Oh, and two
    different grips, one ready made, one a composite wood one that you could
    whittle to customise the shape to your hand.

    Add to what at the time was a huge lens selection and I think that is more
    system centred than the contemporary Nikon seems to me. But by then Pentax
    was playing catch-up in that market due to some very poor marketing
    decisions and lack of on-the-ground support facilities relative to Nikon -
    so whether it was too little or not is not the point: it was much too late.

    Still, I love the LX - I use five of them - and since I prefer Pentax glass
    anyway, it suits me just fine. I regularly travel with three bodies, and
    I'd hate to do that with three F2s (with three metering heads) - or three
    F5s, come to that!

    Bandicoot, Jul 1, 2004
  8. Because it's crap, that's why....
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 1, 2004
  9. I think Nikon had a complete system for the F before they introduced the
    F2. Whether and when something gets universally popular is of course a
    different story.
    I don't know. Maybe I am too used to Fs with FTN finders, but it doesn't
    look really unbalanced to me. An F2 with a shutter-priority attachment or
    an F3AF looks out of control.

    I think that the F3 is the first Nikon where the light meter is in the
    body. So a waist level finder on an F or F2 doesn't give you a TTL
    light meter. How did that work on the LX?
    Nikon certainly had this late sixties.
    Pentax had databacks in the sixties?
    What are you missing in Nikon's current set of lenses? The old (sixties)
    line-up looks fairly complete to me. I think they even had zoom for most
    part of the focal lengths.
    I guess I would take FM2/FE2s (or maybe even EMs) as extra bodies. Less
    weight for cameras means that I can take more glass.
    Philip Homburg, Jul 1, 2004
  10. Mike Henley

    Lourens Smak Guest

    For the 10D, there is NO wide-angle, and the 70-200 costs an arm and a
    leg, and still has less reach than the Olympus 50-200 lens. (almost 3000
    euros for a 70-200...come on!) Use the 17-40mm as standard-zoom and it
    is slow and has a tiny (2,3x) zoom range. (of course, for much more
    money than the 14-54 Zuiko.)

    There's also a 150mm F2 for the E-1 that costs about half of what Nikon
    wants for their new 200mm F2. Calling the E-system expensive is pretty
    dumb, if you ask me.

    The 10D sensor-size is obviously a reason NOT to buy it, as it is a
    stop-gap camera until all Canons are 24x36. The absence of ultrawide
    lenses for it says it all.

    By the way, I have worked with both E-1 and D1x, and the E-1 is better
    at most things (everything except maybe AF performance, but that depends
    a lot on the lens too) so it's beyond me why I shouldn't compare them.
    On paper, they are incredibly similar. I also worked with the 1Ds and
    yes it is better. the 10D isn't.

    Lourens Smak, Jul 1, 2004
  11. Mike Henley

    Lourens Smak Guest

    Have you actually worked with a 1Ds? I have, it's too big. It's
    ridiculously big and heavy, I bet it's heavier than my Rollei 6008.
    hint: 35mm became popular because it is small.

    And there's one thing about ALL things digital that is unavoidable:
    miniaturization. It has too many benefits for people designing,
    producing, and selling digital stuff. In the future all things digital
    will be better, cheaper, and *smaller* at the same time.

    anyway, who cares, a year from now my Rollei will be digital too with a
    nice Imacon or Sinarback. Same price as a 1Ds since I already have the
    bodies and lenses for such a back, and then I'll have the best of both
    worlds. (and as a bonus, I'll actually be able to move around while
    carrying my "35mm" kit)

    Lourens Smak, Jul 1, 2004
  12. That depends on the weight of the lens that is on your camera.
    I had a 180/2.8 on my F3 a couple of weeks ago and something was wrong
    but I didn't immediately figure out what it was.

    I had used my F3 with longer lenses on tripod for quite some time and I
    remove the motor drive because I don't need it on a tripod.
    When I added the motor drive, the combination handled much better.

    An F3 plus MD-4 is about 1,7 kg. That is more than dpreview lists for a
    1Ds plus battery.

    I don't think that a lightweight body will provide a good balance for a
    fast telephoto lens.
    Like monitors, sensors are not really digital devices, so they are likely
    to get bigger over time :)
    If you can afford a 1Ds, you afford a digital rebel as well. Just take
    the rebel when you leave the heavy glass at home.
    Philip Homburg, Jul 1, 2004
  13. As usual , these kind of questions turn out into a Nikon vs Canon battle.
    For all users of different brand photo equipment: don't worry be happy!
    Greetings, Gijs
    Gijs Rietveld, Jul 1, 2004
  14. Mike Henley

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    CAnon has lenses in that range in every price class.
    75-300 IS
    70-300 IS DO
    70-200 f4
    70-200 f2.8
    70-200 f2.8 IS
    There are also third party lenses of at least a half dozen brands of varying
    quality available for Canon
    Basically it is a buyers market in Canon. With Olympus you are stuck
    with what little they offer. And the only other company that has even said
    they will produce lenses for the E1 is Sigma ---- You can say they are
    better than Vivitar -- but that's about it.
    The Olympus is too little too expensive and too damn late - Every other
    company is putting BIGGER sensors in ALL their digital SLRs.
    Tony Spadaro, Jul 1, 2004
  15. Leica is better than either.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 2, 2004
  16. No, I'm better
    Gijs Rietveld, Jul 2, 2004
  17. Mike Henley

    Pål Jensen Guest

    Well, they did continue to click on other markets as by the fate 70's they
    competed on a monthly basis with Canon who was the largest slr manufacturer.
    By 1981 Pentax had made more slr's than any other manufacturer ever.
    It was after the success with high-end zoom P&S, a market they invented and
    leaded, they lost interest in the less profitable slr line.
    Pål Jensen, Jul 2, 2004
  18. Mike Henley

    Pål Jensen Guest

    Olympus was highly regarded by anyone qualified. Like camera engineers.
    Pål Jensen, Jul 2, 2004
  19. Mike Henley

    Bandicoot Guest

    The meter is in the body, and reads off-the-film during the exposure - a
    pre-exposure reading is taken from the shutter curtain as a guide or to
    allow manual use, but in AE the actual exposure is controlled only by the
    reading taken during it, not the 'guide figure' shown beforehand. It still
    works with any (or no) finder attached.

    I was writing about the LX here, introduced in 1980. Though earlier bodies
    had them available too, I'm not sure when they first appearred: there is one
    for the K2 DMD body that came out in 1976.
    I dunno - maybe it's just an impression, or maybe I'm mentally eliminating
    those fls that I don't like Nikon's offering in - actually, that only leaves
    35, 50, 105 and 180 (just kidding!)

    Bandicoot, Jul 3, 2004
  20. Basically you are saying that Pentax and Nikon did things at the same time.
    The F3, which also has the meter in the body is from the early eighties.
    Nikon built a databack for the F2 in the seventies.
    Those four lengths should cover most photographic needs :)
    Philip Homburg, Jul 4, 2004
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