1970's Pentax

Pentax KM

Pentax KM

The Pentax KM is a 35mm film SLR camera that was introduced by Pentax in 1975.


Here are some of its features:

Pentax K Mount: The Pentax KM uses the Pentax K mount, which is a bayonet mount. It allows for a wide range of lenses to be used with the camera.

Mechanical Shutter: The KM features a mechanical, horizontally moving cloth focal-plane shutter. Speeds range from 1/1000 to 1 second, as well as a bulb mode.

TTL Light Metering: The camera has a through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering system. It measures the light coming through the lens and sets the appropriate exposure settings.

Manual Exposure Control: The camera allows for manual exposure control. This gives the user complete control over the shutter speed and aperture.

Mirror Lock-Up: The KM features a mirror lock-up mechanism, which allows the user to lock the mirror in the up position to reduce vibration and camera shake during long exposures.

Self-Timer: The camera has a self-timer that delays the shutter release for about 8-10 seconds. This allows the photographer to be included in the shot.

Multiple Exposure Capability: The KM also has a multiple exposure capability. It allows the user to expose the same frame multiple times to create a layered image.

Hot Shoe: The camera has a hot shoe for attaching an external flash. It allows for more control over the lighting of the shot.

Compact Design: The Pentax KM has a compact and lightweight design, making it easy to carry around and use on the go.

Overall, the Pentax KM is a versatile and reliable film camera that offers a range of features for the enthusiast photographer.


Yes, the Pentax KM was a good camera in its time and is still highly regarded by film camera enthusiasts today. It was a popular choice among amateur photographers and was known for its user-friendly design, reliability, and high-quality construction. The camera’s TTL light metering system and manual exposure control allowed for precise exposure adjustments, while the mirror lock-up mechanism and multiple exposure capability added to its versatility. Additionally, the Pentax K mount made it compatible with a wide range of lenses, further enhancing its flexibility. Overall, the Pentax KM was a well-regarded camera and remains a favorite among film photography enthusiasts today.

1970's Pentax

Pentax K-X

Pentax K-X

The Pentax K-X is a film SLR camera that was first introduced in 1975.


Some of its features include:

Manual focus: The K-X has a manual focus system, allowing you to control the focus of your images.

Light metering: The camera features through-the-lens (TTL) light metering. This allows it to accurately measure the amount of light entering the lens.

Shutter speed control: The K-X has a range of shutter speeds from 1/1000 to 1 second. Also, a Bulb mode for longer exposures.

Aperture control: The camera allows you to adjust the aperture. It controls the amount of light entering the lens and the depth of field of your images.

Interchangeable lenses: The K-X is compatible with a wide range of Pentax K-mount lenses. This allows you to choose the right lens for your needs.

Self-timer: The camera features a self-timer mode, allowing you to delay the shutter release for up to 12 seconds.

Multiple exposure mode: The K-X allows you to create multiple exposures on a single frame, which can result in unique and creative images.

Mirror lock-up: This feature allows you to lock up the camera’s mirror before taking a photo. It reduces vibrations and resulting in sharper images.

Depth of field preview: The K-X has a depth of field preview button. It allows you to preview the depth of field of your image before taking the photo.

Film advance lever: The camera has a traditional film advance lever, which allows you to advance the film between shots.


Yes, the Pentax K-X was considered a very good camera in its time and is still highly regarded by many photographers today. It was known for its excellent build quality, reliability, and ease of use, making it a popular choice for both amateur and professional photographers. The K-X was also praised for its TTL metering system, which was considered one of the best of its time, as well as its compatibility with a wide range of high-quality lenses. While the K-X is a film camera and may not be as widely used today as digital cameras, it remains a popular choice for film enthusiasts and those who appreciate the unique look and feel of film photography.

1970's Pentax

Pentax K2

Pentax K2

The Pentax K2 was a popular 35mm film SLR camera released by Pentax in 1975.


It had several features that made it stand out from other cameras of the time:

Shutter Priority Mode: The K2 had a unique shutter priority mode that allowed users to set the shutter speed. It also let the camera choose the appropriate aperture for proper exposure.

TTL Metering: The K2 had a through-the-lens (TTL) metering system that allowed for accurate exposure readings.

Full Manual Control: The K2 also allowed for full manual control over aperture and shutter speed. This gave photographers complete control over their shots.

Bright Viewfinder: The K2 had a bright and clear viewfinder that made it easy to compose shots and focus.

Mirror Lock-up: The K2 also had a mirror lock-up feature, which allowed for smoother and more stable shots. It was especially noticeable when using slower shutter speeds.

Self-timer: The K2 had a built-in self-timer, which allowed for more flexibility in taking group shots or self-portraits.

Multiple Exposure Capability: The K2 also had a multiple exposure feature that allowed photographers to expose the same frame multiple times, creating unique and creative images.

Flash Sync: The K2 had a flash sync speed of 1/125th of a second, which made it easy to use with external flash units.


Overall, the Pentax K2 was a versatile and feature-rich camera that was popular among photographers in the 1970s and remains a favorite of film enthusiasts today. Yes, the Pentax K2 was considered a very good camera during its time and is still well-regarded today by film camera enthusiasts. It offered advanced features like shutter priority mode, TTL metering, mirror lock-up, and multiple exposure capability, which were not commonly found on other cameras of its time. The K2 was also well-built and had a durable, all-metal body that could withstand heavy use. Many photographers appreciated the K2’s bright viewfinder, which made it easy to compose shots and focus accurately. Overall, the Pentax K2 was a high-quality camera that offered advanced features and solid build quality, making it a popular choice among serious amateur and professional photographers.

1970's Leica

Leica R3

Leica R3

The Leica R3; Leica’s first electronically timed shutter SLR.  First produced in 1976, the Leica R3 went on to sell close to 70,000 bodies during its four years of production. It was built in partnership with Japanese maker, Minolta.

In the mid-1970s, Leica was under financial duress. Competition from cheaper Japanese brands, coupled with the poor performance of the SL2 and previous Leicaflex cameras, forced the German camera manufacturer to look for innovative ways to stay afloat.

And this camera was the solution.

The Leica R3; Leica’s first electronically timed shutter SLR.  First produced in 1976, the Leica R3 went on to sell close to 70,000 bodies during its four years of production. 

But why was the R3 such a success?

Keep reading to learn more.

Features of the Camera

The partnership between Leica and Minolta gave rise to a camera that came with some pretty incredible features.

One of these features is the improved shutter. Unlike previous Leica SLRs, which came with a mechanically timed horizontal travel rubberized cloth shutter, the R3 came with an electronically timed vertical-travel metal shutter.

With the electronic shutter, the camera could choose the correct shutter speed based on the selected metering option. However, the new shutter was slower than its predecessors and could achieve a rate of four to 1/1000 second.

The R3 also came with a well-damped mirror, which helped to subdue the shutter sound. Unlike its predecessors, the R3 was a pretty quiet shooter.

And that’s not all!

The R3 offers automated exposure control in both shutter and aperture priority mode.

When in auto exposure mode, the R3 shutter became stepless, which resulted in more accurate exposures.

And there’s more!

The M3 came with an impeccable integrated TTL metering system that featured both spot and center-weighted light metering, which was absent in the Leicaflex SL2.

When using auto-exposure, the camera works correctly in both center-weighted and spot metering. However, when in manual mode, the R3 only works in spot metering.

The R3 also came with a big and bright viewfinder that could achieve a magnification of 0.94X.

The R3 finder came with an eye-level interchangeable micro prism and a central split-image focusing aid.

Like it’s predecessors, the view was mostly uninterrupted with the only information in the viewfinder being the metering needle, aperture, metering modes, and shutter speed.

The viewfinder also comes with a built-in blind that prevents stray light from influencing the meter.

Other features of the Leica R3 include:

  • Leica R bayonet mount
  • Hot shoe flash control (Uses CdS light meter)
  • Manual lever film transport
  • Self-timer

Design and Physical Description

What would happen if Mercedes and Toyota produced a car together?

I bet it would feature more of the Toyota electronics and a Mercedes designed body.

Same case with the Leica R3. The corporation between Minolta and Leica gave birth to a camera that featured Minolta electronics but came with a Leica designed body.

Like other Leica cameras, the R3 was built to last. The R3 body is solid and metal, which inspires confidence whenever you hold it. The body came in different colors, with the most common being black, chrome, gold, and safari green finish.

All knobs, dials, and levers are ergonomically located to ensure a smooth shooting process.

On the top plate you have:

  • The ISO dial
  • Film rewind crank
  • Hot shoe
  • Shutter speed dial
  • And the shutter release button.

On the front, you have:

  • The Depth of Field preview button
  • Self-timer

Shortcomings of the Camera

Despite all its greatness, the R3 had several shortcomings.

One of these was the lack of TTL flash metering, which made the flash system pretty useless.

The other shortcoming is that the camera doesn’t provide a mirror lock-up option.

The R3 is a pretty heavy camera, making it an unsuitable camera for you if you plan to carry it all day.

Getting R3 lenses is also a daunting task. Although you’re likely to get the body for a bargain, getting, a good lens is often a long process. This is mainly due to many professional photographers buying the lenses for their DSLRs.

Final Thoughts

Despite being a result of a partnership, the R3 was an incredible camera that managed to become Leica’s second highest-selling 35mm SLR camera.

It does everything expected in 35mm SLR, and also featured the same built quality as previous Leica cameras.

1970's Leica

LeicaFlex SL2

LeicaFlex SL2

Now here’s a camera that’s considered the Mercedes Benz of SLRs. A camera whose production spared no costs. One so remarkably built that it still performs perfectly today as it did back then. First produced in 1974, the SL2 was Leica’s third and final camera in the Leicaflex series.

Built on the foundation laid by the Leicaflex standard and Leicaflex SL, the SL2 came with several improvements that make it the best mechanical Leica SLR for your vintage classic camera collection.

Here’s why the Leicaflex SL2 is the mechanical SLR to own.

Features of the Camera

One of the first things you’re likely to notice once your eyes land on an SL2 is its classic and elegant aesthetic. The SL2 body is characterized by sharp angles giving the camera a profile that’s practical and timeless. 

With the SL2, you can be sure you’ll leave heads turning and will always have someone looking to strike a conversation about this gorgeous machine.

Another feature that makes the SL2 the mechanical SLR to own is its big bright viewfinder. The SL2 finder is an improvement of the one found in the SL. With the SL2 viewfinder, you can clearly see the selected lens aperture and shutter speed.

And that’s not all

The SL2 viewfinder came with a split-image focusing screen that made focusing easier and faster.

Coupled with the large bright viewfinder, the SL2 made taking photos effortless.

As if that’s not enough!

The SL2 also came with an impeccable metering system. Building from the Leicaflex SL TTL metering system, Leica made the SL2 metering more sensitive and accurate.

To make the SL2 even better, Leica also added a more accurate CdS metering system.

To add to the excellent viewfinder and metering system is the lens.

Like its predecessors, the SL2 came with a Leica R-bayonet mount. With this camera you can use any Leica-Minota R-mount lens.

Best of all!

The SL2 features a redesign of the mirror system. This redesign allowed the SL2 to be compatible with wide-angle lenses—something its predecessors were unable to do.

Is using the camera complicated?

The SL2 Is a camera that both professional and novice photographers can use.

It doesn’t come with a myriad of controls and menus that complicate the photo-taking process. The SL2 only has a few knobs, dials, and levers, whose placement makes it simple to take photos.

This simplicity is further enhanced by the fact that the SL2 only shoots in manual mode. With this camera you have full control of the shutter speed, lens aperture, and focusing.

If you’re a new film camera user, the SL2 provides an excellent opportunity to learn the basics of film photography. 

This appeal to both the novice and expert photographer is a feature that’s lacking in many 35mm SLRs.

What about the shutter?

Like it’s predecessors, the SL2 came with a mechanically-timed, horizontal-travel rubberized cloth shutter that could achieve a maximum speed of 1/2000 sec, and 1.100 sec on flash sync.

Build and Physical Description

Like other Leica cameras before the SL2, no cost was spared during the production process.

The brass body is ergonomically shaped. It’s sturdy and solid, which makes the camera feel indestructible.

Looking at the camera, you can’t help but notice the minimalist look. All controls are ergonomically placed, and everything on the body serves a purpose.

On the top plate, you have the

  • Shutter speed selector
  • ISO dial, which also acts as the exposure compensation dial and multiple exposure lever
  • Film type indicator
  • Film frame counter
  • Rewind knob
  • Hot shoe

On the front, you have the

  • Depth of Preview button
  • Lens release button
  • Self-timer

Shortcomings of the camera

The SL2 has one major shortcoming.

It’s a heavy machine.

If you’re an adventurous shooter or someone who travels a lot, the SL2 is not the ideal camera for you.

However, if you’re looking for a camera that you can shoot moments around the house, or on a special set, the SL2 will be great.

Another shortcoming with the SL2 is its price.

Thanks to the philosophy of sparing no cost, the SL2 was and is still a pretty expensive camera.

Final Thoughts

Do you see why the Leicaflex SL2 is considered the Mercedes of mechanical SLRs?

Not only is it an aesthetically pleasing camera, but it’s also a great photography tool that you’ll be able to use even in the next fifty years.

1970's Leica

Leica M5

Leica M5

The story of the Leica M5 is similar to that of the ugly duckling.

First introduced in 1971, the M5 was initially shunned by many Leica enthusiasts. Similar to the ugly duckling, the M5 was different from other Leica M cameras.

Despite the backlash, the M5 was a pretty incredible camera that came with features never seen in a Leica rangefinder.

This is why years later, the camera is slowly gaining popularity among many young film camera enthusiasts.

So, why is the M5 gaining popularity?

Keep reading to find out more!

Features of the Camera

One of the most unique features of the Leica M5 was the introduction of an inbuilt Through-the-Lens metering system. 

One of the most notable shortcomings of earlier M cameras was the lack of an inbuilt metering system, which made it hard for novice users to use the camera.

However, with the inclusion of a needle metering system in the M5, novice photographers and people who aren’t comfortable with estimating metering with their eye, can enjoy the benefits of using a classic Leica camera.

The Leica M5 also came with a big and bright viewfinder.

Similar to what was in the M4, the M5 viewfinder could achieve a magnification of .72X.  The viewfinder also came with four sets of frame-line optimized for the 35mm, 50mm, 90mm, and 135mm focal length lenses.

However, the M5 viewfinder had one difference from the one used in the M4. At the bottom of the viewfinder, there were two bars used to measure metering. The viewfinder also featured a display of the shutter speed and selected aperture.

The M5 came with a quiet shutter that was able to achieve a maximum speed of 1/1000 sec. Thanks to the large shutter speed dial, setting the speed was easier and faster.

And that’s not all!

The Leica M5 was the last of the traditionally made Leicas before Leica moved production to Canada. The M5 was hand-assembled and was the last Leica to have a brass body with interior components also composed of brass. Later versions of Leica cameras used fabricated steel and plastic parts.

Design and Physical Appearance

Do you consider yourself a rebel? Someone who does things differently from the norm?

If so, the M5 is your ideal camera.

One of the most notable features of the M5 was the shift from the standard Leica M series design. The M5 doesn’t look like any other Leica M camera.

It came with added controls, with some being moved to other places.

For starters, the M5 came with an ISO adapter located in the middle of the top plate.

It also came with an oversized shutter speed dial that was perfectly positioned for easy adjustment. While holding the camera to your eye, it was possible to adjust and set shutter speed with either your index or middle figure.

This feature made the M5 the easiest M camera to adjust shutter speed.

Another difference in design came with the film rewind crank that was located on the bottom plate.

The M5 however, had several similarities with its predecessor.

One such similarity was with the bottom loading film mechanism. Like its predecessors, the M5 came with a removable base plate

Similar to the M4, the M5 film advance lever was made of metal with a plastic tip.

Shortcomings of the Camera

One of the most significant shortcomings of the M5 is the battery. The M5 used the now-defunct PX625 1.35V mercury-oxide battery. However, you can use the camera without batteries but will have to give up on using the metering system.

The M5 is also incompatible with certain Leitz wide-angle lenses. 

The other shortcoming of the Leica M5 was that the camera was heavier than its predecessors. This was one of the reasons why the camera was so poorly received.

Final Thoughts

The Leica M5 is a camera that some people love and some hate.

For some, the M5 was an ugly camera that almost killed the Leica rangefinder line. To others, it was an industrially beautiful camera. It all depends on who you are and what you like.

But if you like the unusual styling, enjoy using the light metering system and can ignore the naysayers, you’ll love the M5.

1970's Olympus

Olympus OM-10

Olympus OM-10

If you’ve been hunting for a camera that’ll give an intimate and nostalgic feel to photography without you having to break the bank, the Olympus OM-10 is the perfect camera for you.

Cheap and easy to find, the OM-10 was the first camera in the OM double-digit series.

First introduced in 1979, the OM-10 was Olympus’s effort at pricing down the single-digit OMs. Initially meant for entry-level consumers, the OM-10 was a massive success despite it being less hardy than its predecessors.

So, what made this camera unique? Let’s find out.

Features of the OM-10

One feature that made the OM-10 sell so much was its everyday usability.

For starters, the OM-10 was lighter than any of its predecessors. At 606g, it was 100g lighter than the OM-2. This lightweight feature was mainly because most of the body was not metal.

Its lightweight nature makes the OM-10 the perfect camera for everyday use.

And that’s not all

The camera came at a reasonably low price. Unlike single digit OM cameras which are mainly collectables, the OM-10 is relatively easy to find. You don’t have to worry about being too careful when using it.

Even if you broke it, you’d still be able to get another one at a fairly reasonable price.

Another feature that made the OM-10 so famous was the ease of use.

The OM-10 was a manual focus aperture priority camera. When using it, all you had to do was manually set the focus, and aperture and the camera would determine the perfect shutter speed.

With the OM-10, there’s no need to worry about the perfect shutter speed; the camera does all the heavy lifting for you.

What about the Optics?

The OM-10 comes with the standard 50mm Zuiko lens, which is perfect for shooting portraits and general photos.

And like other OM cameras, the OM-10 allows you to use a wide array of breathtaking Zuiko lenses and other third-party accessories.

Design and Physical Layout

Like other cameras in the OM series, the OM-10 featured an exceptional and minimalist design.

For starters, the camera was small and compact, with most of the buttons being located on the top plate.

On the right, you have the

  • Film advance crank
  • ISO dial
  • Exposure compensation dial.

On the left side, you have the

  • Film rewind crank
  • Self-timer
  • On and off mode button that also acts as a battery check

The OM-10 features a bulb, auto, and manual adapter mode button below the ISO dial. The button for these options is below the ISO dial.

After attaching the manual adapter, you can select the manual adapter mode, and this will allow you to choose the shutter speed. The auto option enables you to use the aperture- priority metering.  The bulb mode will let you take shots as long as the shutter is pushed down. It also has an extension for the release cable.

Shortcomings of the Olympus OM-10

One of the most noticeable flaws of the OM-10 is the lack of a manual mode.

If you’re one of those people who “feel naked” without the manual mode, you can attach an external adapter to the camera to allow you to use manual mode.

And that’s not all…

In a bid to make the OM-10 cheaper, Olympus compromised on several quality aspects. This includes building the camera with a less durable body, which made the camera more susceptible to damage.

The OM-10 also lacked certain features including an elaborate dampening system. This made the shutter extra noisy.

The all-electronic feature of the OM-10 also meant you couldn’t use without batteries. However, it uses the LR44 or the AG13 button batteries, which are easy to find.

Final Thoughts

If you’d love to try the classic SLR’s without breaking the bank, the OM-10 is your go-to camera.

It’s also more inclined towards aperture-priority metering, making it ideal for beginning photographers.

It’s inexpensive nature, and ease of use also makes it the perfect camera for everyday use and not just a decorative piece.

1970's Olympus

Olympus OM-2

Olympus OM-2

The small, compact, and light Olympus OM-2 is a design classic that was initially released in 1975.

Possibly one of the most beautiful cameras ever designed, the OM-2 came with the same compact, sturdy design of the OM-1. However, unlike its predecessor, the OM-2 was an electronic SLR camera that featured an automatic exposure system that extended its functionality further.

But what makes this camera so unique?

Olympus OM-2 Unique Features

Although often underrated, the Olympus OM-2 came with various unique features.

Firstly, The OM-2 was the first camera to have the Automatic Dynamic Metering (ADM) TTL system. Also known as the OTF (Off the Film) metering, this system enabled the camera to gauge light through the lens and not through the external light meter.

The second unique feature of the OM-2 was the introduction of the aperture-priority automatic exposure system. The auto-exposure system enabled the camera to set a shutter speed based on the aperture value (f-number) that the user selects. Using this feature ensures that you get the appropriate exposure on an image based on the amount of light going through the light meter at that time.

And that’s not all,

You can also use the OM-2 in manual mode.

When in manual mode, a needle in the viewfinder will show you the shutter speed and which aperture to set.

As if that’s not enough…

Do you have an OM-1? You can easily upgrade to the OM-2.

One of the OM-2 main selling points was the fact that you could use all OM-1 accessories on the OM-2 without any modifications.

What about the optics?

The OM-2 came with the 50 mm F. Zuiko F 1.4 lens that offers excellent sharpness

And let’s not forget about the viewfinder.

Like its predecessor, the OM-2 featured a large and bright viewfinder that made it easy to view the metering needle and display exposure compensation when in auto mode.

Physical Appearance and Design Overview

With a body similar to the OM-1, the OM-2 was and is still appealing to many analog photographers.

Let’s start at the top.

On the left, you have the easy to use rewind crank that’s made of durable metal.

Next to it is the mode selector that has the manual, off, and auto options. The off option allows you to switch off the light meter when you’re not using it. When you leave it on, it will drain your battery. Above the auto option, there’s a check feature that allows you to check the battery levels through an LED light. When the battery’s full, it lights red. When the battery is drained, the light blinks. The shutter may not work when the battery is depleted, so make sure you check the battery levels regularly.

In the middle of the camera, you have the hot shoe, which you can use to connect a flash unit.

Next, you have the ISO dial, which also acts as a film speed selector.

The shutter release button is next to the exposure compensation dial.

On the far right, there is the film advance lever. It is composed of durable metal, and it’s very stable, unlike the plastic levers.

Now to the face

Similar to the OM-1, the OM-2 featured an aperture ring located on the front of the lens.

The focus ring is located behind the aperture ring with the shutter speed dial being situated at the front of the lens mount.

The OM-2 also features a self-timer that gives you and your friends about 12 seconds to pose.

Olympus OM-2 MD

Olympus later released the Olympus OM-2 MD, which has a distinct label MD on the front side of the camera.

The main difference between the OM-2 and the OM-2 MD was that the OM-2 MD came with a removable cap where the motor drive could be attached,

Earlier OM-2 versions required the user to go to a service facility to enable attachment of the motor.

Shortcomings of the OM-2

The use of foam as a light trap in the pentaprism is a design flaw that may affect your use of the Olympus OM-2.

In some instances, the foam decays and destroys the pentaprism mirror.

Before buying an OM-2 camera, look through the viewfinder. If you see dot blemishes, don’t buy the camera.

Final Thoughts

The OM-2 is a little bit heavier than the OM-1, but not as heavy as most cameras released at that time. Whether you’re a digital shooter interested in film photography, or a student who would love to learn Film photography, the Olympus OM-2.

1970's Olympus

Olympus OM-1

Olympus OM-1

If you were to ask any analogue photographer about their most favorite 35mm SLR camera, you’d be bombarded by the number of people who’d mention the Olympus OM-1

The Olympus OM-1 revolutionized SLR cameras. Unlike other models at that time, the OM-1 came in a compact and light design that enhanced its efficiency.

First released in 1972 as the Olympus M1, the camera was later renamed OM-1 in 1973 after Leica disputed the name

Olympus OM-1 Unique Features

If you’re used to the traditional SLR, the OM-1 will take some effort and adjusting to get used to

The first thing you’ll notice about this camera is its small, compact, and lightweight design.

But don’t let this fool you.

The minimalist design of the OM-1 features multiple unique features that make this camera a favorite among many analogue photographers.

One of the most unique features of the OM-1 is its large and bright viewfinder. With the large viewfinder, you can comfortably use the camera with a wide-angle lens.

Another unique feature of the OM-1 is its lifespan.

After renaming the camera as OM-1, Olympus designers improved the camera’s hardiness by making it rustproof.

Let’s not forget about the optics

The Olympus OM-1 comes with the impressive 50MM Zuiko f/1.8 lens, which delivers high-quality shots.

As if that’s not enough

You also get a choice of 16 different lenses to use with the OM-1

And that’s not all.

Unlike other cameras in the OM series, the OM-1 came with a mirror lock-up facility, which makes it suitable for microphotography and astrophotography.

Later in 1974, Olympus released the Olympus OM-1 MD, which had a connection (beneath a small removable plate) for attaching a winder or a motor-drive.

The motor drive automates the film making it easy to use and more efficient compared to the manual film mechanism.

Design Features

Olympus cameras are known for their high quality and intuitive design features. And the OM-1 was not left behind.

The minimalist design of the OM-1 allowed innovative placement of the different buttons

On top of the camera, you have

  • The on and off light switch,
  • A hot-shoe attachment,
  • The film advance,
  • The ISO and ASA dial and
  • Shutter release.

At the front (face) of the camera, you have

  • The shutter speed dial located near the lens mount,
  • An easy to use aperture ring that you can use to increase from F1.8 to F16
  • A focusing ring situated right behind the aperture ring
  • A lens release button, and
  • A self-timer that gives you 12 seconds to pose.

It also features the SLR’s split-prism that gives more detail in an image and a sharper focus.

Since it’s straightforward, this camera is suitable for beginners and professionals alike. The 50-millimetre lens is ideal for an outdoor photography session.

Shortcomings of the OM-1

The OM-1 comes with a built-in light meter that’s powered by a 1.34 V battery that’s hard to find.

The other shortcoming with the OM-1 is the film advance. Olympus is known for high-quality products. However, the film advance dial feels a bit low quality compared to other parts of the camera.

Final Verdict

Would I recommend the OM-1?

You bet.

The OM-1 is one of the best SLR cameras in the market. It’s small and light, solid and precise, and you won’t find a better viewfinder.

If you’re a beginner at analogue photography, this is the camera for you.

1970's Olympus

Olympus M-1

Olympus M1

Famous for its lightweight, small size, and incredible viewfinder, the Olympus M-1 is arguably one of the best 35mm SLR cameras.

Initially introduced in 1972 as the Olympus M-1, the camera was later renamed OM-1 after Leica disputed this designation due to them having a camera with a similar name. Although the Olympus FTL was technically Olympus’s first full-frame SLR camera, the M-1 was the first full-frame SLR camera designed by Olympus’s legendary designer Yoshihisa Maitani,

What makes it a Great Camera?

The Olympus M-1 has a lot of great features.

For starters, the M-1 is small and lightweight, making it extremely portable. Most of the SLR cameras produced in the late1960s and early ’70s were large and bulky. Olympus’s designers were however, able to fit all features of SLR cameras into a small and compact form.

Another great feature about this camera is its beautiful, bright, and large viewfinder that has an impressive .92X magnification. The large viewfinder allows easy use of wide-angle lenses.

And that’s not all.

The M-1 features mechanically driven shutter speeds which work without needing batteries.

The M-1 also features a built-in light meter that’s visible through the viewfinder. To use the light meter, switch the on and off dial located on the top left of the camera, although it needs batteries to work.

As if that’s not enough

The M-1 also features a pentaprism. This feature allows the camera to laterally invert the lens’s image, without altering the quality of the image. Pentaprisms result in high-quality images compared to the pentamirror.

Other Notable Features

The M-1 features a minimalist and simplistic design. The top plate is different from other SLR cameras, as it only houses a few buttons. These are:

  • The on and off switch
  • ISO dial
  • Shutter release
  • Film advance
  • Frame counter

The shutter ring is located on the face of the camera just behind the lens mount. When holding the camera, you can change the shutter speed, focus, and f/stop, without taking your eye off the viewfinder. (It’s a bit complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes straightforward.)

As if that’s not enough

Olympus replaced the ribbons in the cloth curtain shutter with strings and equipped the camera with an air damper to absorb the shock of mirror movement.

The shutter durability was also improved, resulting in a system that could perform 100000 operations—more operations than any other shutter at the time.

Does the Camera work with an external flash?

Well yes. The M-1 comes with a hot shoe attachment. Hot shoe attachments are better since they have an electric circuit and are more convenient when compared to cold shoe attachments.

The camera also has a self-timer that allows you 12 seconds to prepare and pose. The maximum aperture of this camera is F1.8. This aperture enables you to achieve optimum brightness in an image.

Short Comings of the Camera

One shortcoming with the camera is that it doesn’t feature auto exposure. This can however, be an advantage depending on how you view it.

The lack of auto-exposure makes this camera great for learning. If you’re a beginner in analog photography, the lack of autoexposure will allow you to learn the relationship between aperture shutter speed and ISO.

Another shortcoming with the camera is the battery. The M-1 light finder uses a 1.35V mercury battery, which are impossible to find in the 21st century. However, you can have your camera modified to use 1.5V batteries, which are available.

You can also operate the camera without batteries.

Final Verdict

With only 5000 pieces produced, the M-1 is a pretty amazing camera.

It’s fun to use and also shares films with other models such as Kodak and Fuji.

It’s also light, making it a fantastic accessory to carry on your holidays. Everyone will compliment its stylish design, and you’ll love the photos you take.

The best feature of this camera is its simplicity in use.

We’d recommend the Olympus M-1 for anyone looking to start analog photography.