Olympus OM4ti Review

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John Orrell.'s review of Olympus OM4ti

★★★★★

“Possibly one of the best manual-focus SLRs any money...”

Written on: 01/09/2001 by John Orrell. (1 review written)

Good Points
The OM4ti is very well built; good range of high-quality used lenses and accessories; best multi-spot metering system in the world; will probably last you a lifetime

Bad Points
New ones are overpriced for what they offer; 1/60th second flash-sync is jurassic; dedicated F280 flash not as good as cheaper rivals but is the only way to break that 1/60th second limit; Olympus has all but given up support for the very range of cameras (OM) that made them famous.

General Comments
Possibly one of the best manual-focus SLRs any money can buy, the Olympus OM4Ti offers a performance, durability and build that puts to shame modern plastic SLR wonders.



Its multi-spot metering system has never been bettered by anyone. Its titanium housing makes the camera very light and robust. In terms of durability, it will probably out-live silver-halide film, just as used OM1s out-lived the mercury batteries their meters needed. Such is the quality of products from this company...



But the flies in the ointment are that it is ridiculously overpriced as a new product (at least here in the UK), some of its features are now dated (ok we can live with 1/2000 maximum shutter speed but 1/60 flash-sync is surely someone's idea of a joke) and Olympus itself appears to have all but abandoned OM support.



Would I recommend it to a complete stranger? No. I don't know what a stranger's priorities would be. I would recommend one of the auto-wonders from Nikon/Canon/Pentax/Minolta instead, because with these more up-to-date SLR cameras a good photo is but a click away. With the OM4Ti, you have work at it a bit. It's a thinking man's electro-mechanical masterpiece, for photos that don't have to be rushed.



Having said that, I will never swap it and it will probably be the last silver-halide camera I will ever buy.



Now, if only Olympus would pull a digital back out of the hat with a 24mm x 36mm CCD; wow that would be something...

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Kraut.'s Response to John Orrell.'s Review

Written on: 28/10/2001

I have to disagree.The F 280 is not the only flash as far as I recall there is an CT32 from Olympus?.When I bought my OM 4 ,I did not want to spend a lot for a flash if i did'n t have to.I bought the Metz 32CT4 it is identical to the CT32 from Olympus the specs as well as the way it looks.The metz 32ct4 just does not have the little round interconect but one can get a vast amount of shoes to make this flash work like any OEM flash with any brand of camera.It Has the same feature as the CT32 form Olympus it even comes with the bounce grip witch aslo can take 4 DD bateries.Speaking of 1/60 flash sync,Using a flash like the CT32 form Olympus or Metz,The camer will keep the shutter open for 1/60 but the camer will turn the flash off when it reads enough light.Conclusion olumpus contolls the flash speed making it unneccesary to have a different flash sync.Thus I never run into a situation where 1/60 flash sync was a problem.I do agree that the camera is expensive as an OM4ti when I bought mine the OM4ti was 1600.00 Deutsch mark (800.00 Pounds)yet I bought the OM4 Black witch is unfortunally discontinued for a long time for 1200.00 Deutsch mark(600.00 pounds).I do not want to be ignorend In what situation would you need a different flash sync (using the right flash)and at what speed ? Cheaper rivals ? considering 1)The feature 2)the acessories I do not think that there is a real rival.Look deeper into the accesories there is a vast amount of it of course not sold at a camera retailer.since this camera is also used for Medical and geologie there is for examlpe a fiber optic witch gets used instead of a lense,it is used for inserting into small pinholes or openings to take picture of a persons insides or to take picture inside of caves or egyptian grave sites witout braking it open.But there is more than just that.On the other hand you not also pay for the features of acamera, you also pay the the workmanship,Development and support.It's like saying a VW is a cheaper rival of a Rolls Royce well both are Cars right?

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5325_Kraut.'s Response to John Orrell.'s Review

Written on: 30/10/2001

Actually I have no choice then to agree with you.I wrote my own review and responded to your's from what I knew. after I responded I actually went to the olympus web in USA and in Germany to see what's new. Well what is new more then half the products are not offered anymore. As mentioned in my review I actually bought my OM4 in 1985 in Germany, at the same time I bought everything I wanted with it 16mm fisheye from sigma,80-200 F4.0,28mm,and 500mm from Tokina,Lens reversing adapter,Recorddata Back,winder 2, the Metz 32ct4 as well as several screens.Once I imegrated to Canada in 1990 I hardly found any Olypus SLR accesories from Olumpus and even less 3rd Party.I thought it isn't as popular here,This may have been the beginning of the end already.The last thing I bought was another screen and only because it was a sell off.I'm disappointed about the lack of support form olympus today after viewing the sites.I also searched for the camera and had to learn that the body gets sold today for 2400.00 deutsch mark (1200.00 pounds)I almost fall of my chair considering I paid half of that.I actually have to contact olympus because my recorddata is getting to the end of it's Date (till 2002)I want to see what are they going to do.Well it did not outlast film yet but outlasted my data back :).anyways I see your point now about different flash sync times. I guess I did not yet encounter the situation it may have to do with the fact that by using nothing higher than asa 64 I have the problem of posible under exposer,I tried higher up to asa1600 and did not like it.As I said my comments and review had been based on what I learned between 1985 and 1989 My opinion about the camera is the same but my opinion about Olympus after visiting the sites has changed.Will see what they say once I e-mail them about my data back,I'm going to do this Today.

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5320_John Orrell.'s Response to John Orrell.'s Review

Written on: 29/10/2001

Kraut: Thank you for your response. Firstly, I didn't say the F280 is the only flash unit that will work on the OM4Ti, I said that to my knowledge it was the only one that enabled you to synchronize at speeds higher that 1/60th second. I too own a T32 flash (I think that's what you call a CT32) and in truth it is probably a much better flash-unit than the F280. But, among other things, a fast flash-sync is needed for 'fill-in' flash on sunny days where the shutter cannot be slowed down to 1/60th second without causing overexposure but where you still need the flash to fill in any shadows to avoid silhouettes. This can only be done with an F280. Most cheaper cameras (such as the Nikon FM2) can sync at upto 1/250th second without the need for specialized flash units. Okay, at the time the OM4Ti was launched is was the first camera that, using the F280, could sync at any shutter-speed, but other manufacturers' technologies have moved on while Olympus have chosen to rest on their laurels and get left behind in this area. I agree that there are a good, quality accessories to be had for the camera, and I also agree that, on quality terms alone, it is certainly on par with rivals' offerings. Don't forget, I gave the camera a 10/10 overall marking: I really do like it very much! It cannot be ignored, however, that Olympus has virtually abandoned OM support, except for pro-grade lenses and the specialist products you describe, with no obvious developments on the horizon, and when a manufacturer gives up on its own products it's usually a sign that the camera's days are numbered. That generally signals the end for third-party support, and then even the most loyal of owners tend to move on to rival technologies. In terms of workmanship, I too think this camera cannot be bettered. Like I said in my review at www.camerareview.com, buy this camera and you will have bought a camera that will probably outlive the availability of film. However, its few weaknesses such as the slow flash-sync and virtually non-existent development and support from Olympus mar an otherwise perfect score. I hope that explains my markings.

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