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Old May 28, 2008, 7:55 PM   #21
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Dangerous Brian wrote:
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My reason was quality of lenses
Amen, bro!


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Old May 28, 2008, 10:01 PM   #22
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Hi Dangerous Brian: Interesting that you mention the C8080. I still reach for it quite often. The image quality and ruggedness of the camera turned it into one of my favorites. While I liked the size and lenses of the Oly dSLR, it was the C8080 that re-enforced my decision that the Oly dSLR was the way to go.

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Old May 29, 2008, 12:03 PM   #23
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tkurkowski wrote:
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Dangerous Brian wrote:
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My reason was quality of lenses
Amen, bro!

About 25 years ago.....(old fart story warning!)A friend of mine and his wife also Oly fans. (Quite a few of our old hiking gang went OM cameras back then.) Took a trip to Japan, which led to a visit to the Ziuko/Oly factory. He was expecting that the glass would be specialy cast then carefully/lovingly machined. In actuality, he said they just hacked and chiseled our of a big "Lump" of poured glass. Then it was machined but the machines and people working them were exceptional.

I imagine now that they'd be fully computer driven.

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Old May 30, 2008, 2:25 PM   #24
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Good Reading all those comments, whatI like about this forum is that everybody also gives a little more info which makes a good reading and somtimes a good laugh :Gand a little insight into the person themselfs.

ps I used to own a pentax me super and my cousin the om-10 his om-10 stood up better, but the pentaxwas still a good camera. I just thought the buildQA was better on om system, just hope olympus dont do what can/nik are doing in low end cameras and skipping on QA.




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Old May 30, 2008, 4:16 PM   #25
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Dangerous Brian wrote:
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I just thought the buildQA was better on om system, just hope olympus dont do what can/nik are doing in low end cameras and skipping on QA.



Just the opposite. In fact, this one of the great strengths of Olympus. In my opinion, their high quality from entry level up the the E-3 is SUBSTANTIALLY more consistent than Canon and Nikon.

I've personally found the entry level Canons to be, at the very least, flimsy in their feel.I haven't been at all impressed by them. Canon makes brilliant high end cameras but, as I said earlier, they treat their entry level DSRLs as little more than devices to get you hooked on the Canon mount. Then, of course, after you spend a few grand for that big fancy Canon, you find you can't make full use of the lenses you bought for your first Canon DSLR.

I only own the E-500 and E-510 (used to own OM-1 back in the day) so I can't claim expertise in every Oly DSLR. But the 500 and 510 look and feel well built. They don't flex under finger pressure. They have a durable, professional finish...no paint wearing thin or peeling texture. They have a feeling that inspires confidence. Before getting an E-500, the last SLR I used regularly was my Nikon F3 so I didn't just fall off the turnip truck with no experience in quality. I think I can honestly judge when something is well built (actually, I was a Quality Control guy when I worked in the aero engine biz). Oly gets high marks in my book for treating entry level cameras with respect.
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Old May 30, 2008, 6:00 PM   #26
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Scouse wrote:
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About 25 years ago.....(old fart story warning!)A friend of mine and his wife also Oly fans. (Quite a few of our old hiking gang went OM cameras back then.) Took a trip to Japan, which led to a visit to the Ziuko/Oly factory. He was expecting that the glass would be specialy cast then carefully/lovingly machined. In actuality, he said they just hacked and chiseled our of a big "Lump" of poured glass. Then it was machined but the machines and people working them were exceptional.

I imagine now that they'd be fully computer driven.
Hi, Ken

In the world of "good amateur telescopes" (say, with an aperture of 8" to 11") the mirror and lens grinding is done by computer controlled machines but the final optical assembly product is fine-tuned manually. Because terrestrial (photographic) optical lenses are very much smaller, I assume they are done completely by computer controlled machines but I don't know that for sure.

However, being a computer geek Isuspectthat the major advance for SLR camera lenses was in the application of computer modeling to the lens design itself, rather than just the manufacturing process. Originally (pre-computers), if you wanted to see if a specific lens design was any good you had to draw the design (i.e. all the lens elements) on a large piece of graph paper and then manually trace light rays through the lens elements. This meant computing the angle of refraction (bending) of the light ray across every one of the lens surfaces (interior and exterior) and tracing the light ray through the lens. At the outer and inner diameters. And oh by the way, if you didn't want chromatic abberation you had to do that for a bunch of light rays across the spectrum of visible light (the index of refraction varies by wavelength). So it's no surprise that the original 35mm lenses worked reasonably well for B&W photography butnot so well for color.

It is my recollection [dubious at best, which is why I would never post this comment on DPReview (grin)] that the computer lens design revolution started with the Vivitar Series One macro lenses in the early 1970s. Vivitar had created a computer model that would do the light-ray tracing I described above, to determine if the design was any good. I have to assume that nowadays the lens manufacturers have refined the computer models so that they canadjust the curvature of the individual lens elements in real time and see ifthat improves the design. The interesting question is why Oly and Leica seem to be able to do that better than anyone else.

In previous posts I have offered the opinion that today's DSLR lenses are less expensive than they were decades ago. I did some more thinking on this issue, and have come up with some quantitative evidence for my assertion. The original Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4.0 macro zoom originally sold for around $250USD in the mid-1970s and was regarded as a ground-breaking lens at the time;nowadays that price is equivalent to$1100USD. Today, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS sells for$1,700USD. But the Canon is autofocus, image-stabilized, and a fixed f/2.8. Ignoring any issues about the IQ of the Canon versus the Vivitar, I think we would all agree that feature-for-feature the Canon is less expensive than the Vivitar. So I feel comfortable in asserting that we get more for our money now than we did years ago in the film-SLR era. Woohoo!

Ted
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Old May 30, 2008, 11:57 PM   #27
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Interesting post Ted. I believe you're correct obout the price today vs back then. More competition now to get the lenses out and sold as well. Initially the prices seem pretty stiff but as soon as new stuff comes up the pipline then the prices will ease. Lenses, cameras or virtually anything in the electronic field.

I had the 70-200 Vivitar series one and still have the Viv series one 600 cat lens they put out. It's obviously dated now and a real pain to set up. The "really" narrow DOF makes it a bear to focus. With the 4/3 sensor it won't focus down to under 32 feet. The more useful lens with better qualityresults would be your 70-300 Zuico

I did get some interesting eclipse shots with it, this is from a lousy copy of a good slide. Really got to get some slide done this next winter!!!!

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Old Jun 1, 2008, 12:59 PM   #28
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Scouse wrote:
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Interesting post Ted. I believe you're correct obout the price today vs back then.

I did get some interesting eclipse shots with it, this is from a lousy copy of a good slide. Really got to get some slide done this next winter!!!!
Thanks! I wish I could get my hands on a copy of Modern Photography or Pop Photo from the late 1970s or early 1980s. I'd love to see the prices in the ads at the back of the magazine.

Nice shot of the eclipse!

Ted
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Old Jun 1, 2008, 3:46 PM   #29
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Build quality, value for money and an appreciation for Olympus as an independent-thinking company are the main reasons I am drawn to Olympus and plan to buy an E-520. Back in my 35mm film days, my cameras were Minoltas, Canons and yes, even Vivitar. I also had a Yashica medium-format camera. But I had no real experience with Olympus.

Today, my digital camera stable consists of a Canon S3 IS and a Canon SD1000 - both absolutely great cameras in their categories. But when I decided it was time to add a digital SLR, Canon's offerings under $1000 seemed a bit plasticky and flimsy. The Olympus E-series seems a lot more solid and professional - at least to me. In a Canon, I would have to buy a 40D to get the same level of perceived build quality. Olympus cameras also seem to handle better for me as well.

Some Canon and Nikon devotees may make remarks about the 4/3 format - and yes, there are some limitations. But if one doesn't spend their time sitting at a computer, pixel-peeping all day, one will discover the 4/3 format offers many advantages and no marked disadvantages in real-world shooting.

And then we come to lenses: Yes, it's true one can spend stratospheric amounts of money on lenses of any brand. But, from the very start, even Olympus's kit lenses were a cut (or two) above the competition, meaning that even people on a budget could have access to solid optics. Canon and Nikon are only now beginning to address this. And while their kit offerings are much-improved, they are still no better than the Zuiko kit pieces.

And if you move up one notch from the kit level - without delving into pro glass - Olympus offers lenses that are faster and better-built than the competition at the same price point.

Perhaps Olympus needs to do this in order to compete against the big boys. But it also seems to me that Olympus, at some level, has more respect for their customers. Yes, they need to make a profit, but they don't appear to be cynically sucking people into a system designed have one forever pining for that next great lens. At least that's my impression and it's a big part of my attraction to their products.
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