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[OM] FW: Deciphering the white 4-letter code on OM equipment (Olympus Fo

Subject: [OM] FW: Deciphering the white 4-letter code on OM equipment (Olympus Forum: 0063Yx)
From: Fernando Gonzalez Gentile <fgnzalez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 13:55:07 -0300
Hey, all my OM equipment is pre-1983 (well still must inspect the T32...)
From: bboard@xxxxxxxxx
Reply-To: beckkonrad@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 14:37:39 GMT
To: fgnzalez@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Deciphering the white 4-letter code on OM equipment (Olympus Forum:

Konrad Beck posted a new message in the photo.net Olympus Forum, on which
you have requested "instant" alerts:

Subject: Deciphering the white 4-letter code on OM equipment

I noticed that many lenses, cameras and accessories of the Olympus OM
line have some white four letter "codes"; e.g. on the back of lenses,
in the battery compartment of flashes, in the film compartment on
cameras. Based on a comparison of these codes with the serial numbers
and putative production dates (e.g. for lenses which were introduced
after 1983), I interpret a code like "TNDA" as follows: letter one and
two code for the production plant, the third letter stands for the
production year with 1981 arbitrarily set as 1981 (i.e., C=1983,
D=1984, ... V=2002), and the forth letter indicates the production
month (1=Jan, ...9=Sept, A=Oct, B=Nov, C=Dec). I have not found any
A's or B's in 3rd position indicating that this code was introduced in

I would now like to know to which plant the first two letters refer.
Based on the large number of items baring a TNxx code, and knowing
that Olympus opened its Tatsuno plant end of 1981 which -for that
time- was highly automated, I think it is safe to think that "TNxx"
stands for Tatsuno. In a shareholders report, I found that Olympus had
the following plants in 2001: Ina, Ina-shi, Nagano; Tatsuno,
Tatsuno-machi, Kamiina-gun, Nagano; Hinode Plant, Hinode-machi,
Nishitama-gun, Tokyo; Technology Research Institute, Hachioji-shi,
Tokyo; Okaya Olympus Co., Ltd., Okaya-shi, Nagano; Olympus
Opto-Electronics Co., Ltd., Tokyo Plant, Chofu-shi, Tokyo; Olympus
Opto-Electronics Co., Ltd., Aizu-Wakamatsu-shi, Fukushima; Shirakawa
Olympus Co., Ltd., Nishigo-mura, Nishishirakawa-gun, Fukushima;
Olympus Opto-Electronics Co., Ltd., Kuroishi-shi, Aomori; Sakaki
Olympus Co., Ltd., Sakaki-machi, Hanishina-gun, Nagano; Mishima
Olympus Co., Ltd., Nagaizumi-machi, Sunto-gun, Shizuoka; Ohmachi
Olympus Co., Ltd., Ohmachi-shi, Nagano; Olympus (Shenhen) Industrial
Ltd., Shenzhen, China; Olympus Winter & Ibe GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.

>From the similar phonetics, it might be that OK stands for the
Okaya-shi plant; NI for Nishigo-mura plant; SA for Sakaki plant.
Olympus might have had a number of other plants in the 1980th.

So far I have found the various codes on the following OM equipment:

TNxx: lenses 8/2.8, 21/2, 21/3.5, 24/3.5sh, 28/2.8, 35/2, 35/2.8,
35/2.8sh, 50/1.4, 85/2, 100/2, 100/2.8, 180/2.8, 200/4, 300/4.5,
350/2.8, 500/8, 35-70/3.6, 35-70/4, 35-70/4 AF, 35-80/2.8, 50-250/5,
65-200/4, 20/2 Macro, 38/2.8 Macro, 50/2 Macro, 50/3.5 Macro, 90/2
Macro, 135/4.5 Macro, 1.4X-A, 2X-A; cameras: OM-4, OM-4T/Ti

SAxx: lenses only, 24/2.8, 28/2.8, 50/1.8, 35-70/3.5-4.5, 35-70/4,
65-200/4, 50/3.5 Macro

SKxx: 300/4.5

NIxx: 40/2, 35-105/3.5-4.5

IOxx: 1.4X-A

MRxx: flash T20, T32, T1 Power Conrol

OKxx: flash F280

NJxx: Recordata Back 4

As you see, some lenses seem to have been produced at different plants
(according to the 3rd and 4th digit, at different time periods). On an
OM-4Ti (black), I found end of last year code "TNV7 18" indicating
that it was assembled in July 2002 (!). This camera I have seen in
Japan. As on some other OM-4Ti's, sometimes there is a 5th and 6th
digit. On another note: on some lenses produced rather late according
to their serial number, the code has been omitted.


1) Is my interpretation of the code complete nonsense?

2) If the answer to 1) is no, can anybody fill in the blanks of the
production plant codes, if possible with some reference to
documentation (I myself have speculated enough about this)?

3) Are similar codes found on other than OM Olympus equipment (P/S
cameras, digital cameras, microscopes, microscope lenses, printers

4) Has anybody noticed other codes not mentioned in above list? If
yes, please provide full code, equipment, and if possible serial

5) What does the 5th and 6th digit mean (as found in above mentioned
OM-4Ti; I have also seen a champagne OM-4Ti with code "TNG1 23").

Thanks for any help.


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