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Olympus IS-2 ZLR

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minoly
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Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby minoly » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:51 pm

Olympus didn't do much with AF 35mm as it developed among SLRs at the end of the 20th century. But they did a lot with a different style of SLR -- they liked to call it Zoom Lens Reflex (ZLR)--which put an unchangeable zoom lens on a body that looked something like a video camera of the time. The Olympus "ZLR"cameras were divided into two product lines : one that had two digits in the name (IS-10, IS-20, IS-30, IS-50 ) and generally were directed at an audience that wanted a simpler camera, and one with 1 digit in the name (IS-1, IS-2, IS-3) that had more features. However, towards the end of manufacturing of this line, the IS-50-- highest number I believe in the simpler range-- incorporated many of the extras that had only been available before in the IS-1,-2,-3 series. I have used the IS-10, IS-50, and IS-2. (Keeping all the numbers straight (they vary outside the USA) as well as overall evaluation is found at http://olympus.dementix.org/eSIF/om-sif ... series.htm ) .

I bought an IS-10 because I liked the ZLR concept and had some experience with it in the half-frame Yashica Samurai. I used it for travel and nature photography-- I found that the IS-10 with a supplementary close-up lens worked very well to photograph butterflies, for example. When digital enthusiasm put a lot of film cameras on the used market, I bought an IS-2 and IS-3 from Goodwill. It's the IS-2 that I will write about here. Though I think that I could probably get along 90% of the time using the IS-2 as my 35mm camera, what I want to emphasize is its use as a big P&S which also is a true SLR with a high quality lens and adjustable settings.

The IS-2 lens is a 35mm - 135mm F4.5 - 5.6, avoiding the almost unusable small aperture at the long end that shows up in many zoom p&s cameras. The user gets 4 program choices along with aperture priority, manual exposure, and +/- 4 stops of compensation. There's no free lunch, of course, so the Olympus IS line is heavier than a compact p&s, but they are well-designed for hand holding and pretty steady even at the long end of focus. Exposure is done by 3 choices of metering-- fuzzy logic, center-weighted, and spot. The 49mm thread on the lens is available for filters or a lens hood which I haven't used but is a good idea because of all the elements in the lens-- I thought there was a little "haze" on the photo of the black sign below, though I'm not sure it was flare-- it cleared up right away in PS Elements 6. Following a picture of the IS-2 (sorry about its last-minute quality) are some photos to show what it produces.

IS-2 Portrait.jpg
IS-2 Portrait.jpg (224 KiB) Viewed 5035 times



A couple signs for GrainBelt beer, a Minneapolis product, -- I don't know why it's featured near Schmidt's brewery (which is now a condo complex).

Black-Grainbelt-SignWEB.jpg


Flannel-of-Beers-SignWEB.jpg


A lively mural on the East wall of a store that caters to home brewers.

Beer-Dabbler-StoreWEB.jpg


A fine old school which the district is putting on the block.

Riverside-Grade-SchoolWEB.jpg


Landscape features at our apartment building. The b&w Hosta photo was converted from color in PS Elements.

Montcalm-Garden-DetailWEB.jpg


Hosta-LeavesWEB.jpg


Fuji Color 200 in IS-2 with commercial processing and scanning, touched up slightly with PS Elements 6
Bill Delehanty
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Julio1fer
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Re: Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby Julio1fer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:51 pm

Interesting concept. Many popular digital zoom SLRs are built on the same idea. I like the last image.
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LarryD
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Re: Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby LarryD » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:20 pm

I recently got a IS-3 DLX for free. I may have to get some batteries for it.
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If we all saw the world the same no one would need a camera.

PFMcFarland
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Re: Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby PFMcFarland » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:32 pm

Yeah, these were pooh-poohed by all the aficionados at the time they were introduced. The design kind of threw most folks off, but then other manufacturers came out with even more radical stuff later. At least Olympus kept the SLR look, and hung a really nice lens on the front. I bought a Minolta Mirai that was more squarish in design, but unfortunately it doesn't work.

Canon did a "compact" Sure Shot Zoom XL that had a 39-85mm lens which was rumored to be an FD design. Problem was, not only was the camera twice as big as most compacts, it weighed three times as much. Its cool feature was a built-in remote control unit that fit into the bottom of the camera, ready at a moments notice.

PF
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Waiting for the light

LarryD
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Re: Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby LarryD » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:08 pm

I remember Ricoh had one that looked like a cigar box with a zoom lens.
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If we all saw the world the same no one would need a camera.

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OpenWater
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Re: Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby OpenWater » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:17 am

My wife and I had an IS-1 and really enjoyed it. She chased our then young daughter around with it and made some great photos with it.
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jamesmck
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Re: Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby jamesmck » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:03 pm

Bill, you have posted a great story about this intriguing camera along with a nice set of photos from it. Way to go!
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James McKearney
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LarryD
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Re: Olympus IS-2 ZLR

Postby LarryD » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:24 pm

I just opened a box from the closet. I have a few of those in it. I had no idea that they were pulling prices on eBay like they are. I forgot I had those in there.
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If we all saw the world the same no one would need a camera.


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