Olympus OM-3

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by CMoore, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Svenedin

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    For years I thought my OM4-Ti had a problem with abnormal battery drain. In fact, it has the updated circuit. The problem was that the bottom plate was slightly loose, probably from a lot of use on a tripod. Removing it, cleaning and screwing it back has completely fixed the problem. One of the battery contacts is via the bottom plate, the other a small spring in the battery compartment.
     
  2. TheRook

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    That's true.
    But if you find it really cheap, most likely this will be at a yard sale. Unlike on eBay, at yard sales oftentimes the seller has no idea what stuff is worth. (A common scenario: grandpa dies, relatives throw all his old camera equipment into a box and try to sell it for next to nothing). Some of the best deals on cameras and lenses I ever came across were at yard sales. Of course finding a specific camera model at a yard sale, especially a relatively rare model, requires much luck and patience.
     
  3. Poisson Du Jour

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    Common scenario 2: Grandpa dies. And takes all his old camera equipment to the grave with him for the joys of the afterlife...
     
  4. klownshed

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    I've never seen an OM-3, but have an OM-1, OM-2, OM-2n and OM-4.

    One aspect of the OM-1 and 2 that I prefer to the OM-3/4 is the viewfinder. It's noticeably bigger and I'd say also brighter. The OM-4 feels a bit more cramped, and whilst it has to convey all the spot metering information, I prefer the simpler shutter speed indication of the OM-2.

    The metering of the OM-3/4 is fantastic, and if I was sensible enough to just use one camera all the time I'd get more out of it with experience and familiarity, but having said that I don't use slide film and rarely have an issue with metering with either the OM-1 or 2.

    The OM-3 might have had tighter tolerances than the OM-1 and would have benefited from a few more years of development, but the OM-1 was never a consumer grade camera. My only criticism of the OM-1 compared to the OM-4 with respect to quality is the mirror vibration is a bit more noticeable but it doesn't seem to affect the photos.
     
  5. Ricardo Miranda

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    It seems to me to be the opposite. I don't feel vibrations with the OM-1.
    Saying that I shoot everything at 1/125th rarely going to 250 or 60.
    But, it is to admire Olympus for the OM-4 as it has a double mirror and a double slap. It is more auditive than anything else.
     
  6. klownshed

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    It may be just that the meter needle jumps when you take a photo with the OM-1 so you can see the vibration... Or it could be that my OM-1 needs new mirror dampers.
     
  7. baachitraka

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    No like for OM-2sp? Spot metering in manual mode with nice bars...
     
  8. faberryman

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    On man's OM3 is another man's F1n, wouldn't you say?

    (there was a url link here which no longer exists)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  9. Frank53

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    I bought one a few years ago. Very nice camera, but I don't do 35mm very much these days and I use my first 1974 om-1 and 2 om-4's more.
    So if you offer me the price I paid for it (€500), I might be willing to part with it. It's not mint, but very good looking. Sent it to the OM-Doctor in Hamburg for a check-up after I got it. Maybe I even throw in a 1.4 50mm.
    Regards,
    Frank
     
  10. MattKing

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    I've been happily using mine since I bought it new.

    It sort of shows it (a shot I took when I exposed my very last roll of Kodachrome just before processing ceased):

    upload_2016-9-14_9-38-7.png

    The "program" metering is a bit rudimentary compared to some of the competitors that came after it, but the only serious downside is that the electronics are such that if they die, it is un-repairable.
     
  11. Ricardo Miranda

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    The meter needle jumps and the same happens be it an OM-2SP or a OM-4 cause the cells on the -1 are in the prism housing, so when mirror flips up, it darkens the view for the meter.
    On the OM-2SP, -3 and -4 series the meter is house at the bottom of the chamber. Still when you take a photo and the meter flips up, there is a split second where the meter sees black. That's why you see the bars going down and up on these cameras.
     
  12. nsurit

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    The OM 3 is more easily acquired than the OM 3 T. I own copies of all of the single digit OMs and the OM 2S seems to be my "go to" body. Bill Barber
     
  13. Ulrich Drolshagen

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    I have an OM3. Bought from the classifieds here. Not that expensive, 300€ IIRC. It already sat on the shelf for several weeks before I decided to rescue it to a safe new home.
    It's a fine camera but I prefer my OM1n to the OM3.

    Ulrich
     
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  15. klownshed

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    The mirror on my OM-1 is noticeably more prominent than my OM-4.

    The meter needle of the 1 visibly ocillates. I've never noticed the OM-4 meter jump after an exposure. Or the OM-2's either. But You can't miss the OM-1's needle jump about after the mirror goes 'thwack'. ;-)

    I use my OM-1 regularly and it's a smooth and satisfying performer in every regard. But the mirror is definitely more slappy than the 4. Nowhere near the children-frightening smack of the Bronica SQ-A, and it's a satisfying sound all round. The OM-4 feels different and a lot less slappy.

    I've been using my OM-1 a lot recently (I've been doing a photo a day project this year, and for the last few weeks my OM-1 has been my primary camera) and I love it.

    Even it's big slappy, flappy mirror and oscillating meter needle.

    If the truth be told, I like the mirror slap of the OM-1.
     
  16. Ricardo Miranda

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    Then your OM-1 must be defective.
    Maitani designed a new method of dampening the mirror using an air dampener.
    The entire camera was designed to be a lot more silent and smoother than the existent models. And the mirror slap is a lot better than any other camera of the time.
    The -2 Spot Program and the -3 and -4 are noticeable louder than the -1 or -2 due to the secondary mirror.

    Here you can read about it: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/index.htm
    And here you can a lot of info including the repair manual: http://olympus.dementix.org/
     
  17. thuggins

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    That's an interesting thought. When I tracked down the medical Pens (both of them) to round out my collection, it wasn't because I hoped to improve my colonoscopy pictures. There is something to owning and preserving unique examples of technology.
     
  18. and

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    I bought one new whenever it was they came out, and a couple of months later it developed a fault with the meter. Still under guarantee I took it back to the shop, and John asked if I wanted to exchange it for a new one, so I said Yes. He took the bottom plate of mine and got a new one off the shelf, took the plate of that. He gave me the new body to attach my plate on to and he put the new plate on my old faulty body, packed it all up and sent it back to Olympus for replacement! Since then I've been a bit suspicious of serial numbers on bottom plates. I loved the idea that it was,according to Olympus, hand built.....but when you see stuff on youtube about older cameras, they all seem to be put together by hand!
    Some few months later, just as I was beginning to really like using it, it was stolen! Now I have a few Nikon F cameras, which I figure are too heavy to be stolen quite so easily.
     
  19. Scotch

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    OM-3 is the dream Camera to get! I once met a well known Camera Repair man named Avi of Superior Camera Service in WoodLand Hills, California asking me out of the blue if I knew anyone that has a OM3 to sell. This was 20 years ago, and coming from a expert camera guy who has many Leicas and Hasselblads in his shop.
     
  20. Bill Burk

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    Nice story, sorry to hear it got stolen. I was at a beach in southern California one day taking pictures with an expensive camera. After I used all the film, I put it down by the towels in a bag, walked to the edge of the surf, took off my sandals and waded with the kids...

    When I got back, my sandals were gone...

    Made me realize I wasn't at a Boy Scout camp where you can just leave things lying around.

    Camera was fine, but I had to walk on blistering asphalt to find a shop where I could get a cheap pair of flip-flops.
     
  21. and

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    Good one Bill, sorry about the sandals!
     
  22. flavio81

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    Just to dispel some myths -- the 1959 Canonflex camera already had a mirror dampener (not pneumatic but clockwork), to minimize mirror slap. The following Canon cameras (RP, RM, FX, FT, A-series...) have it too. So it is not something that wasn't tried in the past.

    On the OM-1 the purpose was to quiet down the sound, the mirror slap is not lower than in the premium SLR cameras like a Canon F-1 or Nikon F3 or Leicaflex.

    When marketed in magazines, the adverts (i have some) showed some things that were a bit misleading, for example they claimed to be the only ones who put the clockwork mechanism below the mirror box so it was better shielded/etc etc. Actually the Nikon F, Pentax Spotmatic cameras and many others have the clockwork mechanism just right there.

    For some reason, here most (or all) the OM-1 cameras i've found have some problem or other, for example the film advance mechanism seems to be a weak point, some of those used OMs advance like if you were grinding rocks... Maitani's goal was compactness, lightness and silent sound, not reliability or easy ergonomics, and it shows...

    As for the OM-3, for some reason the folks at Olympus thought it was a "good" idea to price it way way higher than comparable SLRs, close to Leica territory, which was absurd, so the camera did not sell well. They wanted to create this "luxury" image and thought raising the price was the way. If they had priced it competitively we would see more OM-3 and 4 out there...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  23. miha

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    A random look at some of the prices from the 80s shows the OM3 to be priced between the Canon F1 and Nikon F3.
     
  24. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Member

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    From:http://olympus.dementix.org/eSIF/om-sif/concepts.htm
    Maitani himself:
     
  25. Theo Sulphate

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  26. thuggins

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    You have to be careful in reading Maitani's interviews. If you read thru his published statements carefully you will note various places where he contradicts himself or makes claims that are refuted in other published sources. Although he had a penchant for self aggrandizement, he also seemed resistant to giving interviews. John Foster (over at biofos.com) had indicated to me that both he and his translator had become extremely frustrated in working with Maitani. Later in his life he simply refused to give interviews at all.

    Nearly all Olympus cameras have the shutter speed selection around the lens; the Pen F/FT/FV and RC stand out because they are exceptions to what otherwise is a very consistent rule (and even the Pen's have the shutter speed dial on the front of the camera, right next to the lens). So it is very doubtful that the folks at Olympus would have thought that putting the shutter speed dial around the lens was "crazy".
     
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