Olympus OM1. The final destination.

Cameras

If you have read any of my previous posts, you may have noticed a small but growing common thread running through them: the Olympus OM range of compact SLR cameras. I have been using them since early 2016, starting with a borrowed an OM30 from a good friend at the start of my Vinyl Factory photo project. It is good, but requires a stack of five (yes five) little LR/SR44 cells to work! The advance clutch also slipped a few times causing frame overlaps indicating it needed attention. Then, having been bequeathed a “2 Spot” (to use a colloquialism) and bought a used OM2n, I had, inevitably I suppose, begun to hanker after the original. The Olympus OM1.

Much has been written by others on the tech specs of the OM1 on this site and others, so I’m not going to add to the chorus – you can read the timeline story if you want to here.

I’d learned to expose film ‘correctly’ with my late fathers Pentax K1000 through a City & Guilds evening class at a local college in my early twenties. The directness of the all manual camera with a simple needle meter in the viewfinder had been all I’d known. Having used other types of exposure metering in camera since, it now appealed even more. I still cannot believe I sold that camera and all the accessories both he and I had acquired.

Most of the simplicity I was looking for had effectively been achieved with the OM2n in manual mode. This stripped back appeal is something talked about very well by Hamish here. However I often found myself falling back on the excellent aperture priority Auto setting. You can find this all too easily on the little top plate switch on either the “2Spot” or the 2n. I had to change this situation.

After watching a few on Ebay etc. in various conditions, I eventually pulled the trigger on a fully overhauled, early serial, black paint body only from Luton Camera Repair Service. My camera came supplied with a battery conversion, new light seals plus all cleaned and calibrated. There was also just a smidgen of wear to the pentaprism housing paint on the most appropriate corners. Quite an indulgence in my book. Singularity achieved.

Getting back to basics was the intention here. No exposure compensation, and limited manual shutter settings from 1 – 1000th. This means that I have to take a more considered approach to my photography. I have also found that I’ve started to assess light by eye more. Working with Sunny-16 as a starting point, then confirming with the needle; it’s slow progress but I’m getting better. It’s nice to have the meter to confirm or otherwise my initial assessment.

Using the OM1 brings joy to the photography process, with both shutter and aperture dials on the lens barrel, like the 35 SP rangefinder I shoot also, making adjustments with my eye to the big bright viewfinder a breeze

Below are a selection of images for my first couple of rolls with this camera, all either home developed if black and white and scanned by the same lab as my colour film. Colour film processed and scanned at the excellent True Colour Imaging.

Autumn Cherry Leaves Autumn Cherry Leaves
Fuji 400
Wife and Grandson Woodland Walks
Fuji 400
Angel In The Mist Angel In The Mist
Fuji 400
Breakwater at Seasalter, Kent Breakwater at Seasalter, Kent
Ilford HP5+
Thames Foreshore Thames Foreshore
Ilford HP5+

If you would like to keep in touch with my work, visit either of the following:
www.julianhiggsphoto.com
www.instagram.com/julian.higgs

The Meterman

Cameras, Documentary

I use a camera shop in Luton, Bedfordshire England. It happens to be an Olympus service centre, useful when you have a collection of Olympus cameras.

The following images however were not taken with an Olympus camera. I happened to have my antique shop camera with me. The Voigtlander CLR.

Having parked up, I went to the meter to pay, next to it was this chap called Darren. At the point these images were made he had been on the streets for 11 months.

He works the meter, not just asking for loose change but offering advice on the most effective ticket to buy, especially if the ticket takes you into the free periods.

I guess if gives him a sense of worth and value, offering assistance in return for come loose change. He seemed very proud, so I asked for some photos.

Here is a selection of the results.

Another Camera?!

Aviation, Cameras, Uncategorized

By this time I am almost completely I love with the rangefinder camera concept. They are small, light (ish) fast to shoot and seem to have very good lenses.

The 35RC is a great little camera, but I thought I needed more!

A Leica was out of the question, so digging around on the internet (there’s another hour gone) I settled on the 35 SP (Spot Program) Apparently the only rangefinder camera of the era to include Spot Metering, and has a seven element 42 mm f1.7 lens!

All this technical prowess really is worth the hype, its a great camera, takes sharp images and works in lower light, either fully automatic or manual mode using EV numbers, a little fiddly, but it does work.

Most of the shooting I have done has been in Auto.

Here is a few from the first roll of Ilford FP4. I went on to use this camera to start my Vinyl Factory project and a holiday trip to Teneriefe. More on both of those later.

Building on success

Uncategorized

So spurred on by the success of the Trip 35 shots at home and feeling the need to do something more challenging I decided that some real world docu-street photography was required. There are literally hundreds of people talking about street photography at the moment so I won’t elaborate on this genre here at the moment, check out those that do it more than me. It is a personal challenge. Taking pictures in a public place of buildings or objects is one thing but of people, unknown to you, on purpose, can make you feel very uncomfortable. So, a few from a trip into town with work, few local shots and more stuff at home to see what results I would get seemed in order.

Flying Day

Aviation, Uncategorized

I had a fairly productive time with the Olympus Trip that day, before the family shots I had been asked to accompany my son-in-law on a trial flying lesson. Perfect opportunity to try it out. Here are the best ones from that trip.

Where It All Started (again)

Uncategorized

Read my about page to get a bit of background on this site and this post, but this is the picture set that made me fall in love with film again. Family photos of my granddaughter, grandson and my step-daughter with them both. nothing more, but the light in them I thought was wonderful. I was hooked. Ilford FP4 in an Olympus Trip 35. The one of my grandson was actually taken by my granddaughter!

32A_0051526A_0050924A_0050723A_00506