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Olympus has just announced they are leaving the camera equipment business completely. They are selling to a Japanese investment group. No way to know what this will mean for sure, but given how investment groups destroyed G I'm sad to hear this news.

 

My very first SLR, a gift from my dad when I was a junior in college back in the late 1970s, was an Olympus OM-1, which my daughter used when she took photography in college. In fact, I still use the collection of lenses I got for that camera on my OMD E-1 and on my Sony mirrorless. To my surprise, even after buying my Sony full frame, I still use my Oly a lot, and before Covid hit I was planning to buy a travel zoom for that wonderful light little mirrorless for a trip to Europe which we have put off indefinitely. 

 

I hope that this doesn't mean the new owners will pare down the business so much in an attempt to appeal to consumers, but if they are focusing on the OMD and Zuiko brands, perhaps those of us who love our Oly's will be lucky and it will mean that they'll focus on pros and their higher end cameras and lenses. Panasonic is now working with Leica more and seems to have turned away from micro 4/3 and while micro 4/3 may not be the highest resolution, it is a perfect compromise for those of us who want high quality super light camera equipment. 

 

Here's the link:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/24/21301460/olympus-selling-camera-division-jip-vaio

 

It's from an investment site, my hubby just sent it to me. I'm going to see what other info is out there and will add new links when I find additional info. 

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I too had Olympus OM1, 2 & 4 cameras and still have the OM1 & OM2, great little cameras with fantastic almost 1:1 viewfinders. Amateur Photographer also has a post here:

 

https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/latest/photo-news/breaking-news-olympus-selling-camera-and-lens-business-138123

 

Their statement does say "“We believe this is the right step to preserve the legacy of the brand, the value of the technologies and the outstanding products,” the company said. “Olympus sees this transfer as an opportunity to enable its imaging business to continue providing value to longtime and new customers, fans and photography enthusiasts.” So that's reassuring for current Olympus users but I suppose they would say that wouldn't they.

 

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Yes, that's what Olympus says on its website:

https://www.olympus-global.com/news/2020/nr01695.html

 

Not finding much else out there but the announcement came today so not surprising. Hopefully we'll hear more soon. Won't know until 2021 I guess how it will work out. 

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Posted (edited)

Here is an interview with Masanori Sako, head of Olympus Global Marketing, from March 2020, just a few months ago (translated from the French to English) in which he discusses new products launching in 2020, their new manufacturing in Vietnam, and their commitment to micro 4/3 - it would seem that their commitment to keeping the OMD models and Zuiko lenses viable may be accomplished with this latest sale. It would have been crazy for them to set up a new manufacturing plant for the newest M1 and M5 cameras so close to the sale if it wasn't in aid of keeping their OMD line going with that sale, so hopefully this bodes well for the future of the brand. Micro 4/3 offers something that full frame does not, and I hope the new owners keep the business going. 

 

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fphototrend.fr%2F2020%2F03%2Finterview-olympus-masanori-sako-japon-2020%2F

 

 

Edited by Marianne
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Olympus, sad news, hope all goes well with the new owners.

 

I used Olympus film cameras for quite a few years, had OM1, OM1n and OM2 bodies. Used the OM1's with B&W film, and the OM2 for colour. Initially used chunky Vivitar Series 1 35-85mm Varifocal and Series 1 70-210 zoom. Then changed to Zuiko primes and the Zuiko 70-150mm F4 zoom that I never liked. They were great cameras and stood up to a lot of heavy use. Passed them on to my father when I moved on to Canon.

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All my film experience was with OM cameras and suitable lenses, Zuiko and off brand.  Unfortunately their first forays in digital went down the wrong route for me so I sold most of my gear and switched to Canon.  But the lure of the old OMs proved too strong when I needed to lighten my walkabout loads and I added an OM-D EM1 and some lenses.  It was like going back in time as far as handling went.  I've not invested too much - and have already recouped most of it from Alamy sales - but I'll not commit to a future with Olympus until things clear up.  A pity, but I suspect others will think the same way.

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25 minutes ago, sb photos said:

Olympus, sad news, hope all goes well with the new owners.

..

I used Olympus film cameras for quite a few years, had OM1, OM1n and OM2 bodies. Used the OM1's with B&W film, and the OM2 for colour. Initially used chunky Vivitar Series 1 35-85mm Varifocal and Series 1 70-210 zoom. Then changed to Zuiko primes and the Zuiko 70-150mm F4 zoom that I never liked. They were great cameras and stood up to a lot of heavy use. Passed them on to my father when I moved on to Canon.

70 - 150 f4 was pretty bad.  Olympus dropped the ball with that one.

 

I still have one.  Nobody wants it.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, John Richmond said:

70 - 150 f4 was pretty bad.  Olympus dropped the ball with that one.

 

I still have one.  Nobody wants it.

 

I've the Olympus 75-150 f4 and I find it a sharp lens, but the images lack contrast. The Pentax 75-150 f4 is much better and I use it with my Sony mirrorless - it's far sharper than my modern Sony 55-210mm that currently sits on my desk unused.

 

However my go to 50mm is an Olympus  Zuiko f1.8, it's sharp from corner to corner on the crop frame camera, again down a bit on contrast compared to the Pentax standard f1.7, but , on occasion, that is a good thing.  I love using this lens as I can guarantee that, provided I hit the correct focus,  it will always deliver the goods. Bought with a pristine OM1 body for a tenner, one of my better photo investments! 

 

And yes the viewfinder on the old OM1 is superb, when I moved over to digital I found it hard to believe how poor the viewfinders on pricey DSLRs were. It's only since the move to mirrorless, and a second generation of EVFs, that digital has caught up with film in that regard.

 

Sad to see the demise of the marque.

Edited by Bryan

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19 hours ago, Marianne said:

Panasonic is now working with Leica more and seems to have turned away from micro 4/3

They certainly do seem to be moving a little up-market, and up-format, but they have just released the new Micro 4/3 G100 for Vloggers, bless 'em.

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The OM1 was a great little 35 mm film body and the Zuiko lenses were exceptional.

I did Ronald Reagan during a campaign speech with OM1's and a Zuiko 300 4.5.

Working with Tungsten 160 pushed a stop.

 

Sorry to see their demise, but I believed that cameras were just a part of their business?

 

Chuck

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1 hour ago, Chuck Nacke said:

The OM1 was a great little 35 mm film body and the Zuiko lenses were exceptional.

I did Ronald Reagan during a campaign speech with OM1's and a Zuiko 300 4.5.

Working with Tungsten 160 pushed a stop.

 

Sorry to see their demise, but I believed that cameras were just a part of their business?

 

Chuck

 

Cameras 6%, medical and scientific 78%, other scientific 13%  

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Posted (edited)

Interview with Mark Thackara from Olympus UK, essentially business as usual and no plans to move away from Micro 4/3 into the crowded field of APS-C & Full Frame, rather to continue to exploit the advantages that Micro 4/3 offers:

 

https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/latest/photo-news/olympus-has-not-fallen-exclusive-olympus-uk-interview-138455

Edited by Harry Harrison

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