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Olympus OM-1 35mm SLRs

4.77/5 (64 Reviews)


Product Description

All mechanical body SLR. Out of production.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (64 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by reverberation a Casual

Date Reviewed: December 1, 2007

Strengths:    Capable of 5 fps with the motor drive. Large assortment of cheap ,excellent lenses. Rewind is on the front of camera for easy access when mounted on a tripod and to do multiple exposures on single frames. Mirror lockup is a bonus. An oversize mirror guards against vignetting on really long lenses. Camera is mechanical, enabling you to photograph regardless of battery condition. Needle system is easy to push or pull film 3 stops without turning some dial that you will never remember to turn back. This is an exceptional landscape camera.

Weaknesses:    The viewfinder is dark, its hard to see the needle brackets in low light situations, I believe there is an illuminated viewfinder available as an extra. The rubberized silk screen used for the shutter might wear out. I have had no problems with mine. I have had a problem rewinding film. I accidentally switched the rewind button back while rewinding a roll and ripped it off the roll before I realized what happened. I am sure every single one of those shots I lost were absolutely breathtaking . I just threw the roll and film away. The needle system means that the f-stop moves the bracket and the shutter moves the needle. This makes tracking an individual through a crowd and making them stand out via aperture is more difficult.

Bottom Line:   
This compact 35mm camera has an oversized mirror that can be locked up for photo reproduction/photocopying. The easily reachable rewind lever located on the front of the camera can be used for multiple exposure shots. The center weighted metering system feeds a match needle system that is quite accurate on the camera I bought. I got my camera with a 50mm Zuiko lens (@1.8 I think, its in the car). Later I found a 75-200mm 4.5 Five Star macro zoom lens. I use the zoom lens most often because I have a Nikon with a 35-70 2.5-3.5 that I use for the 50mm range. I love this camera. It is a mechanical camera, but I had no problem buying replacement batteries for it. The wind lever is effortless and I found that a problem until I got used to it. The preview button is located on the lens which I find potentially problematic for newer photographers. The aperture and shutter adjustments are both on the front of the camera, the lens and lens mount. This takes a little getting used to. The placement of these on the front and the ASA dial where the shutter speed would usually go are the most recognizable features on this camera.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $17.00

Purchased At:   Arc thrift store

Type of photography:   Fine Art


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by VictorII a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2007

Strengths:    So very easy to use once one has mastered how to use film, and bullet proof. As with my first OM-1, this one will travel internationally with me.

Weaknesses:    None once I learned how to get around the meter battery issue.

Bottom Line:   
Bought my first OM-1 (black) in 1977. Sold it in '96 and missed it terribly. I found another black one recently that was hardly used and cost $75.00 including the 50mm. It looks new. Due to its age, the seals are pretty sticky, so I found new material via eBay and replaced them. It is quite easy and there was enough material to replace the seals on the black Nikomat FTN (yes, the version only available in Japan) my father left to me. I worked out a way to use hearing aid batteries for the meters on both and it they are spot on. Both cameras must have seen very few rolls of film. My favorite film camera is the OM-1 and I will continue to use it as long as there is film. My favorite films are the 'chromes and they are spectacular with this camera. I have a nice little kit with a 50 - 150 zoom, a doubler and an old Vivitar 252 flash just like I used back in the day that works well. Also just picked up a Winder 2 that didn't work but was flawless otherwise and fixed it -- just a wire. I have been so fortunate to put together a nice setup for film work around the OM-1; it is so very easy to use. I give it a 5+ out of 5!

I am a believer in the OM-1.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Similar Products Used:   Nikomat FTN, Kodak Retina Reflex IV, Rollei SE, Canon Elan IIE, Argus C3, Canon Powershot (for work)

Type of photography:   Outdoor


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by normy a Expert

Date Reviewed: October 12, 2005

Strengths:    Zuiko lenses, if you can find them for a sensible price, are excellent.
Robust and small, mechanically very reliable. Makes a great travel camera.


Weaknesses:    Shutter speed dial around the lens mount is fussier than a good top-plate design (compare with Nikon FM/FE).
Lenses focus backwards from the right-hand-thread convention used by many other brands of lens.
Meter is the least reliable component. I've had three fail on me over the years.
Viewfinder is a bit dim compared to modern cameras.
Parts and repairs are getting expensive nowadays.
Most used ones need the light-seals replaced.
Uses deprecated mercury battery - hard to find or have to improvise (or pay for) a conversion to modern 1.5V cell.


Bottom Line:   
Mechanically tough. Quirky handling. Electrically dubious. Great optics. Portable. Getting a bit aged, now.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Similar Products Used:   Nikon FM/2/N, FE/2, FM3A, F3.
Pentax MX.


Type of photography:   Other


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dos_ojos a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2005

Strengths:    Small, light, great lenses, surprisingly durable, totally mechanical; you only need a battery for the meter. Has features only found on the high end Nikon and Canon cameras like motor drive and bulk film capability. Great travel camera. Mirror lock-up; I'm told this is one of the best cameras for astrophotography. All my lenses use the same filter thread, 49mm.

Weaknesses:    Shutter speed control is around the base of the lens instead of next to the film advance! The dial that controls the shutter speeds in most cameras is the ASA switch in the OM1n. That took some getting used to. Other than the match needle for the meter, there's no info in the viewfinder. My old Minolta had the shutter speed and aperture visible in the finder. I guess when they made the camera smaller, something had to go. Why did they make the hot shoe removeable? Yes, the camera has a sleeker cleaner look without it, but the removeable hot shoe has become hard to find and expensive on ebay. If you buy the OM1n, make sure you get the shoe 4. Hot shoes 1,2 & 3 will not fit the OM1n. The OM1 (no motor drive capability) and the OM1-MD will take the shoe 1. It's all so confusing and preventable. I just leave mine on all the time.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this camera new along with the 28-48 zuiko zoom and the 75-150 zuiko zoom. I bought it to replace a Minolta SRT102 outfit primarily because I did (and still do) a lot of back-packing and wanted something significantly lighter. Not only is the camera one of the smallest and lightest ever made, but every zuiko lens seems to be smaller and lighter than the corresponding lens by other makers. As an added bonus, the OM1n has a mirror lock-up which eliminates mirror vibration during long exposures, and a very quiet shutter. The camera feels light & flimsy compared to my old Minolta and a Nikon F which I own particularly when I advance the film. However, this camera has never failed me even though I've given it rough usage. Olympus designed this camera to have motor drive capability, so it must have had confidence in it's shutter and film advance. Over the years I've acquired a 50mm 1.4 lens, a 35mm 2.8, a 28mm 3.5 and a 40mm 2.0, all zuiko lenses. They have all performed very well, especially the 40mm 2.0 which is superlative. the 40mm lens is the smallest lens, yet it also is the closest focusing. It is very, very sharp and contrasty. It seems hard to find; I think Olympus only offered this lens for a short time. I wish I knew more about this lens. My 28-48 lens has developed fungus btween the elements, probably because it was the one I used most in the mountains.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   B&H camera

Similar Products Used:   Minolta SRT 102
Nikon F


Type of photography:   Outdoor


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JPESSIQUE a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2005

Strengths:    Craftsmanship is splendid.
Results are excellent.
Use a digital camera, it's so much easier but always have your old faithful OM1 friend with you for fun or for fear of a dead battery.


Weaknesses:    This camera is a old lady, repairs are expensive, batteries are not manufatured any more, and the replacement zink-air cells have a short lifespan. But this camera works without batteries anyway.

Bottom Line:   
I bought both my om1S on Ebay.
I love these cameras, they have a sort of Leica feel and first class craftwork. They tick like swiss watches. Zuiko lenses are readily available on Ebay and the results are very good indeed.
Of course they are 35 years old and have no frills nor bells and whistles, but who cares ? As long as the results are splendid both in colour rendition and black and white photography.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   EBAY

Similar Products Used:   Other OM cameras
Pentax K1000
Pentax ME


Type of photography:   Outdoor



Reviews 1 - 5 (64 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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