Olympus OM-1

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Olympus OM-1
Olympus OM-1.jpg
OM-1MD with 50 mm f/1.8 lens
Maker Olympus Optical Co., Ltd
Type SLR
Recording medium 135 film
Lens mount Olympus OM mount
Focus Manual focus
Exposure Manual
Flash Hot shoe
Frame rate manually wound
Shutter speed range 1 s – 1/1000 s; Bulb
Dimensions 136 × 83 × 50 mm
Weight 510 g (18 oz)
Footnotes [1][2]

The Olympus OM-1 is a manually operated 35mm single-lens reflex camera. It is part of the Olympus OM system.


The very first model was presented at Photokina in Cologne in 1972 and was called the Olympus M-1. Thirteen years earlier, the release of the Nikon F had made the 35 mm SLR the standard choice for professionals accustomed to Leica and other rangefinders, but it had driven the market towards heavy and bulky cameras. The Olympus M-1 changed this and with it began a reduction of size, weight and noise of the 35 mm SLRs. It was designed by a team led by Yoshihisa Maitani, who had already created the Pen and Pen F cameras, noted for their compactness.

Olympus OM-1n with 50mm / f1.8 lens

Since Leica's flagship rangefinder cameras are known as the M Series, Leica complained about the name of the M-1, forcing Olympus to rename it as the OM-1 to further clarify between the brands. Because of this, today bodies and lenses with the original M name are rare (5000 bodies were made according to Olympus) and sought after by collectors.

The OM-1 is an all-mechanical SLR. It has a large viewfinder with interchangeable screens but a fixed prism. It also has a through-the-lens exposure meter controlling a needle visible in the viewfinder. It has a compact body, essentially retained on later models. The shutter speed dial is located around the lens mount, which allows photographers to keep the camera at the eye between shots more easily than SLRs with the dial located on the top plate.

Olympus OM-1n with 24mm Zuiko-Shift lens

Originally, the bottom plate needed to be modified to mount a motor drive on the OM-1. In 1974, Olympus launched the OM-1MD (MD standing for Motor Drive), to which a motor drive can be attached without need for modification. This new version has a small plate marked 'MD' on the front, and a small slot with a circular cover on the underside that covers the motor drive coupling.

The OM-1n is similar to the OM-1MD, with a redesigned film advance lever, a flash ready/sufficient flash LED in the viewfinder, and automatic X-sync regardless of the position of the FP/X switch when used with a T-series flash unit mounted on Flash Shoe 4.


  1. ^ "Olympus OM-1". Guide to Classic Cameras. mediajoy. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Ting, Ed (23 June 2008). "Olympus OM1 and OM2 Overview". Retrieved 3 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Olympus OM-1 at Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally based on "Olympus_OM-1/2/3/4" in Camerapedia, retrieved on 26 May 2006 under the GNU Free Documentation License.