Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Olympus OM2SP (Spot/Program) - Main Index Page

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Two original images that I took back in 1998 in anticipation, one day I might prepare an OM2SP basic info site. 10 years later, it is finally here. I hope the compiled info herein will be useful to some of you. Enjoy.

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other issues not being addressed, please make use of the | OM Message Board |

To any OM/Zuiko faithful, the OM2SP is a great camera because if you can accept the original Olympus OM-2(n) as a true classic and there is no reason WHY you should not accept the OM2SP. The camera basically uses the same platform of the OM electronic classic body and enhanced it with more capabilities. Both cameras utilize automation and electronic aiding the photographers with less technical errors during shoot and handling, providing the photographer with a more positive photographic results. The 35mm Olympus OM2SP (Spot-Program) SLR camera model offers even more from the time proven OM2(n) - perhaps that is the problem here some users thought it started to lose its own character as automation tends to start getting a little over-commanding, I think that is the reason despite it has more to offer than OM2 but users turned a little skeptical Technically, based on spec-sheet alone, I would think the OM2SP is a more attractive model to me than the OM2(n)and even the OM4 series models. Over the years, I have read/heard many contradicting remarks raised even among OM community over its mechanical behavior (and reliability) but I seldom run across many OM2SP being sent to workshop as claimed it was that disastrous (because I am living in a very HOT and highly humid all-year-round tropical belt region - if a camera can survive here for 15 years or so, it should be a good camera and the only question is - how well has it been maintained by the owners, that is all.(..and I do my homework as well, periodically chatting with service technicians to find the development in this specific area). Frankly, I think even for professional grade SLR bodies do required maintenance and periodical CLE, cameras/lenses are essentially a highly precision optical product and it is not a consumer devices such as TV or rice cooker set, if you seldom use and/or hardly shoot a roll or two a year and without using some common sense in proper storage esp. when not use for long period of time, it doesn't mean it is not reliable as other undesirable minor problems such as fungus or foam melting etc. which may occur to the unattended hardware at times). Anyway, these are not proprietary problems of OM2SP alone as it applies to all other brands, grades and models.

Alvin Foo, 2007
And in relation to the damping sound caused by the flipping of the secondary mirror, well - to be frank, such design has become a main stream design even for virtually ALL of the current AF cameras now and the 'odd' sound which is very familiar to me as most other AE cameras with such a design usually exhibits similar behavior. Well, in fact - I can safely say may others have less well-damped than what OM2SP does - so, I think that is more of a personal preference rather than conclusively thinking that is very "fragile". Anyway, even for outside non OM observers (such as me), the general reaction with the defensive towards incorporation of a Programmed Auto mode in the OM2SP was rather quite "funny". Frankly, I would think the general reaction from the consumers had even surprised its creator because at the time of its introduction, Programmed AE was already becoming very popular and some systems have even evolved into multi-programmed automation control. You can said that was the mainstream design of camera control you can find during that period back in the mid '80. While on the other hand, metering technology has actually leapfrogged with the introduction of the multi-segment metering (first seen in a Nikon FA, 1983) which has proven landing a killer blow to a less responsive multi spots metering. There was nothing wrong with the spot meter but as all of a sudden, multi-spots metering has made them like a slow, sluggish operation. Well, the direction in adopting and/or sticking with the decision of maintaining spot and multi spots metering system as the core marketing tool for the the OM SLRs with such distinctive feature has made the OM system as a purist photographer's tool during those days.

Alvin Foo@17

leofoo 2007

Interim illustrative photo usage ONLY. Looking for contributing image to replace this.

NOTE: Photo displayed herein doesn't suggest it was taken with an original OM equipment.

Overall, don't you think as an admirer of a OM2SP camera feels a little surprise to see how OM users has reacted to this model negatively all these years ? As a matter of fact, I do

Comparing size and dimension for both the old classic Olympus OM2n and the newer OM2 SP  (Spot/Program) models

DOWNLOAD (External Resources) Olympus OM2SP: A) User's Manual & Creative Guides (PDF format) B) Instruction Manual (PDF format); C) Service Manual (PDF format); Other essential documentation on OM accessories

Download PDF Link for Olympus OM2 SP model - Sales Guide Download Link for Olympus OM2 SP model - Leaflet - PDF
You may also DOWNLOAD (External Link) many other Olympus bodies (not all models covered under the FREE section, as some of them need to PAY via the caring OLYMPUS America Official Site @:- Hopefully the link works all the time and/or in the future, if not, try e-mail me and see if I have other copies readily for you.

Arran Salerno from Australia has taken some serious effort/time to scan both the Sales Gudie and Marketing leaflet of the original copies into downloadable PDF form: You can access both the copies as well as the instruction manual for the OM2(n) and OM2SP via:-

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One fine morning, there was a "mysterious" gentleman dropped by my office and left a stack of Olympus VisionAge books to my secretary. He never mentioned his name. In the Volume 3 (03/85), I have found a few detailed articles relating to the OM2SP. The first was written by Mr. Yoshihisa Maitani and another was more like an illustration but it termed as a technical test report by Mr. Masaharu Sato.

So ? There is no such necessity to create another site as the two articles are very worthy reading materials and equally inspiring enough for any OM2SP user. Now I am looking for some volunteers to host these scanned files... as mine cannot possibly to take any more traffic on continuous downloading.

OM2SPscan1sml.gif OM2SPscan2sml.gif OM2SPscan3sml.gif OM2SPscan4sml.gif

Article by
Mr. Yoshihisa Maitani
(Gray scale)

Part One 238K Jpeg
Part Two 241K Jpeg
Part Three 212K Jpeg
Part Four 235K Jpeg

Stuffit File (928k)

OM2SPscanTechAsml.jpg OM2SPscanTechBsml.jpg OM2SPscanTechCsml.jpg OM2SPscanTechDsml.jpg

Technical Test Report by:
Mr. Masaharu Sato.

Part One 209K Jpeg
Part Two 280K Jpeg
Part Three 193K Jpeg
Part Four 263K Jpeg

Stuffit File (880k)

OTF AUTO FLASH explained OTF PROGRAM AUTO FLASH explained Illustration of SPOT meter sensitivity area in OM2SP

Illustration of light path during exposure in OM2SP
Subject: Re: om cameras
January 12, 2008 11:42:34 PM GMT+08:00

I have an OM2SP, and remember well when they were introduced. There are probably a combination of reasons why it was not better accepted, perhaps the whole camera market had just become more complicated by that time.

Around 1984, you could buy an OM2S in the USA for $209... at the same time I think the OM4 was over $400 and the cheaper, OM-10 based models were not far below the OM2S - The OM-PC (OM40?) might have even been higher. For comparison, I had paid $228 in 1978 for my OM1, and that was a very low discount as the
Olympus OM1N was about to be introduced. At this price, the OM2S was probably the best bargain of any high quality camera in the world. It had all of the features of the OM4 except for the 1/2000 shutter speed and the "multi" spot metering system which was useful to a small minority of users ... and in addition to that, it added what was the world's best and most advanced program operation mode - the only one in the world that was 100% functional with lenses that were not designed to support shutter priority operation. I never understood why the OM2S, instead of the OM4, got the program option.... or, for that matter, why the OM2S ever existed at all: Why not just combine the program mode into the OM4 and either leave the OM2N in the line or drop it out? The fact is that neither the OM2S nor the OM4 was a great success in the marketplace, and I think it may come back to the state of the market itself. In the 1970s, I could probably name from memory all of the models that were offered by all of the significant players; but beginning with the Canon AE1, there was a mad rush to churn out more and cheaper 35mm SLRs to fuel and capitalize on a wave of interest at the bottom end of the market.

In this climate, it was difficult for any one camera model to stand out as the OM1 and OM2 had, and people's expectation of price had dropped through the floor. Simply beaing an excellent camera was no longer good enough, now it had to have all the new whistles and bells, and sell for less than $200 on top of it. The ignorance of the new mass market added to the problem.... after Nikon and others introduced "multi-pattern metering", many people thought that those cameras could somehow apply a different exposure value to different areas of the image so they'd never get a picture with washed-out or dark areas in it. More useful features became lost in a sea of marketing gimmicks, and the buyers weren't smart enough to be able to tell which was which.

Aquatic Jelly Fish.. by ARRAN Salermo
Live feed data for optimum exposure via true OTF ambient light metering ...

Credit: Image courtesy of ARRAN Salermo from Australia, you can access more of Arran works via his PORTFOLIO. Image copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

I have sent my OM2S back in for service, but it came back pretty much just as it had gone in. It suffers (as I think all OM2S's do) from Sudden Death Syndrome.... its battery drain is so high that the first touch of the battery check button or the viewfinder backlight will kill the battery and disable the camera. One of the first lessons that I learned with it is NEVER to touch either of these two buttons, no matter how dark the finder or how curious you are about your battery condition.... the battery check will tell you instantly what condition your battery is in, it will be dead. The final solution that I came up with for this was my AA battery pack attached to the bottom of the camera ( ). With AA's, everything works great.... I never use a silver cell unless I have the winder on the camera preventing the AA pack from being used. The feel of the camera is very different from that of an OM1 or OM2.... the wind lever in particular.... where the OM1 and OM2 have a silky smooth, light feel similar to a Minolta SRT and much smoother than any Nikon, Canon or Pentax, the OM2S lever feels stiff and notchy, rougher than a Nikon, Canon or Pentax, similar to some of the Miranda Sensorex models.... it works fine, it's rugged (perhaps more so than the OM1/2 system), but it does not have the smooth quality feel of the earlier ones. It's sort of like the difference between closing the door on a Mercedes and closing the door on a pickup truck... both work equally well, the truck may be stronger, but the Mercedes has more finesse. The mirror sound is a similar thing... after all the R&D that Maitani put into the mirror in the OM1 with the air cylinders and everything to make it as perfect as it could be made, here comes the OM2S's double mirror with its "schlerklook" sound is a huge step backwards. The fact that everybody else's did the same thing is neither consolation nor excuse... Maitani had not settled for "as good as everybody else" when he developed the OM1.

Far Left: 3D illustration of SPOT Metering Sensitivity pattern w/ZUIKO 50mm f/1.8 (Manual/Spot Mode)

Left: 3D illustration of Center-Weighted Average Metering Sensitivity pattern w/ZUIKO 50mm f/1.8 (OTF Program / OTF Auto Mode)

For all that, once I had it, the OM2S became my #1 camera had had quite rough and heavy use for quite a few years. The rugged, permanent flash shoe alone was enough to make it win out over the OM2 for all of my TTL flash use, and the camera really is bullet proof. I once had it fall off its neck strap as I was running across a street, and drop-kicked it into a cement curb as it bounced off of the pavement... I had to pound the brass top plate down with a hammer where it was blocking the wind lever, and borrowed a pair of pliers to remove the smashed filter from the lens, then I continued shooting. The camera never did go in for repairs from that event, I'm still using it.

That's my 2 cents worth on the OM2S!

Thanks for everything that you've created on this site, the huge extent of it continues to amaze me...

Rick Oleson :) =

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Viewfinder inside an OM (Olympus OM 2SP Spot/Program SLR camera, China apartments
From the stairway of an aprtment in remote China town..

leofoo 2007.

Interim illustrative photo usage ONLY. Looking for contributing image to replace this.

NOTE: Photo displayed herein doesn't suggest it was taken with an original OM equipment.

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Maintainers for OM Sites & Message Board: Mr. Rick Oleson <>; Mr. Bruce hamm <bhamm@magma,ca> Mr. Simon Evans <>; Mark Dapoz <>;

Credit: My old time buddy, Ahmad Ikram, Dr of Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Malaysia who shares the same passion with me and also lending his OM-1n, OM-4 and the Motor Drive 1 to me for preparing some images in this site; Mark Dapoz <>for reminding some broken links; Mr Poon of Foto Poon, Ipoh, Mr Richard, Ampang Park, Mr Lim and Miss Jenny of Foto Edar for their generosity for their OM1(n), OM2n camera and some Zuiko lenses. Mr Hans van Veluwen for mistakenly using some content earlier from his OM website; J Sorensen for providing some useful images to rectify some technical "flaws"; Mr Gen Holst for helping during the early stages of development of this OM site; Mr Andy Radcliffe <> for his contribution of the Zuiko 200mm f/5.0 lens; Mr KKLow for some of his earlier images on the OM-1appeared in this website; Miss Wati and Mirza for helping me to convert this Operation Manual into a HTML format. Mr MCLau for rectifying some mistakes made on the earlier preview sites. A personal tribute to the creator of the OM system and also a site dedicated to all the fans of Olympuses and Zuiko Optics worldwide. Some of the content and images appeared in this site were scanned from OM official marketing leaflets, brochures and instruction manual(s) for educational purposes. Olympus is a registered tradename of Olympus Optical Inc., Japan. Site created 'unfortunately' again with an IMac.