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A lighttight box


Well-Known Member
My first OM was an OM-10 (received as a gift back in 1982). Although I still have it, I now usually prefer to use an OM-2 or an OM-1. OM-10's seem to be universally scorned by camera experts in all the websites I find as well as by ebay buyers.

Granted, it is not built to the same high standards as the pro OM's and lacks some features. All the same, though, it was a very popular camera in it's day. Mine has served me well and still works perfectly and looks almost new.

So here's the big question: since a camera is really nothing more than a light-proof box, if I take identical shots (same film, same light, same lens, same exposure settings, etc.) with an OM-10 and an OM-2, won't both images be of the same quality?


> OM10's are treated with scorn because there are so many of them surviving in good shape and because they don't have the kudos of a 'professional' tag. For most amateurs, even serious ones, an OM10 (with the Manual Adapter) will deliver 90% of the time.

They were a way for ordinary folk to buy into the Maitani legend without risking bankruptcy. The fact that there are so many still working well 25 years later says quite bit in itself. Mine (bought in 1980), finally bit the dust when I stepped on it climbing. The mirror box was distorted, otherwise it was unmarked and working. The 35-70 zoom on it at the time needed a brief visit to the repairers but is still in regular use now. I wonder how todays plastic products would compare.

Like you, I now use an OM4. So what's the benefit? It deals better with extreme situations, but they have to be very extreme. The metering system - the ultimate creative tool and it handles just so beautifully. This on its own is a reason to own one. Joy of ownership of a real classic - plausibly the best manual focus SLR ever. (and I wouldn't swap for autofocus).

With OM10's so cheap, it seems daft not to grab one (or two) just to have around for the grandchildren etc.


Well-Known Member
Assuming that the OM10 is function to specs - yes. But keep in mind that the biggest problem with the OM pro cameras to begin with was and remains build quality. (Don't bother with the flames. :) ). When the Om1 came out UPI bought kits for all it's photographers in Washington, but quickly went back to Nikons because the damn couldn't begin to take professional beating. That doesn't mean that they won't hold up for decades if well cared for - I've had my OM4ti for almost 20 years, took it to Somalia, and it's still functioning well. BUT - given that the pro OM's aren't built all that solidly, consider what that says about the OM10 which, if I'm not mistaken, were not even built by Olympus.

But as to your box question - yes, all things being equal - a box is a box. :)