Olympus OM40

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This page is copyright by ,    M. Butkus, NJ.
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Flash Photography

The OM40 PROGRAM is designed to provide "OTF" Automatic Exposure with Olympus T-Series electronic flashes. There is nothing to set since exposure is determined by the sensors in the camera body itself. You can even adjust exposures using the compensation dial on the camera. Because it directly measures the light at the film plane, it does not allow for flash exposure error utilizing, the sensor built into the flash.

Such special techniques as bounce flash, diffused illumination and ultra close-ups can now be accomplished with full automatic ease.

Combined with T-Series flashes, the OM40 PROGRAM permits flash exposure in three modes: "OTF" programmed exposure mode, "OTF" automatic exposure mode and manual mode.4www.butkus.org

T-Series Flashes
Electronic flash T20 (small-size flash with a guide number of 20)
Electronic flash T32 (high-capacity flash with a guide number of 32)

* The electronic flash T45 and other flashes that have no direct hot shoe contact cannot be used.

Mounting the Flash

Slide the flash into the camera's accessory shoe and lock it by turning knob until the flash is tight. Make sure the flash is pushed fully forward, to insure proper electrical contact.

· If the flash unit switch is left on, the camera batteries will be drained. Make sure to turn off the flash switch after taking pictures.

How to Use T-Series Flashes

With a T-Series flash on the camera, the flash mode will be automatically set to match the camera's exposure mode. To take pictures in the programmed mode switch the mode selector dial of the OM40 PROGRAM to PROGRAM, set the lens's aperture ring to its minimum aperture and turn on the flash. The camera will determine the appropriate aperture depending on the brightness of the subject.

To take pictures in the auto mode, set the mode selector dial to AUTO and choose your desired aperture.4www.butkus.org

To shoot in the manual mode, switch the camera's mode selector dial to MANUAL and set the shatter speed dial at 1/60 sec. or slower. Select the appropriate aperture based on existing conditions. In MANUAL mode, the flash will always fire at full power output.

For full details, refer to the instruction manual of your flash.

* When the power switch of a T-Series flash is turned on in the programmed mode, the camera's exposure mode will switch to the flash program if the light intensity is below the specified level. You will see it because the indicated shutter speed is "8" or slower. In this case, the shutter will trip at 1/60 sec.
* In the "OTF" auto flash mode, T-Series flashes will fire when the shutter speed is 1/60 sec. or slower. If you want to ensure that the flash will fire, however, adjust the aperture so that the shutter speed in the viewfinder becomes 1/30 sec. or slower.
Bounce Flash

Close-up Flash

The T32 has an adjustable flash head that tilts as much as 90 upward. As it operates on "OTF" auto, it allows you to use bounce flash automatically by simply activating the flash switch. * Set the tilting angle so that the subject is illuminated by reflected light.
On the T32, the flash head also can be adjusted as much as 15° downward. As it operates with all available apertures on "OTF" auto, this feature allows you to take close ups automatically by simply activating flash switch.

Using Electronic Flashes Other Than Olympus T-Series Units

(1 ) Mount the flash on the accessory shoe.
The OM40 PROGRAM does not accept flash units without direct hot shoe contacts.

(2) Setting the aperture
If you are using an automatic flash, check the specifications on the flash and set the aperture accordingly.
If you are using a manual flash, determine the required aperture by the following formula. You can also use the flash's calculator panel and set the aperture based on this information.

Aperture = Flash guide number/Flash-to-subject distance

(3) Switch the camera's mode selector dial to MANUAL and shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 sec. or slower.

* Read the instruction manual of your flash carefully.4www.butkus.org

Shooting with Motor Drive

Shooting with motor drive is both functional and very exciting. It enables you to capture your subject in a critical moment by making several shots in a second.

The high speed OM System motor drive has achieved an extremely compact and lightweight designed to take full advantage of operational ease and high maneuverability.

The OM40 PROGRAM is designed to accept the high-speed Motor Drive2*as well as the Winder 2. Both offer single-frame exposures and sequential exposures by simply turning a dial.

The OM System's outstanding maneuverability and operability are ideal for shooting dynamic sports photos and documentary press photos.

To shoot on the ESP metering, first activate the viewfinder display by pressing the camera's shutter release softly. The display will remain on for 60 seconds. Then shoot by pressing the Motor Drive's shutter release.

* Up to 3.5 frames a second with OM-40 PROGRAM, OM-2 8POT/PROGRAM and up to 5 frames a second with OM-1, OM-2, OM-3, OM-4, OM-20 and OM-30,

* When shooting a sequence with Motor Drive, Aperture priority or Manual Mode is recommended. In Program mode, the shutter speed may be slowed depending on the shooting condition.

Motor Drive Group Units

Motor Drive 2. If you want to shoot very fast moving subjects such as a dashing animal or a racing car driving at full speed, the Motor Drive 2 is the best choice because it permits continuous shooting at a maximum speed of 5 frames a second (up to 3.5 frames a second with OM40 PROGRAM. ) This quick shooting capability will often allow you to catch a dramatic instant that would be missed with a slower drive.

The power sources for Motor Drive 2 are a flat type, rechargeable M.15V Nixed Control Pack 2 and a pistol grip-type replaceable battery powered M.1BV Control Grip 2.

Winder 2. The Winder 2 is compactly built and very convenient for shooting. While not as fast as Motor Drive 2, it can help you capture impressive moments such as sports scenes and children at play. The Winder 2 has a self-contained power supply, but two external power units ("AA" battery type) are also available.

Remote Control System In addition, the M. Quartz Remote Controller 1 permits interval shooting with remote control and LCD display. The Remote Cords 1.2m and 5m allow you to shoot away from the camera by simple button operation.4www.butkus.org


The world of macrophotography is filled with marvelous discoveries. However, macrophotography has been generally considered difficult technically. In particular, calculations for correct macro exposures in available light photography as well as in flash photography have been a difficult job even for professionals.

Equipped with an "OTF" Light Metering system, the OM40 PROGRAM has solved this difficult problem and will always provide correct exposure.

The OM Macro System includes a wide choice of macro lenses that offer excellent life-size and larger than life size photographs. Extension units and other components enable you to take hand-held macro shots that previously required a tripod.

Macrophoto Group Units

· Simplified Macro System
These units allow you to take close-ups up to life size with ease.
For example, Close-up lenses 49mm and 55mm (f-40cm) -- the 49mm can be used on normal 50mm F1.8, F1.4 and F1.2 standard lenses. You can take up to 0.63X life size close-ups by simply screwing them into the front of the standard lens.

* Auto Extension Tubes 7, 14 and 25. These components are placed between the lens and camera body and available in three thickness: 7mm, 14mm and 25mm. Used in combination up to seven variations, they allow you to take up to 1.1 X close-ups with a 50mm lens.

· Basic System
This is a full-scale macro system that permits low to high magnifications. It will produce brilliant images of the marvelous world of tiny things such as the geometric beauty of the compound eye of a dragon fly, or extreme close-ups of flowers. A studio type and a field type are available.

Studio type: This system is suited for taking high magnification pictures in a studio or other indoor situation.

· Auto Bellows: A basic unit that helps you take fall advantage of the system's capabilities in combination with various lighting units and mounts for extended magnification ratios.

· Zuiko Auto Macro 20mm F2. Large-aperture macro lens designed exclusively for macrophotography. Combined with the Auto Bellows, it permits magnifications ranging from 4.2X to 1 6X.

· Zuiko Auto Macro 38mm F2.8. This lens is designed exclusively for macrophotography and permits magnifications of 2.3X to 6.7X with the Auto Bellows. (Provided with a helicoid for fine focusing.)

· Macrophoto Stand VST-1. A compact and sturdy multi-purpose stand for solid camera support in close-up and macrophoto work. Comes with frosted stage glass for incident light.

· Epi-illuminator PM-LSD2. A two-piece lighting set which provides ideal reflected light for macrophotagraphy.

Field type: This is a handy and highly maneuverable system which includes various macro lenses and a telescopic extension tube.4www.butkus.org

· Telescopic Auto Extension Tube 65 - 116. With its variable tube length, this auto extension tube enables you to change the shooting distance magnification and angle of view freely. Combined with the Zuiko Macro 80mm F4 and 135mm F4.5, it constitutes a highly maneuverable system sorted for outdoor shooting from infinity to 2X life size.

· Zuiko 1:1 Macro 80mm F4. This lens is designed exclusively for macrophotography and permits image magnifications of 1/2 ~ 2X.

· Zuiko Macro 135mm F4.5. Permits magnifications up to 0.43x with the Telescopic Auto Extension Tube 6s ~ 116. This lens will find wide application because it can also be used as a super sharp 135mm telephoto lens.

· Zuiko Macro 50mm F3.5. A convenient lens that can be used not only for close-ups, but also as a standard lens for normal shooting situations.


Interchangeable Lenses: There are lenses to fit every subject, from fisheyes to super telephotos.

Filters: Used to change the color temperature, or for special effects.

Eyecup 1: Attached to the camera eyepiece to prevent stray light spoiling the viewfinder image.

Dioptric Correction Lenses: Used to correct the photographer's own vision. Available in a range from +2 to--5 diopters.4www.butkus.org

Varimagni Finder: Allows easy, unstrained viewing for low angle shots copying work, etc. Can be switched between 1.2 and 2.5 magnifications.

Semi-Hard Case: Protects the camera from dust and scratches.

Be sure to get the OM40 PROGRAM version.

Handling Care Do not apply excessive force Storage and Battery precautions


Q: The film rewind knob doss not turn when winding the film, although the camera is loaded with film.
A: This indicates the film is not being wound because it has slipped out of the take-up spool. Load the film correctly again.

Q: A dark shadow "shimmers" in the microprism collar or in the split image rangefinder in the center of the viewfinder.
A: This phenomenon will occur when an interchangeable lens of F5 or slower is used or when the preview button is pressed with the aperture set to F5.6 or smaller. However, there is nothing wrong with the microprism.

Q: The display in the viewfinder turned off while I was looking through the viewfinder.
A: To conserve battery power, it will automatically turn off after 60 seconds. To turn it on again, press the shutter release button lightly.

Q: In the auto mode, the actual shutter speed seems to be slower than the one displayed in the viewfinder.
A: If the shutter is fired in auto mode with no film in the camera, the shutter speed will be slower than that displayed in the viewfinder. This is because the OM40 PROGRAM uses an "OTF" Light Metering that measures the light reflected off the film plane. To test the shutter, load an unwanted roll of film that has not been developed or the test card that comes with your camera.

Q: The film rewind crank won't turn.
A: Press in the film rewind button. Do not force the rewind crank.

Q: The film advance lover does not operate. Why?
A: You have wound the film, but you have not yet tripped the shutter. If you depress the shutter release button, you will be able to operate the advance lever. It is also possible that the film has come to its end. If the exposure counter shows the last frame of your film, do not force the lever, but rewind the film back into its cartridge.

Q: The film advance lever doss not operate and I see nothing in the viewfinder.
A: The camera is designed to be switched off for safety when the batteries are exhausted. If the audible and visual signals do not function when you rotate the mode selector dial to the "BATTERY CHECK" position, be sure to replace both batteries.

Q: When must the batteries be checked?
A: (1) When new batteries are inserted into the camera, (2) when you are using the camera after it hasn't been used for a long time, (3) when you think the batteries may be worn out, and (4) when the temperature is extremely low.
(If the battery voltage is low, the shutter may not fire when using the self-timer; even if the batteries check out OK.)

Q: What type of batteries should I buy?
A: Buy two SR44 silver-oxide batteries or LR44 alkaline batteries. Do not use HR44 mercury batteries or two different types of batteries of the same size, or mix an old battery with a new battery .  Always replace both batteries at the same time.

Q: How long do the batteries last?
A: Generally, SR44 batteries will last about one year and LR44 batteries about six months.

Q: The batteries seem to have been worn out while I was shooting in cold weather. What can I then do to take pictures?
A: Bring them to room temperature by keeping the camera inside your coat close to your body. They may recover and allow you to resume shooting. Never heat batteries with an electrical appliance or other device.

Q: I took my picture at an intermediate paint between two aperture numbers.
A: No problem. Your picture is correctly exposed.

Q: In the manual mode, I took my picture at an intermediate shutter speed.
A: Intermediate shutter speeds cannot be used. If you have set the shutter speed dial at an intermediate position, the shutter will fire at either of its neighboring shutter speeds.

Q: I want to take macro pictures with flash in the programmed mode. Is it possible? .
A: The programmed mode tends to give a larger aperture, causing the picture to turn out overexposed or not have enough depth-of-field. It is recommended, therefore, to use the aperture preferred "OTF" auto flash mode for macro shots.

Q: In the program mode, "1000" and 1:,:'1 blink even with the lens set at its minimum aperture.
A: This indicates overexposure with a lens having less than five aperture stops. In this case, use an ND filter suited or a slower film.

Q: In the program mode, it seems, that the shutter speed displayed in the viewfinder differs from the actual shutter speed.
A: When using a 50mm F1.2, 50mm F1.4, 75 -150mm ZOOM or 35 - 105mm ZOOM lens, the shutter speed displayed in the viewfinder can differ from the actual one; but by approximately less than one stop. However, correct exposure is always insured.

Q: Are there any lenses that cannot be used?
A: The 1000mm F11 lens cannot be used. The following three lenses cannot be used in the programmed mode. Use them in the aperture preferred auto mode or manual.  250mm F2, 350mm F2.8, 600mm F6.5

Q: My pictures tend to be overexposed when shooting transparencies with flash in the programmed mode.
A: In this case, the pictures may turn out overexposed depending on the shooting conditions. Use the aperture-preferred auto mode and stop down the aperture.

Q: The shutter speed display and ESP marked sometimes blink during metering.
A: In the case of a subject with an intermediate luminance, the LED shutter speed display will apparently blink because the adjacent figures turn on alternately. When shooting under a fluorescent lamp, they may blink more frequently. The reason of this phenomenon is as follows: Though the fluorescent lamp appears to the human eye as if it were lighting continuously, it is in fact blinking repeatedly at a frequency of 50 - 60 cycles a second. In both cases, however, exposure is correct and there is no problem at all.

Q: The flash doss not fire.
A: The flash will not fire when the shutter speed is faster then 1/60 sec.

Q: The shutter release button cannot be depressed.
A: You may not have wound the film properly, or the film may have come to its end.

Q: Though the audible and visual signals do not turn on when checking the batteries, the viewfinder display appears faintly.
A: If the battery voltage is extremely low, the LED for viewfinder display may sometimes turn on because the camera circuit allows it.

Q: Even when I gently push down the shutter button, the viewfinder display doesn't come on.
A: Check the batteries by turning the Exposure mode selector dial to the CHECK position. If the batteries are all right, you have probably set the camera to the "B" (Bulb) position on the shutter speed dial. On "B" the finder display does not light.

Q: The mirror does not spring back.
A: Check the batteries. If the batteries are in good condition, and in case the mirror should not spring back or the shutter should not close, the safety mechanism will operate to return them to their original position.

Q: The mark does not turn on when the picture is composed with the sun in a corner of the picture frame.
A: If the sun is located in a corner of the picture frame, exposure correction with the ESP metering is not effected. Because the four corners of the picture frame have a reduced metering sensitivity, the ESP metering need not be operated.

Other cautions

·When the OM-40 PROGRAM is used with other brand lenses, Olympus can not assume any responsibility for poor image quality or other problems. This is particularly true when other brand lenses are used in PROGRAM mode.

·The exposure value will shift on spot metering with a linear polarizing filter. In this case, use a circular polarizing filter, 
· If the exposure mode is switched while the self-timer is running, the shutter will trip.
· The DX ISO auto-setting is not effective when the ISO speed window shows a number "800", or larger. First, set it at "640" or smaller then adjust for ISO auto setting.
· If you are not likely to use the camera for a long time, remove the batteries before putting it away.
·The batteries that come with your camera may not last so long as stated in the camera specifications because they are supplied for test at the time of purchase.

Description of Controls




Type: TTL auto-exposure 35mm SLR camera

Film Format: 24mm x 36mm.

Lens Mount: Olympus OM Mount.

Shutter: Horizontal running electronic control type focal plane shutter with automatic exposure controls from 2 sec. to 1/1000 sec.

Synchronization: X contact. Hot shoe with direct contact for OM T-Series electronic flash units.

Metering System: ESP (Electro-Selective Pattern) Metering and TTL Direct "off-the-film" Light Metering (center-weighted averaged metering).

Programmed Automatic Exposure: Type; Electronic shutter with automatic settings of aperture and shutter speed. Light measuring range; 2 - 1/1000 sec. (with ISO 100 film and 50mm F1.4 lens), EV 40 - 18.

Aperture-Preferred Automatic Exposure: Type; Automatic exposure control with aperture-preferred electronic shutter. Light measuring range: 2 - 1/1000 sec. (with ISO 100 film and 50mm F1.4 lens). EV 0 - 18.

Manual Exposure: B, 1 - 1/1000 sec.

Auto Flash Exposure: Choice of "OTF" Auto Flash or "OTF" Program Flash. Direct contacts for "OTF" Auto Flash. (Full automatic flash with T-Series Flash); Automatic shutter speed setting for flash exposures.

Exposure Compensation: + / - 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

Film Speed: ISO 25 - 3200. Selection of automatic setting for DX coded films or manual setting.

Film Advance: Film advance lever with 130° angle for one long or several short strokes and pre-advance angle 30°. Motor drive and winder usable.

Film Rewind: Rewind crank.

Viewfinder: Pentaprism eye-level type. Wide field finder with bright Lumi-Micron Matte focusing screen with central microprism/split image rangefinder. Finder view-field: 93% of actual picture field. Finder magnification: 0.92X with 50mm lens at infinity.

Viewfinder Information: LED multi-mode display (1 min. limiter),

Self-timer: 12 second delay electronic self-timer. Setting by lever. Automatically cancelled by film advance. Audio-visual LED and PCV indications.

Battery Check: 3-level display with LED and alarm sound.

Camera Back: Non-detachable, with window for reading DX coded film information.

Grip: Large elastic grip on front and rear of camera with non-slip texture..

Power Source: Two 1.5V silver oxide (SR44) batteries or alkaline-manganese (LR44) batteries. 4www.butkus.org

Dimensions: 135.5 x 86 x 53mm (5.33" x 3.39" x 2.09") (Body only).

Weight: 460 g. (16.2 oz.) (Body only).