Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Olympus OM-1(n) - Instruction Manual - Part II


HTML Page (56k) Loading ...

Making Multiple Exposures Pictures

Should you wish to make more than one exposure on the same frame for reasons like special effect or artistic expression etc:
(1) First, turn the rewind knob slowly in the direction of the arrow until it stops to take off any slack in the film, then take the first exposure.
(2) Turn the rewind release lever counter-clockwise until the
red dot is opposite the "R".
(3) Hold both the rewind knob and rewind release lever firmly to prevent them from turning and transport the film advance lever, The shutter will then be cocked for the next exposure, without the film being advanced.
(4) Depress the shutter release button.
(5) After completing the multiple exposure, cover the lens with a lens cap, advance the film and shoot a blank frame to avoid overlapping.
You can make as many multiple exposures as you like by repeating the above procedure.

Caution: With each exposure on the same frame (the exposure counter adds one), the likelihood of slippage is increased. Practice is required in order to obtain proper results. If you are very fussy about it and think other camera brands may provide a better solutions to it, don't be. Virtually none of the manufacturers have provide a good solution until Nikon FM and FE (1978) introduced in 1977 which provide a more positive way with a dedicated multiple exposure lever for one-push operation - But that was almost 6 years after the OM-1's debut. Most of the SLRs prior to that do not provide comfort (Some don't even have the options) to a user in relation to multiple exposure operation.

Self-timer Operations The OM-1 camera has a rather over-sized self timer lever in proportion of the size of the camera body. The self-timer provides a method of taking delayed action pictures allowing you to get into your own photographs. Since it is mechanical, the lever can be estimated by rotating the angle to provide a few variable speed delay in operation. genrally as illustrated below, you can segment the timing as around 4 sec., 8 sec. or 12 sec. at full stroke to suit your needs.

To set the self-timer: (1) Rotate the self-timer lever counter-clockwise until it stops (approximately 180° ). Make sure the film has been advanced properly.

(2) Turn the start lever clockwise to the vertical position to activate the self-timer lever. The shutter will then be released in approximately 12 seconds. You can adjust the delay time between 4 and 12 seconds by adjusting the lever as shown above.

Stopping/Cancellation of the Self-Timer If you wish to stop the self-timer during its operation, turn the start lever counter-clockwise. To reactivate the timer, turn the start lever to the vertical position.

Note: You may set the self-timer lever either before or after advancing the film. Even after setting the lever. you can release the shutter by pressing the shutter release button. Caution: If the film has not been advanced fully the timer lever will stop halfway and the shutter will not fire.

Exposure Compensation Many new photographer may get confused of how the meter works. There is a neutral point where the sensitive meter cell used as a standard value. The neutral point in this case is 18% gray (Why ? most green surrounding are around that value if scene is read as black and white and unfortunatley, metering cell cannot read things as human eyes and thus render scene inside viewfinder as gray color). But in real life, many photographic situations are not as pefect and accurately interpreting as 18 % gray tone. Scenes such as object infront of a while wall or a girl dresses in black shot infront of a dark glass panel- all could fool the metering cell and caused undesirable results of either over or underexposure. In such special situations, you would need to do a little exposure compensation to bring reading back to 'normal'. This is called exposure compensation. For electronic cameras, it is coomon to find a exposure compensation dial or one touch activated button for such purpose. But for mechanical bodies such as OM-1, you can either change the aperture or shutter speed OR the most primitive way, altering the film speed setting to 'fool' the metering circuit.

When the most important area of the picture is much darker than the general picture area (blue sky, snow field, etc.), the meter will have a tendency to read the brightest part of the picture leaving the main subject under-exposed.

Alternatively, when taking a picture of a bright subject against a dark background (spotlighting, etc.), the meter has a tendency to read the darkest part of the picture leaving the main subject overexposed, In these situations, proper exposure compensation helps you take fine pictures.

<<-- White or brightly lit surrounding could easily fool camera metering and caused underexposure of the main subject. Note: With backlighting or side lighting it's always a good idea to use a lens hood to eliminate unwanted glare.

The exposure can be compensated by either adjusting the F stop or shutter speed. Which method you select is very much depend on the desire effect you wish the final image to present. Just remember, if priority is on depth of field, adjust shutter speed; on the other hand if freezing of the subject is important, then compensate it with f-stop. IF you DO NOT intend to see any of the preset settings be changed: You can still adjust compensation by shifting the ASA/ISO Film speed ring to fool the camera metering (Remember to set back to actual ASA after use). The exposure needle indicates over-exposure at the (+) side, or underexposure at the ( - ) side.

<<-- Dark or dimly lit surrounding could easily fool camera metering and caused Overexposure of the main subject. In such case, exposure compensation should be done by stopping the lens down to smaller aperture; setting higher shutter speed or adjust camera ASA film speed to higher setting to contain over exposure.

(1) Backlighting and Side-lighting To compensate, move in towards the subject until most of the subject image appears in the viewfinder and take your meter reading. After setting the exposure, return to your original shooting position to take the picture. If this procedure cannot be followed, you can obtain approximately the same results by simply opening your lens one full F stop over the indicated meter reading. (2) Strong front lighting and deep shadows To compensate, use the same procedure as outlined for backlighting.

You can also approximate the proper exposure by holding your position and closing the lens down one full F stop from the indicated meter reading.

Depth of Field (DOF) * Relative Article in this PIM Site

Depth of field is the area of acceptable sharpness in front of and behind the subject in focus. This depth is determined by the f-stop and the distance from the subject in focus to the film plane, As you get closer to your subject or as you open your lens (e.g. from F16 to F2.8) the depth of field becomes shallower.

shollowdof.jpg extenddof.jpg
By stopping your lens down (e.g. from F2.8 to F16) or getting farther away from your subject this zone of acceptable sharpness can be increased. Another factor in determining depth of field is the focal length of your lens. As a rule the shorter the focal length, the greater the zone of acceptable sharpness.

 Note: Shutter Speed, Aperture value, Exposure and Depth of field are essential components in forming an image and differentiate a good from ordinary photograph. Each element has their respective effect to a final image. It is very hard to improve your skill or knowledge in pursuing for better photography if these few elements are not handled well. IF you have just bought a used fine SLR body such as the OM-1 featured here in this site, click here to see if these few articles I prepared can help you understand them better.

Depth of Filed Scale & DOF Preview Button There are two common methods without the hassle to check the DOF scales from the tables that usually comes with the lens. Most common methods we used is to use the indications of engraved DOF scales on the lens or another more precise way is to use Depth of Field Preview button for visual confirmation. Olympus's Zuiko lenses generally has a very good and well illustrated DOF scale on their lenses. However, the Depth of Field preview button is very unusual as it is actually on the lens it self.

DOF Preview.jpg
Depth of Field (DOF) Scale: The double series of numbers engraved on the depth of field scale represents F stops: F4, F8 and F16, Once you have focused on your subject, all objects within the distance range indicated on the distance scale will have acceptable sharpness.

For example, in the above picture the camera-to subject distance is 3m (10ft) and the lens is set at F16: you will find that the depth of field is from 1.9m (6ft) to 7m (23ft),

Depth of Field Preview Button When you wish to see which objects fall within the acceptable zone of sharpness (depth of field), press the preview button on your lens. The open aperture method use by most manufacturers ensure a clear and bright viewfinder image (use the largest aperture of the lens in use) for focusing and picture composing. However, when the button is pressed, you will notice the viewfinder image will darken or dim down (The smaller the aperture used on your lens, the dimmer it will become). You will also notice the depth of field will increase as you stopped down the lens. This is especially useful in copy work, still life, close-up, scenic, travel or portraiture photography.

Infrared Photography The OM System lenses are provided with an infrared index mark engraved in red on the depth of field scale to the right of the reference dot. When shooting with infrared film,focus normally on your subject without the red filter on and read the subject distance on the distance scale.

Then, turn the focusing ring to the right until the distance reading is opposite the infrared index mark, Shoot with the red filter on, In the above picture the red index is set at infinity.

Please also take note, some lenses such as those using Extra-low dispersion glass does not provide such index mark as the use of such optical glass corrects the chromatic abberation to such level that no compensation is required for IR photography.

Interchangeable Focusing Screens One of the draw back of the OM system is the lack of interchangeable finder system. Instead, Olympus provides an equally pratical solution for the OM-1 (or equivalent grades of models) with a interchangeable focusing screens feature. The OM System interchangeable focusing screens provide you with the ultimate in focusing versatility because, it has one of the most comprehensive options offered among any manufacturers to cater for virtually any imaginable needs. It sets a standard for many rivaling SLR models to follow , its ease of use and user's interchangeability is high and needs not required the body to send back to factory technician to replace like those found on the Canon A-1. Nikon borrowed such idea for their electronic Nikon FE in 1978, but that only restricted to only three screens as compred with the awesome collection of 14 focusing screens in total designed for the OM system (Originally, there were 12).

FocusSRN.jpg Tweezer.jpg
Optional screens are available to suit virtually every picture-taking situation. The focusing screens come with a special tool.

To remove the focusing screen: a) Detach the camera lens from the camera body. b) Use the special tool to push up on the release catch underneath the top ledge of the mirror box. This allows the screen and screen frame to drop down. c) Remove the screen from inside the camera by gripping the tip of the screen with the tool. d) To install the screen, fit it into the frame and push the frame upward gently until it clicks into place. Gently shake the camera body to make sure the screen is held securely in place.

Caution: Although the above procedure can be done with fingers, it is recommended that you use the special twwezer supplied with each optional purchase. But I know it is a waste of time to ask you to do so because once you are accustomed to the changing procedure, you will not be interested following the right way of using the tool and will use finger instead. But just a reminder - Changing focusing screens is a procedure to be exercised with great care. Trying to change a screen with your fingers can result in fingerprints and costly damage to the surface of the screen, the prism, or the mirror.

Mirror Lock-up Operation To minimize camera vibration in close-ups, reproduction work, macrophotography, astrophotography and photomicrography, you can lock the instant return mirror in the up position to eliminate any possible mirror shock. For unknown reasons, Olympus decided to omit this useful from features list from OM-2 onwards. Anyway, I don't think the Zuiko lens was the main caused for such decision, as many older lenses such as those produced by Nikon would require the mirror lock up in order to mount those lenses which has the back turret protruding inside the mirror box. How important is Mirror Lock-Up to you ? If it does matter like your photography demand absolute stillness or motionless during an exposure process, the OM-1(n) remains as sole model within the OM series that still can find this feature.

To lock up the mirror, compose and focus on your subject and then turn the mirror lock-up lever counter-clockwise until it stops (approximately 90°). After shooting, always return the lockup lever to its original position. Caution: Do not carry the camera in direct sunlight with the mirror locked up. This can result in damage to the shutter curtains. Note: You can lock up them mirror before or after advancing the film.

Filmback Change.jpg
Interchangeable Film back The camera back of the OM-1 is fully interchangeable with the Recordata Back and 250 Film Back 1. To remove the camera back, push down on the release pin as shown. Do not remove the back unless necessary.

When a film back is released with the camera body, the hidden switch in the railing (arrow (1)) will trip a mechanism and reset the frame counter to "S". Depends on models, later camera models have direct data back terminal on the back of the camera and thus making cordless film back possible. Olympus has designed quite a number of databack for their SLR cameras. Early camera models would require external cords because there is no provision for databack terminal on the camera body and thus connection can only be done via the PC terminal. There are a total of 4 Recordata backs being developed since the OM system was introduced. Record Databack 1 was a little restrictive just as those designed by Canon and Pentaxes because it uses Dial and wheel system. It has two dials for selecting imprinted data onto film. The first dial can adjust numerals from 0-36, while dial number two can adjust numbers from 1-12, 75-84 which means it may not be usbale due to leap years. It would require a cable to connect the databack to the camera infront just like those found on the Nikon MF-12 Databack designed for Nikon FM, FE, FA and FM2(n). The Canon Databack MA can only use until year 1987 !

The next upgrade was the Record Databack 2. Strangely, it was identical in design as far as connection is concerned which means it also requires a cable to be hook on the camera from the databack. However, improvement is done on the input of data imprinting. The two wheels design has increased to four dials. the Dials 1 and 2 provide numeral adjustment from 0-36. Dial 3 can adjust number from 0-15 and 78-99, the year range has improved from earlier version's 84 to 99. The last wheel provides adjustment and imprinting data of 0-9 or A-Z. The next Recordata 3 was the first Film back in OM system to make use of LCD display. It comes with a real time clock built in, it can imprint either year/month/day format or the time in day/hours/minutes format. I would assume the OM-1n /OM2(n) were made available (with direct data back terminal built in at the back of the camera) and omit the neccesity of cable connection. However, it also comes with a sync cord so it can be used with earlier M-1, OM-1, OM-1
MD or OM-2. The only drawback is: it only provides imprint of year to 2009 (But that was generous enough as the year of introduction which came to around 20 odd years ago). The current version is Recordata Back 4. Like earlier model, it is also digital unit in LCD display. You can select either data imprint of in the form month/day/year, day/month/year, or year/month/day. It can also provide the choice of imprint in hours/minutes, a running frame number, or any six digit code that the user selects. For early OM users, Recordata Back 4 is not compatible since it uses an internal contact to get a sync signal from the camera body. I do not have any information of whether the original Recordata Back has upgraded to change the last year of imprinting to 2009.

| previous | Next | Part 3/6 - Instruction Manual

| Back | to Index Page of OM1(n)
| Back | to Main Index Page of OM1(n) & OM2(n)

Olympus OM-1(n): Main Index Page (5 Parts) | Camera Operations (6 Parts)
HTML | PDF | Main Reference Map: HTML | PDF (217k)
Olympus OM-2(n): Main Index Page (6 Parts) | Camera Operations (9 Parts)
HTML | PDF (48k) Main Reference Map: HTML | PDF (203k)
Olympus OM-2SP: Camera Operations | Other Issues
Specifications: HTML | PDF | Main Reference Map: HTML | PDF

Shared Resources: Supplementary articles: TTL Metering, Depth of Field, Shutter Speed & Aperture
Motor Drive and Power Winder: Main Index Page (4 Parts)
Motor Drive 1 | Motor Drive 2 | Winder 1 | Winder 2
Flash Photography:
Main Index Page (4 Parts)
T45 | T32 | T20 | F280 | S20 | Qucik AUTO 310 | QA300, 200, 200S
Main Index Page (3 Parts)
Macro Flash Units:
T10 Ring Flash, T28 Twin, T28 Single, T8 Ring Flash
Databack 1-4 | Screens | Finder Accessory | Remote | Cases

Zuiko Lenses: Construction is in progress..

Glossary of Photography
A good external source for
used Instruction Manuals for various OM SLRs and Accessories.

| Message Board | for your favourite Olympus OM-1(n) and OM-2(n) series SLR Camera models
| Message Board | for your Zuiko Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board |Specifically for Dispose or Looking for OM Photographic Equipment

MIR Logo
Home - Photography in Malaysia

Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

Maintainers for OM Site & Message Board: Mr. Rick Oleson <>; Mr. Bruce hamm <bhamm@magma,ca>; Mr. Simon Evans <>; Mark Dapoz <>;

Credit: My old time buddy, Ahmad Ikram, Dr of Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Malaysia who shares the same passion with me and also lending his OM-1n, OM-4 and the Motor Drive 1 to me for preparing some images in this site; Mark Dapoz <>for reminding some broken links; Mr Poon of Foto Poon, Ipoh, Mr Richard, Ampang Park, Mr Lim and Miss Jenny of Foto Edar for their generosity for their OM1(n), OM2n camera and some Zuiko lenses. Mr Hans van Veluwen for mistakenly using some content earlier from his OM website; J Sorensen for providing some useful images to rectify some technical "flaws"; Mr Gen Holst for helping during the early stages of development of this OM site; Mr KKLow for some of his earlier images on the OM-1appeared in this website; Miss Wati and Mirza for helping me to convert this Operation Manual into a HTML format. Mr MCLau for rectifying some mistakes made on the earlier preview sites. Site created 'unfortunately' again with a PowerMac. A personal tribute to the creator of the OM system and also a site dedicated to all the fans of Olympuses and Zuiko Optics worldwide. Some of the content and images appeared in this site were scanned from OM official marketing leaflets, brochures and instruction manual(s) for educational purposes. Olympus is a registered tradename of Olympus Optical Inc., Japan.