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Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., (Japan)

Olympus OM-4

Olympus OM-4

If you are addicted to High-End mechanics, optics or electronics, OM-4 is the gadget for you. It is extremely well made, complicated enough, reliable to use but still within reach of ordinary people. A poor man's Nikon or Leica, whatever. The whole OM "single number" series has been a tool for the professionals and advanced amateurs and it has carried out its job creditably. Sometimes it is said that Olympus is a Saab among cameras. OK, but we know that many of these "saabisms" are after awhile followed by other manufacturers. Nobody can deny that OM-system would not be one of the most sophisticated equipment systems ever built for film imaging purposes. I have used my Olympus mostly for snapshots. It might be a desecration but a pleasure for me.

The OM-4 replaced the OM-2n in 1984 and it was manufactured until 1987. It incorporates the same features as its mechanical sister camera, the OM-3. OM-4 is not a purebred mechanical camera but it is a splendid combination of a variety of several technical elements of our times. Even though it now is an over twenty years old construction or even a decade more if you count it from the release date of M-1, later named OM-1. The OM-4 was only made in black. In a picture it is fitted with a Zuiko Auto-S 1,8/50mm standard lens.

At the Photokina of Cologne in 1972 Olympus intriduced the first of a generation of extremely compact, full-featured 35mm SLRs called the Olympus M-1 but the name was soon changed to OM-1.
Three years later, it brought forth the equally compact OM-2. the first SLR to incorporate direct, through-lens metering off the film and/or patterned shutter curtain, and TTL autorlash. Finally, late in 1983, Olympus announced the OM-4, the first SLR to combine all the salient features of a sophisticated professional exposure meter, plus a comprehensive LCD finder readout system, in a traditonal OM-sized body. As the name suggests, the OM-4's Multi-Spot Metering system is capable of measuring discrete, limited areas of the subject, either individually or in multiple readings which are automatically integrated into a single exposure. Suppose, for example, that you see areas ot sharply different brightness within the frame. After you select the precise areas you want to be included in determining the exposure, and take separate readings of each, an onboard computer calculates and integrates them into the exposure you'll get when you press the shutter release. For instance, you might choose to take two separate readings of highlight and shadow areas of a face, plus a third reading off the subject's clothing. The exterior design of the OM-4 represents a logical extension of the OM-1 and OM-2. In fact, the basic body shape and control arrangement of the OM-4 is quite similar to that of the previous models.

Olympus started out as Takachiho Seisakusho on October 12, 1919 . The brand name Olympus was started to be used extensively in 1921. Now it is a huge international company with several business lines all of which have in common ultimately modern technics. Digital cameras, film cameras, binoculars and scanners are familiar to everybody whereas endoscopes, laboratory automation systems, optical measuring systems, tools for optical industry and ultra high resolution image processing systems, just to mention a few, maybe not .

Type: TTL auto-exposure 35 mm. Single Lens Reflex Camera. Manual film advance: Film advance lever with 130° angle for one long or several short strokes and pre-advance angle 30°.
Film format: 24mm x 36mm. Motor drive advance: With Motor Drive 1 or 2 unit attached, single frame and continuous advance at speed of 5 frames per second (at exposures of 1/500 sec. and above, with fresh batteries and at normal temperature and humidity).
Lens mount: Olympus OM Mount. Film rewind: Rewind crank (motorized rewind with Motor Drive 2 possible).
Shutter: Electronically controlled focal plane shutter; 1/2000 sec. max. shutter speed; 1/60 sec. mechanical shutter speed. Viewfinder: Viewfinder with dioptric correction; dioptric correction range from +1 to -3 diopters; finder view field: 97% of actual picture field; magnification: 0.84x at infinity with -0.5 diop. (50mm lens).
Synchronization: X contact (synchronization at speeds of 1/60 sec. or slower); hot shoe with contact for T series flash; 5-pin connector for T series flash; PC synchro socket. Focusing screens: Wide selection of interchangeable screens (1- and 2-series). Supplied with Focusing Screen 1-13 (micro prism/split image-matte type).
Light measuring method: Center-weighted, average light measurement, switch able to spot measurement; spot measurement selective in three modes: multi spot, highlight and shadow-based methods. Viewfinder information: LCD multi-mode display (2 min. limiter). Shutter speed, spot value(s), highlight mode, shadow mode, exposure compensation indicator, memory indicator. Markers for 3 stops under/over exposure in Manual Mode. LED indicator for flash ready / flash ok. Built-in illuminator (10 sec. limiter).
Automatic exposure control by average light measurement: TTL Direct "off-the-film" Light Measuring with aperture-preferred electronic shutter; exposure control range: about 1 min. ~ 1/2000 sec. (approximate. -5EV~19EV at ISO/ASA 100, 50mm F1.4, normal temperature and humidity); ±2EV exposure compensation. Self-timer: 12 sec. delay electronic self-timer. Battery check: 3-level display with LED and auto tone; automatic lock when batteries exhausted.
Automatic exposure control by spot measurement: TTL spot metering memory system (with AE lock); exposure control range: about 4 min.~1/2000 sec. (approximate. -7EV~19EV at ISO/ASA 100, 50mm F1.4, normal temperature and humidity); ±2EV exposure compensation. Power source: Two 1.5V silver-oxide batteries SR44 (Eveready EPX-76) or alkaline manganese batteries LR44.
Automatic exposure memory control: Exposure value memory system (60 min. limiter). Camera back: Removable hinge type with memo holder; interchangeable with Recordata backs and 250 Film Back.
Manual exposure control: B., 1 sec.~1/2000 sec. (synchronization at speeds of 1/60 sec. or slower). Dimensions: 136x84x50mm (body alone).
Film speed: ISO/ASA 6-3200. Weight: 540g (body alone).
Vivitar 135mm 1:2,8 Auto Telephoto + Vivitar 2x Macro Focusing Teleconverter, OM-mount

I have proven this combination and I should say: "Not Bad". The Macro Focusing Teleconverter and the 135mm short tele are so called "Custom Fitted" and they are working really well together.

Something has to be wrong in the idea, because I have not seen this kind of Tele- Converter and Macro-Tube combination elsewhere.

©2004 Reijo Lauro