OM1n battery issue

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by rolleiman, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I'm new to this site, so apologies if this subject has come up before.

    With the mercury batteries that used to power the OM1n meter, no longer available. Are there any Olympus users out there who've tried the alternatives.......i.e. MR9 voltage reducer in combination with silver oxide 1.5's, Wein Cell etc., if so, are they satisfactory?.......giving accurate readings?....reasonable battery life?

    I'm not yet an Olympus user, but am thinking of changing, in order to reduce the weight I'm currently carting around with my current system.
     
  2. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Not an Olympus user, but I've used the alternatives with many other cameras & meters.

    Very satisfactory, just as accurate as the original meter, life varies depending on the alternative used.

    My favorite is a C.R.I.S.-type adapter with silver cells. Wein cells are expensive and have a relatively short life, though some people report that by partially blocking the air hole, life can reach a year or so.
    Hearing aid batteries can be cheap and in many cases simply a wadded-up ball of alu foil is all that's needed to make them fit.

    Pay no attention to some nay-sayers who call these solutions "fiddly" and improvisational: I haven't once regretted using them or missed mercury cells.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I use Wein cell batteries for my OM-1n. Since all it powers is the meter, I get over two years use from one, makes it reasonably priced.
     
  4. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    In that case get the Pentax MX instead.

    [​IMG]

    Smaller, modern batteries, larger full info viewfinder.
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Save the headaches and get an OM2 or later that uses silver oxide cells.
     
  6. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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  7. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    re. the suggestion of a Pentax MX instead, I'd considered it, but there seems a lack of s/h bodies around in decent condition.
     
  8. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I use the zinc-air and hearing aid batteries. They work great and are accurate but have shorter life. It's a great low-effort solution

    I have one OM1 that was converted internally to use 1.5v batteries and that's the best solution.
     
  9. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Not completely on topic, but perhaps the life of Wein and hearing aid cells is also strongly influenced by how air tight a given camera's battery compartment is....
     
  10. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    Just found an interesting site: "The Small Battery Co."....they give useful info on the matter. According to them, it seems the most satisfactory solution is the MR voltage reducing converter.
     
  11. onepuff

    onepuff Member

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    I have one of these converters and it works perfectly. Just like the original mercury battery. They are relatively expensive though but should last a long time.
     
  12. CGW

    CGW Member

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    If a comparable quality OM1+MR9 adapter is less than an OM2, then go for it. Otherwise, why bother?
     
  13. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Because the OM1 is an all mechanical camera and the OM2 is an electronic, auto-exposure camera. Very different cameras.

    The only other all mechanical Olympus OM is an OM3 and they are quite a lot more expensive.

    ...But, they don't need a battery conversion.
     
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  15. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Have you heard of KEH.com?

    BTW, they lists OM1's that appear to have been converted to use the modern 1.5V cels.
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Despite the received wisdom, electronics aren't necessarily less durable than mechanical shutter trains whose accuracy isn't "forever" as many assume. Fact remains, any OM1 is getting to be a very old camera that possibly led a tough life with little or no maintenance.
     
  17. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    John Hermanson of Camtech has been an Olympus repair technician for many years. He does complete overhauls and part of the overhaul is to convert the camera to take a 1.5 volt battery. And a very reasonable price.
     
  18. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    *All* types of cameras will need CLAs every few decades or so.

    Most people who have actually used different kinds of cameras extensively will have had more electronic ones suddenly fail than mechanical ones.
    Mechanical ones may lose their adjustent slowly over decades (but then I have a 1968 Leicaflex SL, a 1969 Nikon F and a couple of other similar vintage cameras which are nearly spot on and probably never had a CLA).
    Electronic cameras will more often suddenly die and require proprietary circuit boards to fix (which are also likely to be what's wrong with any "parts" cameras as well).

    Re C.R.I.S. adapters: there are cheaper unbranded ones available and one can make one's own as well.

    Just a few points:
    1) The alternatives to mercury batteries are easy to use, accurate, dependable and can also be cheap.
    2) Electrronic cameras are not inherently better than mechanical ones and mechanical shutters definitely *can* accurately expose slides.
    3) For manually focusing a lens, AF focusing screens are almost always *not* better than screens desgined for manual focusing. They may be brighter, but don't snap into focus the same way. Especially with faster lenses.
    4) Newer cameras are not always better than old ones.

    Sorry for the rant....
     
  19. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I have 2 OM-1ns and one need a definite CLA. I am looking for an authorized service person in Germany. Can anybody help?
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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  21. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    Not Germany, but I highly recommend Mike Spencer at http://www.camerarepairs-r-us.co.uk/. he has CLA'd both my OM1n and OM2, changed the foams and converted the OM1n to take SR44 cells. He sorted a dry joint in the meter circuit on my OM1 and he also changed the prism on my OM2.
     
  22. CGW

    CGW Member

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    ZZZZzzzz. All cameras break. Equal opportunity. Neither type is inherently immune to breakdowns or malfunction.
     
  23. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Actually statistically speaking electronics will predictably have more chances of breaking/malfunctioning. However, what's even more important is that they are even less likely to be repairable. Of course we can wait another 52-54 years to see how electronic cams will fare . . .:whistling:

    [​IMG]
     
  24. CGW

    CGW Member

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    That "future" is just around the corner as parts supplies for mechanicals dry up along with the expertise to repair them. Without either, longevity doesn't matter. Nice paperweights those old F and Pentax bodies...
     
  25. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    I do not know why I cannot able to get Olympus(OM-1ns) out of my head.

    Nikon F, at-least on the picture(courtesy: Les Sarile) built like a pyramid.
     
  26. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Try to remanufacture an electronic part.
    Like I said, we will see 52-54 years from which ones are paperweights and which ones are fully . . . I'll even give you odds on that bet . . . :whistling: