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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      29.11.2000 05:11
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      I've owned Olympus SLRs for over 25 years - starting with an early OM-1, and only swapping that for my current OM-4 about 6 years ago. This was bought second hand from a good local dealer, and I gave my old manual version in part exchange. I kept my lenses, and have changed these around a bit over the years [more on that later]. What do I like about the OM-4? Well, first the size of the whole system. As long as you stick to OM Zuiko lenses the wieght and size of a camera body and 3 lenses is relatively tiny - compare them against a top range Nikon or Canon system and you'll see what I mean. Only some of the Pentaxes come close. The viewfinder's easily visible if you wear glasses [many systems are poor in this respect] and I've found the camera and lenses very robust. Tough trials have included dropping the whole lot off some rocks on Helvellyn in the Lake District: it survived! These days, Olympus are concentrating on their digital cameras. These are very nice, but if you use a good projector (eg Leitz) and screen [or produce prints much above 10x8"] even the top digital systems are made to look poor in comparison with a mid-range 35mm conventional system. Olympus' SLR equipment is now staggeringly expensive bought new, but there's a lot of high-quality, hardly-used second hand OM and Zuiko equipment in good dealers now at knock-down prices - in the Spring I bought a mint condition Zuiko 300mm f4.5 lens for £160. New these are now over £1000! The metering system on the OM-4 is wonderful - it's got spot or averaging sensing and there's a great deal of manual control available if you want it. Flash synchronization with one of the dedicated flashguns is superb because it actually controls the duration of the flash by metering reflected light off the film. I used to be sniffy about auto cameras when I had the old OM-1, but the rise in the percentage of well-exposed shots that followed my purcha
      se of the OM-4 convinced me otherwise. Some early OM-4s had problems with the electronics, but any around now will have had this sorted out, and I think they now have a good reputation in the trade. I've got 35mm f2, 21mm f3.5 and 300mm f4.5 Zuiko lenses, and a Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 macro lens, which cover most of my needs. However, I'd like a 35mm 'shift' lens for architectural photography, if anyone wants to sell one? Don't forget good quality old SLRs - they'll provide a lot of photographic pleasure for years to come.

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