Vale Olympus 4/3s, Long Live Olympus 4/3s

The Olympus 4/3 system has had a pretty bumpy history, starting off with great fanfare and hope, building up a solid selection of lenses and then slowly crumbling away. I knew that my E-5 was going to be the last of the 4/3 cameras, as the m4/3 system was here to stay and was growing, but what would happen with my 4/3 lenses was anyone’s guess.

Olympus E-1 and 14-42mm f2.8-3.5 lens

Olympus E-1 and 14-42mm f2.8-3.5 lens

In the meantime, when the E-P1 came out, I became very interested in the format as a general carry around camera, but also thought that it might be usable with my 4/3 lenses. The latter was not going to happen, especially since the focussing with 4/3 lenses was abysmal, even if the balance was manageable. The biggest frustration was not having a proper viewfinder and so when the E-P2 came out, I thought that it would solve at least some of the problems.

E-P1 and 14-35mm f2 lens

E-P1 and 14-35mm f2 lens

The E-P2 with EVF wasn’t really a solution and even using manual lenses, which I’d collected a few of over the years, didn’t assist. At the end of the day, the E-P1 worked best with the 17mm f2.8 lens and has been one of my favourites as a simple knockabout camera and the like, and the E-P2 is my wife’s camera with the standard 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens.

E-P1 with 17mm f2.8 lens

E-P1 with 17mm f2.8 lens

None of the new m4/3 cameras provided effective focussing capability with the 4/3 lenses, so it looked like I was going to be using my E-5 and E-3 until they no longer functioned. Even the manual lenses were difficult to focus, even with the E-P2 EVF. But then came the E-M1, which was purported to be able to focus with 4/3 lenses; however, the reviews were very mixed, and in any case, I wasn’t that interested in an E-M1, as the E-5 was such a good camera in it’s own right. Little did I realise that things were about to change.