The Perfect Sunrise

by NULLZ

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A friend of mine gave me a beautiful OM-1 with some lenses. The only caveat is that I don't have any batteries for it. The camera takes mercury batteries. I was wondering if there are any options to replacing it or modifying it so I can take advantage of the built-in light meter.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's some warnings here about using different types of non-mercury replacement batteries. In this flickr thread, there are a few suggestions:

  • use the PX625 replacement battery from Wein -- this is designed as a drop-in replacement for the OM-1, and even says so on the packaging. Downsize: expensive.
  • get 1.3V hearing-aid batteries from the drug store; apparently they fit and work.
  • Use readily-available 1.5V lithium cells, but either learn to read the meter as off or trick the camera by setting the ISO down by two stops. (That is, if you're using ISO 100 film, set it to 25; if you're using ISO 400, set it to 100.)
  • Get an adapter which converts 1.5V to 1.35V, like this one from CRIS. (Somewhere around $40.)
  • This place will overhaul your OM-1 to take modern batteries.
share|improve this answer
add comment

I just dug out my old OM-1 recently and had the same problem. Here's the cheapest solution. I had some AG13 batteries I bought for VERY cheap a couple of years ago; 100 of them for not much, and I kept them in the fridge. Two days ago I put one of them in the OM-1 and folded a small bit of aluminum foil and stuffed it in on top of the battery and screwed on the cap. The meter worked!

Next, I did a test. Using the same target, at ISO-200 and 1/30th sec, the OM-1 meter centered at f 5.6.

Using the same settings and target, my Olympus OM-D E-M5 told me f 4.5. So about 1/2 f-stop difference. Not too shabby for 40 years' difference.

The AG13 is a very common item. Google "AG13 equivalent" and you'll find Energizer 357 and Duracell A76 and many more. Just drop in the battery flat side up, and fold a small piece of foil to take up the gap between the battery and the screw-cap, tight and flat enough that it can't shift and short out.

Then get a bulk order of AG13's like I did for MUCH cheaper. Maybe a few go bad and turn green around the edges after a year or two in the fridge. So what? Toss the ones that look bad, and get a decent battery tester that tests button batteries, and pack a few extras on a trip.

Surely you have a cheap or better modern digital camera you can use for similar tests? Try a bunch of the cheap batteries against tests on the same target with the digital, and look at the EXIF data compared to what works in the OM-1 without using film. Basically, the cheapo digital is working as an external light meter. Do that till you get confidence in your batteries before you use them on relatively expensive film, with it's attendant developing and printing costs. And may the Farce Bewitch you, aka good luck.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.