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4 Reviews

Olympus OM 10 - 35mm with manual adaptor - can accept all the lenses of the OM system

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    4 Reviews
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      12.02.2012 22:03
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      A Classic

      This is one of those classic cameras, and probably more of an antique in this day and age with all the digital cameras. However it was the first camera I received and a cast off from my Dad, and the start of a passion in photography for myself.

      I have done a little bit of research on the origins, as of course, due to it being a cast off and the fact I was relatively young at the time, it meant I did not know about the slightly more interesting aspects. This was released back in 1979, quite crazy when you think it was over thirty years ago and it is older than myself. Luckily this camera is one of the latter versions of the OM 10, which does not have fault shutter magnets; otherwise I imagine it would have made it quite unusable in the long term.

      This is a 35mm camera single lens reflex camera. The camera does the shutter speed, which I guess is initially quite useful, however you can get a separate accessory in the former of a manual adapter. The beauty here is that it allows you to control the shutter speed and can set it from 1 second to 1/1000 second. As you get to understand the feel of the camera more, and just generally learn more about photography you end up realising how important this is.

      You can wind the film pretty easily using the small lever on the top right side of the camera, and then the film rewinding is on the left side.

      I am probably a rare breed that prefers an old school camera like this with film, rather than a digital camera. Don't get me wrong a digital camera has its benefits, and technology has come a long way, but with the right camera, old or new, there can still be a huge enjoyment and the quality of pictures can be consistently high.

      In terms of size, it should be able to comfortably fit in your hands, even if you don't have particularly large hands like myself. At the time it was known for its small size and this was one of the main reasons it was popular. I guess the main thing is being able to use it comfortably and it is not a particular heavy camera, but of course not as light as modern day cameras. I weighed this on a scale, and it comes in at around 420grams and according to online the dimensions are 186 x 83 x 50mm.

      In terms of accessing the camera you need two batteries, these are the old coin type batteries, forgive me for not remember the exact name. The batteries power the shutter function. Plus the film is pretty easy to insert, although you do have to get the knack of it, but it comes after time.

      If 35mm film is still your thing, and you find this or a similar camera lying about then you can still by the film, and still get them developed, although the major supermarkets are reducing this service, but if you find specific chemists, then it may still be possible.

      In terms of price, well I am not sure there is any of you out there that would want this, and it is more of an antique. From what I have read online you can get a used working version for around $50, so let's say £30, but yes although this is beautiful in its own right, I really hope no one goes and buys it based of my review.

      Overall of course this camera is dated, and if I was being very picky I could have picked some flaws, but I think being an amateur photographer this was a brilliant starter camera and the results really are something else. I still have this, and although I don't avidly use it anymore, this review itself has made me want to dust of its cobwebs, and show the world what beautiful pictures it can produce.

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        14.07.2010 18:11
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        Quality and performance way beyond it's price range

        A light and easy to use camera way more capable than the price tag suggests. The camera as standard is an Aperture Priority automatic exposure, 35mm Single lens reflex. In Aperture Priority mode the user selects the aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed. Exposure compensation is still possible by moving the film speed dial up or down to increase or decrease the overall exposure depending on the lighting conditions. A so called Manual Adapter add on is really a must to give the user full control of their photography. The Manual adaptor is a clip on optional extra accessory which allows manual control of the shutter speeds and hence greater scope for creative photography.

        Olympus' redoubtable quality and reliability come as standard. Film may be out of fashion but to get the same genuine resolution on digital as you do on even 35mm negative you might find you need to spend heaps of money mabe £000's.

        Olympus' original and highly regarded Zuiko lenses and OM accessories are still readily available from reputable used camera dealers at highly affordable prices. If budgets are really tight then any number of high quality 3rd party OM series marques are more than capable of producing excellent results; Tamron/Sigma/Tokina etc.

        Having owned and used a great many high end film cameras in the past (35mm/120/220/6x4,5/6x7) and having used several digital cameras including some highend Digital SLR's, I still cant commend this little gem enough. I bought a whole outfit; Body/Zuiko 50mm std lens/Manual adapter/Makinon 28-200 zoom/Tamron 80-210 zoom/flashgun and filters all for £50 in a Charity shop. Total bargain. All working beautifully. Olympus owners seem to respect and look after their gear. If you can or if you are in any doubt, run a film thru first and whip it round to tesco just to make sure it's working properly. If you do buy one, please do yourself a favour and pay the premium to get your pics developed by a professional lab. 1 hour supermarket labs are ok'ish but they are NOT going to do your work justice. You might just find you are a better photographer than you thought.

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          09.04.2010 13:31
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          Ideal for those who get a thrill from not knowing how their photos will turn out!

          I have had over ten happy years ownership of an Olympus OM10 camera and have recently bought a second (not as a replacement but so I can have one with colour film and one with black and white). From the fact that I have two you are right in the assumption that I like this camera but why?

          First things first, as it was manufactured in the 1980s, the OM10 is a SLR (single lens reflex) camera which takes 35mm film ... yes this is still available in Boots and supermarkets quite cheaply; developing is also available both by post and in Boots and supermarkets, although I have noticed that supermarket developing (my preference for price, service and convenience) has gone up in price a little (£6 for 1 hour and £4 or 48 hours).

          The cameras themselves are readily available second-hand in specialist high street shops and online (they are very popular on eBay, but, experience, a bargain can still be found). The OM range of Olympus cameras was very popular and several good lens manufacturers made lenses in the OM fitting. These are widely available (recently spotted some in a charity shop) and it is possible to get a good starter range for £25 a lens. When buying cameras or lenses second-hand check them carefully for damage, mould, scratches etc. A common fault on the cameras, apparently, is the seals going allowing unwanted light to get to the film, these can be replaced but as yet I have not had to do this so cannot comment on cost.

          The basic camera has manual focus and film advance, but automatic exposure based on an internal light meter (a manual adapter can be purchased so that you can control the exposure but these can be tricky to find), and it has a self timer function, something I am yet to use. The camera requires two button batteries, when I first ran down my original set I assumed these would cost and could only be sourced from a camera shop I was wrong they are cheaply and widely available. However, to access the battery compartment you will require a highly technical piece of equipment - a one penny piece to undo the cover!

          That is as far as I will go with the technical info (I use the camera for fun and don't know all the details) however if you require the full tech spec please see the other OM10 review.

          So I still haven't answered the question, why am I so fond of a camera which is as old as me (give or take).

          Starting at the beginning I have very small hands and when buying my first OM10 I found other cameras too chunky. I can reach all the switches and buttons on the OM10 and it is light enough to hold whilst waiting for that perfect photo. This lightness and compactness does not equate to fragility or poor build quality, with sensible care these cameras obviously last a long time in good working order. Also the lightness seems to disappear when the camera is put into a camera bag with a few lenses and carried around for a while - although this is probably the case with all SLR multi lens cameras.

          As a SLR novice I found the OM10 very easy to use (which was lucky as I had no manual - these can be found online). The basic operation was fairly intuitive and the camera conforms to the "How to Use Your Camera" type books. On a less positive note I did find loading and unloading the film a little tricky. If you are not very careful it is possible for the film not to load properly, mainly not fitting onto the guide teeth properly, which can lead to the film sliding around inside the camera body or in the worst case the film not forwarding at all and therefore no pictures being recorded. On rewinding the film it is not visually obvious that you have completed the rewind, although with experience you get the feel for it.

          I also love the little bit of skill required to get good photos, the learning of the techniques to improve the photos and the excitement of opening a newly developed set of photos and finding out what you have produced.

          All in all his is a good camera for a novice, a cheap model can be found with a little searching and with a little bit of careful handling the camera will last you a long time.

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            23.01.2009 19:08
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            My SLR for life.

            At age 16, I was treated to a life changing birthday present: a second hand Olympus OM-10 camera. Ten years on, this fine SLR (single lens reflex) 35mm format camera is still with me, and I expect it to outlast every other film or digital camera than I will ever own.

            The OM system was developed by Olympus in the seventies, and although production of the cameras, lenses and various compatible accessories was wound up by the time I got my OM-10, you can still find plenty of good condition examples online and in specialist camera shops. The OM series of camera bodies are numbered by professional grade and order of release: single digit models (OM-1, OM-2 etc) are professional, double digit models (OM-10, OM-20 etc) are consumer grade.

            That said, the OM-10 is perhaps one of the best ways for a young photographer to get into the art of making and taking fine photographs. Apart from the automatic exposure, everything is manual (although if you want to set your own exposure using the viewfinder light meter, the optional manual adaptor is very useful: look for it as part of a camera package, because its more expensive to buy separately).

            My camera came with a good quality Zuiko lens, but the popularity of the OM system means that there are still plenty of compatible lenses available. More obscure ones are more expensive.

            Using the camera on a day to day basis, I simply love the feel and sound of the body. The camera's winding action is robust and satisfying, and 100% reliable (provided you keep it in good shape and watch out for dusty, dirty or sandy conditions). The light meter is a reliable tool if you're still learning how to manually expose your pictures, and with the manual adaptor the camera is flexible and offers great resolution.

            Not being a pro photographer, wither in digital or 35mm formats, the OM-10 has been a great toy that produces consistently good results. There's no auto-focus, and later OM models were successively better featured and better designed. But, if like me when I was 16, you yearn to have a bit more control over your pictures than you do with a modern automatic or digital camera, the OM-10 is an affordable and enjoyable way into the world of amateur photography.

            SPECIFICATIONS
            (check before purchase, some of these I've transcribed without appreciating their meaning!)

            Format: 35mm
            Lens mount: Olympus OM Mount.
            Shutter: Electronically controlled cloth focal plane shutter. Manual exposure: B, 1 - 1/1,000 sec. with adapter.
            Synchronization: X type contact, hot shoe.
            Automatic exposure control: Aperture preferred automatic exposure control electronic shutter type. TTL Direct Light Measuring System, center-weighted average light measurement.
            Measuring range: ASA 100 from F1.2, about 60 seconds to F16, 1/1,000 second.
            Programmed Automatic Exposure: TTL direct, measuring range : approximate. -5 EV ~ 18 EV , 50mm F 1.4
            Manual exposure: With a Manual Adapter
            Self timer: 15sec. delay
            Metering system: Olympus direct metering in body. Full aperture center weighted metering.
            Measuring range: EV1.5 - EV17 (ASA 100 with F 1.2 standard lens).
            Film speed Setting: ASA 12 - 3200
            Power source: Two 1.5V silver oxide batteries
            Viewfinder: Pentaprism type finder.
            Finder view-field: 93% of picture field.
            Reflex mirror: Quick return without lockup
            Manual film advance: Lever with 130° angle for one long or several short strokes, pre-advance angle 30°
            Exposure counter: Progressive type with automatic reset.
            Film rewind: Rewind crank
            Weight: 430g, body alone
            Dimensions: 136 x 84 x 50mm

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