Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Olympus OM2n 35mm Film Camera- Just As Good The Second Time Around

PICTURE taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polaroid_SX-70_Sonar_OneStep_01.jpg    Author- Silvio Tanaka

This Polaroid SX-70 is like the model I had. Nifty to use, especially when you see the photo instataneously ejected from the front of the camera and watch it develop before your eyes. But, it's hardly a professional photographic camera, despite its status as a classic camera design. Very popular among the more artistic types these days because you can manipulate the photos as they develop and wind up with some interesting effects.

The rubber grip on the lens provides nice and smooth operation of focus.

The Auto or Manual settings are within easy reach. Like a lot of SLR cameras of the era, all relevant controls are all that is needed.

As good as it is to use, it even looks great just sitting on its own.

I've always been a fan of these little film pack stub holders that some brands included on the camera backs. I'm forever forgetting how many exposures I have loaded into the camera.

I was saddened to hear of the demise of Eastman-Kodak. It was one of those companies that I thought would be around forever. And, of course, the Kodak logo was one that I  had seen all my life. It's a shame that Kodak didn't manage to succesfully grasp digital technology. Given that they were the company that came up with the affordable Brownie cameras back in the 1900 (I think?), it's a wonder that they didn't try to replicate that success by making an affordable digital camera for the masses.
Lately, I've been using Fuji film, but I might try to source some black & white film off eBay soon.

One more for atmosphere...


  1. Great post, and great camera that Olympus. Those lenses are every bit as good as the Nikons. If you've an inkling to further discuss such cameras, make a visit over to "rangefinderforum.com" and check out the SLR sub-forum.

    Regarding camera exposures, I've learned over the years to generally trust the in-camera meter, provided the battery is fresh and you know how to compensate for special situations. The biggest thing I learned with such cameras is to control depth of focus by employing the camera's Aperture-priority mode, whereby you select the lens f-stop and the camera selects the necessary shutter speed.

    Hope to see some photos from the camera soon. One further advantage of film is dynamic range, the ability to hold detail in both the shadows and highlights.


  2. Very good post an that Olympia camera is one very nice camera.

    I know the OM-2 has TTL metering, and I think it was aperture priority so exposure on negative film should not be much of an issue (looks like this is what you are using if the tab is correct). Transparency film exposure must be right on. The biggest problem with these older cameras is the correct battery. If the camera was made for the old mercury battery do not trust the camera metering, but get a good use Luna-Pro SbC or similar hand-held meter. Even though you could use zinc-oxide batteries the discharge curves and voltage is off enough that the conversion is not worth the effort. I almost bought an OM2 when they were made, but I stayed with my Minoltas since I had and still have several bodies and an arsenal of lenses and accessories.

    I'm sure you will find shooting film is much more enjoyable than digital. The colors are better, overall range is better and enlargements are much sharper than digital.
    Your blog photos are great.

  3. Now I know where my zippo is! I lost it 6 months ago. That 'take once in your head' approach still resonates with me - weaned on film. I'd migrated to Fuji on the period between desktop film scanners and affordable DSLRs. Kodachrome 64 was an absolute pig to scan - and the hues in Fuji's reversal film were better for the type of pictures I was taking at the time. I tried their super-slow Velvia a couple of times - I think it was ISO25, and the prints were good enough to eat. And I remember the dilemma deciding between the OM4-Ti and Nikon FM2. When I'd saved the money to buy a decent SLR, it was just a matter of which came along first. I still wonder what life would have been like with the OM4 but, like you say, don't look back. Have FUN with it!

  4. Joe, Bill, Rob, thanks very much for your kind replies. I suspect that this camera has modern zinc-oxide cells loaded into it. At any rate, I just got some photos developed and my wife liked them, but I was busy lamenting the slight over-exposure on some of them. I might just post a few of them up this week, (even though I don't like the lack of anonimity involved), but there are a few that I thought turned out okay, if a little light.
    I'll have to brush up on aperture priority knowledge and such, since, this time around, I'd like to be able to take better pictures. I don't want to be like Ed Wood Jr, who made a lot of low budget movies, but never actually got better at film-making.
    I really have to dig out that Kodak book on photography.
    Thanks again, guys, very much appreciated!

  5. I remember the pre-Internet era when there was no way to find out what used gear was actually worth. Buying gear ranked up there with buying used cars or houses. I almost always felt like I had been ripped off.

    I'll echo Bill's advice. Buy a functional off camera meter and learn how to use it. The in camera meter is probably more than adequate, but I can understand the desire to fly manual. That's how I learned film photography years ago.

    I've been a Canon guy forever, but I do almost as much shooting with Olympus PEN F lenses mounted to a Sony NEX 3. Olympus made great glass. Stick with primes and you won't be disappointed.

    I dusted off one of my standby classic camera resources. They have a great OM2 page at http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/index.htm

    All this talk about film photography tempts me to break out my old Yashika TLR. Of course, I have no idea where to get medium format processed with contact sheets.

    Have fun! I'm looking forward to seeing samples.