Olympus OM1 overhaul - Bill Heywood?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by dugrant153, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Hi all,

    I've inherited my late Uncle's Olympus OM1 and it is in fantastic condition. I've been thinking of getting a second one and found someone selling a few overhauled OM1's that have been rebuilt by a person named Bill Heywood (UK-based). Curious if anyone has any feedback or thoughts?
     
  2. Avispartner

    Avispartner Member

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    Congratulations on your OM1 and welcome to the club, you will never lose the OM addiction anymore :smile:.
    There are plenty OM's available either on feebay or in the classifieds of various forums, no problem to find one in good status, closer to BC (which reduces shipping costs).
    I have not heard of Bill Heywood yet, his website seems to look a bit strange to me, as it doesn't show any sort of repair related information, but then again, I might be too suspicious.
    Cheers from Switzerland
     
  3. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    Try this site too. John Hermanson. One of the best for repair and service. Loots of good info and some sales as well.

    http://www.zuiko.com/
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I am guessing here, but I expect that the OP has seen one or more of a number of Craigslist listings that have popped up recently in our area. Those listings feature a lot of Olympus OM equipment and, with respect to camera bodies, have in the past included assertions that the cameras are fully overhauled in the UK, purportedly by someone who does better work than other sources.

    I've wondered whether the person listing the equipment even knows about John Hermanson.

    The cameras are fairly expensive, but the photographs of them are excellent, and the products look first rate.
     
  5. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    I'm in the USA, I usually sell an overhauled OM-1/1N for $225. Converted to silver oxide battery, good prism, prism foam removed, new slot foam, mirror bumpers, calibrated speeds, flash circuit updated, 6 month warranty. SURE, you can find a "body" on ebay for less, but it's a guessing game if it'll even work, and those have no warranty. John
     
  6. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Yup it was from a Craigslist ad. And yes they look nice but workmanship is difficult to discern from a shot from the outside.

    John, thanks for the info. I'd love to have an Olympus OM1 that I can put into professional use and give to my niece when she's older. Heard good things about your work.
     
  7. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    I know the exact ads that you're talking about and I am a bit skeptical myself. There must be a reason that nobody has been biting this whole time, but maybe that's just me being cynical. No way to tell unless you see it in person, so just go check it out if you're indeed interested.
     
  8. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    yeah, it does seem like one of those "too good to be true" things. I'll have to check it out or at least have evidence of work through receipts.

    On another note, curious if you folks know if CLA-ed OM1's/OM2's are being pushed into pro service? I've heard of Richard Israel (wedding photog) who just picked up an OM1 and is shooting it for his wedding!
     
  9. aoleg

    aoleg Member

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    I happen to be the person selling these cameras :smile: Yep, I've had 6 of them done. Yep, they're all nicely finished. As to the quality of repair, I used two other repair shops in the past; Bill did the best job, also one of the other shops was very close. I know what he did to the camera as he documented almost every step, sending me pictures of the camera, disassembled; sending pictures of problems he discovered that I *knew* were there; finally, sending back unused spares and bits I asked for (like a good prism extracted from an unrepairable body, tops/bottoms/MD caps etc.) I still have all that to show to an interested buyer, but... we're talking about a sum of $175 here. After all I've been through (buying these cameras, sending them over to the UK, finding that 4 out of 10 I bought were unrepairable, paying for leather kits from Aki Asahi, and so on and so forth) it's probably not worth the effort. Anyone is very welcome to do the thing I did (buying a used OM1, sending it over for an overhaul, buying a new leather kit, finding a donor OM10 body with good prism - or paying some $60 for one provided by the repair shop), or at least doing the math to estimate the cost of all this. However conservative numbers might be, it's very unlikely it all can be done for under $200 (including shipping here'n'there, I mean).

    Oh, and here is one of the bodies we're talking about (picture taken by me, with a soft-box, and hosted on my personal Web site BTW):

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2012
  10. aoleg

    aoleg Member

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    You must be right, as I got no interest other than a couple "seems too good to be true" emails from a couple of buyers... and another "it's good and all, but will you take $140?" It's probably the price point that I missed, setting it too low and anticipating a quick sale. I adjusted my prices a bit, moving them up to $210 (and no, this is not a sales thread, as I am not going to sell them outside my home area... will happily keep/use them all if they won't sell before May).

    BTW, that camera repair link (olympusrepairman.co.uk) leads to a Web site that has nothing to do with Mr. Heywood who did the (excellent) work for me, at least to the best of my knowledge.
     
  11. aoleg

    aoleg Member

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    I am well aware of the excellent and well-deserved reputation of Mr. Hermanson :smile: However, with as many as 6 OM1 bodies, I simply could not afford his service. (Yes, I guess I became overexcited with what can be done of an OM1 with proper service...) I've no doubt he would do a great job on them, but his service would cost me $109+$59(prism)+$18(new leather kit)+$15(leather installation charge)=$201 per body. Add the price of a donor OM-1 from eBay, cost of shipping (all directions), and we're talking $300+. I would be only be able to afford one OM1 done at this price... and now I have a bunch of brightly colored cameras that I'm free to keep or sell (if I can).
     
  12. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    Hi Aoleg

    I'm in the UK and an OM user. Could you post a link to Bill Heywood. I use another guy for OM work - Mike Spencer at camerarepairs-r-us - but its always nice to have a backup source of repairs. BTW, Mike is great - a real gent - and provides excellent quality service.
     
  13. aoleg

    aoleg Member

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    Bill can be contacted at bill (dot) heywood (at) gmx (dot) com.
     
  14. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    Postage from the UK to the US and back would be very expensive. If you need a good service facility in the UK, ask John Foster at www.biofos.com. He is certainly the worlds foremost authority on Olympus cameras, and should be happy to point someone in the proper direction to keep an OM alive.
     
  15. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    Correct. I know when I ship completed repairs back to Europe, shipping charges can be around $40, varying with insurance. John
     
  16. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    I highly recommend Michael Spencer in the UK as well. He's done excellent work for me.