Olympus OM system

A classic camera system

Olympus introduced the OM system in the early seventies, as their radical new camera system. At the time of introduction the OM-1 was an exceptionally small and lightweight SLR cameras. The sensation was almost as large when the OM-2  with automatic shutter was introduced a few years later, sacrificing only 10 grams of extra weight.
The OM system was developed and extended through the seventies and eighties. With camera bodies in a wide price range, the system became quite popular, but never really broke through with the professional press photographers. Also the switch to auto focus was not entirely successful. Eventually Olympus changed their priorities to digital photography, so in nineties the OM system has not seen much development. The most notable nineties OM camera is the OM3Ti, which is basically a revived eighties OM3 with a titanium shell. A lovely camera, but very expensive.
Despite the troubles, Olympus has a significant following of enthusiasts, who keep using the fine, compact cameras with great satisfaction.

Articles on Olympus OM equipment

A few cuts from the Danish magazine Foto film & video.

Modifying the gear

Although Olympus has made some very fine equipment there is occasionally room for improvement or, at least, a change of priorities. Follow this link to a few cookbook descriptions to OM system modifications.


Keeping the equipment in good condition normally does not involve much, but guides for a few do it yourself repairs are available on my maintenance page.

Interfaces & Connectors

Even though a camera does not have nearly as many electrical interfaces as computer equipment, the OM equipment does have a few. Mostly the connectors are not described in any detail. I attempt to remedy that problem on my interfaces page.

Shutter testing

As the shutter is one of the critical parts of a camera, it is worth knowing something about its condition. The following page contains a description of a simple testing procedure using a normal TV set.

Other Olympus resources on the net

Given the age of the OM system, there is actually a lot of OM related activity on the net. Just a few links to a large world:
The mailing list dedicated to the Olympus cameras is where a group of enthusiasts world wide meet to discuss their common passion.


This page is maintained by Lars Haven.
Last modification 2006-09-14