Thanks for the thoughts, good thoughts all. I can't (or won't) buy everything I want, and I'm definitely not going to buy more than one OM series camera at this time.
I thought I heard that CdS meters deteriorate more so than others and will need to be replaced?
The OM-1 meters are pretty reliable - once battery issues are sorted out.
I did a brief search on KEH. The lenses don't look to be too bad. I would start out with a 50mm and MAYBE eventually get a short tele and a wide, but those both run on the order of $100 each. Doesn't seem too unreasonable. Perhaps you are referring to some other systems that are a lot cheaper? I am open to suggestions. I don't know much about the M42 mount but a brief look at the Pentax Spotmatic shows me it's about the same pricewise. Also, the FM2n is quite expensive (relatively) and the lenses look to be comparable. That's a more expensive option overall, and I'm looking for something relatively cheap. I'm doing this to mess around and have fun and shoot film and able to take quality pictures with a 35mm "sensor," but the body has to be around $100 or less.
Get OM-1n and OM-2n. A good CLA for OM-1n will last for next 10-20 years and other things to consider are the lenses. Certainly they are not cheap.
I personally recommend cameras with M42 mount.
If you have enough case then think about Nikon FM2n or FM3a.
I am open to other options, but it seems as though the OM bodies aren't ridiculously priced even if a tad over priced (they are still "affordable") and that they are quite capable machines.
I'm not interested in the OM2s. I've seen enough about it, particularly it seems to have the disadvantage of integrated circuitry as mentioned below. I'm starting to wonder if I should just get an Elan 7e. But I've never bought a manual camera and something about the deliberateness of it appeals to me.
OM1 or OM2
Get an OM1n which has all the updates over the OM1, get it CLA'd and it will last for many years. If the battery cries enough, just go "sunny 16". If the battery goes on the OM2/n, well, you've got a nice paperweight
I'll sell you a decent condition OM-1 MD with 28-50 zoom for $75. Meter works, everything functins but needs a motor drive socket cap, which does not impede the functions of the little beasty one bit. It is motor drive capable from the factory.
I have 35, 85 and 135mm and additionally 50mm Zuikos.
I paid around 70 euros for 35mm(f/2.8), 40 euros for 135(f/2.8) and 250 euros for 85mm(f/2.0). The 50mm(f/1.4) came with together with OM-1n after I won the bid for 40 euros.
100mm(f/2.8) is cheaper than 85mm(f/2.0), difference in terms of Field-of-view is just 3 degrees. So, you won't go wrong with any one of the choice.
35mm(f/2.8): Fine from f/5.6->This is my landscape/Street/Group photos, so I did not worry about the performance at wide-open.
85mm(f/2.0): Finest lens, you will never regret.
135mm(f/2.8): Amazing lens but takes filters with dia 55mm, but 135(f/3.5) have dia 49mm.
50mm(f/1.4): I seldom use it, since I do not like this focal length.
Regarding cameras, I wanted to have mechanical only but in the mean-time I was curious about spot-metering capabilities so I went with OM-2sp.
Sooner or later, I will sell OM-2sp and get one or two OM-1ns.
Do not worry about metering accuracy or battery issue, if cash permits you can get yourself very nice external meter with spot-metering capabilities.
Last edited by baachitraka; 12-06-2011 at 12:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
Rolleicord Va: Humble.
Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.
One of the better/best sites about Olympus OM cameras, and lenses is at the "mir.com" link below.
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I currently have 5 OM1's, 3 OM10's and an OM4T. They are all great but I have never had an OM2. I use the OM1 most of all and since I got the OM4 I rarely use an OM10.
I would say find a nice clean OM2 for your first OM and start collecting lenses. An OM1 will find you soon enough.
It's worth spending for a CLA on your OM1 and converting it for 1.5v Silver Oxide batteries. Once you use an OM1 you will forget about the others.
My advice for lenses is:
1) get a 50mm - the 1.8 are practically free and will likely come with your camera
2) get a 28mm or 35mm - 28 is more useful
3) get a 135/3.5 or the 75-150/4.0 - These are low cost and the 75-150 is way better than people think.
4) Stick with Zuiko. Very few 3rd party lenses were close to Zuiko quality and will leave you disappointed.
I now have 4 OMs :- OM1n, OM2 and 2 x OM2n. All but one of the OM2n have been CLAd and re-foamed by Mike Spencer at Camerarepairs and the other OM2n had been fettled when I got it. Probably 4 is one too many, but the last one was too much of a bargain to miss (smart OM2n + minty T32 flash + Tokina AT-X 28-80 for £50 )In all honesty, for general use there is little appreciable difference between OM1 and OM2. Yes, you have to match-meter and set the OM1 whereas the OM2 will aperture prioritize, but not a big deal. Bodies are so cheap my own view is to buy the nicest cosmetically working OM you can and then factor in a re-foam and CLA by one of the recommended techs. The re-foam is quite important on the OMs because if it hasn't been done the foam that olympus put in on top of the prism starts eating the prism silvering as it degrades. Once fettled you have a sound camera that will most likely last for years and years. You can usually check the condition of the foams by gently touching the pad in the door hinge and one of the pads that the mirror hits when its up. If they feel sticky its re-foam time. Some zuiko lenses (the faster ones) are expensive, but the "ordinary" lenses are cheap. Whatever anyone says, don't overlook the zooms. One of the nicest lenses I have is a 35-70 F4, and I often use a 75-150 F4 as well, and these are so cheap they are almost free.
Since you are not going to be able to buy either on new so I would base the buying decision on whether which one I can get that is in better condition, functioning as well as cosmetic.
Although it can always be confusing and intimidating getting into anything new, your question is really much ado about nothing. The OM1 and OM2 were designed to compliment each other, and are essentially identical cameras apart from the aperture priority AE mode on the 2. If you are just learning, you should be metering manually, anyway. Both will yield excellent results, and Zuiko lenses are readily available and of renowned quality. All that being said, the OM2 will get you the revolutionary OTF (Off The Film) exposure system that gives beautiful nighttime shots (up to two minutes). Find one that is working and a good deal and send it off to John Hermanson at zuiko.com for a CLA.
The OM2s is the one body I have not owned. It had a reputation for not being the most reliable. A spot meter can be handy, but it is good to first get a feel for the overall quality of light, the variation across the scene and panning the viewfinder image while watching the meter. I had had my OM2 for about ten years and was really feeling the need to get a spot meter. On a trip to New York I stopped in to one of the numerous camera shops, showed the fellow my OM2 and asked if he had an OM-2000. He replied, "You don't want that piece of crap. I've got what you need." From behind the counter he pulled out a gently used OM4. A OM4t subsequently became and still is the walking around camera. The spot meter gets used about 10% of the time, but I've always been glad to have spent that time cutting my teeth on the OM2 (and the Pen-FT before it).
If you want to see samples of what they can do, all the pictures in my gallery were taken with some combination of an OM and Zuiko lens.
Thanks for the comments all! Very helpful. Just discovered this place. It surprised me so many people are still into film. I also appreciate all your thoughts.
I'm not really new to photography, or even to film photography. I shot film for about a year or two on an Elan 7e in high school before I got a great deal on a Digital Rebel (original) which was relatively new back then. I hadn't intended on coming back to film but I realized there's a sort of pleasure in holding and working something so mechanical. Something about having more involvement in the negative and more of a simple understanding of what's happening as I press the shutter button. I'm not giving up digital photography, no way, but I'm excited to complement my DSLR (yup, still the original digital rebel).
Which is why I think I've decided on an OM-1n. I could probably still be convinced otherwise but I need to decide one or the other and something is pulling me in the direction of the OM-1n. Main thing is--will lack of aperture priority bother me? I'm betting first that it won't bother me and that I'll enjoy the mechanical interaction with my camera. It was also helpful to see that one could get used to and feel the position of the shutter ring to know if the shutter speed is too slow. And if it does bother me, then it can't be hard to get an OM-2n instead. I'm especially looking forward to the viewfinder as I think it's supposed to be an upgrade from my digital rebel. So I think Bill (nsurit) is actually going to set me up!
After having a 50mm f/1.8 on my digital rebel I realized that I love, love the 80mm equivalent focal length, but will have to settle for the 100mm f/2.8 in the future. I was pretty sure I wanted to start things off simple with a 50mm f/1.4. Would I be better served by a f/1.8? It looks like there are so many varying opinions on which one is sharper, which one sits nicer on the camera. Some claim the f/1.4 is easier to hold on the camera, others like the compactness and reduced weight of the f/1.8 (Made in Japan). Looking through the forums many people have both and mostly use the f/1.8, or many people have both and mostly use the f/1.4. Guess I'm going to hear the same opinions by asking this, but I was wondering if anyone wanted to recommend one or the other in particular.