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Olympus OM-1 Overview
The Olympus OM-1 was introduced in 1972 and came into the shops in 1973. It is a small compact, all manual, film all-mechanical Single Lens Reflex camera.
It has a very large viewfinder with interchangeable screens but a fixed prism. It also has a through-the-lens exposure meter controlling a needle visible in the viewfinder. It has a very compact body, whose form was retained in later OM film camera models.
The OM-1 is a very usable early SLR. It's all manual systems appeal to many and the built-in (accurate) light meter makes relatively easy to use. There is also a good range of lenses available including a popular 50mm 1.8. The lenses can also be used on modern Olympus Mirrorless cameras with an adaptor
The camera weighs only 700g with the standard Zuiko 50mm lens and sits well in the hand (W136 x H83 x D86mm ). It was a sensation at its very first debut and remains a sought after camera today among many collectors and film enthusiasts. (See eBay.co.uk listings below) Don't ever let the dimension of the camera misled you to think it is just another ordinary SLR – the OM-1(n) is actually a full-blown system SLR camera. It is not only one of the world's best-performing 35mm SLR cameras, but also at one stage during the early and mid-seventies put Olympus among the most respectable name with other Japanese 35mm SLR manufacturers.
Original – Olympus M-1 (Discontinued after the name was challenged by Leitz . It is believed that about 5,000 M-1s were made and naturally they are very collectable.
Olympus OM-1MD Addition of a Motor Drive
Olympus OM-1n Redesigned film advance lever, a flash ready/sufficient flash LED in the viewfinder, and automatic flash synchronization (X-sync)
I now own an OM-1
I now own an OM-1. I found one for sale with some lenses for a great price and although I already have an OM-2 I thought I would splash out. The camera was very dirty, but I was delighted when the meter fired up with the insertion of a new battery and adaptor.
The Sale Room – Olympus OM-1 Online access to auctions across the country
There are always good examples of the Olympus OM-1 available on Etsy including refurbished models
Wiki – Olympus OM-1
The first model was presented at photokina in Cologne in 1972 and was called the Olympus M-1. Thirteen years earlier, the release of the Nikon F had made the 35 mm SLR the standard choice for professionals accustomed to Leica and other rangefinders, but it had driven the market towards heavy and bulky cameras. The Olympus M-1 changed this and with it began a reduction of size, weight and noise of the 35 mm SLRs. It was designed by a team led by Yoshihisa Maitani, who had already created the Pen and Pen F cameras, noted for their compactness.
Since Leica's flagship rangefinder cameras are known as the M Series, Leica complained about the name of the M-1, forcing Olympus to rename it as the OM-1 to further clarify between the brands. Because of this, today bodies and lenses with the original M name are rare (52000 bodies were made according to Olympus) and sought after by collectors.
The OM-1 is an all-mechanical SLR. It has a large viewfinder with interchangeable screens but a fixed prism. It also has a through-the-lens exposure meter controlling a needle visible in the viewfinder. It has a compact body, essentially retained on later models. The shutter speed dial is located around the lens mount, which allows photographers to keep the camera at the eye between shots more easily than SLRs with the dial located on the top plate.
Originally, the bottom plate needed to be modified to mount a motor drive on the OM-1. In 1974, Olympus launched the OM-1MD (MD standing for Motor Drive), to which a motor drive can be attached without need for modification. This new version has a small plate marked 'MD' on the front, and a small slot with a circular cover on the underside that covers the motor drive coupling.
In 1979, the next iteration was the OM-1n. It was similar to the OM-1MD, with a redesigned film advance lever, a flash ready/sufficient flash LED in the viewfinder, and automatic flash synchronization (X-sync), regardless of the position of the FP/X switch when used with a T-series flash unit mounted on Flash Shoe 4.
- Foo, Leo (2000). "Modern Classic SLRs Series: Olympus OM-1(n)". Photography in Malaysia. Retrieved 16 December 2005.
- Axford, Robert Ian. "Olympus OM-1 shutter". Robert Ian Axford's Camera-Works. Retrieved 16 December 2005.
Media related to Olympus OM-1 at Wikimedia Commons