My camera needed new batteries and the film had to be loaded manually. There were a lot of reassuring levers, clicks and mechanical confirmation sounds. My motor winder missed the engage occasionally and just spun. But the manual winder on top of the camera still worked.
I had replaced the small hearing aid type battery, which operates the light meter. The response of the light meter seemed dulled so I had to check it with the Light Metter App I have loaded on my iPhone. That worked a charm. The Olympus OM 1 has an On/Off switch, an ASA ring from 50 to 1600 ISO, a film winder, shutter release button, film release button, self timer and a flash hotshoe. The interchangeable lens has the shutter speed ring at its base, with the aperture ring in the front. That’s it! Oh, and as far as I remember the battery would last a few years. Simple but beautiful!
I opened box of film and unplugged the canister. I had forgotten about the celluloid smell.The cartridge fell into my hands and I loaded the camera easily, checking the drag to ensure it was running and loading just the tip to get an extra frame out of the roll of 36 exposures.
The OM1 is a small camera. The Zuiko optics are great. The viewfinder is tiny and dark especially with an f 4.0 lens. The focusing screen has a central twin prism surrounded by a circle of smaller prisms and then the ground glass. I have another focusing screen that I can insert (yes, they were interchangeable) that is an open circle and ground glass much like the ones in most DSLRs today. There is no diopter adjustment on the viewfinder, so I had to look through my glasses to see.
I took a few pictures around the house with an ISO of 125. I had to use the tripod, and also think about the picture I wanted, then check the light reading with my external light meter.
The beach was more fun. I felt that I had been transported in a time machine and had arrived 40 years earlier, taking pictures the old fashioned way. I only took about 30 at the beach, though a whole lot more than normal and enjoyed looking at the light, the light meter and caressing my camera.
Janvier and I did capture a proposal at the end of the pier. How lucky are that couple to have their special moment captured on celluloid in 2014?