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Olympus OM-1 - 1972
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• First small full-frame 35mm SLR

• $390 with f1.8 lens in 1978 ($1304 in 2010 dollars)

The Olympus OM-1 really is amazingly small. Yet, the viewfinder image is so big that it seems like magic coming from so small a camera.

The OM-1 was designed by Yoshihisa Maitani, who also designed the Pen and XA. Coincidentally, I bought my OM-1 just days before the Maitani's death on 30-July-2009.

When Maitani started to plan for the OM-1, SLRs had gotten larger, heavier, and noisier. He loved his Leica and thought that it was about the right size for a 35mm SLR, even if no one else believed it was possible. The photo below shows how close an M3 and OM-1 are in size.

The OM-1, though, was no toy. It was a serious camera and part of a complete system.

As small as it was, the OM-1 wasn't the smallest full-frame SLR ever: That distinction belongs to the Pentax ME (also shown in this app).

Olympus OM-1Olympus OM-1Olympus OM-1's size was based on Leica M3Ad from Popular Photography, June 1973
Ad from Popular Photography, June 1973Ad from Popular Photography, June 1973Ad from Popular Photography, June 1973Ad from Popular Photography, Feb 1975
Ad from Popular Photography, Feb 1975Ad from Popular Photography, Aug. 1975Ad from Popular Photography, Aug. 1975OM-1 part of combined OM-1/OM-2/OM-10 brochure
OM-1 part of combined OM-1/OM-2/OM-10 brochureReview from Popular Photography, June 1973Review from Popular Photography, June 1973Review from Popular Photography, June 1973
Review from Popular Photography, June 1973Review from Modern Photography, Dec. 1980

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