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Friday, 05 November 2021


And you might have seen the new "smallish" OM System 20mm f1.4 they announced today,just to tempt you.

Someone posted a link to this funny review on DPR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5HsQPqMTbc

I agree. I hope they will rise again, with an much upgraded sensor particularly. Olympus (and sometimes Panasonic) and Micro Four Thirds has been my favorite system since its very first camera. (Which they sadly have failed to really follow up on, a really compact street camera.)


A rose is a rose is a rose.

That new 20mm’s specs should be right up your street. They’re spot-on for me. Currently above my budget and a bit bulky but I’d love one for the trusty GX8 one day. And a GX10, perhaps, on a day that’s even further into the future. Just one stop better low-light performance and a one-stop improvement to stabilisation.

I’ve had trouble with the build quality and tolerances of Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses (three lenses, all new, all with badly misaligned elements) but I’m guessing that the Pro line is better built. The current 25mm f/1.8 is a stellar lens if you can snag a well made example.

It might calm people down if they let it be known that "OM" should be pronounced "Ohhmmmm..." in a very drawn out exhale, preferably while sitting in lotus position.

How perfect would it be if they hire the band Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (or OMD, who are also still around) to record a theme song to go with the rebrand? Perhaps with the title "System"?

By the way, I very much appreciated the "reprints" from the archives. You've published so much great stuff that deserves better than relegation to the internet's dusty attic or my dusty memory.

Interesting point about the M1 and M6. I also don’t understand but I try to. Maybe Olympus was considered serious competitor to Leitz in the 1970s when the Leicaflexes were not doing well and the M1/OM1 was a small, high quality mechanical camera, very similar to the principles of M Leicas. While much later when Canon started it’s purely beginner amateurish EOS M series, it was not considered any threat to Leica, which by then had several different systems of its own that were doing well. By the time the EOS M series started to get a bit better, Canon basically dumped it and started to copy the Leica SL with much better success with the new R line. Not to forget that Leica moved from M to SL and then R, before coming back to SL.

How amazing system the OM was!


Wow, I have a copy of the OM System Lens Handbook mentioned above and the price on Amazon shows as A$466.52. Only one left in stock. I think I'll put mine up on eBay.

But why OM Digital Solutions? Knock the last word off, it's meaningless, a computer era buzzword. Just call it OM Digital.

I have an OM2SP and a few lenses, plus a lot of the fantastic, for its time, flash system. So compact, so well designed. A couple of the big names produce very similar equipment now, but it looks so bulky in comparison and costs a mint. Much as I dislike the copyists from that giant country, they do make affordable gadgets.

Mike, do you know any way by which non-US readers can connect to their local Amazon (e.g. amazon.co.uk) and still have the connection from your site recognised and rewarded? The link in the post takes me to amazon.com, which gives prices in US$ and talks about shipping costs to the UK - but it doesn't offer an automatic switch to the UK site. Obviously I can connect independently to the co.uk site, but that would lose the link to TOP.

[Unfortunately, due to my troubles with Amazon in the Summer of '20 (nobody's fault, it was due to COVID-19), I am no longer an affiliate of Amazon UK. Wish I was. Maybe I should try applying again. --Mike]

Leitz didn't sue BMW either for their M1....M whatever cars.

[Leitz sold Leica in 1986; the first M car was 1978 or '79. Presumably no one would confuse a car with a camera? I assume that's it, although, as I say, I don't know about these things.

Fun factoids: M originally stood for "Motorsports," and supposedly the red in the M logo was the color of Texaco, which BMW was trying to attract as a racing sponsor at the time the original colors were developed. Some of the people involved in picking the colors confirm this, and some deny it. In any event the Texaco connection never came about. --Mike]

I don't care - I want the new 20 mm F 1,4! If I am not wrong, this is the ideal lens for the dark season of the year.

Quote from Bahi's earlier comment: "I’ve had trouble with the build quality and tolerances of Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses (three lenses, all new, all with badly misaligned elements) but I’m guessing that the Pro line is better built. The current 25mm f/1.8 is a stellar lens if you can snag a well made example."

The pro lenses have the same total lack of even the mist minimal quality control. I love the Olympus cameras; I have serious health problems that make carrying heavy gear hard,and when you have a good lens from Olympus, the image quality is superb.

The problem is that most of the lenses are severely decentered. I gave up buying them online. When I want a new lens, I drive the two hours it takes to go to the nearest bricks and mortar camera store and they bring out every copy of the lens and I test them and pick the good one. On average, I have to reject eight lenses to get one that is built correctly. The rest have decentered elements that cause one side of the image to be soft and the other side sharp. Some were so bad that the bad part of the image looked like something from a Holga. If the lens is a zoom, you better check it at EVERY focal length, too!

I have the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 Pro, the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro, 45mm f1.8, and 60mm f2.8 macro. Of these, only the 45mm f1,8 is an inexpensive lens. It is disgusting that lenses costing $1000+ like the two pro lenses are built so poorly and have absolutely NO quality control.

Slightly off topic but related to your commentary on Leitz lens durability, I was at a talk by Steve McCurry and Jim Richardson that was hosted by Nikon. Their rep was there to answer questions and of course promote the brand.

One of the audience members went over and started giving the Nikon Rep grief for making a camera like the D2X so expensive. "What could possibly warrant that cost"? The rep picked up the camera by the attached 70-200 zoom and whacked it really hard a few times on the table. He said "if you need it, you need it".

Then there was that other Falcon, the one that was made by Ford Motor Company,

That's what I thought of when I saw the "peregrine" word capitalized.

I admit it, I'm a motorhead.

BTW, Max was unstoppable in the Mexican Grand Prix yesterday. I think he's gonna do it this year.

Should I pronounce OM “cosmic sound” ?
I’ll let Google explain…

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