Back to Olympus OM system – wonderful!

Apologies for the long absence – more sorry that I have not had time to read posts from those I follow than I haven’t had the time to post myself (so my ‘posts I like’ mosaic hasn’t been updated for some weeks; I’ll be trying to rectify that over the next few days). But the ? weeks absence is overshadowed by the 15 years or more since I last handled an Olympus OM system camera which, as I have commented in the past, were the cameras which most impressed me when I had one (or two). Suddenly I have four, and what a re-revelation!

As for the absence, here’s the culprit:

Lofty the camper - white top and bumpers renovated; bottom, wheels and inside still to do

Lofty the camper – white top and bumpers renovated; bottom red panels, wheels and inside still to do

Lofty, my VW ‘cross-over’ bay camper, needed a lot of TLC and some reasonable weather meant I could do some, but urgent work was also needed to pass the MOT (I’ll be posting about this on grumpytyke) and renew the (free) road tax disc so no photography and no posting. But back to Olympus OM.

A four OMs bargain

Some time ago there was a listing for four OMs on Ebay. I decided that I really shouldn’t buy any more cameras so avoided it but saw that they sold for a low price. When they were re-listed due to a non-payer I thought it an omen so bid and got all four  – an OM4, an OM20 and two OM10s, one with the manual adapter, for less than £40. This included the correct Adaptall adapter for the OM4, which sells for over £20 when they appear, rarely. So, even though the spot function doesn’t work on the OM4 for the moment, I reckon that’s a bargain as in all other respects all four work perfectly. I’ll eventually move the two OM10s on (ideal very cheap way back into film photography) and keep just the 4 and 20. So I’ve put a test film through each of these with Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, Zuiko 28mm f/2.8 and a 28-70mm Adaptall macro Tamron. I also got a Steinheil 70-140mm but as the aperture blades are sticky I haven’t used that yet.

The only place I could find which could do some necessary chassis welding on the camper to renew the MOT in time was in Morley, a delightful small town with some wonderfully preserved Victorian architecture, on the other side of Leeds from where I live, so this was the venue for some of my OM test shots, the others on my way back through Leeds having left the camper in Morley. I was really just testing mechanical and electrical functions, including auto exposure, so didn’t note exposure details, or even which lens.

The Beryl Burton memorial mural in Morley, with the town hall dominating the skyline in the background

OM20. A shrine to be visited by cycling enthusiasts when visiting Yorkshire for the ‘Tour de France’ next year. The memorial to perhaps the greatest British athlete of all time (I think Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins might agree), Morley’s Beryl Burton. From the late 1950s to the 1980s, she won more than 90 domestic titles, seven world titles and in 1967 set a women’s record for the 12-hour time trial that exceeded the men’s record for two years, and still stands as a women’s record to this day. Morley town hall clock in the background.

The commemorative plaque explaining the mural in Morley

The commemorative plaque explaining the giant Beryl Burton mural in Morley

Handling the OMs again was wonderful. They just feel ‘right’ and already I can tell I’ll be using them more than my other SLRs. If they included an OM1 (or OM3 – too costly for me) I could pretty well say they’ll be the last cameras I’ll buy! Here are a few more shots from my two test films, both Fuji Superia 200:

I’ll add a photo of the OMs to this post, and add it to the random header on this blog, sometime later.

PS. About an hour after posting this I went to the email linked to this blog; after my absence of a few weeks I have around 400 emails notifying of new posts from those I follow, and a few likes and new follows. Bear with me please 🙂 

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