Top of this page

Top of this page




Contents start

OM Series

Eliminate the Three Major Problems
The three major problems with single-lens reflex cameras were size, weight, and shutter noise /shock. The OM Series solved all of these problems. Olympus created a major hit product by packing a powerful system capable of photographing everything from stars to bacteria into the world's lightest and most compact body. The factor that allowed Olympus to eliminate the three problems was the uncompromising determination of everyone involved from design through to production. Considerable effort was applied to the reduction of weight, including the replacement of minute brass screws with steel screws, which were slightly lighter.
Olympus FTL Olympus FTL M-1 M-1 OM-1 OM-1
OM-2 OM-2 OM-4 OM-4 OM-3 OM-3
OM-2SP OM-2SP
  Olympus FTL   (1971)
With the launch of the Olympus FTL in 1971, Olympus targeted overseas markets for the first time. It was a single-lens reflex camera with a 42mm Practica mount. Six lenses were available, ranging from 28mm to 200mm. Though the camera used a screw-mount system, it also featured a stopper to fix the position of the lens and provided precise exposure linkage based on open-aperture metering. The Olympus FTL was on the market for only a short time, since its role ended with the appearance of the OM-1.
Olympus FTL
Top of this page
  OM-1   (1973)
Introduced in 1973, the OM-1 was the first product in the OM Series. It earned wide acclaim as the world's smallest and lightest 35mm single-lens reflex camera. at the time of its lanch in 1973 The ribbons in the cloth curtain shutter were replaced with strings, and the camera was equipped with an air damper to absorb the shock of mirror movement. The condenser was eliminated, and a pentaprism with a curved lower surface was used. Olympus employed a wide range of innovative ideas to reduce body size and the noise and shock caused by shutter operation. Shutter durability was also improved, resulting in a system capable of withstanding 100,000 operations. The finder screen could be replaced from the lens mount side. The OM-1 initially went on sale as the M-1. However, the product created such an impact that Leica asked Olympus to change the name. Olympus improved and developed a wide range of technology in preparation for the production of the OM-1, including rust prevention technology for the steel materials used to reduce weight, pentaprism processing technology, and heat treatment and surface processing technologies to maximize durability.
M-1
M-1
OM-1
OM-1
Top of this page
  OM-2   (1975)
This camera went on sale in 1975. It features an automatic exposure (AE) system with an aperture-preferred shutter. The OM-2 also had the world's first TTL direct metering system, which measures light reflected off the surface of the film. This allowed exposure control during shooting, and automatic TTL strobe adjustment using a specially designed strobe. To develop the TTL direct metering technology, Olympus collected 35mm film from throughout the world and measured the reflection ratios for each roll. The results were used to determine the density of printing on the shutter curtain.
OM2
Top of this page
  OM-4   (1983)
Launched in 1983, the OM-4 was the perfect OM-series camera. It had a light metering system based on up to eight multi-spots. The speed of the electronic shutter was increased to 1/2000 sec. The OM-4 also inherited direct metering technology, and its drip-proofing and durability were improved. An LCD bar-graph was used to display exposure readings in the finder. The result was a product that Olympus could describe with pride as a high-end single-lens reflex camera. The space needed to accommodate the spot-metering mechanism and circuitry was provided by lowering the bottom of the camera. This meant that the motor drive and other features of the OM-1 and OM-2 could also be retained in the OM-4. A later enhanced version, the OM-4Ti, featured a titanium body and enhanced functions.
 
OM-4
Top of this page
  OM-3   (1984)
The OM-3 went on sale in 1984. Its mechanical shutter, capable of speeds up to 1/2000 sec. could be operated even without a battery. Olympus enhanced the shutter curtain travel mechanism to ensure reliable high-speed shutter operation at 1/2000 sec. Other improvements included speed control and low-speed shutter systems that were more compact than earlier shutter systems. Like the OM-4, the user could switch between center-weighted and spot light metering with multiple spots. A later enhanced version, the OM-3Ti, featured a titanium body and enhanced functions.
OM-3
Top of this page
  OM-2SP
The OM-2SP (Spot / Program) was the first OM-Series camera with a programmed exposure control system. It went on sale in 1984. The camera supported programmed control using existing OM system lenses. After selecting the aperture control program on the body, the user could adjust the aperture setting more precisely according to direct light metering. Olympus subsequently introduced exchangeable lenses that were enhanced to provide better performance under programmed aperture control.
OM-2SP
Top of this page
* Other products can be viewed on the product line-up page.
backnext
* The information shown is based on information in initial product announcements.

Contents end

Top of this page





Copyright OLYMPUS CORPORATION All Rights Reserved.