When I started getting better with photography and understanding more about cameras and films, I decided I wanted to step up my game and get a proper SLR to replace my Zenit-E.
Browsing the internet I found several potential cameras I could buy, namely the OM-1, the Pentax K1000, the Nikon F2 and the Canon AE-1. I settled down for the Olympus because of the broad availability of lenses (both original and non original – Zuiko lenses tend to be cheaper than other brands), the affordability, the reliability and the features.
There were several models of the OM-1:
- Original OM-1
- OM-1 MD (compatible with an additional motor drive)
- OM-1n (with some extra features and a redesigned film advance lever)
- OM-1n MD (combination of the two above)
It was first introduced at Photokina 1972 in Köln, Germany. It is a completely manual SLR, with TTL metering, interchangeable lenses with OM Mount and a flash hotshoe. According to the original manual (which I own), Olympus released several accessories for close up photography, macrophotography and microphotography.
The standard lens is a Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8, a bright lens which takes sharp pictures.
Film speed range from ISO 25 to ISO 1600, that can be set with a dial on the dop of the camera. Next to the film speed dial, there is the film advance lever and the shutter release button, with the classic threaded screw for the cable release. There is also the automatic frame counter.
Next to the hotshoe, there is a switch that allows to turn ON or OFF the light meter, which is shown as a needle in the viewfinder. The camera runs on a PX625 battery. It can still be used with no battery, just the light meter will not work.
The hotshoe is actually detachable (there are four different sockets that can be used, although I still haven’t figured out the difference) – according to the manual, when a flash is not in use, one should replace the “black cover”. As I don’t own it, I have to rely on the hotshoe itself for protection.
The camera is really a solid piece of equipment, functions really smoothly and it’s a joy to use. It is by far my favourite SLR so far.