Olympus OM-3

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

  1. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Member

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    Sorry, it's the only interview I know. But to me the explanation he gives for the location of the speed work an the dial on this particular camera seems to be conclusive.

    Ulrich
     
  2. flavio81

    flavio81 Member
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    Well, here mr. Maitani is ignoring camera history, or is lying, has memory problems, or simply did not take apart too many SLR cameras.

    Both of the most famous cameras -- the Nikon F (1959) and the Pentax Spotmatic (1964), do have the shutter governor on the space beneath the mirror. In fact many cameras have the speed governor down there. And we're talking about cameras that came way before the OM-1.

    So to say "there was no such camera" is either lying or showing ignorance.

    Of course this means bigger size and aditional mechanisms.
    Of course, cameras like the Spotmatic or the Nikon F could also have the shutter speed controlled by a ring around the lens mount.
    But the reason the speed dial was put on top was ERGONOMICS, so both hands can control shutter speed and aperture at the same time. Just hold a Pentax Spotmatic.

    So in short, Maitaini had compactness as the #1 virtue above anything else, and the OM-1 is an example of compactness in detriment of other qualities like ergonomics. And this is my main beef with the OM system.

    The fun thing is that Maitani also designed one of my favorite cameras ever, the Olympus Pen S3.5.
     
  3. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Member

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    Admitted, I have not that much experience with conventional SLR. But every one I had my hands on, I needed thumb and index finger to adjust the speed (may be they just had been a little bit stiff in the controls?). After that I had to put back my finger onto the release button. To me the controls of the OMs seem to be much more intuitive. But may be it's just about what you got used to.

    Ulrich
     
  4. MattKing

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    Olympus OM's concentric aperture, focus and shutter speed controls are, IMHO, the best thing since sliced bread:D.

    One hand can easily be used to adjust all three.

    As usual, YMMV.
     
  5. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member
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    I can't imagine controlling shutter and aperture simultaneously....
     
  6. flavio81

    flavio81 Member
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    Well, for any manual match-needle camera like a Pentax Spotmatic or a Canon FTb or a Nikon F / F2, it helps to be able to move the shutter speed and aperture simultaneously. This allows you to easily "nail" the exposure.

    I owned a Nikkormat camera, where the shutter speed is around the lens mount just like in the OM cameras. I did not like that feature, otherwise a good camera.

    You know, when the Copal Square S shutter was released, the governor and timing gears on that shutter are close to where the self-timer is usually located (on classic cameras). This means the natural way of controlling speed was to put the shutter speed ring close to that mechanism. Cameras using this shutter are: Nikkormats, Canon EF, Ricoh Singlex TLS, among others. This is the famous "vertical" blade shutter.

    - So on the Nikkormat the shutter speed ring is around the lens mount, which was, from a mechanics point of view, the most natural way to do it. And this also meant reduced manufacturing costs, which was a goal of the Nikkormat.
    [​IMG]
    - On the Ricoh Singlex TL, the solution was to put the shutter speed dial on the front standard of the camera.
    [​IMG]
    - On the Canon EF the solution was to use a system of pulleys and strings to be able to put the shutter speed dial on top, around the shutter button, exactly like as in the Leica M5 (the Canon copied the leica shutter button/speed dial). More complex, more expensive... All the trouble they took just to place the shutter speed dial where God intends it to be :cool:
    Dead Link Removed
    - On the Nikkormat EL, the shutter control is electronic so the shutter speed dial is back on top, as the Bible demands, and it is basically a potentiometer that controls the electronics which in turn control the shutter.

    Nowadays all cameras have electronically controlled shutters; if placing the shutter speed ring around the lens mount was the best choice, every manufacturer would be doing it. But nobody does it nowadays, not even OLYMPUS.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  7. MattKing

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    Not simultaneously, but interactively.

    Adjust shutter speed to set exposure, check depth of field (which is also concentric), decide you need more or want less, adjust aperture accordingly, adjust shutter speed to give you correct exposure, etc.
     
  8. Theo Sulphate

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    As much as I like the Nikkormat and Olympus, I struggle with the shutter control near the lens mount.

    The problem is that I need wider more distinct tactile properties between aperture, focus, and shutter speed rings. So for most lenses where you have a wide focus ring out towards the objective lens and a narrower more distinct aperture ring near the mount, that works for me.

    I'll admit not being that fond of the Leica M lens' arrangement either. One other disappointment was my 28-85 Nikkor zoom, where the zoom control is a ring - I was always zooming instead of adjusting aperture. My 35-135 is a nice push/pull.

    I suppose if the OM were my only camera, I'd get used to it.
     
  9. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    The genius that was Yoshihisa Maitani was to build a complete system slr around a smaller and lighter weight camera without sacrificing quality.

    [​IMG]

    These are just a sampling from what I have of possibly some of what he may have been referring to as the larger cameras for comparison. I have also added the weights of each example. Clearly, he achieved the goal.
     
  10. Theo Sulphate

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    Good comparison.

    Unless one was alive and interested in SLRs back in the early 1970's, it's hard to describe what a sensation the OM-1 was when it first appeared.

    To me, it had an aura of elegant precision.
     
  11. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    What I can't show in the comparison is that for the smallest SLR, it also had the biggest and brightest viewfinder at that time. But of course if you wear glasses - and possibly need more eye relief, this may not be a benefit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
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    I
    I have one, as new, box, papers, gaurantee stamped in Jeddah KSA -"Shamsan Store". Also 35mm PC, 28mm/2.8, 50/1.4, 135/2.8, 200/4. It needs refoaming, but is otherwise perfect. I have all of the packing and papers for the lenses too.

    Edit - I've never put film in it, and no it is not for sale.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  13. Kino

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    CMoore

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    Why have you not used it....because of the Seals/Foam.?
     
  16. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
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    It was my father's, I've no clue why he didn't use it. Probably the OM4 was more convenient. I looked it over yesterday, and will get a seal kit for it. I found it after he died in 2008, I don't think he ever took it out of the box. Kind of a time capsule from the mid '80s.
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
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  18. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    Would love to see what a new one - packaging and all, looks like!
     
  19. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member
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    Olympus introduced the OM-3 and OM-4 at the same time with the price of the OM-3 slightly less. Fewer OM-3 were sold than OM-4 so Olympus decided to increase its price above that of the OM-4.
     
  20. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member
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    Olympus introduced the OM-3 and OM-4 at the same time with the price of the OM-3 slightly less. Fewer OM-3 were sold than OM-4 so Olympus decided to increase its price above that of the OM-4.
     
  21. wiltw

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    Someone looked up dealer prices and found OM4 and OM3 always sold to the dealers at the same price, and both had the same suggested retail price. For August 1985, the MSRP was US$ 600. When the OM4T (the US designation) came out in 08/86, MSRP was US$770,
     
  22. Rick A

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    I feel I should relate this to you Bill. When I was at the camera shop intending to buy an OM-3, the owner of the store handed me an OM-4, and explained it was far superior to the 3 as it had "auto exposure with spot metering". I had never owned a camera with auto any danged thing before, and bit. He sold me the OM-4 that you now own, Had I not listened to him and stuck to my intentions, you might now be the owner of an OM-3.
     
  23. Chan Tran

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    A quote from the Nikon website:
    "
    The Nikon FM adopted a square-type focal plane shutter called "Copal CCS-M". This shutter unit features in that shutter speed selector cam shaft is arranged horizontally, and if coupled directly with the shutter dial, the dial goes through the camera's front panel.
    This was same as in the previous "Copal Square S" shutter unit and other manufacturers actually located the shutter dial in front of the camera body.
    The Nikomat series, starting with the Nikomat FT (See Part 5.), brought the dial to the lens mount area for the sake of looks, but there were arguments for and against this.

    When adjusting exposure by looking through the viewfinder, the aperture ring and shutter dial are close to each other, for easy operation.
    Once you get used to it, you can find out the shutter speed setting from the position of this dial's lever.
    However, on the other hand, some criticized its relatively unsophisticated lens-shutter-camera-type looks.

    Many people had an idée fixe that a shutter dial of a focal plane shutter should be located on top of the camera.
    As a result, the FM's shutter dial was placed at the conventional position, as on the Nikomat EL, ELW, and Nikon EL2.

    This arrangement requires rotating movement from the camera top's dial to the shutter unit's front cam shaft, and bending 90 degrees of the rotating direction.

    The designers considered using gears, but too many gears would be needed, and the plays will not be completely eliminated. One day, an engineer suggested using a durable string. Despite skepticism, it worked just fine, without shifting or loosening, even after hard testing.

    Thus, we succeded to position the shutter dial conventionally in a very simple way using a string a pulley."

    http://imaging.nikon.com/history/chronicle/cousins09-e/index.htm
     
  24. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    You often hear complaints about the location on the shutter speed ring on single digit OM cameras; you never hear those complaints with a Hasselblad yet it is in the same location - concentric with the aperture. I like the location. I can adjust shutter speed, aperture, and focus with my left hand without taking my right hand off the shutter release, and without moving my eye from the viewfinder. But everybody has his own preference as to camera haptics so I don't begrudge those that prefer the shutter speed on the top plate. I think it is largely what you are use to. I have been using my Olympus cameras for nearly 40 years, so I would have a hard time switching back at this point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  25. RichardJack

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    I would agree and say go for the OM-4 instead. Nothing wrong with the 3, the 4 is just better.
     
  26. nsurit

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    The OM 3T or Ti is the much harder one to find, which is not to say the OM 3 is not hard to find or a fine camera. If someone is seriously interested in an OM 3, contact me off list at nsurit@aol.com. I own both the 3 and 3 Ti and am not interested in selling either, however have a friend who will be back in the USA mid-August who has one he would probably let go of but not for $15. Bill Barber
     
  27. Chan Tran

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    August 1985 issue of Popular Photography in the Adorama ads listed the OM-3 for $349.95 and the OM-4 for $286.95.
     
  28. benjiboy

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    I used to sell the OM3 in the professional dealers I worked at in the the days they were current and it is a fine camera but in today's market for the same money one would have to shell out for one you could buy two mint condition Canon New F1's with AE prisms and I know which I would choose.
     
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