OM-1 on the way! Battery question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by 10speeduk, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. 10speeduk

    10speeduk Member

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  2. onepuff

    onepuff Member

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    These Wein cells do work but they have a limited life after opening as they work on a chemical reaction on exposure to air. Another option is a converter for 386 batteries such as the one offered by the Small Battery Company http://www.smallbattery.company.org.uk/sbc_mr9_adapter.htm. These are quite expensive but should last a good while and may be cheaper in the long run if you shoot a lot.
     
  3. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Yes. But consider hearing-aid batteries. They are the same thing for about 1/5 the cost. Zinc-air batteries only last about 3 months. And keep an eye on them for corrosion. (Wein cells included)
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Contact Jon Goodman - JGood21967@aol.com - he sells adapters that permit use of the really inexpensive hearing aid batteries in cameras that were designed for the PX13 battery. I have no connection with Jon - just a satisfied customer.

    The hearing aid batteries (and the Wein cells) supply the right voltage and current. The adapter deals with the fact that the hearing aid batteries are physically much smaller than the PX13s.
     
  5. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    If I remember correctly the battery on the OM1 is only needed to operate the exposure meter. The camera will work perfectly without it. An external hand held meter is the better way to go, IMHO.

    Regards,
    John
     
  6. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Forget about the built-in meter. You can get a very nice incident meter which will do a great job for you...
     
  7. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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  8. mr rusty

    mr rusty Member

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    As you are in the UK, I can strongly recommend Mike Spencer at http://www.camerarepairs-r-us.co.uk/

    He's serviced and re-foamed 1 x OM1 and 2 x OM2 for me. When he services OM-1 he will convert to use SR44 silver cells which works perfectly. Old school and a real gent. It is worth reminding if you haven't had OM before that they had foam over the prisms under the top cover which degrades over time and corrodes the silvering. If the door/mirror foams are sticky, so will the prism foam be!
     
  9. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    He is indeed a very nice gentleman. You can call him and tell what exactly you want or the problems. Very reasonable pricing.
     
  10. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    All OM1 and 2 will have to be serviced anyway as the light seals almost certain will be deteriorated to some sticky goo. This stuff is also used to inside the housing and will ruin the prism by the time if it not already hasn't. So I strongly recommend a CLA. The cam is worth it. Every qualified repairsman will then convert the camera to 1.5V
     
  11. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    In summary, there are three options:

    1) A zinc-air hearing aid "battery" (actually a cell). These have a limited life once they are exposed to the air. If you are going on vacation and you are going to shoot a lot of film in a week or two, these should work fine. Otherwise they will likely be dead the next time you pick up the camera. Wein cells are the same thing; they just get to charge more money because they are serving a "niche" market.
    2) An MR-9 adapter. This is a shell that fits over a silver oxide cell and converts both the voltage and physical dimensions to match the mercury cell the camera was originally designed for. They can be used in any camera and cost as much as 2 -3 rolls of film with processing. One will probably last forever.
    3) Have the camera modified to use a silver oxide cell. This involves adding a diode to the meter circuit to adjust the higher voltage of the silver cell. John Goodman includes this as a standard part of any CLA (i.e. you have to tell him not to do it if you want to use one of the alternatives above). I would imagine that any reputable repairman would at least offer to do it at a nominal cost. Since the silver cell has a smaller diameter than the mercury cell, this requires an O-ring or similar spacer to center it properly.

    If you intend to mix methods (e.g. you might want to keep some cameras "original"), you need to be careful to check which cell to use before loading the film. Never use an alkaline cell in these cameras. these have a non-linear voltage/discharge curve.
     
  12. aoleg

    aoleg Member

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    I had all my OM-1's converted to use today's silver oxide batteries. SR44 type fits well with a plastic O-ring, and lasts over a year (maybe more - I don't use mine that often to tell for sure.
     
  13. 10speeduk

    10speeduk Member

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    Thanks Guys for all your replies. Well it turns out it was an OM-1n so that was a nice surprise (gd I read the advert!). It is in great condition, but the light seals were perished. I researched and saw that the prism foam could also be a bit of a time bomb, so it has been sent off to Mike Spencer for seals, prism foam removal, battery mod and general cla. Will write back my findings of the camera once I have run my first film through. Does anyone use the light meter as a 'spot' to zone meter a scene? Or should I stick to my digisix?? I just want accurate exposures and the ability to over and under-expose at will!

    Cheers

    Paul
     
  14. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Pretty cool Paul.

    The Om-1n did not seem to have the prism foam problem.

    The meter is a center weighted average meter that takes its reading from the back of the prism beside the eyepiece.

    I have always been very happy with the OM-1 metering (as long as the right battery is in there!).

    If I have bright spots or deep shadows in the scene a quick adjustment up or down takes care of it. Very easy to use.

    I think you're going to love using it. Especially after a CLA.
     
  15. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Your digisix will do a great job. Just expose for shadows or average of shadow + highlight with incident meter...