35mm · Film photography · Photography

Goodbye OM-1. Hello OM-1N.

My Olympus OM-1 camera has suffered an annoying fault for a while now. After firing the shutter the mirror will sometimes lock up. Advancing the film drops it back down but the shutter remains locked and the only way to release it is to advance the film a second time (which shouldn’t be possible with the OM-1). When this second stroke of the advance lever takes place the camera also fires the shutter. After this it can be used normally again for the next shot. The problem means that every other shot is wasted – or mostly wasted as the problem tended to be intermittent.

Fot no real reason at all, I decided to look at the camera again today (without a film in it) and discovered that the issue now occurs on ever shot taken. I like the OM-1 – it was the first SLR I bough when I got back into shooting film cameras again – so I decided it would be worth trying to get it fixed. As the person who I’ve used for repairs and CLAs in the past has now retired, I tried a local repair shop that I’ve heard works on analogue cameras.

Upon phoning the shop, the guy there was quick to tell me that the repair would be costly and that I’d be better off using digital cameras. Rather than slam the phone down in disgust (:)) I explained that I enjoy the experience of using film cameras and that I’m not unaware of the issues that come with using vintage gear. He then mentioned that he’d had a box of stuff come into the workshop, including an OM-1 camera, which he would let me have for £40 sold-as-seen. £40 is a good price for an OM-1 these days so I headed over to the shop to take a look, figuring I could always turn it down if it looked like it might not be working properly. As it turned out, the camera appeared to be working as expected, including the meter, and was in great cosmetic condition so, after chatting with the guy for a while, I headed home with the camera – an OM-1N to replace the OM-1.

The camera probably needs new seals fitting, and it’s missing the hotshoe. I’d though that I could just swap over the hotshoe from my OM-1 (they just screw on and off with a thumbwheel), but it wouldn’t fit and it turns out that the design must have been slightly revised between models. Still, I’ve not once used the hotshoe on the OM-1, so I won’t miss it, and I’m more bothered by the empty screwhole on the top of the camera than any loss of functionality.

The other difference is that this replacement is expecting the original 1.3v mercury battery to power the meter accurately, whereas my OM-1 had been converted to meter properly using readily available 1.5v batteries. This means that I’ll either have to get it converted, or adapt zinc-air hearing aid batteries instead (I could use Wein cells, but these are much more expensive than the hearing aid cells). It’s a bit of a faff, but nothing insurmountable though.

I’ll get the seals replaces when I get the chance and then take it out for a test run.

Today’s picture is from back in 2018, when I took my original OM-1 with me on holiday to Sorrento, Italy.

FILM - American bar

Olympus OM-1,  Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 & Kodak Ektar.

Taken on 24 August 2018

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Over the M1 and past a barn

This follows on directly from my post a couple of days ago about my walk over the fields near Aston. Another four photos from the middle(ish) section of the walk.

It was dry on the day of the walk and the ground was firm, but there were reminders of how the conditions can change when wet weather has occured, both in the shape of these tractor tracks, and also the signs of footprints in the dried surface of the footpath.

Dry ground

Across another field the path splits – turning right and heading south along the western edge of the mortorway, or left where I walked up an incline to the bridge across the M1. Just before crossing the bridge I made a photo of a farm track where it ran through a stand of trees.

Through the trees

Crossing the motorway in the crisp spring light, I made another picture, this time of the road heading north. A little further up is the junction where the M18 splits to take drivers north-east to Doncaster, Robin Hood Airport, and on to Goole. The M1 itself bends westwards to split the gap between Sheffield and Rotherham, crossing the River Don over Tinsley Viaduct close to the Meadowhall shopping mall, before turning back north to Barnsley, Wakefield and Leeds.

M1 North

After crossing the motorway, the footpath cut to the right and south towards a nearby farm. The farm had a large open-sided barn which made opportunity for another couple of pictures.

Open barn

I did make one final photo on this roll of Delta 100 a little further on where a line of poplars framed a nice wooden door and cottage. Sadly the film snapped while loading it onto the spiral and so that frame was lost.

I’ve more photos still to come from this walk, but they’re colour pictures so I’ll post them another day.

A big wooden barn
It’s sides open to the wind
Contents blown away?

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 | G-Zuiko Auto-W 28,, f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 5 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Down a lane and up to the wind farm

A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk along a previously unexplored path. The route took me from Aston, a village / district on the easternmost edge of Sheffield, north over the fields towards Penny Hill Wind Farm, then cuting to the east to cross the M1 motorway on a farm bridge. From there, back towards the south, across the M1 at the busy Junction 31 roundabout, and through Aston again to where I began.

There will be a number of photos to come from this walk in the next few days and I shot both black-and-white and colour images. Today’s post features a quartet of photos from the first half of the walk.

This first image is the lane from Aston down to a farm at the bottom of the dip. In the distance, at middle-left, one of the large wind turbines at Penny Hill can be seen peeking above the trees.

The first leg of the walk

Climbing the hill past the farm up to the top of the ridge brings the turbines into more prominence, as well as a mobile transmitter and another antenna of some sort over on the left of the frame – at night this one can be seen lit with red aircraft warning lights.

Skirting the field

Approaching the mobile tower, the turbines now take prominence along the top of the ridge, although they are still quite some distance away.


Heading east across the fields towards the nearby motorway, I turn and make a photo of the path along which I have walked.

The way I came

Out across the fields
Feeling the bite of the air
Crisp and cold and bright

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 | G-Zuiko Auto-W 28,, f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 5 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Miner’s strike graffiti

I used to live not too far from Orgreave when I was younger and still lived at home with my parents. Orgreave was the site of a coal mine and coking plant and was a location made infamous when, during the 1984-84 UK miner’s strike, it was the site of clashes betweek striking miners and police – an event that bacame known as the Battle of Orgreave.

Some of my friends witnessed the events that took place, watching from the vantage point of the railway bridge above where the clashes took place. I missed it all by dint of me being on a week-long school trip.

During the whole period of the miner’s strike, a variety of industial action took place across the coalfields of the UK, and graffiti appeared in support of the striking miners. So it was with some amazement to find a few weeks ago, while out for a walk with my dad, that some of the graffiti I remembered seeing back when I was a teenager is still present and highly legible.

If anyone could be said to be at the head of the conflicting sides during the dispute, then it would have to be Margaret Thatcher, then UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party – also known a The Tories – for the government, and Arthur Scargill, leader of the powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It is these opposing forces celebrated and denounced in graffiti form here.

I’m not sure what paint was used, but it has certainly stood the test of time!

Back when we were young
Youthful adventures happened
In places like this

Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 4 April 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A willow, a viaduct, and a train

Two photos of the same scene today. The first was made while I ummed-and-ahhed about whether to use a wider lens, only for the train to appear, so that clearly needed to be photographed while the opportunity was there. The second picture was made a minute later with the 50mm switched for the 28mm. I like both shots a lot, but the one with the train pips it, I think.

Distant viaduct
Brick-built arches framed by a
Willow in the field

A willow and a passing train
Without the train

Olympus OM-2N, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 | G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Over and under a flyover

Today’s post contains another of those photos that I am drawn to, but which other people probably think is rubbish.

So, if have to try and say what I like about it, it’ll probably be down to several factors: The contrast that the orange filter has given to the scene, particulalrly the clouds. The lead-in line of the fence, plus the tree framing the edge of the shot. The gate. The distant viaduct and pylon. And finally the car, which adds a hint of mystery.

If I have a complaint, it’s that I wish the top of the pylon hadn’t intersected with the bridge. I’m sure I framed it otherwise, but maybe I wobbled upon pressing the shutter.

Anyway, I like it.

Everyday scene
But something is attractive
And catches my eye

Over the flyover

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 25 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The last days of Beighton Station

I detailed the events on the day the signal box at Beighton Station was demolished in this post here: The end of an era. At that point I’d not developed the roll of film that I shot when recording the event. So, today, here are the pictures from the weekend of the demolition, plus a photo made a week or so later showing how it now looks.

The last days of Beighton Station
On the day before the demolition took place, fencing was erected around the area and the road had been closed to all but foot traffic and bicycles.
The last days of Beighton Station-2
There were a considerable number of contractors around, all in bright orange hi-vis clothing. Some from Network Rail, but also from a number of other companies involved in the work.
The last days of Beighton Station-3
The last days of Beighton Station-4
The following day, Sunday 15 March, the mesh fencing had been replaced by something more sturdy. As the work took several days to complete, these small cubicles were placed at either side of the tracks, presumably as shelter for overnight workers or security guards.
The last days of Beighton Station-5
A truck delivers the large metal skip into which the remains of the signal box would be loaded.
The last days of Beighton Station-6
Still intact, but only for a few seconds longer…
The last days of Beighton Station-7
Spectators and workers gather to see the event unfold.
The last days of Beighton Station-8
The demolition begins.
The last days of Beighton Station-9
Some people moved down the side of the signal box to get a better view.
The last days of Beighton Station-10
The roof has gone completely.
The last days of Beighton Station-11
The last days of Beighton Station-12
The claw does its work.
The last days of Beighton Station-13
The upper section has almost gone now.
The last days of Beighton Station-14
Still sheathed in plastic, the new warning signs await their work to begin.
The last days of Beighton Station-15
The upper part of the signal box has now gone completely. Work continued to remove the brick lower section and remove the frame from the building, but I didn’t stay to photograph that.

The last days of Beighton Station-16
And here’s how it looks now that work has been concluded. No signal box any more. There is apparently a radar-controlled system now in place to detect anyone on the crossing. The barriers cannot lower until it is clear.

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 20 / 21 & 25 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Return to the trig point

I walked past the trig point again a few weeks ago. It’s still surrounded by small stone tributes as it was last time I walked by almost a year ago. The weather was murky and misty on this occasion, contrasting with the bright sunshine seen in the earlier photos.

Trig stones

Today marked further relaxation of England’s lockdown rules. The main changes are that up to six people can now meet outdoors (including in private gardens), and also that organised outdoor sport is now permitted, including such things as tennis courts, golf courses, and outdoor swimming pools. I have little interest in any of those sporty things, but have taken the fact that people are allowed to drive to visit golf courses and the like as a good enough reason to venture a little further afield for my photography. I walk for miles usually, so that’ll count as sport to me. 🙂

So, this morning, after seeing one of the boys off to school I got my stuff together and headed out to the nearest bit of the Peak District. There were just a handful of other vehicles in the car park when I arrived, and I set off for a looping walk up to Over Owler Tor, then back down through Bolehills, before finally skirting the top edge of the woodland in Padley Gorge before returning to the car via Owler Tor (which, confusingly, is not the same place as Over Owler Tor).

On the ground

When I got back to the car park it was absolutely rammed with cars. It would seem that the new found freedoms bestowed upon us were being taken advantage of. I was somewhat surprised considering that it was a work day, but maybe other people had the same idea as myself and took a day off.

It was a nice feeling to go somewhere different, and I’m looking forward to further outings (especially from 12 April, when we’re allowed further right to travel – as long as the infection rate doesn’t start to rise anyway).

I’ll post the photos from today when I get them developed. As usual there will be my usual time-lag in this regard, so maybe next week sometime. 🙂

Freedom at long last
Well, partial freedom at least
Better than nothing

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 | Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 3 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Poles and pylons

A quick count shows that I have 32 posts in my blog that have been tagged with “power lines”. I would have expected it to be much higher than that as I feel that I post a lot of images of, or featuring, power lines, pylons, and similar things. It could be that some are untagged, or tagged with “pylon” and not “Power lines”, which might bump up the count a bit though.

Anyway, that counter will tick up another notch today as – you guessed it – it’s a photo of some power lines!

I like this one – theres a leading line from the foreground pole, across the field of grass and rushes, and over to the pylon. There’s a stray street-light in there too, photo-bombing his electricity-carrying buddies.

Powerlines again
A draw to my camera
Many times before


Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10mins @ 20°.

Taken on 3 March 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Further beach chalets

Another set of beach-chalet photos today, this time in black and white. Cery few of these were occupied on the day of my visit, which is not surprising given we are now into autumn (it was mid-september when these shots were taken). There were a few people still making use of them though, including a chap sat enjoying the sea air with three of his dogs – some picture of them to come shortly.


I have vague memories of us hiring one of the chalets (one of the ones with windows) when I was a young boy – possibly my parents and my grandparents were present on that occasion, although the recollection is vague.

Lucky number six

While the structures are pretty basic in design, they had power and water, so it was possible to make cups of tea and other refreshments, as well as being a useful shelter from the elements (whether hot sun or, this being the UK, pouring rain!) and somewhere to store the accutrements of a day at the beach without having to lug it around everywhere all day. They also had a set of curtains, so you had the luxury of being able to change out of wet, sandy swimming costumes and into dry, clean clothes without the risky maneouvering that would be required when attempting to do the same thing on the beach wrapped in just a towel!

They can look a little grim when photographed in monochrome in cloudy conditions, but when they’re all occupied by familys enjoying the warm sunshine in the height of the summer, they have a certain British charm. It always amazes me just how much chalets and beach huts can cost at some of the more up-market resorts around the country, where they can be priced at tens-of-thousands of pounds to buy outright!

Anchors away

Olympus OM-2n, G-Zuiko AUTO-W 28mm f/3.5 & Ilford Delta 400. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 8mins @ 20°.

Taken on 11 September 2020