Olympus OM-101 (OM-88)

I have absolutely no idea why I bought this camera, but it was in the pile of random cameras I bought myself when returning to the UK. I think it must have been really cheap or I was persuaded by the Olympus name. It does look really clean though. And I actually do like the shape.

I left my usb lightbox in Japan and recently got a round softbox flash adapter instead. It really does get rid of annoying flash shadows.

On the photos, you can see a manual adapter is attached. This was not part of the package I originally received, but once I read about this camera I realized I needed it. Otherwise, this camera is basically a big point and shoot. Much like the OM10, it works better with the manual adapter. However, this one was hard to find. I had to find a junk camera with one still attached. Luckily for me, the seller did not list that the manual adapter 2 was attached. I saw it peaking out of the side on one of the photos and took a chance it was actually what I thought it was. Voila, I have the adapter.

The camera was originally released in 1988. It takes all OM lenses but has two of its own power focus lenses. These can be operated by a thumb dial on the back of the camera. My version came with the 50mm PF lens. I found operating it was quite awkward at first. It is natural to try to turn the lens, but on this camera, you use your thumb and that “power focuses” the lens. You do get used to it eventually and it is quite responsive to touch. You can read lots of technical details here.

Ok, so a bit more about the manual adapter. With it, you can choose full manual mode or aperture priority. There is no speed priority mode. The manual adapter also lets you see what you have set the camera too. Without it, you have absolutely no idea what the camera has chosen. There is no information in the viewfinder other than a P for program. Even in the other modes you only get arrows for over or underexposed. That really sucks!

I put a roll of Fomapan 100 in and went for a wander. I put a black and white in so I could develop it at home. It was my first time using Ilford Ilfosol 3 and it was a much quicker process that I have experienced before and…I overdeveloped the film.

Even though they are overdeveloped, it gives them a kind of dreamy, vintage look. These were taken before I got the manual adapter so they were all taken on program mode.

I actually liked using the camera. Fair enough it doesn’t look as cool as the usual OM range, but it did what it should. It took perfectly exposed photos. If you can get a cheap one, with the manual adapter, go for it.

Oh and the photos were taken around Frickley Park, which you can read about here.

5 thoughts on “Olympus OM-101 (OM-88)

  1. conspicari says:

    I have two of these (one with a 50mm f2 and one with the 35-70mm) and really like them, managed to get a 50mm 1.8 and a 70-210mm for next to nothing. have got some nice results with colour and B&W.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Irish Photographer says:

    The OM 77 / OM 101 lenses are better as they are from 1986- 88 period and are more up-to-date than lenses for the OM1 to OM4 lenses that were all from the 1970s.
    And you have to own an OM 101 to operate these fabulous Olympus lenses.
    I have the OM 101 amongst a score of cameras, film and digital – I’m a retired pro here in KIlkenny , Ireland and I have to say that the lenses are gorgeous and mostly small.
    Of course you can use ordinary OM1-4 lenses on the OM 101 but why would you do that?
    I simply LOVE the power focus that I find better than AF as it’s almost as fast but you also have control.
    The meter in the OM 101 is every bit as fast and reactive and as good and accurate as the meter in ANY Olympus camera.
    With the manual adaptor it even satisfied me as a pro for most shots of landscape and portraiture. for flash work it’s perfect with the Olympus 32 flash.
    And the OM 101 does not suffer from the awful battery wastage of the OM4, for which you need rare 357 disc batteries, in fact it handily takes four AAA that you can buy cheaply anywhere in the world.
    You have to get the OM1 expensively adapted to take modern batteries. the nearest small shop will sell you AAA for the OM 101.
    The OM 101 is nice to hold with a good body grip as well.
    There’s a viewfinder even bigger than the OM1 -4, there’s a flashing up and down arrow that makes metering dead easy too. There’s even a quick compensation button to press if you’re photographing a backlit subject.
    The 28/2.8 PF lens is a little gem that’s sharper than the ordinary Olympus 28/2.8, the tiny 50/2 PF lens will let you fit the OM 101 in one coat pocket with the 28/2.8 PF in the other pocket.
    They’re going for half-nothing on ebay because of all the bad undeserved publicity.
    I wouldn’t recommend the OM 77/ OM 707 though as the battery door breaks off immediately you handle it if it’s not gone already!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peggy says:

      Wow that is a LOT of information right there. Your comment was put in the spam folder, so sorry I didn’t see it for a while. I still have the OM101, but I doubt I will get another lens for it. I just don’t have the money right now. I would like the 28mm though as I do like a good wide angle. Thanks for all the lens information and I will take care with the battery door.

      Liked by 1 person

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