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Om30 / Omf
Old 01-09-2007   #1
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Om30 / Omf

Apropo cameras with a 'living' meter in manual, there is an OM, perhaps the most forgotten one without guilt from the 'amateur' double digit line, which I happen to like a lot. Several features of the pro OMs are lacking at the double digits, but the contrary is true no less.

The most important feature of the OM30 or OMF, is its capability to mount the AF zoom 35~70, mountable in all OM cameras, but becoming a truly AF camera only with the OM30, autofocusing by a slight depress of the trigger. I am not going to review this camera, and ceirtanly not the AF 35~70 which deserves a separated posting and thread. But I will throw some highlights I love about this dirty cheap camera, deserving our attention:

a) As said, when in manual, the viewfinder info still shows the recommended exposure of the camera aperture priority metering.

b) Furthermore, at the viewfinder you find the same scale of speeds like in the OM2 (n or not), but a further improvement was introduced: at the left side of the scale, besides each speed, there are red dots turning on when a speed is selected by the camera. This is a tremendous aid when at low light situations in which you cannot read the marked speeds, nor see the OM2 indicator. The red dots do not illuminate the speed for you to read, but very quickly you get a deep sense of where you are according to the dot height.

c) like with the OM2 and others, you have a quick exposure compensation dial, going up and down by 1/3rd stop, up to two full stops either direction. This button is essential for a center weight metering camera. Because of the cheapo character of the camera, this compensating button of the OM30 is much softer and quick to rotate, than in any other single digit OM.

d) The shutter release trigger is very similar to those of the Pen system, with a very small protruding part and very short travel down. Somehow this type of release wouldn't be fired by accident, nor noticed by your subject prior to noise.

e) The noise of the shutter is louder and longer than the single digit OMs, of course, but less noisy than the OMG (I have never holded the OMPC nor the OM10). Still you can reduce noise by two ways to combine: 1] using the original OM1 leather case, which fits quite tight. 2] by depressing at the moment of firing the depht of field lever of the lens.

f) Like most double digit "amateur" prospected OMs, the camera sports a Lumi-Micron (extremely bright) screen, granted only to the pro OM4 Ti and OM3 Ti, when sold new from factory. These extremely desirable screens are very difficult to find and buy. Price accordingly.

g) The camera is considerable lighter than single digit OMs.
Adding the superlight Zuiko zoom 35~70 f3.5~4.5 (supercompact, supersharp as well), you have an extremely powerful combo, relatively to its compact size and price, weighting very close to a single digit OM body only.

h) Top and lower castings are of some hardened plastic, chrome like color only, not adding much health against big bumps. But by the same token you can black paint them both, without need of basis color layer. And without even needing to disassemble the top.


Last edited by ruben : 01-09-2007 at 10:48.
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Old 01-09-2007   #2
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Thanks Ruben, always neat to learn more of this venerable camera series. Since the prices of the "professional" OM single digits are now within my reach, I've never taken the time to look at the double (or more) digit OM cameras.

But almost ironically, my E-300 which I use constantly, is an "amateur" DSLR, unlike E-1 or OM-4
Have a good light,

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Old 01-09-2007   #3
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Very helpful review - FYI - to me the OM PC is the loudest among the double digit OM's , and anoying with the second flapping too...
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