Olympus om1

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by thisispants, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. thisispants

    thisispants Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi...just wondering what the general feeling towards om1's here is? I'm still new to photography and am really enjoying using film. I bought an om10 off ebay a while a go and while it's good, certain things like the battery operated shutter are pretty annoying.... ive ruined some shots by having the shutter freeze and made to rookie mistake of not having spare battries.

    Anyways.... a mate of mine kept raving about the OM1....saying its hands down the best SLR he's ever owned....so i saw one on ebay for $80 so I bought it.

    Just basically wondering what your opinions on the camera are. I'm pretty excited about it.... I've now got an OM1 - and 3 beautiful old zuiko lenses. I think I'm set for a lifetime of photography. While its not good for the general art of film photography....the rise of digital and film's resulting decline in popularity is great for my wallet!
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,010
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had OM SLRs since 1974 when I got my first OM1 (not MD). I still have and use an OM1n, and I've had either an OM1 or an OM1n for almost all of the years since 1974.

    If properly cared for and maintained (check the seals, especially for the mirror) I consider them one of the best 35mm SLRs ever.

    If you want to use the very good in camera meter you need to deal with the battery requirements of the OM1. It originally took a mercury cell that is no longer produced. There are a number of approaches to dealing with this. I purchased an adapter that allows me to use a currently available silver oxide cell instead.

    Don't sell your OM10 - it's great to have more than one body (I have 5 at present :smile:).

    Depending where you are, I'd recommend John Hermanson (zuiko.com) for any service your new OM1 may need.

    Matt
     
  3. philosomatographer

    philosomatographer Member

    Messages:
    240
    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The OM-1(n) is my primary 35mm camera, and as long as you enjoy the all-manual approach, it is one hard camera to beat. It really is the smallest 35mm SLR ever, but on the other hand it has the biggest/best viewfinder (assuming you have a clean, undamaged focusing screen in there, a common problem) of any 35mm SLR ever.

    This is a very unique combination. I also absolutely love the ergonomics - why don't ALL the manufacturers put the shutter speed dial around the lens mount? It's brilliant, you can operate this camera entirely by "feel" (something usually touted by Leica M owners) so once you get used to estimating exposure, it's a very quick-to-use camera.

    However, if you are not fuly dedicated to using a manual-everything camera, then taking a photo may feel like a lot of work. As an enthusiast, I love how I shoot this camera in exactly the same way as my meter-less Linhof and Mamiya cameras, so usage of all my cameras is consistent.

    I can recommend joining the Olympus OM mailing list (send mail to olympus _at_ thomasclausen _dot_ net) and, if you don't mind, which lenses did you get?
     
  4. Galah

    Galah Member

    Messages:
    481
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Oz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't have the OM1 mainly because of the battery issue,, although many here will tell you its not an issue at all. :tongue:

    However, I do have an Olympus OM2, OM2n, OM2sp and an OM10 (with winder) and a big bunch of various Zuiko OM & third party OM mount lenses.

    I am happy with all of them, as I am sure you will be too!:D
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am more of a Nikon guy, but I have had an OM1 and wish I still did. Of course, I also wish I still had my Pentax MX, my Mamiya 645 Pro, my Shen Hao, there is definitely a trend here... :D If finances were not an issue, I would just have one of everything!

    Back to the OM1, great camera, handles beautifully, lots of cheap wonderful glass available. Battery issue is a small hassle and I never did get quite used to the shutter speed control. (Of course, beats not having one on an OM10)
     
  6. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

    Messages:
    393
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    Yorkshire, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I tend to regard the OM-1 as a mini medium format camera - this may sound odd, but for my kind of photography which is mostly macro and mini-landscapes, you get all manual operation and mirror lock-up. You can basically use it as a box with film in it with a nice lens on the front. I tend not to use mine since getting a Nikon FM2n which is kind of similar, though without mirror lock-up, and somewhat heavier. They are small, and I've found not especially robust, but perhaps I've been unlucky with mine, there are plenty of people on here who find them bomb-proof. There are lots of solutions to the battery issue as well. The Zuiko's are much underrated lenses and you can pick up the commoner ones for pennies. The zuiko system also has the best macro solutions for any system ever made.
     
  7. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not to be a grouch, but statements of smallest/biggest/best really should be carefully made.

    Have you ever seen a Pentax MX?

    Have you ever looked through a Leicaflex SL?
     
  8. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,459
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The OM-1 and 2 are little jewels of cameras. They are precicely made and have a wonderful quiet action to them. The viewfinders are average brightness. They are great 'one lens' cameras, but the wide and tele primes can get very expensive.

    Your preffered size of a camera really depends on your personal taste, as things like hand size, preffered eye, etc affect the ease of handholding.
     
  9. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Near Tavisto
    Shooter:
    35mm
    As a lifelonger Pentax user, I was recently given an OM1n. My impression was that it was very well made and I could see the logic behind the lens mount speed dial but found that it's not a camera for people with large fingers. I've never seen a more fiddly film rewind button, likewise the MLU button and after a lifetime of looking at match needle meters on the right hand side of the viewfinder it seems really odd to be casting my eye to the bottom left. And what's with that screw-on hot shoe arrangement? That looks a bit less than robust to me.
    I suppose it's really what you're used to. After 25 years of driving Fords I switched to a Vauxhall and felt much the same, ie that things weren't where I instinctively expected to find them. No doubt a fine camera but not one that sits well with me.

    Steve
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I had an Ollie OM1 with 1.4 lens that I loved. I had a chance to buy a Nikon F2 in a deal I could not pass up. I sold the Ollie to a friend and regretted losing it. About a year later I offered to buy it back. Her response is unprintable here. She eventually sold it and regretted it. BTW, I loathed the Nikon F2.

    Supposedly Maintani made the OM1 to have the size and feel of a RF Leica. It certainly is quiet and smooth.

    If an OM1 of proper value and cheap enough price came my way, I would buy it. And I do not need another slr.
     
  11. Bateleur

    Bateleur Member

    Messages:
    155
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You have every reason to be excited about the camera, it’s an asset, though the comments by Matt are valid.

    My first OM1 bought in 1978 is still going strong, and has been reliable. Previous comments regarding size and location of controls are valid of course, but it’s a matter of personal preference and familiarity with the instrument. On a personal note, way back in 1979 I was involved in a car accident, the OM1 was hanging around my neck, as the car struck a bank of sand after spinning, inertia sent it forward, reaching the end of its tether it returned and struck me on the cheek, I still carry the scar!

    Regards
    Charles
     
  12. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Olympus OM System is one of the greatests of all time. It actually revolutionize 35mm photography in its time. Size and metering. Astronomers love the Olympus OM-1. I have around 10. 2 M-1 among them. 5.000 were made before Leica complained and Olympus then changed to OM-1
     
  13. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think an important point is not just the positive notes from users; but also the number of people who expressed regret after having parted with theirs.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can't express regret because I haven't parted with any; of which I'm glad.
     
  16. c96mauser

    c96mauser Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Agree with Pumalite.

    Bought mine (OM-1n MD) new in 1979 in Iwakuni, Japan.

    At the time, the Asahi Pentax ME was very close in size, but I loved being able to control focus & exposure with one hand.

    Still going strong.

    Best of all (since it's discontinued); I can now afford the glass that I couldn't (whenIwasmakingthefreeworldsafefordemocracyasweknowitfor$99amonth).

    Later, Bill
     
  17. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    *******
    Were you making it safe with your 7.63mm Mauser pistol????:tongue:
     
  18. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,459
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's way better than the one on th Canon f1N. I dont mind it one bit.
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,416
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Or was it that 1911 Colt?
     
  20. slumry

    slumry Subscriber

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Washington S
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The OM is a great camera, anyone who does not have one should be deleted. Opps wrong thread. Nevermind.
     
  21. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

    Messages:
    306
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Huntington,
    Shooter:
    35mm
     
  22. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,466
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Hill C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They are junk. Please contact me off list for my address and you can send it to me for disposal. Just kidding. Love the OM 1 and OM 1n. I have about 20 of them and use them in a basic photo class I teach. Zuiko glass tends to be pretty spectacular. You may need to send it to John Hermanson at zuiko.com for a CLA at some point. He cleans them up and brings them back to factory specs and also converts it to use modern batteries. Enjoy your OM, it will become a trusted friend. Bill Barber
     
  23. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I got an OM-1 when one of my co-workers brought his in with some accessories (and a 50 mm lens) and came to my desk and asked if I wanted it. He said if I didn't want it, then he was going to toss the whole package into the lab trash can. The camera and lens were in mint condition complete with an instruction manual in German (he is originally from there). He used it for his family's trips and whatnot but was "going digital". I have since acquired the following lenses for it: a 35-70 mm, a 135 mm and a 70-300 mm. Great stuff.
     
  24. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

    Messages:
    483
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Essex, UK.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have an OM1 and an OM2n. I bought them last year / earlier this year and love them dearly. I had the same combo in the late 70's / early 80's but swapped to Canon following recommendation from a pro friend of mine. This proved not to be a good move as I found the A1 to be very 'clunky' to operate, it was entirely dependent on battery power and, rather shockingly, it 'died' on me half way through a wedding.

    Conversely, my OMs were very reliable, if a tad small and lightweight in my thick fingers - but never let me down. My current lens collection is 24/f2.8, 35/f2.8, 2x50/f1.4, 100/f2.8 and 75-150/f4. The only lens I'm not really keem on is the zoom. It's fine optically but not very bright to focus compared to the others - any my eyesight isn't that good to start with!

    Like a classic car, keep it well serviced and it'll provide you with years of pleasure.
     
  25. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

    Messages:
    676
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Spain
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Great camera. Small, light and it feels solid and well made. I love the metal feeling in my hand. I've held digi SLRS and they're trash for me, so much plastic... yuck
    I love it, while the 50 f1.8 is not the best lens, it works wonders with this camera. The lower range lenses are good performers, and in build quality, the modern kit zooms feel like trash. I can't really add anything, since they've said all about the camera.
    Guess where does my avatar come from...
     
  26. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Could be: M-1, OM-1 or OM-1n