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.

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Olympus AF-1 (Infinity)

Seeing as the price of the Olympus Mju has shot up beyond most people’s budget and with this having the same f2.8 aperture…I wondered, is it just as good for a fraction of the price? I thought I would find out and I got this one for £4.99 not even 10% of the Mju’s current prices.

It was originally produced in 1986 and was the very first weatherproof camera. It was nicknamed “Nurepika” (wet flash) in Japan. You can read more about the history of waterproof cameras and this camera at Olympus’ own website.

For this “early” point and shoot, it also boasts a focus lock feature, though it is tricky to use. To activate it you have to press a button next to the viewfinder, which is a bit of an awkward location. The flash fires when the light available is not sufficient, there is no override. You can find more technical details here, and some example photos.

I tried an expired XP2 Super, which I have never used before. It was perfect for this outing as it could be developed in a C41 process. That meant I could get it developed and scanned at a local camera shop before I headed home.

Here are the results.

The first few shots seem to be overlapping, but then the camera sorts itself out. The flower shots are out of focus as I did not use the focus button correctly.

I do not like the results from the film. They are all quite dark and lack contrast. I decided to try another film to give it a chance as I could see that most of the shots were sharp.

The second film I tried was a Fujicolor 400 that I brought back from Japan. I went to Nostell Priory This time I actively tried to use the autofocus correctly. I found that pressing the extra button sometimes caused me to pull the camera to the side, so I was expecting some camera shake on the test film.

So, it doesn’t do well when pointed towards the sun, but otherwise, it seems ok. It is not my favourite camera, the focus lock button is slightly awkward. But, it is an absolute bargain if you can find a good one.

I actually sold mine straight away as I have quite a few point and shoots, I have no need for this one.

Olympus O-Product

I saw this interesting camera on a blog about the same time I saw the Prima Sol. While looking for the Sol, I also looked online for this camera. Again, I never thought I would find a reasonably priced example and certainly didn’t think my small bid would stick. I must have been lucky that week because I won both of them.

Just look at it.

How pretty is that? The first chance I got to use it was at a photography club meeting and at my friend’s horse stables. Once I whipped out the camera a few of the members mentioned that recently there was a video online reviewing it. I looked for it after I tried it out.

There were a couple of videos, I preferred this one as I have also tried the Minolta Prod 20’s.

I felt the same way as the reviewer. I much preferred the look of the O-Product and the fact the flash is removable. I also love the sound it made, I wonder how they did that. Here is another great review that goes into much more detail than I care to give, including the history behind the design. I do know that any time I have pulled it out of my bag people wanted to look at it. But did it work?

I used some expired agfa 200 which I converted to black and white in post process due to the colour tint. The photos were taken around Leeds, with only the fish and chips using the flash.

I liked using the camera. I liked the results. I did feel it was a bit flashy, pardon the pun. It wasn’t something you could sneak a photo with. It demanded attention, especially with the flash attached. The brushed metal body was comfortable to hold and the cover over the lens was a bonus feature.

Keep or Sell: As with the Sol, I am tempted to sell it due to the increased prices. But is so unique looking I might hold onto it for a bit longer unless someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse.

 

Olympus Mju Zoom 105 Delux

Another Mju Zoom for $3, I couldn’t resist it. This one was the deluxe version due to the remote control and quartz date. I put a new battery in the remote and it seemed to work, but I needed to read the instructions to use it efficiently. You can read about this 1995 camera on this website and find technical details here.

I really don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. If you want a cheap point and shoot, this one is fine. It is weatherproof, has a nice zoom, a retractable cover, and a viewfinder diopter.

I wandered around with it in my bag and then while going to the cinema I got this film and 2 other developed at a new-to-me lab. This lab was not in a major place and I think the chemicals were old. The negs I got back were all a bit purple. Plus I don’t have ready access to a cd player right now. So I had to scan the negs myself. Welcome to my purple life.

This camera was fine, it was not great. I would not recommend it, even for $3. The lowest aperture available was f5.6 which is really not great, especially for a weatherproof camera that might be used on a dull day. I know the film was not processed well, but it really did not handle the cloudy day well.

Keep or sell: I sold it back to the second hand shop, definitely not worth the weight.

Olympus Centurion – APS

This funky looking APS bridge camera was released in 1996. You can find loads of technical details here.

I think it is the biggest APS camera I have tried, but it is still light and small compared to many other cameras. The design reminds me of the Olympus L-1 Quartzdate. It has a very similar look, but it is much, much smaller. I think I called the L-1 ugly, this one is not ugly, but it is not as attractive to me as the other aps cameras I have tried recently. This great reviewer seemed impressed by it. I put in a cassette of expired Voigtlander XG 200 and got to shooting.

I took the camera to various locations from Harajuku to Kashima on a walk for another blog, mostly while my family was visiting. I am not sure why I made the decision to use mainly APS cameras while they were visiting. It was a bit risky given that all the film is out of date. In the end, all but one film came out, including this one.

I must say, I am always impressed by this film, given it is out of date. I might buy more. I was also impressed by the camera. I found it delightful to use, easy and sharp with a super flash. I think I prefer it to the Minolta S-1 which is heavier and has a smaller zoom. Thought I feel the Minolta is sharper.

Keep or sell: I think I will sell the Minolta and keep this one…unless I run out of camera space and then I will get rid of both….sold

 

Olympus 35 LC

This was such a nice camera to try after all the toy cameras, half-frames, and APS cameras. This is a good, solid rangefinder from 1967. You can find some more details here.

It is heavy, solid and fairly large. Swung correctly, it could kill someone – ssshhhhh. But honestly..it lacks that satisfying “thunk” of other rangefinders when the shutter is pressed. It’s more of a “pffffthhh”. How disappointing. The battery compartment has a great, springy connection spoke which means it can fit a variety of batteries. Unfortunately, no matter which one I used the light meter needle just wobbled all over the place. It was never really reliable. In the end, I decided to just use this example manually.

The winder has a short movement, not even 180 degrees. On this version, the winder does cock the shutter, but you can keep on winding to your heart’s content. I had to remember to wind on as soon as I had taken a shot. Otherwise, I forgot if I had or not and wasted film.

The 1.7f lens on this one looked pretty clean. The viewfinder was bright too. BUT the second image for the rangefinder was slightly dull, not enough that you couldn’t focus though. So I put in a roll of Lomography Lady Grey 400 and got to shooting. I took the camera with me on a walk I did for my other blog.

Holy shitake mushrooms! This camera is freaking awesome. Look at those photos. Now, admittedly my reaction might be because of the cameras I have used recently but sufferin’ succotash it is sharp. The film and the camera combination gives the photos a really pleasing look to me. The shadows are captured well, and I even like the contrast on the shadowy photos…and can you see how I am not swearing 🙂

Golly, I want to keep this camera. Toooooo maaaannnny keeeepers!!

 

Olympus izoom 2000

Two APS posts in one day! Wow, must have got a new toy..yeap a lightbox thingy.

The second camera of the day has the title, “Ultra Compact Zoom” on the top of it. Is it? 25-50mm doesn’t seem that impressive, but it is one of the smallest cameras I have tried. It quite easily fits into the pocket of my trousers without too much bulk. In fact, it is barely bigger than the film cassette…just look…

 

It was released in February 2000 and you can find all the details you want from the Olympus website. It originally came with a remote, but of course, the remote for this one is nowhere to be found.

There really isn’t much more than that on the net, it is a simple point and shoot aps camera with a small, 2x zoom. The few reviews I found complained about the camera failing after a short period of time and the grainy photos. So at least this one was still working and working well, focusing was smooth and quick.

I used mine around Tokyo and Kyoto while my family was visiting. Here are my test shots.

 

At the end of their visit, they asked me to show them something they could not see in England…hence the penis shrine 🙂 They were both surprised by that and I filled the brief to perfection 🙂

Anyway back to the camera. I thought it was fine. The shots of the red pagoda are especially impressive in terms of colour and sharpness. Anything slightly dark and the camera struggled. The flash really isn’t that powerful. The snow shots on Mount Fuji are perfectly exposed. Not a bad little camera. Not the best aps, but it does the job.

Keep or sell: As with the last post, I have plenty of similar cameras, so sell….sold

 

 

Olympus OM30

Another Olympus, this time the OM30. I have never tried one before, or even held one. So I was quite excited to see it in a junk bin. It didn’t have a lens attached, but right next to it was a slightly battered OM lens. I put one on the other and said take my money. Here is the thing, I put two items together, but I was only charged for one. The cashier just charged me the larger amount. As I put them together it became one item. I didn’t know, I didn’t agree, but the price stuck. Lucky me.

I already have the OM10 and OM20, now the OM30. I just need the OM40 for the set. The 30 was released in 1983 and had an autofocus feature for one lens only, this is not that lens. The right lens for autofocusing can also use a trigger mechanism. I have seen those for sale on eBay, and I can see why they could be useful, but not without the right lens. The f2/f4 button on the front of the body is also for that lens, but again, kind of useless to me without it. Unlike the OM10, this version has a manual speed selector built in. The viewfinder also tells you the speed selection for the auto setting. Another cool tool in the viewfinder is the green, yes it is focused square. If you are not in focus there is a red arrow, telling you which way to turn the barrel. This tool would be linked to the focusing trigger if I had one.

For me, it is a bit superfluous but still cool. You can find more technical details here, plus a photo of the autofocus lens.

I enjoyed using it. Even with the lens, it is light and small, I would compare it to the Pentax ME Super. I think I prefer the Pentax though.

I took this camera with me on a drive around some snowy shrines. Here are my test shots.

A lovely walk and a lovely camera, with a super lens. A great find.

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