Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A week of reviews (Part Six)- Optima Elite (Plus: Comparison to Olympia Elite)
Probably the first difference you'll notice between these machines, especially while opening up the ribbon guard, is that the Optima is made of much thinner metal than the Olympia..
Another discrepancy you will see is the immense amount of tarnishing on just about every bit of 'chrome' on the Optima. This leads me to believe it was made of nickel or some other, cheaper, metal. It is quite evident here on the segment. Also, the ribbon guide is a bit different.
And here, on the rear of the machines. Also, notice that the margin rail on the Optima is just painted black, while the Olympia is of chrome, and also has a scale imprinted on it. Unfortunately, even the awesome rear paper holder of the Optima is a victim of tarnishing. Another interesting thing to note are the margin stops themselves. While they are quite intact on the Olympia, the left margin of the Optima is a bit shoddy. The bit that clamps to the rail and the bit that catches for the margin are two separate pieces, and have become somewhat loose throughout the years, making the left margin of this Optima a bit mushy. Nothing a bit of superglue and a clamp can't mend, I'm sure, but even still...
Here, you can see the line space lever, along with the platen gear lever, of both machines. Notice the ball on the levers of the Optima (top) are made from (what I believe to be) Bakelite, while the Olympia are metal and chromed. The same is true for the feed release on the right side of the carriage.
And the same applies to the line release. Notice the knob is broken in half on the Optima. Also, it does not function.
I have only noticed once actual mechanical difference between the two machines. Here, we see underneath the left side of the Optima's carriage, near the mainspring.
And here is the same location on the Olympia. As you can see, it has an additional eyelet with a spring attached to it. This attaches to the backspace mechanism, pulling it forward slightly faster. However, in testing, the backspace of both machines seem to function at the same speed.
However, there is another additional eyelet on the opposite side of the carriage and backspace on the Olympia. While mine is missing its spring, this would pull the backspace back a bit quicker.