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OM40 review...27 years too late! :-)

Discussion in 'Olympus Chat' started by Oly_Man, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Oly_Man

    Oly_Man Well-Known Member

    I recently bought one of these babies non-functioning for the princely sum of £7 off eBay. I managed to fix it fairly easily and I have just received my first film back (200ISO Kodak).

    I deliberately stuck to using Program mode + ESP to see what it could do. I tried a fair range of mixed lighting conditions, including indoors bounced-flash with my T32, along with some outdoors shots with low winter sun.

    Must admit I'm mighty impressed. Other than some close-up flash shots which are too over-exposed, it's done brilliantly. I've since read that when using flash you're better switching the camera to Auto mode because the Program mode doesn't give you true OTF flash metering, so I'm not surprised my close-up flash shots are a bit poor.

    Sure the mirror mechanism is a bit clattery, typical of double-digit OMs, but on the whole I really rate this camera.
    Now all I've got to do is figure out what to do with it! :D
  2. Lost_In_France

    Lost_In_France Well-Known Member

    I would be interested to hear your longer-term impression of this model as I've been contemplating getting a body to complement my OM-1n. Certainly first impressions seem encouraging!
  3. Oly_Man

    Oly_Man Well-Known Member

    Mark I think the problem is the pro bodies are so cheap these days, other than the Ti models, that buying a camera from the amateur 'double digit' line is virtually pointless unless there's a particular feature which specifically attracts you, such as ESP metering (OM40) or primitive autofocus (OM30, and only then with one hard-to-find lens).

    Now that I seem to have got it functioning reliably I'm thinking of slapping it back on ebay to see if I can make a few quid on it, but any profit literally probably will be just a few quid, because no-one seems to want these cameras anymore, for the reasons above.

    One 'fault' on the OM40 which various internet threads warn about is excessive battery drain due to the camera having no true on/off switch. Some people are quite vitriolic about it and say that it was actually a contributing factor to their selling/binning the camera. My view is, although the battery-drain is annoying, if spending the price of a pint of beer or half a packet of fags every couple of months has such a destructive impact on their hobby...well they've probably got the wrong hobby for starters. (And you can always take out the batteries if you know you aren't going to use the camera for a while.)
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  4. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    If it's like the other OM cameras with reports of heavy battery drain, it's variable from example to example - some of them last quite well (months), others flatten a new set of batteries in a couple of days.

    One thing which is certain, if there is "half pressure" on the shutter button whilst the camera is stored, the batteries will be flat in hours.
  5. Oly_Man

    Oly_Man Well-Known Member

    An example which flattens batteries within a couple of days is obviously broken. I'd agree that's unacceptable.

    Seems that when the camera were new, the average drain was a couple of months. That's excessive, but not debilitatingly so as some people make out. Replacement batteries are cheaper to keep in reserve than a roll of film. I've just spent more on a burger and chips from KFC.

    Same goes with the OM-1 battery 'problem'. Seen loads of people on the 'net stressing over the fact that zinc/air mercury substitutes only seem to last about six weeks or so, or proportionately less of course if you use the camera a lot. But you can get a pack of six zinc/air 675ZA's from Boots for £4.07. That's what I use and they'll easy last me over six months. That seems cheap motoring to me?

    Absolutely right about the shutter button though on the '40, and probably every other OM except the 1 & 2. Naturally that will drain the batteries very quickly.
  6. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    I have owned a couple of 40's in the past, along with a 10, a 2 and my existing 1n, which i will never sell. The 40's metering was great imho and i agree with the comments regarding batteries. They didn't last that long but the cost of new ones was nevwr a huge problem and I always kept a few spare in my camera bag. I have a small problem to get fixed on my OM1n (film counter has packed in) and I will have it cleaned and serviced, and will keep it for the times when a return to film to satisfy my nostalgia for the good old days demands.
  7. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    This thing eats batteries, I'm not sure if I've ever changed the Batteries on my ME super and I've had that 4 years now, not used it much but still. I think it has a drain issue when not in use.

    As it's black and light weight it's my go to camera for street photography.

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