About the Author

My Career and Hobbies

I have been working in electronics manufacturing fields for more than fifteen years, my education background is electronics engineering. When I was young, my hobbies was building of small electronics device, like radios, amplifiers, digital meters ...etc. Later, when computer was entering the home market at around 1983, I have spent lots of money and time on that since then. Now computer has linked to the my photogarphy interest, as I can do photo editing on computer and output with my own film recorder.

My Camera Story

Early Ages

Photography appealed me beginning at my early secondary school ages, as usual for a young boy, I had very little money to spend. I got a Kodak plastic camera (it uses 126 film, as I remember the model was Eagle's Eyes II). The picture quality was very poor, I have took very few pictures with this camera.

Later, my elder brother bought a Praktica VLC camera with a 50mm/F1.8 lens, it was a mechanical match-needle camera. Sometimes I borrow the camera from him for taking picture with my classmates. Not for very long, my brother found the special camera and lens design make it difficult to get spare lenses, as it required electrical contacts for aperture data couple.

The First Touch of OM Camera

With the above limitation on the VLC, my brother bought another camera, that was the Olympus OM10. He bought a 35-70mm F/2.8-4 Sigma and a 80-200mm F/4.5 Tokina lens for this camera. Sometimes I also use this camera, the brighter viewfinder, lighter weight and automatic exposure of the OM10 make it more comfortable to use then the VLC.

My First OM Camera

My brother moved his family to Australia and he took the OM-10 with him. He left the Praktica VLC to me. I had been using this camera until 1987. The VLC's film advance mechanism was broken, then I need a new camera. With the limited budget, between the Olympus OM10 and the Minolta X300, I have chose the OM10. I bought a Tamron 28-70mm/F3.5-4.5 lens for the camera and I was quite satisify with it.

My First Second-Hand Camera

Two years later at 1989, in my bookshelf I found an OM-2n catalogue. It was very nice and convincible, I read it over and over. I started to feel that I need a top of the line OM camera and may be with some OM lenses rather then the one from other independent lens manufacturers.

I had tried very hard to find the OM2n, but during that time, in HongKong, you can only get the OM4Ti (also the OM101 and OM707, that is of course not what I needed). But the price of the OM4Ti was quite expensive to me at that moment (around half of my monthly salary). By chance I saw a OM2 chrome in a second-hand camera store, I walked in and bought my first second-hand camera.

Growthing of My OM System

Started with the OM2, I have more confidence on second-hand equipment. Then I acquired my first second-hand OM lens - the Zuiko 50mm/f1.4 and this "Standard" lens didn't disappointed me.

Later on I started to trade in and out of used OM equipment. I sold the Tamron 28-70mm and the Vivitar Series-1 70-210mm/F3.5. Starting from that time I concentrated on the OM-lenses only. Up to now I have around thirty Olympus/Zuiko lenses (including three AF lenses for the OM707, I bought it for higher flash sync. speed - 1/100S), seven OM SLR camera bodies, three motor drivers, four OM flashes, bellows, slide copier and lots of other OM accessories, most of them are used.

Other Camera System

Besides the OM-System, I had own a Nikon FA, 105/f2.5 and 28-50/f3.5 but they were sold as I found it was expensive to maintain two 35mm system. Later I was attracted by the simplicity of AF camera then I brought a Minolta 600SI and three lenses. But they were sold recently since they didn't give me the "feel" when holding them on hand. I have also sold my Bronica SQ-A system as I found I rare use them.

My Own Comment On The OM-System

As with most people's impression, the cameras and lenses are small and light. Of course this is not the only things that make me fell in love with the OM. The things that appeal me is the lenses system, I like the natural color and moderate contrast of the lenses. Among the lenses I have used, they are all quite consistence in color and "taste". My most favorites Zuikos are 21/2, 50/3.5, 90/2, 100/2, 180/2.8 and 35-70/3.6.

For the Cameras, the TTL flash, long exposure capability and the OM4Ti's multi-spot metering are the things that I like most. I also like the OM4Ti and OM707's Super FP flash although most people think it is not very useful due to limited working distance. Actually, with lenses of not more than 85mm and not under very bright sunlight*, I found the full-sync flash works quite well.

*Remark: with simple situation simulation you will know the working distance of a Super FP flash is controlled by the ambient light intensity, not with film speed, aperture or shutter speed settings as the three factors are all inter-related.

My Dream OM Camera

My dream OM camera is a OM4Ti with metal shutter blade, shutter speed to 1/4000S and normal flash sync at 1/250S (like the Nikon FA). It seems that the metal blade shutter possess longer life before calibration is required, because I had own a Nikon FA which was more than 6 years old. I had checked the shutter speeds, they were all within 1/10 stop (except at 1/250S flash sync position, which was around 1/200S only) and with even speed across the frame . And the reason for requiring a higher normal flash sync speed is at some special situation, such as in the fashion show, higher speed is needed to freeze the motion.

Anything else? Of course, if possible, add the AF ability and auto-wind/rewind. Requiring a separated motor drive is also acceptable, but most important is - it should be fully compatible with all the Zuiko and Olympus AF lens. I didn't like the OM707 - although Zuikos can be used, but all display and exposure controls are lost!

Anyway, it is my dream only, Olympus is now concentrated on the digital camera business, in late 2003 there will be a digital camera system with 5 interchangable lenses coming out. The camera will be using a 4/3 inch CCD, which should be able to provide lower noise and better DOF control when compared to the E-10/20.

A BIG Breakthrough of my OM system!!!

At early April 2003, I bought an EOS to Zuiko adapter which I have been waiting for a long time. I knew this adapter and also knew how to order it from Japan. But I just wanted to wait for a chance, I told myself if someone is selling it than I will buy it. I know very well if I have such an adapter sooner or later I will get a digital Canon, it is not a small investment and I also want to wait and see if Olympus will provide us a mount to use our Zuiko on their new digital system.

Unfortunately this adapter came faster than the Olympus announcement, two weeks later I bought a Canon 10D 6MP digital body! It is a nicely built camera, in many ways it is better than the E-10. I'm really glad that I can use all my Zuikos digitally.

(Updated on: 2-May-03)

Time to back home!!!

After using the 10D for a year and seeing the review/test samples of E-1 I decided to switch back to Olympus. My first impression with the E-1 is the color rendering for people is better, the post adjustment is also easier. Its image quality is more close to slides while 10D looks designed for prints.

The weak points of E-1 when compared to 10D is poorer focusing at low night, lower resolution and higher noise (you may say it is enough not to choose the E-1 :-)). Other than that E-1 is generally better, such as operating speed and color reproduction. The manual focusing is also easier but you need lenses of F4 or below (it is no problem for me as I have lots of F2 OM Zuikos) otherwise it is a bit dark.

Besides the body itself, I also don't like the 10D system due to no large aperture wide angles or zoom. The 16-35mm F2.8 has a too short range and very expensive. The 17-40mm F4 is fine but it is a 27-64mm F4 in 10D. With the E-1, the standard zoom is 28-108mm F2.8-3.5 what a nice combo. I also bought the 11-22mm 2.8-3.5 which is equal to 22-44mm, it fits most of my wide angle needs.

Please visit my galleries for the E-1 shots.

(Updated on: 2-Aug-04)