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cyrtolite
04-07-2006, 08:53 AM
My long-winded history (thanks in advance for reading):

I’ve been dabbling in photography since the mid 1970s. It’s one of my two major hobbies (the other being mineral collecting). My first SLR was an Argus CR-2. (Argus? What’s an Argus?):? Throughout the 70s, I read about the Olympus OM-1 and, later, the OM-2 and wished I could afford one – so innovative! In the 1980s, I started getting pretty serious about my other hobby, mineral collecting, and I began to develop an interest in finding crystallized specimens of rare minerals. I acquired a microscope and began to accumulate a collection of micromounts (http://www.micromountersofnewengland.org/).

One day, I was in a camera store and I saw an Olympus OM-G. “Hey!”, I thought “Here’s one of those Olympus cameras that I can actually afford!” I bought it and sold my Argus kit. Well the OM-G wasn’t an OM-2 but it was a really nice camera for the price and I thoroughly enjoyed using it when I wasn’t distracted from it by my other competing hobby. Then I happened to notice a microscope adapter in an Olympus OM System catalog and it dawned on me that my two hobbies didn’t need to compete for my attention at all. They could share my attention harmoniously. Best of all, with its Off-The-Film (OTF) metering system (another great Olympus innovation) and its ability to auto-expose up to 30 seconds (60?), the OM-G was ideally suited to this. There would be no guessing at exposure times – just a matter of bracketing by turning the exposure compensation dial.

This was nice but, gradually, photography became just an extension of my mineral collecting hobby. I stopped doing the creative nature photography that I had started with. My lenses fell into disuse, as did whatever skill I had developed. Many years passed.

In about 1999, my sister-in-law asked me to photograph her wedding. Even more surprising: I agreed!:nailbiting:

Somewhere along the way I had acquired an OM-PC and a couple of lenses but I hadn’t used them for about 8 years. The OM-PC’s viewfinder was dusty and so were the lenses. My old trusty OM-G was showing its age with, among other things, an unreliable film advance mechanism. Realizing I couldn’t photograph a wedding with this gear, I started looking for new equipment. One of the first things that came up in my web search was the OM-4 Ti. Initially, I dismissed it as too expensive but, as I looked around, I kept coming back to it. I don’t know why, really. It was relatively expensive and lacked the auto focus, auto film advance, matrix metering, etc. As an OM-system camera, it was compatible with my OM-system gear, which by now included a bellows and a few other odds and ends. Realistically, though, all of that probably could have been replaced with the difference in price between the OM-4 Ti and a middle-of-the-line Canon or Nikon kit. Of course, I bought the OM-4 Ti.:worship:

Now I had to learn photography again. It had been too long. Learning is always easier the second time around but, in this case, I also had a great new resource – the Internet. I acquired a slide scanner and started posting my photos on a site called Photocritique (http://www.photocritique.net (http://www.photocritique.net/)) (Thank you Qiang Li!). :up: It’s absolutely amazing how quickly one can learn how to make good photographs by having one’s work critiqued by good photographers. If I have any right to call myself a good photographer, I owe it to web sites like Photocritique.

Oh, by the way. The wedding went well. I got lots of great shots. I think the bride & groom are happy with their photos. (If not, I hope they’ll have the nerve to let me know some day .:blink:)

So how did I become a FourThirds aficionado? Well, as I saw the digital photography movement emerging, I realized the change was coming and, inevitably, I’d be making a switch (or at least adding digital to my repertoire) but I was determined to wait until Olympus came out with an OM-system offering. Of course, as we all know, this never happened. Nevertheless, I was among the first to jump into the FourThirds system when the E-1 became available. I bought the E-1 body, FL-50, ZD 14-54, ZD 50 mm macro, 25 mm extension tube and a few other things in one package. I was also among the first to get the OM/FourThirds adapter, which Olympus was 'secretly' giving away for a while. This enabled me to mount my E-1 on my microscope and get digital images of mineral specimens (http://www.mindat.org/gallery-2504.html)

When I got the E-1 I figured I’d keep shooting slides with my OM-system gear, with digital photography being juse a sideline thing, at least until higher-resolution digital became affordable. Then I started using the E-1 and looking at the images I was getting with it. The camera felt so good in my hands and was so easy to operate and the images… well… they were just so pleasing to look at on the computer screen. Maybe it was because I had grown accustomed to tolerating the crummy images I was getting with my cheesy 35mm slide scanner. In any case, as I became comfortable with the E-1 and my customary sources for E-6 processing went out of business one by one, I picked up the OM gear less and less until, finally, I sold all but the OM-4 Ti T-32 flash, 35-80 and a couple of other lenses (which I carefully packed and kept for posterity).

Since then, I have never looked back. I don’t miss slides as I thought I would. I love having complete control of everything from the moment I conceive the shot and raise the camera to the moment I see the finished product coming out of the printer. I like the FourThirds concept and the components that have come along thus far and I continue to invest in it. To date, I have the E-1, two E-300s, an E-500, an E-330, a 14-45, 14-54, 11-22, 40-150, 50-200, 50 mm macro, FL-50, OM/FourThirds adapter and a few other things I’m forgetting. I look forward to acquiring the ZD 7-14.

I maintain a gallery of digital images at http://smwhittemore.smugmug.com (http://smwhittemore.smugmug.com/)

Thanks for reading my long-winded history. I hope you found it interesting.:shy:

Scott

E B
04-07-2006, 11:21 AM
Wow, you've turned into a real Olympus digital collector! Well, welcome aboard. I'm sure that there are a lot of folks here who want to benefit from your experience. Looking forward to your posts.

Bill Gordon
04-07-2006, 11:58 AM
Hi Scott, welcome aboard.

I remember the Argus when it was a squarish boxlike 35mm that was made in the US of A and that was in the 50's!! Like many other great things that were designed and built in North America, they have long since gone. It is sad in many ways because the same thing is happening in the UK and the industries that we had have disapeared forever!!

:: Sorry about my long winded piece of the thread!!blah

cyrtolite
04-07-2006, 01:16 PM
Hi Scott, welcome aboard.

I remember the Argus when it was a squarish boxlike 35mm that was made in the US of A and that was in the 50's!! Like many other great things that were designed and built in North America, they have long since gone. It is sad in many ways because the same thing is happening in the UK and the industries that we had have disapeared forever!!

:: Sorry about my long winded piece of the thread!!blah

:D Hi Bill. Your reminiscence doesn't seem long-winded to me. Sometimes I wish I had kept the old Argus. I wouldn't use it much, of course, but it's a piece of the past and it would be fun to occasionally remind myself what it felt like to use it.

Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future... :whistle:

cyrtolite
04-07-2006, 01:21 PM
Wow, you've turned into a real Olympus digital collector! Well, welcome aboard. I'm sure that there are a lot of folks here who want to benefit from your experience. Looking forward to your posts.

... a collector, indeed! Much to my wife's dismay! :shock:

As I indicated in my recent post in the "Chit-Chat" forum, I see it as contributing to the E-3 development fund. We all have to do our part, right? :rolleyes:

Regarding people benefiting from my experience, I'm all for it. I'd like to benefit from it myself! ;)

orthogent
04-07-2006, 01:42 PM
Welcome Scott. I am a former and still in the blood New Englander(Boston),but long since left the N.E.and retired here in Hawaii. I spent a great college summer working as a guide at Lost River Reservation, N.H., (supposedly)explaining the rock formations (like I knew anything about geology--" ) to tourists. who clambered with me through caves..
New Hampshire is fabulous, and not just as a whoopedy- doo- place for our politicians every four years. Welcome aboard!!! My camera path sort of follows yours... I doubt if I will return to film now that I have been "digitally restored." Except maybe for stereoscopic work..
Aloha, Gerry

cyrtolite
04-07-2006, 02:11 PM
Welcome Scott. I am a former and still in the blood New Englander(Boston),but long since left the N.E.and retired here in Hawaii. I spent a great college summer working as a guide at Lost River Reservation, N.H., (supposedly)explaining the rock formations (like I knew anything about geology--" ) to tourists. who clambered with me through caves..
New Hampshire is fabulous, and not just as a whoopedy- doo- place for our politicians every four years. Welcome aboard!!! My camera path sort of follows yours... I doubt if I will return to film now that I have been "digitally restored." Except maybe for stereoscopic work..
Aloha, Gerry

Wow, Gerry. Nice place to re-locate to! (although I hear there's been some unusually bad weather in Hawaii lately)

I love New Hampshire too, and it's really a great place for mineral collecting, but I tire of the winters here, especially when they linger into late April. As you can see in my "Ice Forms" gallery on SmugMug, I pass the winters photographing ice, of all things, and that's wearing thin.

I recommend the E-1 for stereoscopic work. It seems ideally suited to it and it is serving me very well in that capacity. I haven't tried the E-330 on the 'scope yet but I think the live view feature might prove quite useful there.

Scott