THE OLYMPUS CIRCLE
Why another Special Interest Group?
It has been a personal long held ambition to 'enable' an Olympus Aficionados group. This had its roots over 30 years ago when I noticed how good Olympus cameras were. When I started collecting these cameras some 25 years ago the need for an information exchange became obvious, as, quite frankly there was little or no 'general' information available. There were only two groups back then; 'The Pen F Register' and the Olympus sponsored and run 'Club Olympus'. However, neither had access to essential 'collector' information. The raison d'etre for my 'Olympus Collectors' books aimed to fill this obvious information gap. Their popularity served to underline the potential for some sort of special interest group, and in 2003 The Olympus Circle was created. Its subsequent partial integration with this web-site is the latest stage. Who knows what will follow?
As my first book neared completion I concluded an Internet presence might be beneficial, and set up my first web site in 2000. Since those early days Biofos Publications or just Biofos as it is generally known, has grown and with it the expectation for a new and better site. My web site skills are miniscule but I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of J. Andrzej Wrotniak, (now a permanent member of Quest editorial team writing the magazines' digital section) who volunteered to help me create this new site. Thank you Andrzej; without your expertise, continuing encouragement and assistance I could not have come this far. If you have arrived here from Andrzej's site, www.wrotniak.net, or would like to visit his splendid website you can go/return from here.
The ambition for this site runs parallel to that of our hard-copy magazine, QUEST, and that is to grow and provide something unique for collectors and users alike. I want to cram the magazine and the site with as much information about Olympus as is possible, without unnecessary duplication. Why both? Simple; Many collecting fans like to see Quest build into a reference work giving them access to research material not available anywhere else. Modern day equipment users are more interested in 'instant' and 'consumer' information for their latest buys. And surprisingly many of you like both.
The Olympus Circle is a special blend of classic and ultra-modern, of high tech communication and traditional hard-copy, of young and old. As users of modern day Olympus equipment start to wonder about the historical roots of the company and perhaps delve into older manifestations of image technology, those still using such quality equipment as OM, Pen F and the like consider taking the plunge into the digital world. Vive la difference.
And the Result?
THe Olympus Circle is a small but highly focused group with diverse interests in the whole spectrum of Olympus photographic equipment from the true vintage offerings, such as folders and TLR's through to modern digital offerings like the C Series digi-compacts and E-System DSLR, and all that goes between. We have Half-Frame devotees and lovers of OM. We have specialists in pre-war Japanese cameras and digital fanatics. We've got followers of the delightful XA series to Cine camera fans - they are all represented. Collectors, users and those who simply enjoy their Olympus equipment.
TOC is entering its fourth year of being. Membership has remained more or less consistent and hovers around the 100 mark and is truly International. This number ensures the organisation has sufficient collateral to service various Club functions and to produce the highly acclaimed quarterly magazine Quest.
As a fee receiving Club TOC is properly constituted, though not hide bound. Three founder members occupy the only official posts of Secretary, Treasurer & PR Officer and Editor. None of the 'officials' is paid though a small honorarium is paid from year three onwards to cover 'out of pocket' expenses. TOC operates a proper business account and an annual fiscal report is published in Quest each September for member scrutiny. TOC is not sponsored, all monies arise from and belong to its current membership. Its financial year is 1st September to 31st August.
To see how The Olympus Circle is constituted press here
Long gone are the days of huge clubs, especially in the photographic world. The last half decade has seen virtually all such specialist institutions shrink dramatically. The 'founding' members of TOC were aware potential membership was limited. TOC was formed on modest and realistic ambitions. We have a healthy 'core' membership and a number of 'floating' members who come and go. We are more than happy with overall numbers, in fact any more than 125 would present severe magazine publication problems. The fact that we enjoy both spectrums of interest (hard-copy members & site visitors) is healthy for the future as there is always cross pollination of interest.
If you are interested in what the hard-copy side can offer, are undertaking research, collect 'analogue' Olympus cameras, are an OM or Pen F system user, want an ever growing rich source of Olympus information or are just fascinated by the whole Olympus thing then consider joining TOC. The annual fee is very modest and includes subscription to 4 quarterly issues of our highly acclaimed magazine Quest. FEE: UK £15.00, Europe £17.00, Rest of World £20.00 (price differential reflects additional postage costs).
You can join The Olympus Circle instantly (if you have a PayPal account) by following the instructions on this page.
Alternatively, for an application form please email our Secretary, Terry Hardy here.
We'll be delighted to see you.
|Posted 11th June 2005, amended Jan 2008||Copyright © 2005/6/7/8 John Foster|