Are Olympus winders ok?

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Chris Nielsen

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I would like to shoot action with my OM gear, specifically airshows, so I had considered buying a 300 f/4.5 plus some kind of winder or motor drive but I don't know anything about the Olympus winders. Do they work well, are they reliable, is this a pointless endeavor etc.

I could just buy an Nikon F100 and use it with the 70-300 I have lying around I suppose

Thoughts?
 
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The winder on my OM2n works great. Very smooth and solid feel and sound. Only had it for a year or so so I cannot speak to it's longer term reliability.
 
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The winder 2 is good, simple with 4 AAs, but fps isnt that high. Youd need the larger and bulkier motor drive, which is much harder to find. The f100 with added battery grip should shoot at higher fps than the winder2.
 

chriscrawfordphoto

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The motor drives required special rechargeable battery packs that are almost all dead by now. Some people have rebuilt them, but it is expensive.
 

pen s

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My Winder-1 died but no big deal. I bought the OM-1 for it's compact form factor and the winder was just too bulky. I think Winder-1's have more problems than the Winder-2. What ever you do, don't misplace the winder cover from the bottom of your camera. Replacements are not easy to come by.
 

mopar_guy

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I have been using Olympus gear for over 25 years. I have never had a Winder 1 or Winder 2, but I have used the Motor Drive 2 for years, and I love it. The Winders have a rate of 2 1/2 frames per second while the Motor Drive fires at a rate of 5 frames per second. The Winders use AA batteries but the Motor Drives need a separate power source. The three options to power the Motor Drive are 1) The M. 15V Ni-Cad Control Pack, 2) The M. 18V Control Grip, or 3) a dedicated AC power source that utilizes household current.

The OM-4T(i) Body with no lens weighs 510 grams. The Motor Drive 2 weighs 360 grams and if I remember correctly the M. 15V Ni-Cad Pack is about 160 grams. The combination of my OM-4T with Motor Drive 2 and Ni-Cad Control Pack 2 has a very solid feel and I think that the combination handles very well.

All OM system units were discontinued in 2002 by Olympus, and I would guess that your chances of finding a usable Ni-Cad Control Pack are roughly 20%, although Camtech will still rebuild them using NiMh cells. The M. 18V Control Grip uses 12 AA cells and clips to the bottom of the Motor Drive or can be placed in a pocket and connected with a Relay Cord. The M. 18V Control grip has the advantage of adding a stable Pistol type grip below the camera and the use of AA batteries.

A Winder can be had for cheap but a working Motor Drive 2 and Ni-cad Control Pack 2 may cost $250 or more and you will probably need to have the Ni-Cad pack rebuilt.

Oh, the Motor Drive 2 has a LED readout that counts down the Frames remaining and has other functions as well, but there is also built in electronics. The Motor Drive 2 will allow motorized Rewind with OM-4, OM-3, OM-4T and OM3Ti bodies.
 
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momus

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Good price on the winder, but as mentioned they really aren't that fast. For the same $19 you should be able to buy an N8008s to go w/ that zoom you mentioned, or for a little more an N90s. I'm not an auto focus guy so I don't know which model would be better for that (I suspect the N90s), but I shoot my N8008s regularly w/ Nikon and Leica R glass and love that camera. Best spot meter I've ever used. If your 70 300 lens is manual focus you won't need a N90s, the N8008s will do everything you need it to do. The focus screens are user replaceable in about 30 seconds, but I go w/ the standard matte AF screen and use the focus confirmation light when in doubt. The viewfinder is huge, bright, and I can see all of it even w/ my glasses on. Takes cheap AAA batteries. It's amazing that you can buy a camera that's packed w/ all the features it has for so little money. It can shoot at over 3 fps if that's fast enough. The N90s does over 4. Neither looks as cool as an F100 if that matters. They just work.
 
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Simon Howers

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Winders tend to break down

I would like to shoot action with my OM gear, specifically airshows, so I had considered buying a 300 f/4.5 plus some kind of winder or motor drive but I don't know anything about the Olympus winders. Do they work well, are they reliable, is this a pointless endeavor etc.

I could just buy an Nikon F100 and use it with the 70-300 I have lying around I suppose

Thoughts?

Chris,
I used an OM system to cover sports events and airshows from the mid 70's for 20 years. I used winders - rather than motor drives - because they were cheap, light and simple to use. Unlike the camera bodies, which I found extremely robust, the winders would break down after 2-300 films. I just used to bin them and buy new, which you can no longer do. I used to keep a spare in my bag. If you are looking for reliability in a second hand piece of kit then I wouldn't recommend the Winder.

Regards

Simon
 

gliderbee

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My Winder-1 died but no big deal. I bought the OM-1 for it's compact form factor and the winder was just too bulky. I think Winder-1's have more problems than the Winder-2. What ever you do, don't misplace the winder cover from the bottom of your camera. Replacements are not easy to come by.

IIRC, there is a slot inside the winder to store that cover :smile:.

Stefan

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aoresteen

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There are two winders - Winder 1 and Winder 2. I've have two Winder 1s go bad - clutch problems. There are no parts available. I've never had any issues with Winder 2 units. When a Winder 1 goes bad it's a parts unit. Not worth the repair.

I do have Motor Drive 1. I sent it to John (zuiko.com) and he overhauled it. Not cheap but it works great. I use the 18v grip and a Nicad pack which John rebuilt. I've not used it much and sometimes I wonder why I bought and why I spent the $$ having it fixed.

John can still service the OM motor drives & battery packs but be prepared for a hefty bill.

http://zuiko.com/index_011.htm

Good luck!
 
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Chris Nielsen

Chris Nielsen

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Wow, you lot are amazing, thanks for the information!

Just a note about my Nikon lens, it's the vr G lens, and I did have an N90 but it doesn't know about VR and is crippled with a G lens so I got rid of it, I think an F100 would work a lot better
 

LiamG

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An F100 will work way better with that lens than an N90- even if it just added the second control dial, but you get VR and a really nice AF system as well.
 

thuggins

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It is hard to imagine using the Zuiko 300f4.5 at an air show. It is a big lens which would be practically impossible to hand hold and focus; it is not much smaller than the 400f6.3, and 300mm is really not that long for this kind of work. The 200f4 with the B300 T-CON gives you 340mm in a smaller, lighter package at about the same speed. I use this for the zoo and such and it is much more practical than the 300f4.5. The other option is a 500f8 mirror lens. Tamron makes a nice one that fits the OM's, and as I recall the specs are better than the Zuiko.

But any of those will still be problematic at an airshow. Since you will be looking at snapping a huge number of shots on the off chance that one or two turn out looking good, you would be better off with a technology that dare not speak its name.
 
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Chris Nielsen

Chris Nielsen

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It is hard to imagine using the Zuiko 300f4.5 at an air show. It is a big lens which would be practically impossible to hand hold and focus; it is not much smaller than the 400f6.3, and 300mm is really not that long for this kind of work. The 200f4 with the B300 T-CON gives you 340mm in a smaller, lighter package at about the same speed. I use this for the zoo and such and it is much more practical than the 300f4.5. The other option is a 500f8 mirror lens. Tamron makes a nice one that fits the OM's, and as I recall the specs are better than the Zuiko.

But any of those will still be problematic at an airshow. Since you will be looking at snapping a huge number of shots on the off chance that one or two turn out looking good, you would be better off with a technology that dare not speak its name.

Oh boy

Thanks for the info, I hadn't considered the hand-holdability. I have one of those unnameable devices that I can use. Perhaps I should just forget the ground to air stuff and shoot parked a/c with my RB67 :smile:
 

LiamG

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Oh boy

Thanks for the info, I hadn't considered the hand-holdability. I have one of those unnameable devices that I can use. Perhaps I should just forget the ground to air stuff and shoot parked a/c with my RB67 :smile:
I don't think a 300/4,5 should present much hand holding problems, that's what those lenses are really good at actually. I regularity use a 300/body combo that weighs well over 4kg, and while I don't want to hand hold it all day, I've certainly been able to get many good photos that way.
 

darinwc

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Having both an Olympus and Nikon system, I would recommend the Nikon F100 for telephoto or action work.
 
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