collecting classic lines of olympus cameras

OlympusFlex B1, August to October 1952

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There are many Olympus collectors in the world and if you already number amongst their ranks you will know what a difficult task you have set yourself. Regardless of what series you choose from the Olympus stable to focus on, it is a guarantee that there will be at least one model or type you'll probably never find. Some collectors might be attracted by the comparatively inexpensive prices asked for some examples. Make the most of it for as your horizons broaden, so must your wallet! However, Olympus doesn't rank in the big names in the collecting world - thank goodness! Collecting Olympus might be affordable but be prepared for some frustrating years ahead as you search out the rarer beasts. As with any collectable, there are many options about how you collect. You might decide to concentrate on one lineage only, or between certain dates (my target is Olympus - The First 50 Years 1936~86). Whatever you choose I wish you good collecting.

THE LINEAGES: If you've come this far you are obviously determined to see what challenges lie ahead for the dedicated Olympus collector. There are 12 separate lineages, any one of which will need some serious collecting effort and time to fulfil. To tackle them all is extremely brave, or in my case foolhardy! I've put these lineages together to help you structure your collecting targets.

Four lines are complete or as near to complete as I can currently make them. The 35 line is started and shows some nice images. Others are 'work in progress' and may take some time to finish. Be warned, there's a lot more than you may think.


REFERENCE MATERIAL: The first thing any collector needs before setting out is a clear target. To help you to set and reach your collecting goals you need information. This is likely to be your first major stumbling block. There are very few model or format specific Olympus books out there, and most went out of publication years ago. There are virtually no collector orientated specialised Olympus books available other than the two I have written. Putting together your reference books will in itself be a major challenge.

Go to my page of recommended reference and research books here.

HQ IMAGES: Sometimes all the reference books in the world won't tell you one important thing - what it looks like. There's nothing like having a high quality photgraph to study. With this in mind I'm offering HQ images of some of the rarer cameras so you know what you are looking for. For example and to start the series I've included the coloured XA's. There's some misconception that the Urban White XA is green or grey; it's neither it's more of a dark cream. The images are approx. 2.5MB each. Go to the Collectables Photograph Section here and follow the instructions.

HELP IS HERE: I know how difficult collecting Olympus can be so if you have any questions I might be able to answer I'll help you if I can. And if I can't help I probably know someone who will. But hopefully you'll find what you are looking for here so please spend some time browsing around.

If you need to contact me you can email me from here.

OLYMPUS' MAJOR PERSONNEL: It would be unacceptable to have a web site devoted to Olympus without mentioning the prime movers and shakers of the company. Research information on company personnel is not easy to come by. I have gathered some, but it is far from complete.

To see this limited information press here.

LINKS: There are many other sites on the Internet that have research or 'collector' information, offer buying and selling and/or repairing facilities. I've put together some of the best I''ve found over the years.

To go to the links page press here.



Posted 2004/12/12 Copyright © 2004 John Foster