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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

View Poll Results: Nikon FE or Olympus Om2S
Nikon FE 97 53.30%
Olympus OM2S 85 46.70%
Voters: 182. You may not vote on this poll

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Help me decide! Nikon or Olympus
Old 10-11-2008   #1
EcoLeica
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Help me decide! Nikon or Olympus

Hey all, thought i might pick your brains in regards to my new purchase. I am now a owner of a near mint Om2S. I also have a Nikon FE and now im utterly confused. Which one should I keep?! and no keeping two is not an option as one will end up not being used which is not the fate I want for any camera. So lets get your opinion Nikon or Olympus..let the people decide!
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Old 10-11-2008   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoLeica View Post
Hey all, thought i might pick your brains in regards to my new purchase. I am now a owner of a near mint Om2S. I also have a Nikon FE and now im utterly confused. Which one should I keep?! and no keeping two is not an option as one will end up not being used which is not the fate I want for any camera. So lets get your opinion Nikon or Olympus..let the people decide!
Were the Oly an Oly 2 or 2N, or 1, or 1N, I would say Oly. But the 2S and some other Olys use integrated circuits. When these fail, there is a problem with replacement. This is documented in some threads here, I believe, as well as on Oly websites. And borne out in my own personal experience and that of family members.

So -- within you choice, I would say Nikon.

Otherwise, trade for one of the repairable Oly models and go Oly.

Full disclosure, I have, and have had various Olys, no Nikons.
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Old 10-11-2008   #3
Al Patterson
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I'd probably be biased and tell you to keep the Nikon, as I've never had any Olyumpus products. Why not put a few rolls through each, make your own choice, and report back to us? It would be fun to compare the poll results to your personal choice.

But then again, I'm on the road and have too much time to watch RFF these days...
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Old 10-11-2008   #4
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I own the OMs and no Nikon.

Nevertheless there is no question at all for me that each Nikon lens you have, you will be able to mount in every Nikon camera, backwards or forwards in time.

OM gear in general is very compact. But overall I made a strategic economics mistake going Olympus instead of Nikon.

Cheers,
Ruben
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Old 10-11-2008   #5
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You'll find more used lenses available in F mount, and more places that can do repairs to the body.
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Old 10-11-2008   #6
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keep both. you have two hands, no reason to let one go unused.
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Old 10-11-2008   #7
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Trade 'em both in for a nice F2.
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Old 10-11-2008   #8
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I never understood threads like this. Why let "the people" decide? You have to use it. You decide. Which fits you better?

...and what's so bad about one sitting unused for a a while? It's just a thing, it won't get lonely. Also, these days these things are worth so little. An FE with lens in great shape can be had for $60-80 on eBay if you're patient and careful. So it's not like you're going to pay off a month's rent by selling one of them.

Last edited by Pablito : 10-11-2008 at 18:11.
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Old 10-11-2008   #9
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Both, IMHO, are not spectacular. I agree that in the OM series the OM-1 & OM-2 (MD or N) are preferable. As for the Nikon I'd go with a F3hp. The Nikon F3 has the advantage of many available lenses, ruggedly built, and if I am not mistaken the lenses are available at lower prices. It also has the advatange of a removable prism which I like and do use for low angle shots & it does work well in places (trains) where you want to photograph without the subjects realizing that they are being photographed. The OM series are nice cameras & very small.
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Old 10-11-2008   #10
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These are both great cameras. OM's will break. FM's will break. I've owned a number of both and have had both break. But I can't imagine worrying about whether either will be repairable. You can buy either so cheaply they aren't worth having repaired. Use the one that feels best in the hand and handles they way you want!
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Old 10-11-2008   #11
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Why did you buy the near mint Om2S, when you already own a Nikon FE?

If you can tell us the answer to that question, we can help you decide
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Old 10-11-2008   #12
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I kinda just snapped it up on a impluse buy of a local auction site for around $30 USD...didnt think about the purchase too much i guess
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Old 10-11-2008   #13
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Oly lenses are great. Try a few and then decide.
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Old 10-11-2008   #14
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Agree. The Olympus lenses are second to none. The small size and light weight of the camera and lenses will also be a plus. Any of the 50/55mms, 1.8 1.4 1.2 , and just about any f/2 or 2.8 lens (28, 35, 40mm) are quite sharp with great color rendering. The 35-70 f3.5 zoom is a fine fine lens. The common 75-150 zoom is so-so.
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Old 10-11-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George S. View Post
Agree. The Olympus lenses are second to none. ......
Sorry, this is a gross mystification. Ceirtainly there are some outstanding lenses, but there are so-so too. Thus for example the non MC version of the 50 f1.4 I own is of the lowest quality. Or perhaps there are quality control issues here too ?

Nevertheless other lenses, not being outstanding nor bad - are convenient for their small size. There is a lot of test data about the Zuiko OM lenses, which I recommend to read. Maitani was a genious in making Olympus bigger than its real size, but the day came in which the real company size kicked Maitani out.

Therefore if you want to pay for a compact camera and lenses that you know beforehand are of limited modularity in time - go Olympus. If you want to invest in lenses mounting decades back and forwards - it is Nikon.

Cheers,
Ruben
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Old 10-11-2008   #16
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For what you asked, Nikon.

I'd rather tell you to sell both & buy a Canon T90 instead but that's not what you asked...

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Old 10-11-2008   #17
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I don't agree with your philosophy of not keepng both. I went on a night shoot last evening armed with a Nikon FG sporting an 85mm f/1.8 and an Olympus OM1n with it's 21mm f/2 affixed. I much prefer changing cameras to changing lenses in an active shooting situation where the best pictures will happen with the lens off my camera. The Oly makes a perfect wide angle shooter because the viewfinder is big enough to get a decent magnification.

And the FG is possibly the most underrated Nikon of all. I got mine for $30.

So I would like to re-suggest that you keep both - at least until such time as you determine that you really like only one of them.
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Old 10-12-2008   #18
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From experience go for the 50mm and 90mm macros and f/2 wide angles. They are really tops. The 55/1.2 is supposed to be outstanding but I haven't even seen one.
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Old 10-12-2008   #19
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Dr. Nasse of Zeiss -- a man who knows a thing or two about lenses -- owns (and is still adding to) an Olympus system.

Equally, thirty years ago a friend of mine was loaned an Olympus system (by Olympus!) for a glamour shoot and found that out of 5 lenses, only the the zoom was sharp.

I'd go with those who say, 'keep both'. Having the Olympus lying around won't cost you much, and you need to ask yourself if it is worth the effiort of trying to sell it for the tiny amount you'd see back. Speaking from personal experience in similar situation, AS SOON AS you sell it, you'll see bargains among the best Olympus lenses on the market, and you'll regret selling it.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-12-2008   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitxu View Post
Strange. This is the first time I have ever heard ill of Zuikos.

(I've used them for a quarter of a century.)
Dear Richard,

I've heard good and bad in roughly equal quantities, but the odd thing is, people always seem to be very enthusiastic or very dismissive: rarely does anyone say, "They're good lenses, but not remarkable" or "I had them, and they were OK, but now I use ________." From my own (very limited) experience, taking a few shots with friends' cameras and no more than two or three lenses, I couldn't see any reason either to praise them to the skies or to damn them. The only Olympus I own, a Pen W, has an extremely impressive 25/2.8, but then, that's not a hard lens to design for half frame.

Of course, given that people always tend to complain longer and louder than they praise, the fact that I've heard 50/50 probably speaks in the Zuikos' favour.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 10-12-2008   #21
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that is a remarkable amount of distortion for a 50mm standard lens. Looks like what you'd get from a zoom.
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Old 10-12-2008   #22
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Ruben, I'd have to agree with you somewhat and also disagree a bit. Both systems are good build and good quality of lenses. I've owned extensive systems of both Nikon and Olympus. Overall, when I was thinning out my film SLRs, the Nikons went.

I never said that there weren't some so-so performers in the Olympus lineup, I even pointed one out, the 75-150 zoom. Others have said on these forums that its one of their best ever lenses!
What none of us can do is take a limited experience with a few 30 year old lenses and make generalizations about the overall quality of a brand. Unless we've owned the Zuiko lens for 30+ years, no one knows the history of any used lens. Was it one of the so-so lenses to begin with? Was it a victim of sample variation? Was it stored properly by a previous owner? Was it taken apart and put back together by an owner, or a less than stellar repair shop? Were the elements ever cleaned with a harsh chemical?

And I wouldn't call my 30+ year old Zuikos of limited use. I can still use them, albeit without automation, on my current model Olympus digital SLRs. Olympus did abandon the film SLR market, but that doesn't make their lenses useless especially when their "old" SLRs are still going strong.
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Old 10-12-2008   #23
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The Nikon was ahead in the poll by a 2-1 margin, but now they're in a dead heat!
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Old 10-12-2008   #24
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Quote:
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What none of us can do is take a limited experience with a few 30 year old lenses and make generalizations about the overall quality of a brand.
Dear George,

Exactly.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-12-2008   #25
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While I am very picky about handling of camera bodies I'd look to the glass as the driving force here. While when the FE came out I thought it was not going to last, time has proved me wrong.

For carrying a small kit, three lenses, the OM kicks the FE out of the running. You can pull together a great small kit of EXCELLENT lenses that makes it feel almost RF-like. There are lots of good Zuiko out there, you just need to look.

Which body to you have more glass for?

B2 (;->
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Old 10-12-2008   #26
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Were it me, I would dump both of them and get an OM-1. I have a boat load of Om gear, acquired after my disastrous discovery of Ebay (lenses, bodies, winders, stuff I couldn't afford 30+ years ago when I bought my OM-1). I find myself using the OM-1 and perhaps 3 lenses. The rest of the stuff sits there.
The OM-2s does have a problem with the circuit board, but they are right , use it while it works and get anohter one if it craps out.
I did run accross a thread a while ago where two computer engineers were talking about how they'd both made new boards for their OM-2s's with newer, better, smaller ICs, etc. Nether was willing to take time out from a six figure job in silicon valley to make any more of them. Apparently the little board isn't hard to make IF you can figure out the equivalent modern integrated circuit...($2 to hit it with a hammer, $200 for knowing exactly where to smack it)
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Old 10-12-2008   #27
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One Aspect of the Nikons: When I got my first SLR it was an FG (Instead of an Minolta X-700)...when the FG was new the prices for Nikon Glass were still stellar so on short sight it was not such a good investment, right now you get the best Glass for affordable prices.....so keep them both for a while and decide later. PS: There is an FE Eulogy on rockwells site...
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Old 10-12-2008   #28
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thank you all for your advice, your comments have been helpful. I would love to keep both of them but I know i will not use one of them and cant stand it when cameras are not being used! Luckily my friend gave me his 28mm nikon e series lens today which kinda broke the deal with me. Im gunna keep the nikon!

Cheers
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Old 10-12-2008   #29
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haha cheers keith! I did look a the poll, didint think it would be so close. It surprised me how much people like the olympus OM system.
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Old 10-12-2008   #30
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When you sell the OM-2S, pick up a 105/2.5. If you watch you can find one at a really good price. From what I remember the 28/2.8 was a fine lens for the money.

I was thinking the sell them both for an OM-1 might be a good answer, but it's hard to beat a good free lens.

The FE is a fine camera. It's longevity has shocked a lot of us old Prongsters (Old Fart Nikon Users).

You've focused on the camera long enough. Go get some film and find your voice, your vision, your view and share it with the world.

B2 (;->
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Old 10-13-2008   #31
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I voted Nikon.

btw. strange. now when seeing these two first time side by side, Olympus is roughly same size than Nikon. so many people here have advertised the tiny size of Olympus. I always thought its much smaller than any other SLR

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Old 10-13-2008   #32
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The Olympus really IS smaller, and they're definitely thinner, less "chunky" than the usual SLR.
Don't forget that the Olympus in the picture is sitting in a leather case.
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Old 10-13-2008   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George S. View Post
The Olympus really IS smaller, and they're definitely thinner, less "chunky" than the usual SLR.
Don't forget that the Olympus in the picture is sitting in a leather case.
ah yes, the case. didnt realize its there.

but still, as the photo shows, I dont think Olympus is that much smaller than FE (which I have and like ).
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Old 10-14-2008   #34
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It's hard to argue with your decision. I own a full OM-1, 2 camera kit and I have been using it for several years. BTW, I find that the small size makes it an excellent travel kit. A couple of years ago, I latched on a mint FE, with a 28/2.8E lens at a thrift ship and just love it. I have since purchased an F2. In a way, Nikons and Olympus cameras are apples and oranges. Nikons (FE and FG excepted) tended to produce durable, professional-level cameras, i.e., extremely well built and heavy, their lenses, when they hit the mark, are very sharp. The OM series, especially the 1, 2, 3, and 4 are smaller, lighter, and more rangefinder like. Their lenses are also very compact and a bit more contrasty than the Nikons. The OM series was also designed as a pro/advanced amatuer kit. You really couldn't have made a wrong decision here. They are both great.
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Old 10-20-2008   #35
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..ah
like with like!
Im a major OM fan but the OM2s is a piece of cr*p. OM1, OM1n, OM2, OM2n, OM3, OM3t, OM3ti. everything else is trouble trouble trouble!!! the speed rings screw up on them. the rubber gaskets screw up, the electronics fritz out ah... and the OM10 is the worst camera ever made!! they use a magnet with which the shutter works but the grease fromt he shutter gets on it and hangs it open, and a week after cleaning it happens again... I dont work on them anymore!
Nikon FE by the way, well there is a glass plate resistor under the rewind crank that is no longer available. thats typically the most repair I see on that one, so unless its mint in a box, choose some different cameras!
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Old 10-20-2008   #36
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" Im a major OM fan but the OM2s is a piece of cr*p. "

Pure baloney!
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Old 10-21-2008   #37
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For me its a Nikon. The Olympus was a fine camera by all accounts (although here too I cannot speak specifically about the OM2s) but they had a reputation for slight fragility in build strength (due to their small size and use of lighter weight metals etc ) compared to the more robust Nikons. I cannot speak for this myself and I would be happy to own an Olympus as they are never the less nicely designed aesthetically.

The other reason I would elect for Nikon is the huge range of top notch lenses. The principal reason I have never bought an Olympus is that (in pre ebay days) I could never find a wide selection of good Oly lenses in Australia. I am not sure why but they seldom showed up in stores. Nikkors on the other hand were always to be found and were (are) fabulous in most cases.
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Old 10-21-2008   #38
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BTW I seem to recall that there were comparatively few big name photographers who used Olympus I think because they were seen as lightweight and therefore not up to the rough handling the pro's dish out. One very well known exception was Anthony Armstrong Jones, Earl of Snowden, Princess Margaret's husband and father of her children. I have a book on travel photography by him in which he extols their virtue (but then again I imagine that he may have been paid to say nice things about the camera too.)
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Old 04-21-2009   #39
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Trade them both for a nice Pentax.

Chris
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Old 04-22-2009   #40
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As one who owns both a Nikon FE and 3 Olympus OM cameras I have to say that my OM1n is a complete jewel of a camera. It's the SLR for M6 shooters who need an SLR. Stunning fit finish and quality. One of my ON1n's belongs in a glass case as it's about mint. The other is just excellent and that's my user. Love my Nikon's too but they won't win a beauty contest against the OM's.
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