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[OM] Olympus medium format

Subject: [OM] Olympus medium format
From: Steven_Read@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 08:40:15 -0400

Jim Loudon <jloudon@xxxxxxxxxxx> enquires:

   I recently spotted an ad for what appears to be a late-1940's era
   Olympus 6 medium format camera.  Classic-looking MF folder:  75mm
   Zuiko lens, presumably 6x6 format, optical viewfinder, no rangefinder
   that I could make out (though it was a _very_ small picture).

   Anybody know anything about these?....

Olympus has done more than just the OM system :-)  Their first camera was
the "Semi Olympus" with a 75mm/4.5 Zuiko which came out in about 1937
(announced late 1936) a 6x4.5cm on 120 roll film model using a Compur
rimset followed shortly after by a model using a Japanese shutter.  (The
first 35mm followed not too long after and looks a bit like a Leica - the
Olympus Standard, but was never marketed  - I think the first 35mm cameras
that they sold were post WWII the Olympus 35 I?.)  The 120 cameras follow
the pattern of the Ikonta's that I'm sure they were copying in a model
called the "Chrome Six" the only one of which I would really want (for
shooting that is) is the Chrome Six RII c1955/7 which has a built in
rangefinder, lever advance, 1/200 (later 1/300) speed Copal shutter and a
f3.5 Zuiko.  I don't think they ever produced a "Super Ikonta" copy though
the RII was getting there.  Olympus also produced a TLR called the Olympus
Flex starting production about 1952 modeled after the Rolleicord, said to
be one of the best imitators with a few positive additions, there were two
lines B and A (I'm shaky what was different) the BI or BII are the "good
ones" - but you really can't beat a Rolleiflex (though better this than
Yashica), Olympus' last 120 camera went out of production in the fall of
1957 (I wish they could have waited for me to grow up - but really the OM
system is their best work - for film anyway).

I've seen samples of the 120 cameras mentioned above, unfortunately none in
the shape I wanted to buy them in, yet, but there are also a few 35mm
cameras that I wonder if anybody has seen.  The camera that I'm really
curious about and would like to have, based solely on it's description, is
the Olympus Ace E a match needle 3 lens 35mm rangefinder system (Zuiko lust
is not just for OM mount).


and finally svtbrad@xxxxxxxxxx (Bradley Mabb) writes:

     First off, I'd suggest you hit Columbia....

Don't do it he's a good dog and it would tick me off big time! (Tarryon
British Columbia - a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is my shooting buddy and
asleep at my feet as I write)

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