Yoshihisa Maitani’s Olympus OM system was a remarkable achievement, with beautifully engineered smaller bodies and exquisite small lenses, often as good or better than larger lenses from the competition. They are all nicely engineered and a joy to use. This makes them very tempting options for someone who wants to explore them on a modern full frame camera, or for someone who wants to experiment with film. I was an OM system user back in the days of film, so you’ll see a few samples from me that are from OM film cameras, as well as digital. In this guide Juriaan, Phillip and I will take you through the lenses with comments about how they perform, and whether they make sense adapted to Sony full frame digital cameras.
Many of the samples are film era images taken from my (David’s) personal archives. We don’t therefore pretend that they illustrate the technical qualities of the lenses, but they do give you an idea of the creative possibilities of them.
Except for a few late era lenses, they won’t resolve quite as well as the best expensive modern lenses, or be as as contrasty as the latest Zeiss or GM glass. But many are close and nonetheless extremely good, and others have a look which we sometimes enjoy as an alternative to the near perfection of some recent glass.