"Zuiko" etymology[]

We read: The system incorporated a large line of highly-regarded Zuiko (meaning 'sword') lenses

Where does this notion come from? 新見嘉平衛、『カメラ名の語源散歩』 tells me that the name "Zuiko" (ズイコー, zuikō) comes from 瑞光 within Mizuho Kōgaku (瑞穂光学). -- Hoary 11:02, 15 May 2006 (EDT)

Thank you for bringing this into attention. This was clearly a mistake. A translation of Zuiko could be "auspicious optics" or "auspicious light", as it is said in the Zuiko page. Indeed various Japanese sources indicate that it is the abbreviation of Mizuho Kōgaku Kenkyūjo (瑞穂光学研究所, Mizuho Optical Research Institute), founded by Takachiho Seisakusho as a separate branch in charge of the development of a camera lens. I am adding this to the Zuiko page. --Rebollo fr 12:27, 15 May 2006 (EDT)

"Olympus" etymology[]

The big surprise to me when looking for ads in Asahi Camera for the Super Makinet Six was the number of ads I saw for the Olympus Standard. Even considering how the ad space would have been paid for in advance, that's hefty advertising for a camera that was never retailed. Also, in 1936 and even 1937, Japan's camera users/buyers seem to have been near-obsessed with the Olympic games, or anyway the Asahi Camera editors seem to have thought they were, judging by the number of pages devoted to photos of them. I find it hard to believe that Takachiho named its products after the mountain or even some vague, classical idea of loftiness: rather, the name looks more likely to have been meant to remind potential buyers of the Olympic games (when "Olympic" itself had already been bagged). The Nazi distortions of the 1936 would of course later have been an embarrassment. However, this is merely what Wikipedia editors would dub "original research". -- Hoary 03:52, 14 February 2007 (EST)

Yes, the Olympus Standard was much advertised. I don't quite understand what happened with this camera. The "common knowledge" says that the military asked the company to stop the project with the outbreak of war with China in 1937, asking the company to give priority to the military products. However I suspect that this version was spread by the company but that the true reason was that the camera never worked properly. To couple automatic stop advance with the winding of a medium-format focal-plane shutter was asking for trouble, all this without the help of film perforations and with the narrow axis of 127 film. The same features led Riken to much trouble with the Gokoku, that only became somewhat reliable after some years as the Ricohl.
About the name Olympus, a search in the Japanese trademark database gives results dating 1921 and 1933, and I remember having read somewhere in the official Olympus website that the brand was used for other products (microscopes?) before it was used for cameras. Now is it a coincidence that the first Olympus cameras were sold at the time of the Olympic Games? I have no idea, but I would rather say yes. --Rebollo fr 06:10, 14 February 2007 (EST)

Greats who have used Olympus[]

I have loved the OM-1 since childhood, when I saved for and bought my first one. I have took some first rate photos back then, if I may say so myself. Since I grew up in New York City, I had access to the photos of the best in the museums, and the inspiration I felt from those works helped me succeed in the streets. Here is my web page from that period, if you are curious:

I am thinking that we might want to discuss great photographers who have used the OM line, or other Olympus cameras, and why they used them. I know that Don McCullen used an OM, but don't what pictures he took with it, or if he used it for long. War photogs tended to like Nikons, and if I were to go to war, I would want a Leica, probably.