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. 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).A lively mural on the East wall of a store that caters to home brewers.A fine old school which the district is putting on the block.Landscape features at our apartment building. The b&w Hosta photo was converted from color in PS Elements.
Fuji Color 200 in IS-2 with commercial processing and scanning, touched up slightly with PS Elements 6