I've heard it said often enough in the past that a gentleman's equipment doesn't function quite so well as he gets older but I didn't think it was his camera gear they were talking about.
My Rollei SL66 is out of commission until I get someone to remove the small piece of metal I stupidly dropped behind the shutter curtain, the Leica M2 has a shutter that's only semi-functional and now my OM2 is doing an impression of a double stroke M3. That's three of my favourite cameras all needing some attention.
Thankfully, the Olympus is still working of a fashion. When I wind on, something is obviously slipping meaning that I have to do two sweeps of the film advance lever. Other than that, I haven't noticed any obvious problems as a result. I did wonder about frame spacing but it seems to be OK.
A quick look around the web revealed that it's not an uncommon issue. A photo-net discussion on much the same topic featured some input from John Hermanson, the respected Olympus repairer from www.zuiko.com. He told the poster that some new parts might be needed to sort out a similar-sounding problem but, since I paid £35 for the camera including a 35mm Zuiko, it's really not worth spending a lot of money getting it fixed. Encouragingly, John also said that using the winder or motor drive on the camera effectively bypasses the problem area so this sounds like the route I'll be going down (see above pic - it's happened already).
I'm hoping the problem isn't going to get any worse, especially after Monday night when I took what I think will be a nice pic. I was a bit cheesed off sitting at home for some reason so went for a wee drive in the Saab. We'd been out on Thursday for a day trip with my mum and I had a strange collection of equipment in the car.
There was the Hexar AF, the OM2 with the 50mm f2 Zuiko, a 35mm Zuiko (I wanted to do a couple of comparison shots to see how the Hexar's lens performed against the Zuiko) and a Tamron 300mm f5.6 SP and 2x SP converter.
I don't normally carry anything as long as a 300mm lens but we were heading into deepest Perthshire on Thursday and I know from past experience that there are sometimes spectacular distant mountain scenes to be found and I wanted to be able to reel them in. As it turned out, I didn't take a single photo.
I don't know about you but I get photographer's block whenever I'm out with other people and find it well nigh impossible to get into a creative mood. On my own it's as if a switch is thrown in my brain and I slip into a different mode altogether. It's almost Zen-like. In company, this change never happens and I hardly ever see anything as a result.
Anyway, back to the 300mm, etc. I was in the country just a few miles away and heading home having failed to catch the sun before it dipped behind some clouds near the horizon. I caught sight of a low level barn with a shiny roof catching the light from the sun as it tried its best to break through the clouds.
As I drove past I had a thought that the 300mm would probably be about perfect to frame the barn so I reversed the Saab and fitted the lens to the OM2. It looked promising in the viewfinder but I was only getting a speed of 1/125th and I didn't have my tripod with me. I tried using the driver's window as a support but the camera position was just a little too low and a few blurred blades of grass were distracting in the foreground.
If you've ever had an original Saab 900 then you'll know just how substantial the rear hatchback is. I raised it half-way up, sat the camera on it and it was as solid a support as I could have hoped for. I double-stroked my way to a few frames, bracketing the TMax 400 a couple of stops either side to give me a choice of negatives. It was one of those scenes where I couldn't make up my mind whether it would look better with the barn almost as a silhouette or with some detail in it.
I can't remember having ever used the Tamron lens with film although I've shot a few frames with it on the D700 in the past so I'm kind of excited to know how the Olympus shots will turn out. With only about half-a-dozen frames exposed on the roll, I'll need to be patient - and hope that I have a "stroke" of good luck when it comes to the film advance.