Olympus OM system

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The Olympus OM is a camera system introduced by Olympus in 1972.

The OM system was designed by the legendary camera designer Yoshihisa Maitani. Mr Maitani halved the weight of the professional SLR camera body with few compromises in reliability or versatility. The OM-1 has been a favorite of astronomers and others in scientific fields for decades. It's light weight, manual operation and mirror lockup make it ideal for attaching to telescopes and microscopes. The OM system also became a favorite of all those for whom weight without optical compromises was a primary consideration. OMs have been around the world with some of the National Geographic photographers convinced enough to give up their Canikons, they have also been to the top of Everest with climber Chris Bonington. Professional photographers David Bailey and Lord Lichfield also used to be associated with the OM system.

The OM system continued to develop with advanced electronics for sophisticated metering systems and program modes, however, when the autofocus revolution hit in the late 80's Olympus were late to the market and with a very amateur system. Manual focus OM's continued to be sold until the end of the century and they still have a faithful following among enthusiasts today.

The very first bodies were called M1.

We can distinguish two main ranges of manual focus OM bodies:

Later was introduced the OM-707 and OM-101 autofocus bodies which sold poorly.

Still later the OM-2000 was a low range body manufactured by Cosina but that could accept the OM lenses.

The OM system comprised the OM bodies, the OM lenses, and many accessories covering everything from astrophotography to microphotography. For that reason the OM system has been used for many years, and is still used by astro or macro photographers.