The Olympus AF-10 Twin: the Twin Lens Refl... er, Rangefinder

2012-12-13 8

At first glance, this quirky camera looks a bit like a TLR: it has two lenses, one above the other. In fact, it’s a twin focus rangefinder. It may look a bit strange, the pictures it produces are pretty good!

Credits: stratski

Let’s start with the technical stuff. The AF-10 Twin was made in 1991. It features two lenses: a default 35mm/F3.6 (3 elements/3 groups) widish angle lens at the bottom and a 70mm/F6.3 (5 elements/5 groups) tele lens at the top. A button on top of the camera let’s you switch between lensen (it adjusts the viewfinder as well). It has autofocus and auto-exposure, with shutter speeds of 1/15 to 1/750s. Auto-flash (can be switched off or switched to fill-in manually), DX decoding of 35mm film, ISO 50-3200, self timer, motordrive, tripod socket. Power: 3v Lithium CR123A or DL123A (2x).

Credits: stratski

I bought it mainly because I liked the two-lens design. I was a bit disappointed on finding out it needed two expensive batteries (a 1 euro camera with 15 euros worth of batteries inside, hmm…). So it sat on a desk looking at me accusingly while I ignored it for a while. In the end I remembered how much I like my other Olympusses and decided to get those batteries and try it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised.

Credits: stratski

Despite the warning on the Olympus website (“This twin-focus camera had all of the performance features of the AF-1 TWIN except weatherproofing.”) I decided to take it on a trip to rainy Scotland. The results were pretty good. The pictures are sharp and clear, and the clam shell lens cover managed to keep most of the rain out of the camera. The switching between lenses is an easy and fun feature.

Credits: stratski

Both lenses are of good quality. I took several other camera’s with me on the same trip (a Holga, a water proof toy camera and a spinner), and the Olympus produced the sharpest, crispest pictures by far. Glass lenses for the win!

In fact, the only real problem I have with this camera is the flash. It’s switched on as a default, and I tend to forget about it until it fires and I realize I didn’t switch it off. Every time you close the camera, it switches back to the default setting, so you have to keep remembering this. Not always a problem, but it can be annoying when your foreground unintentionally gets flashed into oblivion.

Credits: stratski

A smaller problem: it’s not exactly a stealth camera. The motor drive is rather noisy, and the automatic flash is pretty conspicuous as well. In other words: not the best camera for candid street photography or wildlife photography.

But on the whole, this is a pretty good and fun addition to my collection.

written by stratski on 2012-12-13 #gear #review #camera #olympus #twin #two-lenses #af-10


  1. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    A nice find despite the battery cost.

  2. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    I like the design, its' beatiful...^..^

  3. aanum
    aanum ·

    now I want one :)

  4. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    There is an Olympus AM100 that uses 2 AAA's, but flash is entirely automatic. Find review here:… It has amazing sharp slight wide angle, the motor advance is not too loud, but at exposure longer than 1/45 sec at f/3.5 the flash goes off. Sturdy, thick plastic, though.

  5. keefmarshall
    keefmarshall ·

    Nice review of an innovative camera, thanks!

  6. renrep
    renrep ·

    You wrote, "So it sat on a desk looking at me accusingly while I ignored it for a while."
    I know that feeling. Nice review.

  7. ivegotjewels
    ivegotjewels ·

    I'd say the batteries were worth it!

  8. pearlgirl77
    pearlgirl77 ·

    now i have the af-1 and like the pictures with her ;)…

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