Thinking of picking up a film camera - Olympus OM10 any good?

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#1
Hey all,

I've never shot film before (apart from disposables) but was interesting in picking up a cheapo film camera to give it a try. I can pick up an Olympus OM10 with a 50 1.8 for peanuts on eBay - are they worth it?

I have a D810 for super high quality images so I'm really just interested in character, and will most likely be shooting black and white film only.

Is this a good purchase, or is there anything else I need to consider?

Thanks :)
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#2
Decent enough purchase as a toe dipper. The little plug-in shutter speed controller is handy and make sure the meter wiring isn't FUBAR - leaking batteries can kill it. Plenty of other systems to look at as well. If you go Nikon, you can use the old MF lenses on your D810 if you want to (without needing an adaptor).
 
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Nige
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#3
The Zuiko lenses are great, so an OM-10 should be a decent camera to have a go with. The OM-10 is an aperture priority SLR in its out-of-the-box configuration, but you can also pick up a manual adapter that plugs into the socket on the front next to the lens, which allows full manual control. The camera you've seen might already have one attached (it looks like a little dial to the right of the lens as you face it from the front). I believe the shutter is electronic too, so you'll need a couple of batteries for it to work.
 
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#4
It's a decent camera, but I think there are better options, which are often available for around the same price. The Olympus OM-20 (which has built-in manual control instead of the the fiddly little optional manual adapter the OM-10 uses) would be one. As Nod says, an obvious choice would be another Nikon. Something like the F80 could share lenses with your D810 (including G and AFS, but excluding recent electronic aperture 'E' lenses and AF-P), and the interface would be familiar. The F100 would be even better, almost a 'film D810', but rather more expensive. If you'd prefer something from the classic manual era, you might look at the FE and FM series bodies, or the FG series for something cheaper. An EM would be very cheap, but it's aperture priority only (no manual adapter!). These manual focus bodies won't work with G or recent electronic aperture 'E' lenses, but you can still share manual focus lenses or 'screwdriver' AF/AF-D lenses with aperture rings.
 
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#5
The OM10 is excellent. I have and use one. Should take mercury batteries but works well enough with alkaline batteries - the exposure discrepancy is not worth worrying about. Every OM10 I have seen has had the manual adapter but even without it manual is easy - just adjust the aperture until you get the shutter speed you want (shutter speed is displayed in the viewfinder).
 
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#6
That's aperture priority semi-auto rather than manual. Without the adapter, you can't set a shutter speed independently of aperture, and there's no exposure lock, only exposure compensation.
 
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Not if you don't agree with the meter. If the camera wants to use f/8 at 1/500, you can't stay at f/8 and use 1/60 (even with 2 stops exp comp) unless you deliberately set the wrong film speed.
 
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#9
I have most of the OM cameras and if I was starting out I would either get an OM1n or OM2n I never really liked the OM10
 
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#10
I have most of the OM cameras and if I was starting out I would either get an OM1n or OM2n I never really liked the OM10
Same here. It would be an OM1 for me. Purely because there is far less to go wrong on them. Mechanical everything I believe other than the meter.
 
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#11
I had a quick look at the other options mentioned and they all seem quite a bit more expensive that the OM10 from what I could see, which takes them out of the "what is there to lose" bracket. Is there anything majorly different from the other models?

Note that I don't mind aperture priority only, this will primarily be a street photography camera which I only ever shoot AP anyway!
 
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#12
My Favourite double digit OM model is the OM40 which is the only base range one I still use on occasion
 
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#15
If someone could explain why you'd suggest one model over the other that would be great - I'm very much a layman when it comes to these cameras :)
In the case of the OM1 for me, it is purely about simplicity. There isn't very much to go wrong which is an important consideration when you factor in that these cameras are often 40+ years old and film photography generally is expensive enough now that you don't really want to find out the hard way that your camera isn't working. I had too many issues with OM2's and OM4's. OM3 worked brilliantly but my word, the price! Hence why I come back to the humble OM1.

I've had a few other brands of 35mm SLR's including a couple of Nikons but I really love the OM system. Lovely viewfinders, nice small, light bodies and some gorgeous lenses.
 
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#16
I had a quick look at the other options mentioned and they all seem quite a bit more expensive that the OM10 from what I could see, which takes them out of the "what is there to lose" bracket. Is there anything majorly different from the other models?

Note that I don't mind aperture priority only, this will primarily be a street photography camera which I only ever shoot AP anyway!
Then the OM-10 wil be fine!

Relatively inexpensive manual focus cameras to consider that offer both manual and semi-auto modes:

Pentax ME Super, P30
Minolta XG-M, X300
Nikon FG, FG20
Canon AE-1
Yashica FX-D

Early AF SLRs (e.g. EOS 500) are about the cheapest of all. Later entry-level AF SLRs like the Nikon F65, one step down from the F80, are also very cheap.

The manual exposure, mechanical Olympus OM-1n is a real classic.
 
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#17
If someone could explain why you'd suggest one model over the other that would be great
That question will confuse most on this site as they will have bought their film cameras solely on he say so of recommendations of forum respondents or be guided by what is in fashion with the hipster crew, eg as long as the pentaprism housing is silver and not black it is a good film camera.
 
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#18
OM1 for me.
Finding a good service centre and getting all the light trap felt replaced and calibration/lubrication done would be money well spent, although expensive.
 
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Andy Into The Wild
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#19
Thanks for the help all - it looks like OM10 is the one to go for for my purposes!

Next question: are / is it possible to get environmentally safe development chemicals? You need to pour developer down the sink and I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to kill all the fishies :D
 
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#20
Thanks for the help all - it looks like OM10 is the one to go for for my purposes!

Next question: are / is it possible to get environmentally safe development chemicals? You need to pour developer down the sink and I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to kill all the fishies :D

Caffenol is one to try

http://www.caffenol.org/recipes/

https://www.instructables.com/id/Caffenol-C-Coffee-Film-Developer/

I have tried it and it worked out fine. You can also get an eco stop (Just water for caffenol though), not sure about fixer as not looked into that.
 
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Andy Into The Wild
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#25
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Mark
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#26
Thanks for the help all - it looks like OM10 is the one to go for for my purposes!
This should be helpful to you coming from my unusual experience. I literally still own all the OM cameras except the OM3TI but at £2k for a body it won't be making it's way into my collection.

The om10 is a box that will take pictures, it's the cheapest in the OM range and it shows! The controls on it are very fiddly and flimsy so staying in the range your looking for "interesting in picking up a cheapo film camera" i'd whole heartedly recommend the OM40 Program. It's far more versatile, it can be left in Program, Auto or Manual and has Auto DX ISO auto set. The OM40 is the only camera they made to have esp (electro selective pattern) metering, which is switchable, and was a clever way in dealing with difficult lighting. All the controls on the body feel of high quality and are nicely damped when compared to the OM10. For just another £20 go for the OM40 all day long. I used one back in 86- 93 and it's capable of really very good images.

The OM3 as has been mentioned already is a superb camera with fantastic spot metering even today and all mechanical but sadly prices have doubled in the last 5 years or so.

Edit,........just been looking at prices on ebay for the OM10 and they have jumped hugely in the last 5 years or so. I used to pick them up mint boxed for £20. Again the Om40 i was picking them up for £30-£50 mint boxed. If you looking at an OM40 buy one with the DX sticker still attached lower down on the right hand side of the camera looking at the front, it shows virtually no use when they're still attached. The same goes for the passed sticker on the pentaprism housing if it's looking mint it's had very little use. A great camera considering how cheaply than can be bought. Assuming you know what question to ask just ask but if buying from a private seller ask if the inner view screen electronics still work. Sadly most sellers don't have a battery to be able to say but thats another thing the view finder info is much better too than the OM10. Cheers Mark.
 
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