Beautiful, durable, reliable. This typewriter would be almost perfect if it didn't suffer from one major flaw: the carriage shift. If this doesn't bother you, then you can't go wrong getting yourself one of these classic Olympia machines.
The plastic is a let down, but don't overlook this typewriter. Everything on the inside is well-made and the machine offers a smooth writing experience for any aspiring typist. I even found myself warming to the angular design after a while.
Optima typewriters are fine East German machines that have always been overshadowed by Olympia typewriters made in West Germany. This no doubt deeply frustrated Optima's owner, the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR), which was in perpetual competition with capitalist West Germany from its inception in 1949 until German reunification in 1990.
But there was also a historical aspect to the Optima-Olympia rivalry. When the companies emerged at the end of World War II in 1945, they both named themselves "Olympia," claiming that they were the rightful successor to the old Olympia company that had been manufacturering typewriters in Germany since 1903. The East German Olympia lost a legal spat that ensued and was forced to rebrand itself as "Optima," a name it would keep in one form or another for the rest of the century.
Think of an Olympia typewriter and you think of the classic qualities associated with German engineering: quality, durability, precision. An Olympia might not have been the prettiest typewriter you could buy (the SG1 and SM2/3/4 excepted), but it was a machine you could enjoy and depend on for the rest of your life.
From 1903 until its demise in the early 1990s, Olympia and its predecessor iterations manufactured millions of machines for its home market and the world. After the end of World War II, its success with its ultraportable SF, portable SM, and standard SG typewriters was so great that one in two typewriters made in Germany in the early 1960s was an Olympia. By the early 1970s, it had become one of the three largest typewriter manufacturers in the world.
But the company entered a nosedive in the late 1970s and never recovered. The computer was making the typewriter obsolete and Olympia never found its footing in the new silicon age. After more than a dozen years of losses and factory closures, Olympia's owners gave up hope and on December 31, 1992 the primary factory in the north-western German city of Wilhelmshaven shut its doors for the last time.
British-Polish author Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) is one of my favorite English-language writers and 'Heart of Darkness' (1899) is among my favorite pieces of fiction.
I was pleasently surprised to find out the novelist had a connection to the U.S.-made Corona 3 typewriter.
According to a 2014 academic article, Conrad's secretary Lilian Mary Hallowes typed up the last few years of his work on a 1919 Corona 3. She bought the machine in mid-July of that year for 16 pounds and 6 shillings.  That was a hefty price tag, given that a skilled tradesman at that time would have needed about 49 days to earn that much money. 
Conrad apparently commissioned Hallowes to buy the Corona after the previous typewriter, which she had used for 14 years, broke down. There are unfortunately no details about which model this previous typewriter was.
The 2014 article goes on to argue that curators at the Canterbury Heritage Museum in the U.K. had incorrectly displayed a Corona 4 at an exhibition on Conrad, claiming it was the typewriter used by his secretary. The article's author, Alexandre Fachard, clearly knows his typewriters: