Comparing the OM1n and OM2n. I have both. Handling is virtually identical. OM1 works without batteries at all, just the uncoupled meter doesn't work. OM2n has a coupled meter for aperature priority but won't work without batteries. OM2n takes SR44 as standard. OM1n needs modifying. OM2n will give TTL flash metering with olympus compatible flashes and the "off the film/curtain" exposure system is very good. OM1n has no TTL but the "n" as opposed to the "non-n" does have a "flash ready" light with olympus flashes thru the viewfinder. Both have the same possible foam-rot over the prism so should be CLAd and re-foamed if there is any hint of stickiness on the door/mirror foams. Which side of the pond are you, because if you are the UK side its simpler to send the camera to Mike Spencer at Camerarepairs-r-us than John. Mike also does battery conversions and is an ex-japanese factory trained camera tech.
just to add, yes its a lightweight system (but my part plastic Minolta X300 is the lightest system I have), and pretty much ALL olympus zuiko lenses are really good - even the often maligned zooms. The only lens of mine I don't like is the little 35-70 f3.5-4.5 zoom. I think its very small size was a step too far. The v.cheap 35-70 F4 is terrific (or mine is anyway), the F1.8 50mm is a star, and the 75-150 zoom is far better than many would have you believe and often only £25
As you can tell I am an OM fan. Never disappointed that this is my choice of 35mm system and thanks to Mike my 4 OMs are all in good shape.
I've recently started using an OM1n. I've been using a Bessa R2a rf for the past couple of years.
I wouldn't say it's a light camera, but it sits in the hand nicely, though I sometimes miss having a bit of a grip on the rhs.
with a 50/1.4 or 24/2.8 it's very compact indeed
I do use the metering (I also had Michael Spencer cla & convert mine), but in very low light or at night the metering is unusable as the needle disappears in the gloom.
It is a camera that I want to pick up and use just for the pleasure of using it.
Considering an OM there are only two decisions to be made:
aperture priority automatic or purely manual
Spot metering or center weighted integral
Spot metering and aperture prio.: OM2 spot, OM4
center weighted integral and aperture prio.: OM2, OM4
Spot metering and purely manual: OM3
center weighted integral and purely manual: OM1, OM3
The purely manual cameras have a mechanical shutter and will work without batteries
Any of the cameras with electronic shutter can be used manual in the same way as the cameras with mechanical shutter.
As far as I know, the OM2spot can not be repaired anymore
The OM3 can be hard to find and is expensive. An OM1 is dirt cheap. Though the OM1n has some internal improvements over the OM1 I see no reason not to try an OM1 if you do not need a motor drive or the flash ready light. Someone has said that something is perfect, if you can not leave anything out without making it worse. To me, in this regard an OM1 is just perfect.
A CLA (and battery conversion) is not part of the decision process as any one will need it as long as the seller doesn't tell you the camera already had one.
OM-1n on any day.
OM-2sp is lesser OM-4 but cocking shutter is not smooth with my camera.
Tele: Zuiko 85mm f/2.0 is good, but if cash permits you can get 100mm f/2.0. I personally do not see the use of 135mm.
Normal: Zuiko 50mm, but I seldom use this focal length.
Wide: 35mm f/2.8 is good when stopped down, but absolute beauty is 28mm f/3.5. I paid Euro 40 for 28mm and shot nearly 20 rolls during trip in Italy on last summer.
Macro: I do not have any macro lens yet.
Flash: I use Metz CL-45 with SCA adapter.
CLA: I have sent to Michael Spencer.
Please make sure you get flash shoe when buying OM-1(n).
I used OM1n's years ago when working as a pro. Couple of points, flash sync. speed not high enough for realistic "fill in" flash in daylight. Motordrive cover on base had a habit of "dropping off", best to cover with tape if not using a drive.
I recall some OM2's & OM4's suffered "battery drain", believe problem cured with later models. Great for carrying around, lenses excellent in the main. Unfortunately, Olympus (at least in the UK) don't seem interested in servicing them. Spares could be a problem.
Like others here, I have had OM slrs since 1975. I love them.
The OM-1 has a great meter. Compensation is easy to set for backlit or high contrast scenes. You just have to use your head a little. But it all feels very natural and quick.
If batteries are a concern, you can use hearing aid batteries but I would recommend an adapter or conversion.
Also be careful putting a heavy flash unit on an OM-1 or OM-2 since they can crack your valuable accessory shoe. The Olympus T-20 is a great flash and light enough with only 2 batteries inside.
Just for confusion, there are also the OM2-sp and OM-PC (OM-40) that have a full program mode. (setting both shutter and aperture automatically). And the OM-PC has the ESP matrix metering which is great for slides.
OM2n would be my recommendation if the choice was limited to one, but the bodies are so cheap I would also get an OM1n.
You know, an APUG subscriber, Rick A has an OM-4 with CLA.
I would look no further...
Just to confuse things, the Pentax MX is worth a look too.
My OM-1/1N meter conversion uses silver oxide 1.55V batteries (357, SR-44W, G-13, MS76, KS76, S76, 303 etc.) Alkaline batteries lose voltage as soon as you start to use them, undoing any meter calibration that might have been done. Silver oxide cells have a more level output until they weaken and die. John