Olympus OM10 (1979)

The Olympus OM10 is my official COVID Camera because it’s the only camera purchase I made during the 2020 lockdown. And because of COVID, it took me longer than normal to finish a roll of film in the OM10. After using the OM1 for the past few years, I decided to take a jump upward in the OM series. The OM1 is one of my favorite cameras, so the OM10 has a lot of competition for my love.

Produced from 1979 to 1987, the OM10 was targeted at the entry-level consumer at a lower price. While the top range of OM models were noted with a single digit like the OM1, OM2, the OM10 contains some of the same features as the more expensive models. In addition, the OM10, 20, 30, 40 were compatible with all Olympus OM lenses.

The OM10 features an electronic focal-plane shutter. When it was released, the OM10 was known for its ease-of-use. The camera is a basic aperture prior body. You manually focus the lens, set the aperture on the lens, and the camera automatically sets the correct shutter speed. One thing noticeable about the OM10 is it has no manual mode. However, manual mode can be added to the camera by plugging in an Olympus Manual Adapter to the front of the camera. The Manual Adapter lets you set the shutter speed from 1 to 1000th sec. The OM10 body I purchased did not come with an adapter and I bought one on eBay for $36 USD. Looking back, buying the manual adapter wasn’t critical because I shoot so much in aperture priority, but I wanted to try it out.

Visually you wouldn’t notice the build quality difference between the OM1 and OM10. To cut costs, Olympus made the OM10 body less durable. One difference is the shutter dampening system making the OM10 shutter much louder than other OM models. One point of failure with cameras made during this time are the electronics. Early versions of the OM10 were known to have electronic issues. The OM10 does require batteries to operate but uses LR44’s that are easy to find online.

I think the OM10 was a good purchase ($35 USD). At 430 grams, it’s a lightweight camera to walk around with. I can use the Olympus OM lenses I already own. It uses cheap LR44 batteries. If I don’t want to shoot in manual mode, I can leave the small Manual Adapter in the bag. If I were someone considering an Olympus OM camera, and had never used one, the OM10 is a good option to have.

Camera: Olympus OM10 (1979)
Film: Fomapan 100
Process: CineStill DF96 Monobath
Scanned: Epson V700 Photo

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