Prime as first lens for a beginner

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Richard B99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,275
Re: Prime as first lens for a beginner

Photodog2 wrote:

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions! Great group of people here at DPR forums.

To clarify, it is an OM10, the non-pro version of the classic OM1 that I am gifting her. A beautifully designed film camera. Arguably one of the prettiest of all time. I never used it or any other OM during the film days as my budget and interest in gear at that time was limited to compact 35mm cameras. Most of them were less expensive Olympus clamshell models with zoom lenses, not the famous XAs.

My niece expressed an interest in film cameras during a Skype conversation (she studies in Australia and I'm in the U.S.) and she keeps an active Instagram account with all the photos taken by whatever smartphone her parents have bought for her.

I decided on the OM10 because it is stylish and I know for my niece that is an important consideration. I think a big zoom lens ruins the aesthetics and a small prime keeps it looking at its best. But as some have pointed out a zoom lens might make her taste more success as a beginner and encourage her interest. She is used to the wide angle of smartphone cameras but pinch to zoom works well nowadays in good phones.

I have a nephew that I "converted" from smartphones to "real" cameras by gifting a Sony A3000 and zoom kit lens. Recently he has discovered the joy of adapting old lenses after I gave him 3 of my classic Minolta prime lenses. In return, he has become an expert in using Rawtherapee and sometimes coaches me on how to use it. This was a case when the versatility and convenience of a zoom lens I think helped encouraged his interest in ILCs. Well, I suppose if my niece finds a film camera and prime lens too inconvenient, I can always ask her to send it back and I would not mind to regain possession!

I’d beg to differ a bit on the OM10.  It was certainly an amateur derivative of the OM1 OM2 family.  My first an main SLR was an OM2n and I then added an OM1n and shot with them for many years with a a variety of Zuiko lenses.  They were beautifully designed and a true pleasure to photograph with.

However, I always thought the OM10 was a bit of a runt.  It was auto (aperture priority) only and to use manually you had to add a plug in dongle which was a nasty cludge.  Plus it lost a bit on the prism top design.  Not as  elegant as the 1/2.  Though the hot shoe was built in.

As a minimum the 10 needs the optional manual dongle.  Better get the real job, the OM2n that’s a real beauty.  Mine was going strong and working perfectly when I sold it after 25 years use.

(The Zuiko 50mm f1.8 was the standard kit lens back then.)

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