Washington Square Tree

Olympus OM-1 with Fomapan Classic

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Earlier this year, I wrote about all my cameras and grouped them by how reliable they are with the implication that some cameras are better suited to frequent use. I also noted that some cameras are for more specialized situations.

Now that film prices are getting wildly expensive, especially for color film, I’m even more inclined to stick with my more reliable, every day cameras.

While I still had some rolls of film hanging around from before the big price jump, I broke out my Olympus OM-1 which I have had some issues with in the past. On a couple of occasions, the film popped out of its cartridge while advancing to the last frame. Other than that, I have enjoyed shooting with it and have not had that problem the majority of times I’ve used it.

Sometimes, I also had issues with the light meter not reading correctly. I’ve read that could be because the battery it is supposed to use is no longer available and the modern equivalent doesn’t have exactly the same voltage. Again, this is a problem that occurs only once in a while. When it does happen, it’s obvious and the metering needle jumps all over the place. My unscientific observation is that taking the battery out and putting it back in usually corrects the problem, at least for a while.

I was hoping to shoot a roll with satisfactory results which could have compelled me to upgrade my OM-1 to one of my more regular use cameras. Unfortunately, the results weren’t that great.

I shot a roll of Fomapan Classic 100 which I had never shot before. I bought it thinking it was the Fomapan Creative 200 which I have used before and liked. I’ve also used the Fomapan Action 400 with good results.

In many of the pictures, the highlights, especially skies, were really blown out. I was able to make some adjustments in Adobe Lightroom, but I’m still not all that pleased with most of the pictures. It’s a little hard to say what might have caused this. My first inclination was to blame the light meter, but the photos weren’t generally overexposed. If anything, the shadows were still a little dark. I was able to recover some details in the shadows in Lightroom.

I read one review from Casual Photophile that complained about the amount of contrast and expressed general disappointment with the film.

I went out on 3 occasions and used my Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 for the entire roll. One reason to keep trying the OM-1 is to use the Zuiko 50mm lens since it’s rather good.

The first few photos were from a Sunday afternoon walk in July. We ended up at a new-to-us restaurant, Fitz on 4th, for some drinks and snacks.

Flowerpot Head
Flowerpot Head

Later in the month, we took a walk to the Schuylkill River Trail, which is one of our favorite places to walk. I also had my Olympus XA with me, which I’ll post about later.

Boat on the Schuylkill
Boat on the Schuylkill

Since July was such an unpleasantly hot month, we didn’t get out for another good walk until late in August when we took a walk to our favorite stationery store, Omoi Zakka. I was able to finish the roll on that walk.

Building and Crane
Building and Crane
Washington Square Tree
Washington Square Tree

I have another roll of the Fomapan Creative. I’ll try it in one of my more reliable cameras and hope for more consistent results.

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