Help for a newcomer to the olympus om family!

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by ry_prosser, May 1, 2018.

  1. Hi all, I've really tried to search before asking this but couldn't quite find anyone who described the same problem. I'm new to film and chose the om2n because of some great reviews on here and other sites.
    I purchased one that had been sitting around for a while but was in superb condition. I changed the light seals as the foam had corroded and also removed foam from prism and cleaned the viewfinder which is still a little dim but perhaps that's more to do with the focus sceeen....
    Anyway, whilst shooting I noticed that on a few occasions I would fully push the advance lever only to press the shutter button and find it locked. I'd have to push the advance lever again and could feel it move another notch or two which then fully engaged the shutter release.
    Is this a regular occurance for my model or is there something I can adjust do you think? Would I have nudged anything when taking the top plate off? I was very careful not to.
    Hope someone can help! Apart from that minor annoyance the camera is superb!
  2. SCL


    It is a terrific camera. I've never noticed the issue you cited in any of the 3 bodies I've owned. Perhaps you didn't fully advance the film lever in the first place hesitating at some film resistance, which would certainly lock the shutter. I'd try it several times when you have the camera empty, perhaps while you are watching TV...and loosen up what may be dried up lubricants. As far as the viewfinder being anything less than brilliantly bright, I'd have a concern there, as the vf on the OM2n is usually exceptional in brightness. The screens are interchangeable, as I recall there are 14 variations, so you might check the user manual to ensure you have the correct one for the lenses you are using.
  3. Thanks for getting back to me! I did think about the focus screen, there's the standard 13 in the now so I've ordered a new 1-4. I'm using a 28 2.5 so maybe that's not helping. I'll have a look with the 50 1.8 on and see if that makes a difference.
    I've just sat here and deliberately and slowly advanced the lever about 20 times to its full and the shutter button was still locked about 3 times during. As before, I had to put some extra tension on the advance lever and hear it notch another once or twice before I could press the shutter.
  4. I've had the same thing happen a few times, - thought it was advanced all the way when it turned out it wasn't. Most of the mechanical stuff related to the film advance is on the bottom of the camera. If it bothers you, you could remove the bottom cover, clean up any old lubricant with some naphtha/lighter fluid and then add a very tiny amount of watch oil to shafts/gears. By tiny amount I mean a micro drop. If it doesn't fix it, at least the advance will be smooth. ;-)

    The problem might be in the shutter mechanism though. Whatever lever charges it may be worn or bent a little so that it doesn't quite get activated every time. I've been in the guts of an OM-2n before trying to fix a curtain that was messed up. Lots of levers, cams and such. I don't remember all the details but there are some service manuals available.

    I doubt it was caused by anything you did while the top of the camera was off.
  5. Thanks for taking the time to reply! I managed to find a scrappy om2 as I needed a replacement rewind shaft and cap for the advance lever. Whilst I was there I swapped the focus screen over and that seems to have made a difference!
    The advance movement on the scrap om2 felt tighter but not quite as buttery as my om2n, probably because the scrap one needs a service. I did swap the advance arm from the om2 as I actually preferred it to mine which for me has a rather chunky bit of plastic at the end of the arm, the om2 seemed a little more streamline. I tightened everthing back up and it seems better. There is more play in my advance arm, that is, you can start to move my arm maybe 5-10mm before you can feel the mechanism engage. With the om2 I bought for parts, the mechanism seems to engage straight away. Like I said though, my own one felt smoother. Sorry if none of that made sense!
  6. This happened to me MANY times with my film cameras.
    What happened with me was, when was in a rush, I would crank the advance lever, but did not make sure that I did a FULL stroke. The advance lever was a ratchet lever, so it will come back without a full stroke. So there was no clue that the FULL stroke was NOT completed.
    Because the stroke was not completed, the shutter lock was not released.

    On my Nikkormat, the lever would not comeback if I did not complete the stroke. It did not ratchet. So I knew that I did not complete the stroke.

    The longer the throw/stroke of the lever the easier it is to have this short stroke problem.
    Also the shape of the lever and how your thumb fits/interacts with the lever, affects this. I preferred the lever on my Nikon F2, to the lever on my Nikkormat. In fact, I "think" I had the lever on my Nikkormat replaced with an F2 lever, to get a better feel and working of the lever.
  7. Thanks Gary, I think that was definitely playing a part. Not being used to film cameras I've had to slow everything down, including my handling of the body!

    I think perhaps they mechanism may have been slightly worn too. Whenever I didn't have film in the advance mechanism was fine, it was only with film that it didn't seem to advance fully so it obviously didn't like the extra load.

    I managed to snag a beater camera for 20 UK pounds and took the advance mechanism out of that one and place it in mine. I gave evening a good clean with isopropyl (under the top and and bottom plates) and bought some very fine oil that was fed from a precision needle used by model makers. I ran a film through this weekend and not once did I have a problem.

    I love the tamron 28 2.5 that came with it but I also noticed a decent difference in viewfinder brightness using the 50 1.8 which I wasn't expecting! I didn't think that lenses had an effect on brightness, perhaps its obvious with hindsight. It's not that the vf is dim with the 28, its still nice, it's just that extra bit brighter with the 50.
  8. Problem solved. Good.
  9. Lens speed most definitely will make huge differences in the brightness of an SLR finder as you view through the lens at maximum aperture, so viewing through an f1.4 or f1.8 lens is going to be much brighter than using an f2.8 prime or even worse, any of the numerous f3.5-4.5 or even f5.6 variable aperture zoom lenses that are out there and so inexpensive.
  10. To further extend the matter, I was unable to notice any serious difference between 1.4 and 1.8 lenses in terms of VF brightness (both were 50mm), even the difference between 1.8 and 2.8 lenses is quite bearable during the daytime. However, f/3.5 lens is already quite dim, split-screen gets half-dark in low light situations and f/4 lens has one half of split-screen permanently blacked out, along with dimming the whole viewfinder. So the faster the lens, the better the VF.

    P.S. All these differences are much more dramatic on OM-2S and OM-4, since they have smaller and darker VF than OM-1/2 (n or non-n) by default due to the dual-mirror required by new metering circuit.
  11. SCL


    Viewfinders of the era were typically optimized for around f/2.8 - after that they tend to begin dimming. Some of the OM models have interchangeable viewfinders to accommodate special usage, such as telephoto lenses which may only open as wide as f/5.6-8, or astrophotography.
  12. Yep, I know of them, only had 1-1 (matte with microrastre) and 1-13 (split-screen), but I very much prefer the split screen, it's easier to focus at night. OM is a quite versatile system, the only serious thing they didn't have was removable prisms (although substituted by 'Varimagni' periscopes).
  13. Back to the wind issues...

    Note that, except for the very earliest M-1/OM-1 (pre MD) versions, all OM-1, OM-1n, OM-2, and OM-2n models used the exact same wind mechanism.

    The OM's were designed so that when properly functioning, they could be fully wound by either one full stroke of the wind lever or numerous smaller strokes. (It was a "Pro" thing.) Also, the wind lever was made to fold flat against the body for compactness, but has a "stand off", or "ready to wind" position several degrees away from the body to make rapid access convenient. (Again -- Pro's wanted it.) BUT if you keep your thumb behind the wind lever after shooting then try to wind, you may need to give the lever an extra push (pull?) to complete the wind stroke. Be careful that you are allowing the wind lever to return fully to it's "ready to wind" position if you prefer to use one stroke to wind the camera. If you allow the lever to return fully to it's rest position under it's own spring tension, and one complete wind stroke does NOT reliably result in advancing a full frame, even if only intermittently, it's likely one of two problems.

    There is a clutch with two pawls that engage a gear in the wind mechanism as soon as the wind stroke begins. If, however, lubrication has migrated into the mechanism that actuates those pawls, they may not "grab" that gear quickly enough. This may improve with frequent use, only to recur after the camera sits for a while, or the clutch may "slip" every time, perhaps excessively. The solution in this case is to remove the wind assembly (under the top cover, beneath the film counter), and thoroughly clean it. In some cases, you can get by with "flush" cleaning with solvent, but the reliable method is to completely disassemble the mechanism and clean each part individually before reassembling.

    The next possibility is more severe. If the wind lever was ever forced, one or more of the teeth of the clutch gear may have been sheared off. Thereafter, if the pawl is called upon to engage that missing tooth, it will have to slip to the next one, resulting in an incomplete wind stroke. Sometimes replacing that damaged clutch gear will correct the problem, but in extreme cases one or both of the pawls may also be damaged. In that case, the solution would be to simply replace the whole assembly, but as noted, just about any OM1, 1n, 2, or 2n would suffice as a "donor".

    If this is the case however (one or more teeth broken off the clutch gear), there are ramifications. An effort should be made to find any broken teeth, which may be stuck in the grease around the wind gears (upper OR lower), or attracted to the magnet inside the meter's galvanometer. Many "jammed cameras" are so because of a broken clutch gear tooth between two wind gears, and many "meter stuck/inaccurate" problems are due to a tiny sliver of gear tooth attracted to the meter's magnet.
    Hector Javkin likes this.
  14. Crumbo, thank you. I sometimes had winding problems over the 20 years I shot with Olympus, usually resolved by a CLA, but that's the clearest explanation of the mechanism I've ever heard.

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