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Thread: Olympus om1

  1. #1

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    Olympus om1

    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. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    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 ).

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

    Matt

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    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. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisispants View Post
    Hi...just wondering what the general feeling towards om1's here is? ... 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!
    I don't have the OM1 mainly because of the battery issue,, although many here will tell you its not an issue at all.

    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!

  5. #5
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    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... 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)

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    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. #7
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philosomatographer View Post
    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.
    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?
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

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    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.

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    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

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    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    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.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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