every camera i own: the olympus om-1

The Olympus OM-1 was my first real camera, a hand-me down from my brothers. I started using this one in the late 80’s and continued to use it through the early 2000s. Before I began acquiring  cameras – which not coincidentally was around the time I joined flickr,  it was my only camera.

I’ve had it shelved for ages – the meter died twenty years ago even after repairs, and the shutter speeds seemed sluggish the last time I tried it. But after years hauling around the Nikon N90 as my go-to film SLR, I was surprised how light the OM-1 is. I’d forgotten how easy it is to carry around. I ran into Chris Chen aka furcafe, and although he’s not an OM-1 owner he admires the compact size – not much bigger than a classic Leica rangefinder, he pointed out (as he frequently does, he had a Leica for comparison). Chris pointed out that the shutter-speed controls on the front of the camera, around the lens, strikes him as strange – most cameras have shutter speed controlled by a dial on top of the camera. But this is how I learned it.

The earliest OM-1 shot I can find on my flickr stream, the late Willem Breuker, ca. 1996:

RIP Willem Breuker

I loaded my OM-1 with Fuji 200 and expected the shutter speeds to result in a lot of overexposed shots. But the roll turned out alright. This old school corner shop is home to the Capital Bikeshare station I use. It also seems to be the only place on the Hill where I can find Pom juice.

every camera i own: the olympus om-1

Olie’s Trollie downtown – the blown highlights may be due more to my not compensating than to slow shutter speeds:

every camera i own: the olympus om-1

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1 Comment

Filed under cameras, every camera i own, photography

One response to “every camera i own: the olympus om-1

  1. I recently acquired two OM-1s for my collection (one silver-topped, one black); they came with a whole bunch of lenses. I shot with one of them for the first time over the weekend and really enjoyed it. The camera felt great in my hands. Once I got the feel for the camera I liked having the shutter speeds on the lens barrel.

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