Favorite OM: 1/1n, 2/2n, 2sp, or?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by tomspielman, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. I became intrigued by the little Olympus SLRs so I decided to give one a try. The OM-2sp models are fairly inexpensive and I was interested in the spot metering ability. People sometimes avoid them because of fears over short battery life but I decided to risk it and was not disappointed.

    A system camera is not much good without lenses so I purchased a few, one of which was attached to an OM-1n that had a bad meter. The meter was actually not hard to fix and I really came to like this camera, - so I decided to try an OM-2n and just won one in an auction. We'll see what I think when it gets here.

    I'm only going to keep two. One for home and one for lunch time walks at work. Might just leave it on my desk for my co-workers to try shooting some film.

    If it were your choice, which two would it be and why?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  2. How did you fix the meter?
  3. SCL


    I picked up an OM2n in like new condition a couple of years ago for less than a pizza; have since acquired several favorite focal length lenses for it. Lenses are a little contrastier than I remember with my Pen F back in the 1960s, but that is fine.
  4. I don't use it a lot, but as I said in my little 'essays' on it (LINK, LINK), I think the OM-1 is one of the all-time beautiful cameras, and I bought it largely for that reason.
    The viewfinder is one of the best ever.
  5. There were two problems as it turned out. The wire that ran from the battery contact to the main circuit board was badly corroded. It's a common problem. The wire was broken near the battery holder but replacing that last section was not enough. The wire was brittle and corroded all the way back into the body of the camera. There's a "fix old cameras" video on youtube that tells you how to replace the whole wire. Some disassembly of the camera body is required but it's not too bad.

    Once that was repaired the meter started working intermittently and I eventually figured out that the contacts on the switch were the culprit. They were gummed up with something or another. A thorough cleaning took care of that and it's been fine ever since.
  6. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    I still have a soft spot for the OM SLRs, as my first "proper" camera was an OM-1n. They're an elegant camera, part of a comprehensive and well-designed system, though I'm not so keen on the smaller body size now.

    The OM-2 SP is one of their best models in terms of features, though they were known for battery drain issues. Mine wouldn't even last through a roll of film, not to mention the LCD display was fading and the meter was off. Too bad, but I couldn't really recommend that model.
  7. My OM-2n came last Friday. I got it from shopgoodwill.com, - another auction site. Sometimes cheaper than eBay but you have to watch the shipping and handling charges. Items are often not described very well and it took over a week just for them to ship my camera.

    I have a soft spot for cameras that need a little fixing and this one is no exception. I could tell from one of the photos that the filter ring on the lens was bent, so I knew that going in. As it turns out, it wasn't a little bent, it was a lot bent. In fact the whole lens is a little off kilter, so much so that the focus ring won't even turn. So, the lens is probably toast. It's one of several variations of the 50mm 1.8 that Olympus sold with their OM cameras and not one of the more sought after ones. I've got a couple of others.

    Other than being really dirty, the camera itself seems fine. I haven't had much time to play with it yet, but it seems very much like the OM-1n, just with an aperture priority AE mode. It does require a battery for the shutter to fire while the OM-1n does not.

    I'm leaning towards keeping this and selling the OM-1n. I'll leave the OM-2n at work and the OM-2sp will be at home. Need to spend a little time using the OM-2n before making a final choice.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  8. The battery drain issue was something that made me a little wary for sure. The 2sp I bid on was well brassed, - indicating it got some use, which I had hoped meant that it wasn't one of the ones with the battery problem. I've had it for a couple of months now and am almost through the first roll of film. Batteries are fine so far but I am careful to put it in bulb mode after using it, - which shuts the meter off. Meter appears accurate compared to my meter app so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    One thing I've noticed about all 3 of my OM cameras is that the black paint has not held up well.
  9. Black paint cameras that are actually used, rarely do look at that well 3-4 decades later. I see some awfully pretty black paint OM-1's and 2's on eBay.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  10. Two of them are silver with black accents. The film door is all black no matter which model. All of them look worse than the Canons I've had of similar vintage. One positive thing is that film door is easy to remove so I've sanded them lightly, taped over the leatherette, and then spray painted them. Did that to the bottom plate on the black 2sp too, though no tape was required on that.
  11. If I had to have just one it would be a late model OM-1n with a 1-10 screen (matt surface with grid) I have an older OM-1md but think about picking up another 1n body. Had a 2sp that had fast battery drain so I rigged a grip using 2 AAA batteries to feed the little beastie. Sold that one at a photo show with the grip. Picked up a OM4Ti that was 'jammed' for $35 at a second hand store. Walked home and 15 minutes later had a fully functioning camera after replacing the batteries.
    Still have the 4Ti but my favorite is still a basic OM-1.
    nrb likes this.
  12. I keeping hoping to end up with a 4Ti like that but so far, - no luck. You did well !

    Back when I was considering a classic Olympus SLR, it seemed like the 2n was the one to get because it was a good combination of features, reliability, and cost. I got the 2sp because it has a true automatic mode and spot metering. I'm fine using a camera in full manual mode but I have this notion that I might be able to get other people interested in film cameras if I let them try one out, so I'd like to have a fairly automatic one.

    The 1n I ended up with kind of by accident but I find I'm enjoying it's simplicity. So I got a 2n because I thought it might split the difference between the automation of the 2sp and the solid feel of the 1n. We'll see after I get a chance to use it.
  13. I like my OM-1 MD. Solid and easy to focus.
  14. People enamored with the Olympus OM SLR series should take a look at the book Provence Memories by Dennis Stock shot with the OM SLRs. Beautiful photographs, as well as his New England Memories. He made very good use of the 28-45mm and 75-150mm zooms. I used Olympus SLRs OM1, OM2 and OM4 for quite a while after the Nikon F series and only replaced them with Leica SLRs because the lenses and pictures more closely matched the pictures with my Leica M cameras. I really liked the Olympus SLRs and wished for a long time that Leica had built and sold cameras like the Olympus cameras. David Bailey the
    "trendy" London photographer portrayed in the movie blow up used Olympus OM cameras extensively in his fashion and portrait photography photographing a large number of beautiful women of the times.
  15. I used to own 1n, 2n, 2s and 4. I sold everything except OM-4 which is my everyday camera. Although I admit I should have not sold OM-1.
  16. My Precious
  17. The whole point of my switching from Canons to an Olympus classic camera was to thin the herd. They're smaller and I figured one Olympus could replace both the Canon Rangefinder and SLRs. Though I've since sold almost all of my classic Canon stuff, that plan has been mostly a fail. I now have two OM-1n, a 2n, and a 2s. I will likely sell two of them, one OM-1n and I'm not sure about 2nd. The 2n is a nice camera but there's something about the 1n that I really like.

  18. OM1-MD was my first SLR and my main camera for over twenty years. Serviced twice for a slipping film advance mechanism, flawless otherwise. Moved to Nikon when autofocus became important to me. Sold the OM1 with its lenses, and miss it, but it didn't seem right to leave it on a shelf.
  19. After putting my hands on various cameras I too have stopped my "quest" as soon as I discovered that OM system could offer everything I wanted and it would be in smaller package. Right now I have OM-4 with 50/1.8, 28/3.5 and 135/2.8 lenses plus a Varimagni viewfinder. I have got all that gear for next-to-nothing, everything has their own cases and if there's one thing I will not voluntarily sell, is OM system. I also hope to get OM-1 again, for before OM-4 I had several OM bodies and OM-1 was so unsophisticated to use...

    By the way, I also have a medium format Bronica ETRC. The choice was dictated by low price and overall compactness of the item. Something I have started to value after getting rid of several kilograms of scrap metal, thanks to Olympus.
  20. Missed this thread. Well, OM-1n I think. Dead simple camera, brilliant viewfinder (Always have the 1-10 screens in my OM's). Everything you need, a little thicker than my M4-2 and the prism peak is a few millimeters higher but it feels very compact in use, so much so that the Leica actually feels larger.

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