Tag Archives: 101

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.

Buy this camera – Olympus OM101

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details.


Minolta SRT 101

I actually bought two of these cameras from one junk shelf at the same time. One of the cameras had a lens and a battery cover but seemed a bit sluggish mechanically. The other had no lens, no battery cover, but seemed to work mechanically. I decided to buy both as I thought I could take pieces from each and make one good example. In the end, the one with the lens had a number of issues. The on switch was faulty and to get the light meter working you had to press the button really hard to make a connection. The mirror also intermittently jammed and the aperture spring was broken and did not return the lever to the set position. So I took the lens and battery cover and put them on the other example.

The lens was dented so I used my new tool to straighten it out..or circle it out.

There is so much written about this camera on the net that it seems pointless to add any more. Here are a few links to technical and historical details of this camera.


Once I got one good example I put a battery in. I used a hearing aid battery with an adapter that I got from this website. Then I loaded a film, a half a roll I had left from another failed camera test.

What is that black blob?? Was there a piece of paper or something inside the camera? I am sure I looked. I took the lens off and set the camera to bulb. There was a piece of cloth hanging from the inside bellows. Why didn’t I notice that before? Maybe it popped out when I started to fire the shutter. Anyway, I forgot to take a photo of this cloth but there seemed to be two metal clips that used to keep it in place. I bent them back and replaced the cloth using tweezers. Then I fired the shutter…the cloth came out again. I tried a couple of times and it came out each time. So I tried glue. I glued the cloth to the bellows. When I fired the shutter this time, the mirror only went up half way. Oh, the bellows move when the mirror moves. I pulled the cloth away from the bellows and said, “umphhhhh” then made a cup of tea.

When I went back to the camera I was frustrated and just kept firing the shutter while thinking about what to do next. While doing this the piece of cloth magically went back into place. I didn’t touch it, I didn’t do anything, magic or at least mechanics. I think the residual glue caught something and mechanics did the rest.

The cloth now gone, I loaded another film and tested the camera again the next day.

The 55mm f1.7 lens is very pleasing and sharp. The exposure settings due to the TTL are spot on…but there is a light leak of sorts. A line along the top of the negative. I set the camera to bulb again and moved my eye and face around the open shutter. I caught sight of a reflection, a reflection from the glue residue..aaaargh. I scrapped it off and used a black marker to cover any remaining residue.

Then I tried one last time, here are a few from the roll.

Yatta! Fixed and no reflection. It is not a pretty fix, but it works.

I actually liked using this camera, but prefer the Pentax ME Super which is much smaller. This one feels like a brick by comparison.

Keep or Sell: This “taking time out” is decimating my camera collection. I sold this one too.