Sunday, November 20, 2011

For the Love of Olympus

'I am a great believer in product… we make world-beating cameras, wonderful lenses, sexy-styled bodies’ – Michael Woodford, ex Olympus CEO. (source here).

Many of my readers have sent me emails, and some even commented on my blog, asking my opinion and thoughts on the current drama happening over in Olympus Japan, suffering the crisis of financial scandal that has received much undesired negative attention world-wide. I was reluctant to comment on the issues, mainly because we do not yet at this time of writing have solid evidence and full story on what actually happened. Everything is still under probe and investigation. So far we have only bits and pieces of information there and here, and it is saddening so see everyone so quick to come to such horrific conclusions and speculations. Whatever truly happened, the damage has already been so extensive, I only wished things did not turn out this bad for Olympus. However, after reading what Michael Woodford, the ex Olympus CEO said in his interview with the Amateur Photographer (UK) as quoted earlier, I felt something stirred inside of me. Yes, I agree whole-heartedly with him: Olympus did make world-beating cameras. Yes, Olympus has many wonderful lenses. And yes, Olympus camera bodies are sexily styled indeed!!

I am a proud owner of Olympus cameras and lenses, and I love them all. I have used them all extensively, as I have generously shared my photography work throughout the past few years on this humble blog of mine. I am here to tell you all that I love Olympus still, and I will continue to support this beautiful camera and lens maker in whatever small ways that I can.

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and 25mm F1.8 pancake lens, or 50mm F2 macro lens.









My faith and loyalty lies with Olympus, and they shall not waiver, even at its darkest hour. Whatever happened to the management of Olympus does not change the fact that Olympus is a great camera and lens maker. Even if something went horribly wrong in the near future (lets hope it wont go that far), it does not make my photographs taken with my set of Olympus gear any less beautiful. The bottom-line is, all the dramas and traumas should not be affecting me that much at the consumer end of spectrum, and all I needed from Olympus is the continuation of support for their great products, and future release of better innovation in photography equipments. I know everything hangs on the current state of affairs, whether Olympus Japan can survive the turmoil and wave of destructive blows one after another. They will make it. Mark my words. They will survive. Things will not be the same, and I am darn sure things will be even better. It takes something drastic to make a dramatic change, and God knows how much revolution Olympus needs, in terms of moving forward and upward, competing against their competitors in the camera market. Change is good, and it may not come easily, but this could be the turning point we all have prayed so hard for. If Olympus survives (I am sure it will), change will surely come, and we know, there is nowhere else to go when you hit rock bottom, but upwards.

All the events that have happened did not make me love my Olympus camera and equipments any less. It is strange how people can ask me if I would consider jumping ship, or even consider other camera systems at this time. I am deeply puzzled, because my cameras won’t stop operating even if the sky falls down. It won’t perform any lesser, and it still produces great images as usual, and nothing is going to take that away. It is incredible how people’s perception can change just like that, based on rumors and speculations on what could have happened. Think, Olympus has invested so much in their research and development, they were the pioneers of many camera technologies which ALL camera manufacturers have copied and emulated to certain extents, such as the sensor self cleaning mechanism, the live-view, Art Filters, just to name a few. Olympus was the first to come up with the concept of the mirrorless compact camera system, which has gained popular following and become a huge hit recently, even followed by other manufacturers, such as Sony, Samsung and recently, Nikon. Olympus has the wealth of knowledge and technology that carried them through the years, and will continue to be their backbone to push further in the camera business. Their continuous strive for technical perfection and vision to produce the “ideal” size and weight to performance ratio have been admired and respected by many, even their rivals. If you have not noticed, Olympus’ current iteration of Olympus PEN system, with the release of the newest three PEN bodies (E-P3, E-PL3, and E-PM1) and the two highly acclaimed lenses, the M.Zuiko 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8 surely have won the hearts of many photography enthusiasts all over the world. Tell me, have you found a single negative review on the latest PEN and the two mentioned lenses? They have all received overwhelmingly positive reviews, both from professional sites as well as user feedback. Olympus is improving, perhaps not to the pace that everyone is expecting (the camera market these days is a cruel place) but hey, what they have done has shown their commitment and promise to deliver to the consumer’s and photographer’s demands.









I admit, truthfully, I am an Olympus fan. There is no hiding from that fact, if you have followed my blog, or starting to dig my archives from years ago, I have religiously blogged about Olympus, the photography journey I have started and walked with my Olympus photography gear, and sharing my thoughts along the way, without fail in numerous entries every single week. Many people have questioned my motivation on doing so, since I was not paid, or more interestingly, I have not put up any sort of advertisements on my blog (not even those google ads). I blog because I want to blog, and I do not want to be tied down or restricted when I want to say something. Therefore, whatever I have said and all the love I have professed for Olympus, they were all true, and they shall remain true for a long, long time. I see no reason to do otherwise, and my consistency (in everything that I do, shutter therapy, using the same system all this time, and shooting all the time) will not deteriorate just because of some corporate mishaps which has nothing to do with me and my photography in any way.

I have gained quite a reputation over the years, due to my diligence in shooting with and blogging about Olympus. I am known as the blogger who writes about Olympus, or the photographer who reviews Olympus cameras. Somehow, I have been branded as the Olympus supporter, and I have no issue with that, because that is the truth. I have discovered the joy of photography through Olympus equipments, grown passionate about photography over the years, and stumbled upon many great adventures. I have grown so much, and I have come this far, with Olympus equipments by my side. Olympus has NEVER failed me, and it has always inspired me to go further, and push beyond my own boundaries. I strongly believe that somehow, your equipments do, to a certain effect determine your personalities and characteristics as a photographer. I am glad to be using Olympus, and it has shaped and defined me to be who I am today. I am happy with my photography, and what I can do with Olympus equipments. We all have our complains there and here and wish this or that could have been better, but on the whole, I don’t think I can fall in love with any other system as deeply as I have with Olympus.









If you are using Olympus, please do not leave now. Just stay for a bit, as we stand united and show the world what we can do with our Olympus camera and lenses. I surely hope all the issues in Olympus will be resolved as soon as possible. We need not complicate things any further, but better to aid in the process of their recovery in whatever way we can.

Do share how much you love your Olympus gear!! The world needs to hear your stories now, more than ever.

41 comments:

  1. Yes, not to mention the only Zooms in the world with Constant F2.0....14-35 F2.0 SWD, here I come!

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  2. I want one 14-35mm too !!!

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  3. Then let's Mass Order 'em!

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  4. I definitely want one, too - as well as the 35-100mm :-)

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  5. Robin, the 4th picture from the bottom (wheelchair and fruits) is absolutely stunning. It deserves to be printed really large and put up in a museum.

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  6. Love that Gunting Rambut one. Your signature processing style is back and really unique.

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  7. Hello Christoph,
    Thanks a lot !!! That is my favourite shot too !!!

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  8. Ananda !!!
    You noticed !!! Super contrast and heavy saturation, thought it was not really something that many people liked, but I figured those are MY own photos, so I should be able to present it my own way !!

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  9. This is my word... If ever Olympus goes down, then so it will be with my photography life... Honestly I was thinking of jump ship when the news came out - eyeing myself a few choices of full frame body with nice lenses.. but instead, happily collected my E-5 again and bought another 4/3 lens (:wink: thanks Robin)...

    With 4 bodies from the Kodak sensor age to the latest E-5 with vast range of Zuiko optics including a few of the SHG (and of course the OMs) - I proudly say that Olympus had become the most precious non-living entity of my life ;)

    Thanks Robin for the wonderful words

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  10. hey cheer up people! the olympus hardware we have no corporate scandal can take away.
    my first point n shoot was a mju 2, one of the most beautiful compact ever made. after a brief sojourn with a digital sony p7, i felt i wanted more control than any compact could give me. love my e620 coz its small and NOT a canon or nikon.

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  11. Hello Capin,
    Glad you are enjoying the new toy !!!
    Good to find that you are staying with Olympus. I am sure E-5 will breathe life into your photography once again. How is the E-5? I hope it has got the issues fixed.

    Hello richard,
    well said, no scandal can affect our Olympus gear, which is already so wonderful.
    And oh the E-620 is such a beautiful camera !!

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  12. I have a nice collection Of Olympus bodies and lenses, FT and MFT, along with some old manual primes and I enjoy them all. What is to be gained by spending a lot more cash on a different system ? Specifications maybe but enjoyment is not ptoportional to cost. My Oly gear will stay with me until it ceases to function or I do lol.

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  13. Hello Jan,
    Very nicely put, enjoyment is not proportional to cost, and I agree, it is pointless to start with a new system.
    Good on you mate, continue using your beautiful Olympus gear !

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  14. And just noticed that little girl eating. I must say, your style with the super sharp hair, even the speck on her eyeball and lovely skin texture. That's your signature style. And I sit at your feet in adoration of those pics - they are not just your style, but the expressions, clarity and how each shot is brimful with context - you can reach out and almost touch and feel the texture of fabric etc....

    I have been re-learning my E-620 and fondled my E-510 - I looked at the D-7000 and was impressed with the senstive trigger and the fast, reliable AF and the solid weight in the hand.

    But I keep telling myself, there's more to improve of me than there is in spending on gear

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  15. If not for the scandal Olympus already gone in 1998. The people who are involve with the scandal did it to save Olympus according to a Nov 1, 2011 report from New York Time.

    I don't care what or who is right or wrong But I know my OM cameras and my digital pen cameras are right. My 3 OM cameras are still working after 30 over years. Why should I be worry even if Olympus is not the same again.

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  16. Ananda,
    You are being too extreme in your description !!! But thanks nonetheless.
    Besides spotting the right subject/composition and making sure accurate focus, I think what I did differently from others is pushing the contrast heavily. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, especially those who care very much about dynamic range and details in every region of the photo. I want my black to be black, and white to be white, hence the contrast added a lot of tone and depth to the overall look of the photo. Nothing fancy, really, and it does wonders to textures too.

    D7000 is a great camera, been playing around with it, a friend has it. But I still prefer the outcome from Olympus (not comparing noise or DR, just colours, resolution and overall "feel")

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  17. Hey Anonymous,
    True, now that more reports are being made known, it is clearer what actually happened, and why they did what they did. Sometimes, we bend the rules to survive. Of course, the consequences will still creep back in even after a decade.

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  18. Hi Robin,
    My first contact with Olympus has occured when a friend of mine has shown us his brand new OM-1 (back in 1975) and for all of us it was a kind of big bang for the 35mm reflex camera. A kind of Lieca resurgence. But you have to remember that innovation have started way before the OM serie with the Pen F half-frame serie for example.
    Olympus has pushed the other big manufacturers to do better, clever and slimmer cameras. Think also about TTL flashes which are now a regular feature for everybody.
    I think the Olympus team has designed, manufactured and introduced in the market a stream of products that is a strong testimony for their originality. And all theirs users are the living proof of that fact.
    Yes we can be respectful of the Olympus spirit and I wish to continue following them for many years to come.
    Daniel M from Montreal, CDN

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  19. someone will have to pry my olympus cameras from my cold, dead hands. i may use another camera maker if need be, but oly will always be my first love. the color is 2nd to NONE.

    great shots, as always.

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  20. daniel,
    thanks for reminding that olympus creative innovation started long time ago and were already the forefront runner even in the film days. Their legendary om and pen series speak glowingly on olympus' favor.
    And yes, now that you have mentioned TTL, indeed i have heard from someone and can vaguely remember now its from olympus!!

    Hello v,
    very true. Olympus color is second to none!! Glad you are sticking to olympus. Thanks for the compliments!

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  21. Amen, Robin! Oly loyalist to the end. As many troubles as the company is going through, fact of the matter is that Olympus is a pioneer in this industry - one of the first to implement in body image stabilization, color that makes color correction unnecessary, lenses that are sharp across the board, one of the first designed-for-digital systems, first articulating screen that's also weatherproof on the E-5, one of the first to implement live view...

    They deserve respect for taking so many chances that paid of so well, and also they deserve the loyalty of those who weren't lost on all their innovations.

    Been following your blog for a while - love all your posts & reviews!! :)

    That first portrait in this post was beautiful... the detail in that man's face is something Oly lenses capture so well! If you ever get a chance, rent the 150mm f/2 - it's basically the 50mm with creamier bokeh!

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  22. Hello Dr J,
    Thanks so much for the compliments, indeed the first photo is my favourite for this series. It shows how capable the 50mm F2 macro is, and the sharpness is something that even other brands marvel at.
    Glad to find another photographer who understands the identity of Olympus, and what makes us love its history and innovations dearly. Indeed, their lenses are the closest to technical excellence in the market, and there is so little to complain about. You were right about Olympus colors not having the necessity to do any correction, tell that to many other brand shooters who has not used Olympus or seen its beautiful colors before !!

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  23. Have any one visited 4/3 rumours?
    There is a FT5 rumours meaning it is almost true that Olympus is releasing a new M4/3 lens next month. Is a 12-60 f2.8/4 zoom or 14-54 f2.8/4!!
    Good news guys Olympus is not dead yet.

    Robin have you been secretly reviewing it lets us know something. Don't pretend you don't know about it. Come on Robin.

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  24. Hello Unknown,
    I sure hope that the rumour is true !! No, it will take a lot more than that to beat Olympus down, it will surely survive this.
    I want to get my hands on the 12-60mm!! Don't worry, if I do get them, you will surely hear something here.

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  25. one more good lenses for MFT camera, wait and see your review :)

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  26. Dreamie,
    I am not sure if I will get the lens, but if I do i will surely share it here.

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  27. Got you on the "Support Olympus" call - and bought a second E-PL1, for me this time.

    Oh, and do I have to mention it? Great photos, as always.

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  28. hello Wolfgang,
    Thanks for the compliments !!
    And wow, another E-PL1 !!! Good on you mate. Indeed it is a great camera, am still loving it and shooting constantly with it.

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  29. Hi, greetz from Thrn Netherlands. Love 2 read your blogs & love my Olympus gear !!

    Olympus will and must survive !! keep up your great work !

    regards

    Gerard

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  30. Thanks for the kind compliments, Gerard !!
    Hello from Malaysia !! Keep shooting with Olympus.

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  31. Hi Robin, quick replay :-)

    As owner of a E5,E30 & an old E330 including the famous 12-60, 50-200 plus superb 35-100 i will not give up Olympus offcorse.

    Keep blogging Robin !, allways great to read your blogs.

    wish u a great day

    Gerard
    gjsmits-fotografie.eu

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  32. Hey Gerard,
    those are superb lenses you have !!!
    I have browsed through your photo gallery, you have some pretty amazing stuff yourself. Keep shooting with Olympus !!

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  33. Hi Robin,

    I agree with you, this is not a time to give up on Olympus, but a time to stand by them, and let them know they are worthy of our faith in them!

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  34. Thanks for agreeing, Peter !!

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  35. Great article!
    I too have an Olympus (e-5) with some glass and i'm scared for the future. Nonetheless this truly is a great system and i hope for the best! It would be a shame to switch to another brand in a few years, so i truly hope they will survive and keep coming with great equipment.

    All Olympus fans should unite and donate 1 dollar to the company :P

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  36. Hello eugene,
    Good idea on the 1dollar donation !!
    Nonetheless I think whats most important now is for Olympus to sort out the issues and put a stop to all the scandals. Make sure the management is stable and running.

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  37. I fully agree Robin and a great article.

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