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Film Camera Review, Olympus AM-100 (QD) 35mm Zone Focus Compact Film Camera

A quick look at the Olympus AM-100, a 35mm zone focus compact film camera, nicknamed the Picasso Petit in Japan.

Well, here's another cutie from Olympus. Launched in 1987, the Olympus AM-100 (Infinity S in North America) is a clam-shell plastic-bodied 35mm zone focus(?) autoexposure film camera with an Olympus 35mm 1:3.5 lens with an aperture range from f/35 to f/22. The camera has a lot in common and shares the same lens as the very popular AF-10, except that it the lens is now a three-zone hyperfocus system pressure activated by two buttons on the left front of the camera.

The bottom button (press and hold) is used for close-up shots within a focus distance of 0.5 to 1 meter. At rest, the default focus distance of the lens is from 1.5 meters to infinity in normal daylight. The top button is used for infinity or landscape shots. You will need to get used to the press-and-hold technique to get the better of the camera.

Aside from the 3 elements in 3-groups 35mm 1:3,5 lens, the AM-100 is also specified with an active infrared autofocus system with a focusing distance from 0.65 meters to infinity, programmed automatic exposure control, 12-second delay electronic self-timer, automatic setting with DX-coded film at ISO 50, 100, 400, 800, and 1600, and automatic film loading and rewinding.

The camera is fitted with a 0.45X bright-frame viewfinder with a focus-lock indicator. The flash recycles in 2 seconds, and the power source for the camera is either a 3V CR123A Lithium battery or 2x AAA alkaline/manganese batteries. The option for the interchangeability of battery type is one advantage that the camera has.

The camera, aside from extolling its use for close-ups and infinity shots, is easy to operate and fun to use. Film loading is straightforward - open the film back, drop in the film canister, pull the film tab across to the red line across the film box to the red line, close the back and the film will load automatically to Frame 1. The film will rewind automatically at the end of the roll.

The squarish brick-bat-styled plastic-bodied camera weighs 210 grams without batteries. Its size may not make it too comfortable to carry the camera in your pants pocket. QD models use an additional CR2025 cell battery to power the QD display and options. The battery, which can last for more than a couple of years, is located behind the film pressure plate on the film back.

Camera Availability

The Olympus AM-100 is easily available on the auction market with prices that are occasionally at the low end of the spectrum.

A good opportunity for you to get one!

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