Famous Marques

Olympus OM



OM Series









First introduced in 1973* the OM System, was a true system camera, that included interchangeable focusing screens, an interchangeable camera back and a whole range of accessories. This came on the back of the FTL, the first SLR from Olympus, which was introduced in 1970 with a 42mm screw mount lens and a range of 6 Zuiko lenses which were carried over to the OM with a change of mount. The main characteristic of the OM System was the compact size of the bodies, lenses and accessories, without compromising the reliability or versatility of the system. The chronology of the OM series is quite complicated with models and changes introduced at various times but not following a logical sequence with the model number.

*The M1 was introduced in 1972 but was renamed as the OM1 a year later because of an objection from Leica regarding the use of "M" series numbering.

The OM1N pictured here being an example of this random numbering sequence. The MD was introduced in 1974 but the N - MD was 5 years later (1979) at the same time as the 2N. Another anomaly with this numbering sequence is that the zero series, OM10 OM20 etc, were not necessarily concurrent with their high end counterparts. The legendary OM10 being introduced in 1979, at the same time as the OM1N and OM2N.
The OM20 here was introduced in 1983,  along with the OM3 and OM30, a full 8 years after the OM2.

The OM 3 and 30 being the shortest lived models in the range.

Introduced in 1983 and the OM3 was superseded by the OM4 in 1984. However it was to get a reprieve as the OM3ti the last in the line in 1995. The OM4ti was the pinnacle of the OM series with the Champagne version in 1987 and the Black in 1990.
The last one to mention from my collection being the OM40 introduced in 1985. There were a number of variants and special editions also introduced at different times and, of course, the OM101 which was the fully automatic OM, a kind of point and shoot version.

The one thing all models shared in common was the f1.8 50mm Zuiko lens which was first developed on the FTL. Other lenses were an option but this lens was fitted as standard to all models.





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