The Crisp and Delicious Olympus OM-10


When I first got into photography, I bought a lot of used cameras from second-hand shops. A lot of times, I ended up buying a camera that I already had in my collection. This happened with the Olympus Trip 35 and the next thing I knew, I had three of them! I love that camera, but I thought that it was a shame to have three of them since there was really no difference between them.

Olympus OM-10 © Dsch67, Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

I always only used one of them. Therefore I decided to sell the other two and I put them up for sale at a local second-hand webshop (not an auction), and a guy from the same city replied to it. He offered me a trade.

Since I had bought the cameras at approximately €4 each, I figured they wouldn't bring me any money anyway, so I decided to meet him to see what he had to offer. It appeared to be a classy leather camera bag, containing an Olympus OM-10 SLR in perfect condition. It had a standard 50 mm f/1.8 lens, manual shutter speed adapter, a broken flash and a whole lot of cokin' filters (Without the proper mount though. I'm hoping to find one someday). I think it's from the early 80s, but I'm not totally sure about this.

I was amazed that this guy wanted to trade all this for two simple point-and-shoot cameras, but that was his intention. I guess he wanted something more simple. Of course, I accepted his offer!

I put some film through it and experienced how amazingly easy this camera is to shoot. It has a very accurate built-in light meter, with an indicator in the viewfinder. You just set the aperture to the desired value, and it will automatically use the correct shutter speed, according to the ISO value (which can also be set manually between 25-1600). Or you can read the metering in the viewfinder and if you have the adapter, you may set both the aperture and the shutter speed manually.

The standard 50 mm lens is great for portraits and general use and has a beautiful background swirl. There's no auto-focus, but the viewfinder is very bright, and it has a split-field focusing glass, so it easily gets accurate focus. After shooting the first roll of film with it and having confirmed that the condition of the camera was just as good as it appeared to be, I felt like trying to use it with a flash. I had heard that using the wrong type of flash on an SLR could damage the camera or the flash, so I searched the web and asked for help on a local forum for analog photographers.

One guy told me that I could basically use more or less any flash, but if I was interested, he wanted to sell me the flash that originally came with the camera. He also had some extra lenses for sale. So, that's how I ended up buying a gorgeous 28 mm f/2.8 wide angle and a 100 mm f/2.8 telephoto for it! I didn't pay much for them, just around €60-70, I think. I didn't buy the flash since I wanted to use my Diana flash with it instead.

The 28 mm lens is an amazing street-shooter and it's also brilliant for landscapes, concerts, and stuff while the 100 mm lens is also a great portrait lens. But of course, it's great for any occasion where you need to get a little closer!

Just remember to be careful with the shutter speeds if you shoot handheld. A good rule of thumb is to never use shutter speeds slower than the focal length of your lens. i.e. with the 100mm, use 1/125th or a faster shutter speed. With the 28 mm, use 1/30th or faster, and so on… Of course, this is just a rule of thumb. Some people are better at keeping a steady hand than others, and sometimes you would want a blurred image on purpose.

My advice if you get the chance: grab one of these! It's a relief to use a camera that is so easy to work with such as this one. You don't have to think about too many factors but you still have the choice to use them when you need to. And that can only mean more creative opportunities for you down the road.

This is a review submitted by Community Member michell.

written by michell on 2012-07-02 #gear #people #35mm #review #slr #camera-review #lomography #film-camera #olympus-om-10 #user-review


  1. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Very nice photos with this awesome camera!

  2. lgcorporativo
    lgcorporativo ·

    Great photos and amazing film!

  3. droogieboy
    droogieboy ·

    Nice review and pics. The OM10 was my first proper camera, and it's ease of use allowed me to make my pictures much better by letting me concentrate on composition and subject without having to worry about if I'd chosen the right aperture or shutter speed

  4. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    Great review, OM-10s are plenty full, cheap and the 50mm 1.8 is a great lens, fantastic shots particularly in the first gallery.

  5. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Nice review and a great find :)

  6. kolumbia
    kolumbia ·

    Love the shots of the bike and the spiderweb!

  7. bongo_biene
    bongo_biene ·

    Hey! is this with the guitar Edward Snowden? And yes, i will grab one these days!

  8. akhirah
    akhirah ·

    Amazing camera especially with a Manual Adapter installed which makes the 10 a fully manual camera, without adapter the 10 is just a fully auto camera which does the job real well but not personal enough for me as I am used to full manual camera.

    Still using one with 50mm 1.8 and Vivitar zoom

  9. altprocess
    altprocess ·

    Very nice review and images. I think you go lucky to find one in such great condition. These cameras do not hold up as well to time as the OM-1 through OM-4 series. I would steer lomographers looking for Olympus to the OM cameras with single digits (OM 1, 2, 3, 4). Yoshihisa Maitani designed the OM single digit cameras as well as the XA. He did not design/approve of the OM-10 which has a lot more plastic. Very jealous of your Trips! Zuiko lenses are amazing and getting a 28mm f2.8 and a 100mm f2.8 for that price is amazing. Both go for over $100 separately.

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