Olympus OM-1 35mm SLRs

OM-1

All mechanical body SLR. Out of production.

User Reviews (64)

Showing 1-10 of 64  
reverberation   Casual [Dec 01, 2007]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
VictorII   Intermediate [Oct 04, 2007]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

Customer Service

Not necessary so far -- in fact, I bought a repair manual so I can, hopefully, do most of my own work.

Similar Products Used: Nikomat FTN, Kodak Retina Reflex IV, Rollei SE, Canon Elan IIE, Argus C3, Canon Powershot (for work)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
normy   Expert [Oct 12, 2005]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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

Customer Service

Not used in years and Olympus aren't interested any more.

Similar Products Used: Nikon FM/2/N, FE/2, FM3A, F3. Pentax MX.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
dos_ojos   Intermediate [Sep 24, 2005]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: Minolta SRT 102 Nikon F
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JPESSIQUE   Intermediate [Jul 29, 2005]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Customer Service

Camtech does a splendid job on these elderly cameras but overhauling is $99 + shipping which makes it an expensive experience. Love is not a money matter.

Similar Products Used: Other OM cameras Pentax K1000 Pentax ME
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ditto1958   Intermediate [Jan 20, 2005]
Strength:

Strong and very well-built, yet compact and lightweight.

Weakness:

Removable flash shoe. Batteries no longer made. Options: buy an MR9 adapter, have the camera modified to use 1.5v silver oxides, or use hearing aid batteries with a rubber O-ring (and change the battery every month).

Simple, yet beautiful, yet rugged, yet functional. A classic, but still very usable today. I have an OM-2 also, but somehow I like the OM-1 better. Works well. Wish they still made them new today. Zuiko lenses are great and lots of them are available on ebay.

Similar Products Used: OM-2n OM-10
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Worczak   Expert [Jan 07, 2004]
Strength:

Small size, simplicity

Weakness:

Not much, if any

Bought the Om-1 over 25 years ago along with Zuiko lenses (28 and 100mm). Never a single problem. The camera was once dropped from about 25 feet and it got a slight dent in the prism but never stumbled.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
camerax5   Casual [Aug 05, 2003]
Strength:

Easy to use

Weakness:

Battery hard to find

Bought this camera used. Take good pictures considering its age. A good manual camera for a beginner.

Similar Products Used: Nikon FM2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
keith hunter   Expert [Jul 14, 2003]
Strength:

Bulletproof, excellent metering system, compactness, lenses and accessories were way ahead of their time. Simple to use,especially if you have small hands.

Weakness:

Can't find batteries! Be sure the body was not modified when they changed the winders to speed drives!!!!!!!!! You're asking for trouble!!!!!! and need to find a good tech!!!

My first Om1n I bought when I was stationed in Okinawa, and I never looked back. This camera is bulletproof. Where others fail,mine always worked. I have other cameras(Nikon FM,FE, F3, FTN) but none much the simple design of the OM1n. My only regret is that the batteries are really hard to find, but i've heard of replacement batteries. I'm so accustomed t it I don't even need the meter anymore! The Zuiko lenses are comparable, if not better, than any Nikkor I've used! If you can find one of these (that someone will let go) BUY IT! I used mine in the jungles of Panama, the deserts of the MidEast, and the cold of the Yukon. NEVER had a problem,and others failed. I also have an OM2n and an XA. They are all fantastic cameras. I don't think Olympus made better cameras than these. I've looked at some of their new stuff but I really am not comfortable with all the plastic. In an age of PHS (push here stupid) cameras, the OM series is like driving a classic car-they just don't make em' like they used to!

Customer Service

Getting hard to find,but if you find a good tech with spares- make sure you remember him during the holidays!

Similar Products Used: Nikon SLRs,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Erik Dorset   Intermediate [Apr 05, 2003]
Strength:

So simple, and yet sooo sophisticated! After a friend of mine proudly pulled out not one but two new Canon EOS 30’s for me to admire, (complete with Tamron and Sigma zoom lenses) I showed him my Olympus, almost ashamed of its minimalist simplicity and petite size compared to the brontosauruses he was lugging around with him. In the end, he wanted to know if I might consider a trade. Sorry, no. (That’s a lot of fun- let a wonderbrick owner handle an OM camera for a moment. They will become weak at the knees.)

Weakness:

Drool. Yes, sadly its true, but another friend of mine, who owns an old Nikon FM2, keeps on drooling over my Olympus system. (Of course, he keeps on drooling over the Leica M7 brochures too, which, considering that the OM system is based on the Leica system, might explain why I need to wipe off my cameras after he has left my presence.)

(Is this a review, or just an OM1 “feel good”page? …alas, I must add my praise too.) I came back to loving photography through the OM1. As a teenager, I saved up my money to buy a Pentax K1000, and used it extensively as a trusty companion, learning from its simple manual functions until I became infatuated with a shiny new Olympus IS-200. Here, I thought, was the Mecca of photography. Big mistake- the Pentax got sold off at a pawn shop as I went dashing off with this plastic wonder body, shooting wildly away. However, I began to notice how bored I became. yes, B.O.R.E.D. The IS-200 did everything for me- if I wanted it, and I got it through the simple touch of a button. But somehow it left me cold, and the pictures seemed impersonal. ‘Photography’ died away inside… Enter our hero, the OM1, a gift from Dad when my parents moved. Putting it into my hands, it just felt right- not as heavy and bulky as the K1000 (my only gripe with the Pentax), but definitely sturdier than the IS-200. I got a lens, and began to go out and take pictures. Paradise regained. I will take the camera to my grave. Moral: Who do you want in control of your pictures? You, or a computer chip in your camera?

Customer Service

none- my first OM1 just died because my dad must have put close to a million rolls of film through it.

Similar Products Used: Pentax K1000, Olympus IS-200, OM2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 64  

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