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  1. #1

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    OM1 light meter repairs

    I recently bought an black-bodied OM2n with a black-nosed 50mm/f1.4 off the big auction site for £89. It was already in pretty good working order but needed to get the light seals replaced and have the knurled rubber focusing ring re-glued to the lens. I wondered , momentarily, about attempting a DIY job myself but I decided to have my local pro have a look at it for me. He's a really nice guy and I trust him 110% with my gear, having bought most of my stuff off him over the past 10 years.

    Anyway, I went to collect the camera / lens from him today and he handed me a black-bodied OM1 with a 50mm/f1.4 on it!! Moreover, the lens was a silver-nosed version. He apologised and went downstairs and came back with a black OM2n which looked like it'd been through the wars a bit. This wasn't mine either!! At this point, I think he must have thought that I was winding him up but, as I'm sure you'll all understand, you know your own gear.

    My mate was adamant that he only had the two 'OM' cameras and that he'd stuck the focusing ring rubber on this lens but I wasn't having any of it. All good-humoured, I hasten to add. Thankfully, his missus went to their office and found mine. I have never been so relieved. It was a bit like that dreary film 'Changeling' when the parent knows it's not their kid but questions their sanity to the point where they almost end up with it anyway.

    Anyway, all's well that ends well and I'm thinking of making him an offer he can't refuse on the OM1 and silver-nosed 50mm. I do have a question, though. The OM1's match-needle isn't working properly. With a fresh battery, it does move slightly but the reading is not accurate. Can this be fixed / re-calibrated or replaced. Is this an expensive job?

    PJ.
    Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)

  2. #2

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    Hello Paul,

    when handing gear for servicing it's always a good idea to write down the serial numbers of the lens/body. You can never be sure, even if the guy has the best intentions. Now, regarding the OM1, it originally used 1,35V batteries IIRC. Modern batteries are probably 1,5V, you need to tell us which type of battery was installed. That means it shouldn't move slightly, but respond more than with the original batteries. Since it's a mechanical camera, it doesn't make much of a difference; you just lost the meter. On the other hand, it has lost a lot of it's value. Maybe you can pick it for little money.

    Oh, I should add that meter replacement will probably cost quite a lot. You'd better buy an OM1 with a working meter if it matters to you.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Anon. I've got a Bronica SQ-B that needs me to spoon-feed it the readings - and I don't mind as that camera lives on a tripod and is my 'slow' machine. The OM1 / OM2n, on the other hand, is my tool of choice for a quick, top-quality, go-anywhere camera that doesn't require me to make all the decisions.

    If he can't get it fixed properly within the price he offered me the camera at, I think I'll probably 'pass' on the deal - but I'll take the silver-nosed 50mm off him as that will fit very nicely on whichever body I eventually buy.

    All the best. PJ.
    Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)

  4. #4
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    There's a guy on eBay doing OM1 servicing and battery mod for £49.95. See link below, but he seems to have solid feedback.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/REPAIR-SERVICE...3A1|240%3A1318

  5. #5

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    Hmmmmm, a battery independent body is never a bad idea, but aperture priority is my definition of "quick, top-quality, go-anywhere camera that doesn't require me to make all the decisions"

    Anyway, it seems that you find the 50 f/1,4 lucrative. If that's the case, then maybe you should check it's serial number. It is said that there where some versions of this lens and the best (and final) one has serial numbers above 1.000.000. I don't have personal experience, so someone else could shed some light.

  6. #6
    Prest_400's Avatar
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    You probably used the wrong batteries, the OM1 meter used 1.3V mercury batt.
    If the lightmeter cells fail, John sells a pair for the OM1 at 29$; about replacing them, no idea, you should ask him. He's one of the (or the) most famous Olympus OM repairer. He maybe reads this posts and replies here.
    But it's possible that contacts, wires or anything else cause that meter failure.

  7. #7
    Allan Swindles's Avatar
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    I really don't like saying this PJ but are you REALLY sure about this "local pro"? From what you have said he does not sound very 'pro' to me. Any decent repair shop would give you a receipt for any gear left for repair which would list serial nos.. Anyone who knows anything about the OM system would know that the battery for the OM-1 is no longer available and the camera requires adaptation or a battery adaptor to use an alternative. Unless the body had already had the modification, fitting a 'fresh' battery would have no meaning. I regret to say that I could not trust a shop that could not identify the equipment which a customer had entrusted to them.
    I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!

  8. #8
    wiltw's Avatar
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    An alkaline battery (1.5 volts, variable with remaining capacity) rather than a mercury battery (1.35v constant voltage) will indeed result in meter inaccuracy! The amount of inaccuracy depends upon light level. You can buy adapters that allow you to use a current button cell inside the adapter/voltage convertor which fits within the battery compartment. Or you can have the camera circuit modified so that it can directly use modern button cells

  9. #9
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    1,100,000 on the 50/1.4 zuiko lenses. And yes, it really is a lot sharper, especially wide open, compared to older ones. I have two of the >1,100,000 lenses and a 692xxx version.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    1,100,000 on the 50/1.4 zuiko lenses...
    Thanks for the facts Chris.

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