Olympus OM-2S / 2SP
The next Olympus OM SLR on my shelf is an OM-2S. In my library, I could find references to the OM cameras described earlier; this model seems to be out of favour. The only source describing it in some detail is the Hanson / Dierdorff book. Fallback plan, online research, is not helpful as in most cases information is cut and paste (and paste, and paste), so it feels like chasing one’s tail.
Introduced in 1984, the OM-2S is named out of sequence. The OM-3 and OM-4 preceded it, so perhaps the 2S was introduced to fill a gap. It is a genuine member of the OM family, compact and delicate, but it has its quirks like other models of that linage.
- True to Olympus’ time-honored tradition of name borrowing, it is conveniently called S or SP, which brings to mind the Pentax Super Program having similar features, or just Pentax SP. Depending on the market, the ‘S’ stands for ‘spot’ and the ‘SP’ for ‘spot program’
- If time warp exists, the designers could have read my note on the button between the trigger and the winder arm. The OM-1 uses that very button to allow ASA speed change.
- A pushbutton on the right side of the lens barrel allows illuminating the viewer if no sufficient light gets in through the window just by it. In other cameras, this location activates the depth of field view.
- A fancy, electronic self-timer module in front leaves much to guess. The embedded catch goes up, right and left. No intuitive guess here.
- Like the other OM-2 sisters, the camera is crippled without batteries. See below.
- The annoying ‘B’ lock still exists, this time with an added 1/60 marked red, on top of the regular 1/60. Both speeds are marked read on the shutter speed dial and can be engaged while the said catch is released.
The camera was promoted as automatic, program and with spot measuring option. Definition of auto and program has changed much since 1984. For today’s users, the term ‘program’ really means scenario, such as action, beach, night portrait, etc.
- The ‘program’ term on the OM-2S means automatic, where the camera selects the optimal settings at aperture priority. Further, the spot measuring is combined with manual exposure,
- The ‘auto’ term here means that the camera recommends the shutter speed based on a given aperture value for the user to adjust accordingly.
- Spot metering in manual mode only.
- It should be forgiven. There are plenty of screens and content-sensitive menus on today’s cameras, which were only dreamed upon at the birth of this model.
Using the camera can be awkward without a manual. The selector by the rewind knob controls the options:
- Program is by default center-weighted average. Set aperture to the smallest available on your lens. The camera takes it from there.
- An LCD (?) display on the viewer’s left appears, indicating selected shutter speed.
- The viewer is illuminated via the window in the front, just above the word ‘program’. Same as in the Pentax Super Program.
- If there is not enough light, press the pushbutton on the lens barrel nearby the window. The light shuts down after 90 seconds.
- If the camera is unhappy with the setting or cannot select a correct exposure, the LCD display will add ‘over’ or ‘under’ notes and show an aperture ikon on top of it.
- In auto mode, after setting an F value, the LCD recommends the shutter speed for the user to follow. Over and under notes will show if applicable.
- In manual, light measuring changes from weighted average to spot, as viewed via the focusing circle.
- The LCD scale now shows a combined value of speed and aperture settings, where it stacks up or down per change in these settings.
- There is no ‘off’ position.
- Electronic self-timer. Lift the top tab and pull to the direction away from the lens. Red LED will blink, and high pitch will sound till it fires.
- The same LED will light up with battery check, constant if battery full, and flash if weak.
- To shut down the pitch, push the tab towards the lens side.
- Operating without battery power, set the speed to the red 1/60 at the end of the scale, as described in the above note.
- The shoe has changed from an accessory on the previous models to a fixed one. For use with TTL dedicated flashes, it takes connecting the gun to the port on the front, under the rewind knob.
|Mode||Auto / manual, SP and AP|
|Weight||550 gr, Body only|
|Class average weight||620 gr, Body only|
|Filter size||49 mm|
|Mount size||OM mount|
|shutter||Focal plane cloth horizontal|
|DOF preview||Yes, depends on lens|
|Battery||LR44 2 ea|
|Other||Works with battery only, else limited to one speed and no light measuring.|