National Geographic : 1981 Feb
as a anrduto ao 1'o simply aree t buy . hook i t .~-~ 6 ~ I ' ~ i~L * S*' EE 56 S When he was 10, Maitani built his first camera. In 1972, he built the camera that revolutionized the 35mm SLR. The challenge: build the world's first compact SLR, a camera that was not bulky, heavy or noisy. Lesser engineers would not have begun the five-year develop ment program that resulted in the Olympus OM-1, and later, the OM-2. But Maitani dared. And Maitani succeeded. OLYMPUS OM-1. First, Maitani increased internal room by relo cating the shutter speed indicator and the exposure meter. He then reduced external size by redesigning the focal plane shutter, allowing the prism to rest deeper inside the camera. He next set out to reduce weight. When he had finished, Maitani had reduced the bulk and weight of the 35mm SLR camera by 35 percent. He next conquered noise and vibration, using four ball bearing trains, a unique lightweight curtain drum, an air damper and more than 20 shock absorbers. Yet, though Maitani had built a compact SLR, he had not built a "miniaturized" camera. To en hance ease of operation, these critical components were actually made larger: The shutter speed dial. The rewind knob. The view finder mirror. Together with the ample and comfortable shutter release but ton, these improvements made the OM-1 tough enough, good enough, to take on challenges of its own...able to conquer Mt. Ev erest and survive the punishing world of the working press. OLYMPUS OM-2. Maitani fol lowed the OM-1 with the OM-2, a professional caliber, fully auto matic SLR. The OM-2 offers a choice of full exposure control or fully auto mated operation... but automa tion with a design breakthrough: Off-The-Film metering. OTF metering does what no camera before had done... measure the light reflected off the film during exposure. Two sensors measure the OTF light the instant the shutter opens, keeping it open until cor rect exposure is assured. The OM-2's metering system works at shutter speeds from 1/1000 sec. to over two minutes, a new standard of sensitivity. The OM-1 and OM-2 are land mark achievements, creations of a man who stands alone. For information write Olympus, Woodbury, N.Y. 11797. In Canada, W. Carsen Co., Ltd., Toronto. OLYMPUS The cameras of Maitani. They're more than cameras. They're inventions.
1981 Feb 28