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The Olympus OM 2 is a camera from another era, which has it s roots in the seventies. Today this doesn't make the OM 2 any less of a camera. In fact if truth be known the cameras features don't necessarily make you take pictures any better. What the purchase of the OM 2 gives you is access to some very fine lenses, which produce some of the sharpest images I have ever produced. So what do you get if you purchase an OM2.
In some ways the use of the OM 2 can be easier than some of the all singing and dancing machines out there. You get three exposure modes Manual, Aperture Priority and Program. A simple switch transfers you between modes on the top plate. Both aperture and shutter speeds are set with dials round the lens. Film if wound on automatically using a lever. Once used to the manual lever you can wind on fairly quickly rivalling some of the slower winders. There are plenty accessories for the OM2 including auto winders bulk backs and a full range Olympus lenses, not to mention a full range of good independent lenses. All second hand of course allowing you to build up a system of lenses for very little outlay.
In fact if you are lucky enough to acquire a manual you will see that you are not just buying a camera but buying into a system.
Brass vs. Plastic
The OM2 comes from the old school of camera making and is a solid construction of brass. Very few modern cameras are made this way now due to price constraints so you are buying a camera of sturdy build which is able to take some knocking about without doing to much damage although I wouldn't recommend bouncing it of pavements as with all cameras there are many delicate parts inside.
The OM 2SP
Originally when I set up this review I wanted to talk about this camera that I used to own and sorely miss. This was one of the last manual focus SLRs Olympus made, along with the expensive OM4, OM4ti and OM3ti that is. It was a big improvement on the OM2 and departure from centre weighted exposure systems. This camera is a cracker it exposure was almost always spot on regardless of conditions this was because of the way it read its exposures. Firstly the added spot metering, hence the SP in the model number which stood for spot program. This enabled the photographer to take a reading off a specific area in a pic allowing the photographer to get a more accurate exposure. Another clever trick was the fact that during exposure and especially with a dedicated flash it read the exposure straight off the film and adjusted the exposure accordingly. This feature would take into account changing light right up to the instant the picture was taken.
A good OM2 should now be well under £100 pounds, when I talk about good I mean mint condition, expect it to be a lot less if its been knocked about a bit. Expect the OM 2SP to be over the £100. It's a good un and a classic. If you get it for any less than that let me know I want it.
I would highly recommend this camera for anyone willing to learn a little about photography and is comfortable with setting everything manually. This is not a point and shoot type. You set everything yourself from the film speed up. I mainly use Canons just now but if Olympus ever gets back into the SLR market I for one am interested in buying.
Cant fault your review or the camera but I belong to the school that says Pentax is the best and I have never seen anything to change my mind..Baz
oldgoth 08.06.2005 16:20
I had one of these when I worked in a camera shop in the late 70's. It was an very expensive camera when it first came out, but a beautiful and well made camera, which many professionals liked to use at the time.
anyia7 08.06.2005 13:59
Like it! Brought my first digital camera a few years ago, but prefer film still.