Late last year I checked all of my cameras for proper functioning and was disappointed to find that seven of them needed repair. One of them was my Olympus OM-1. This camera was a gift from a longtime friend in 2011 and I’ve put about one roll of film through it every year since. The last time was in 2020, and it worked great. When I checked it late last year, the meter was reading several stops off.
I sent it to John Hermanson at Camtech Photo Services. He repaired the meter and cleaned, lubed, and adjusted (CLA’d) the body. He also adapted the body to use a 1.55-volt SR44 silver-oxide battery. That’s a handy upgrade — the OM-1 natively takes a 1.35-volt 625 mercury cell, and those haven’t been available for a long time.
When I got the OM-1 back, I loaded some Fujicolor 200 into it and carried it everywhere I went until I spent the roll.
The camera worked beautifully, of course. Here are some images I made with the 50mm f/1.8 F.Zuiko Auto-S lens.
I mounted my 21mm f/3.5 Zuiko Auto-W lens for a few frames because I hardly use it and I want to get to know it better.
My OM-1 was in great condition when I got it, and I took good care of it over the years I’ve owned it. But after CLA, all of the controls were next-level smooth and sure.
For most casual photography I reach for my cameras that have an aperture-priority mode, such as my Olympus OM-2n. Match-needle metering like my OM-1 offers usually feels like a hiccup step in my flow. But I didn’t feel that way at all on this roll. Shooting my CLA’d OM-1 was pure pleasure.
Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.