Purchased for around £50 complete with a Miranda 28-70mm zoom lens, I never loved the Olympus OM10 and by the time we parted company I doubt it was all that fond of me. The camera looks like metal but is mostly plastic and it nagged at me that it was at the consumer end of the line and not one of the classic Olympus SLR bodies like the OM1. On top of that I didn’t like that you needed a separate attachment to control the shutter speed and shoot in full manual mode. The OM10 immediately seemed like a fraud but this was my initiation to film photography and I still had high hopes for the results.
I shot three rolls in our first and only summer together. The first was Kodak ColorPlus 200 using the Miranda lens which I found dark and almost impossible to focus irrespective of the conditions. The pictures were soft and mostly underexposed but viewed kindly and following the passing of time have a charm that comes from analogue photography like they belong to the summer of 1976 not the summer of 2016
The unloved Miranda lens was immediately replaced with a more respectable Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.8. Unfortunately, the kit had improved but the results never did. My next roll was Ilford XP2 shot on a bright summer’s day at the beach in Woolacombe. Using the default aperture priority mode with the lens close to wide open I completely overlooked that the camera was at the maximum shutter speed, and I was overexposing every shot.
I was now two rolls into my film photography experiment, and it was a dead heat between underexposure and overexposure. Despite the disappointments I gave the OM10 one more chance this time with a roll of Kodak Portra 400. Investing in a premium film stock seemed like a good way to bring about an improvement in results and put my previous mistakes behind me. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. At the end of the role, I attempted to rewind the film without turning the release lever on the front of the camera body. Once the tension on the rewind crank became too much the role snapped. Without a dark bag I opened the back of the camera to investigate and ruined anything which might have been salvaged.
Having tried two lenses and three different film stocks it was the OM10 which had to take the rap for this latest failure, and I sold the camera for about the same price I paid. To share the blame amongst my tools I never shot a roll of ColorPlus or XP2 again either.
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