Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Olympus OM-2 (n) - Instruction Manual - Part I


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Flash photography * More detailed info is available

Quick Reference Guide: Olympus T45, T32, T20, F280, S20, T10 Ring, T8 Ring, T28 Macro Single, T28 Macro Twin, TTL Quick AUTO 310, Quick AUTO 300, PS200, PS200 Quick and T Power Control Version 1

Electronic flash or bulbs may be used to soften shadows in daylight conditions as well as to provide artificial illumination when available light is inadequate for proper exposure. But if you use a modern standard to judge the OM2, perhaps it is also one of its weakest link among the feature lists. The horizontal traveled focal plane shutter curtain restricting its maximum sync speed to only 1/60 sec. which is quite adequate in most photographic situations that may demand artificial light source such as flash, but the moderate and average sync speed of 1/60 sec may be a little fall short of safe day light syncro-sunlight photography (as long as you are not shooting flash with a fast moving subject or in strong backlight situations). But nevertheless, flash photography is one of the two main attraction in exposure control system that employed in the OM2 (Spot Program, OM-3, OM-4, OM3 Ti and OM4 Ti as well) for so long, it is the area where the Olympuses really outshone other camera manufacturers Anyway, as I quoted earlier, it is not too much to quote and complimenting the system design and employs in the OM-2 was truly revolutionary. But unlike the greater availability of dedicated OM flash units, early days of the OM2 was only limiting to a few flash units and mostly can only works in AUTO and manual mode (Olympus Quick Auto 300, PS 200 Quick and PS 200). The first TTL flash was the Quick AUTO 310. And it was replaced with the more familiar T32 flash later. Flash of smaller guide number is the T-20 and the most powerful was the T-45 with a high and powerful guide number of 45 ! Another unusual feature with the early OM cameras of OM-1 and OM2 is, the pentaprism atop viewfinder is not built with a permanent accessory shoe. With each camera, you can change the hot shoe to suit individual needs. In fact, if you leave the camera without any accessory shoe and still can use flash with the PC terminal (but would require sync cord or cable).

 Use of Electronic Flash Units [1]Attach the Accessory Shoe 1 (AUTO / MANUAL) Shoe 4 (TTL) to the OM-2. [2] Mount the flash unit on the camera. Slide the flash unit into the camera's accessory shoe as far as it will go. *If your electronic flash unit does not have a direct contact "hot shoe", connect its synchro cord to the flash synchro socket on the camera.[3] Set the camera's synchro terminal switch to"X". [4] Set the selector lever to the "MANUAL" position. [5] Set the shutter speed ring to a shutter speed of 1/60 second or slower.

Setspeed.jpg   Turn.jpg
The OM-2 is designed to synchronize with electronic flash at shutter speeds of 1/60 second or slower (all shutter speeds indicated in blue on the shutter speed ring). * Note: The OM-2 incorporates an incorrect flash prevention system. If the shutter speed ring is set at a shutter speed faster than 1/60 second the electronic flash will not fire when you press the shutter release button.

[6] Set the F stop on the aperture ring.(1) Auto Flash Exposure Control Follow your flash equipment instructions for the selection of F stop for automatic flash exposure control (Illustration used here is an Quick Auto 300, a non-TTL flash unit, prior to the Quick AUTO 310) one of F4, F5.6, F8; ASA 100).

(2) Manual Flash Exposure Control Determine the correct F stop for proper flash exposure by using the calculator dial or exposure table provided with your flash equipment. You may also determine the correct F stop by using the following formula:

Note: The respective dedicated flash unit like T-30 has a separate section on its own, refer to the main index page for more ( I have not that section yet, just in case I have forgotten there can be a link here...). Picture such as this Quick AUTO 300 may be scarce and useful for reference in the future.

Day light fill-in flash Whatever, the moderately slow sync shutter speed of 1/60 sec may not be too ideal in some situation where light level is bright which may result in ghost image (One image forms by the rapid duration of flash action while another is the delayed action 'absorbed' by the opening of shutter). It is also unjust to specify those draw backs cannot be make use of it creatively in photography to portray a sense ofd movement in fashion, sports or artistry expression. Anyway, as long as you know the 1/60 sec may present such potential problem, just take not of it.

[1] Manual Flash Exposure Control (i) If your electronic flash unit has MANUAL/AUTO flash exposure control, set it for MANUAL operation. (ii) Focus on your subject to determine the camera-to-subject distance.
(iii) Using the calculator dial, exposure table, or guide number formula, determine the correct F stop for proper flash exposure at the distance you found in Step 2. Set this F stop with the camera aperture ring. In case of the Quick Auto 300, after setting, the auto/manual switch dial to the "HI" position, read the F number corresponding with the planned flash-to-subject distance, using the distance scale provided.
(iv) Set the camera's selector lever to the "MANUAL" position. (v) Turn the shutter speed ring until the meter needle centers between the over and underexposure index marks in the camera viewfinder. (6) If the shutter speed is 1/60 second or slower, you are ready to take the picture.

If the shutter speed is faster then 1/60 second, the flash will not fire if you attempt to take the picture. Therefore, you must readjust the exposure settings as follows:

a. Reset the shutter speed to 1/60 second. b. Turn the aperture ring until the meter needle centers between the over- and underexposure index marks in the camera viewfinder. c. Using the flash calculator dial, exposure tables, or guide number formula, determine the correct flash-to-subject distance for the F stop now set on the camera's aperture ring. d. Move to this distance from the subject and refocus or remove the flash unit from the camera and move it only to this distance from the subject using a synchro cord extension to maintain flash synchronization with the camera.

[2] Automatic Flash Exposure Control
(i) If your electronic flash unit has MANUAL/AUTO flash exposure control, set it for AUTO operation. (ii) Set the camera's selector lever to the "MANUAL" position.
(iii) Set the camera's shutter speed ring to 1/60 second. (iv) Turn the aperture ring until the meter needle centers between the over- and underexposure index marks in the camera's viewfinder. (v) Focus on your subject to determine the camera-to-subject distance. (vi) If your electronic flash unit has an "AUTO F STOP" that corresponds with the F stop set on your camera and if that "AUTO F STOP" will provide automatic flash control within the distance range you found in Step 5, you may take the picture using this "AUTO F STOP" setting on your electronic flash unit. If these conditions are not met, use the procedures for Manual Flash Exposure Control. (In case of the Quick Auto 300, determine the F number and set the auto/manual switch dial to one of F4, F5.6, or F8; ASA 100.)

Note: For popular Olympus TTL-flash unit like T30 etc., CLick Here to the flash group for more info.

flashbulb Photography [1] Mount the Accessory Shoe to the camera and insert the shoe mount of the flash unit into the Accessory Shoe. * If your flash unit does not have a "hot shoe" contact, plug the flash unit's synchro cord into the synchronizing socket. [2] Set the camera's selector lever to the "MANUAL" position. [3] Select the proper shutter speed and synchro setting from the table below according to the type of bulb being used and make these settings on the camera. . [4] Determine the correct F stop for flash exposure by using the guide number formula. * The guide number for any flashbulb/film combination may be found on the flashbulb packaging. [5] Set the correct F stop with the camera's aperture ring.

Self Timer
The self-timer provides a method of taking delayed action pictures al lowing you to get into your own photographs. It is also ideal for macrophotography when a cable release is not available because when you start activating self timer operation, the main reflex mirror will raise first and awaiting for the shutter curtain to open and close. Thus eliminating any possibility of blur image caused by mirror bounce, this, of cause only affecting when you are in extreme high magnification works and work without a flash. Anyway, to set the self-timer:

1) Rotate the self-timer lever counterclockwise until it stops (approximately 180°). Make sure the film has been advanced properly. 2) Turn the start lever clockwise to the vertical position to activate the self-timer lever. The shutter will then be released in approximately 12 seconds. You can adjust the delay time between four and twelve seconds by adjusting the lever as shown above.

If the film has not been advanced properly, the timer lever will stop halfway and the shutter will not fire. To reactivate the timer, move the start lever counterclockwise to stop the timer lever, return the timer lever to the starting position, and advance the film. Then, turn the start lever again. NOTE: If you do not reset the self-timer, the timer lever will begin moving immediately after advancing the film and the shutter will be released earlier than expected.

You may set the self-timer lever either before or after advancing the film. Even after setting the lever, you can release the shutter by pressing the shutter release button. To stop the self-timer during its operation, turn the start lever counter-clockwise.* The OM-2 incorporates the Through The-Lens Direct Light Measuring System, so that the automatic light measuring is protected from any influence of light coming from the viewfinder eyepiece even during the time delayed exposure (The mirror has raised and block off any stray light from the pentaprism), consequently making unnecessary the use of an eyepiece shutter.

Changing the Camera Back The camera back of the OM-2 is fully interchangeable with the Recordata Back 1/2/3/4 and also 250 Bulk Film Back 1. To remove the camera back, push down on the release pin as shown. Do not remove the back unless necessary. The standard Recordata Back registers data such as date, number, alphabetical code, etc. directly on the picture. Early Databack uses three dials as input, but later models has improved to use LCD display. The latest is being the Recordata Back 4 and has programmed to go year 2029. The 250 Film Back 1 is designed for motor drive shooting; it accepts a bulk loaded magazine of 250 frames and you will need a host of accessories such as bulk film loader, magazine etc.. which Olympus has it all within the comprehensive OM system.

General Guidelines on CARE AND STORAGE:

1. When you do not use the camera for a long period of time, store it with the shutter uncocked and turn off the self timer and exposure meter. Keep it free from dust and moisture, and remove it from the case.
2. When storing the camera for a long period of time, remove the batteries. Wipe all battery surfaces with a dry cotton cloth before reinserting them into the camera.
3. Avoid dropping or hitting the camera.
4. Avoid store the camera where temperatures exceed 50°C (122°F). When you use the camera in temperatures under -20°C ( - 4°F), it may sometimes fail to operate properly. To avoid this, warm the camera before use or use a external power pack. Protect against excess moisture by using silica gel or other desiccant.
5. After use near the ocean, wipe the camera surfaces clean with a soft cloth; never leave salt on the camera. (Salt may be airborne near the ocean and collect on the camera even though it has not been in direct contact with water.)
6. Avoid excessive force when mounting on a tripod.
7. Never expose the camera to direct sunlight. Avoid areas exposed to salt water, radios, TV sets, or magnets.
8. Have all repairs performed by an authorized OLYMPUS or any authorized Service Center. You may send it directly or through the store where you bought your camera.
9. Avoid touching the surfaces of the lens. Clean only with an air brush, antistatic brush, or wipe it lightly with a camel hair brush or lens tissue. In EXTREME cares, use a clean, soft cotton cloth moistened with denatured alcohol. NEVER rub the lens surfaces with your finger, clothing, or other abrasive material.
10. If dust or fingerprints collect on the mirror, focusing screen, or prism, take the camera to an authorized OLYMPUS Service Center. It needs professional attention.
11. Do not press the release lever at random.
12. Do not touch any part that moves at high speed such as the shutter, instant return mirror, diaphragm, etc.

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Shared Resources:
Supplementary articles: TTL Metering, Depth of Field, Shutter Speed & Aperture
Motor Drive and Power Winder: Main Index Page (4 Parts)
Motor Drive 1 | Motor Drive 2 | Winder 1 | Winder 2
Flash Photography:
Main Index Page (4 Parts)
T45 | T32 | T20 | F280 | S20 | Qucik AUTO 310 | QA300, 200, 200S
Main Index Page (3 Parts)
Macro Flash Units:
T10 Ring Flash, T28 Twin, T28 Single, T8 Ring Flash
Databack 1-4 | Screens | Finder Accessory | Remote | Cases

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My old time buddy, Ahmad Ikram, Dr of Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Malaysia who shares the same passion with me and also left his collection of OM-1n, OM-4 bodies alsong with a Motor Drive 1 preparing some images appeared in this site. Mr Poon of Foto Poon, Ipoh, Mr Richard, Ampang Park, Mr Lim and Miss Jenny of Foto Edar for their generosity for their OM1(n), OM2n camera and some Zuiko lenses. Mr KKLow for some of his earlier images on the OM-1. Miss Wati and Mirza for helping me to convert this Operation Manual into a HTML format. Mr MCLau for rectifying some mistakes made on the earlier preview sites. Site created 'unfortunately' again with a PowerMac A personal tribute to the creator of the OM system and also a site dedicated to all the fans of Olympuses and Zuiko Optics worldwide. Olympus is a registered tradename of Olympus Inc, Japan.