I’ve shot with the Olympus AF-10 for a number of years, so now I know the pros and cons of this budget point-and-shoot film camera!
The Olympus AF-10 (AKA the Olympus Infinity JR) is a compact 35mm point-and-shoot camera with a 35mm 3.5 autofocus lens. The Olympus AF-10 can be purchased in red or black and it has a sliding door which keeps the camera safe from the elements.
If you want to find out more about the Olympus AF-10, how to use it, what film is best for it and more, then read on!
Olympus AF-10 Specs
Lens – 35mm F 3.5
Minimum Focusing Distance – 0.7m
Shutter speeds – 1/45s – 1/360s
Format – 35mm
Batteries – 2X AAA or 1X CR123a (Takes either)
Focus – Autofocus
ISO Range – 50 – 1600 (Via DX code)
Size – 117 x 63 x 50mm
Weight – 210g
A Brief History Of The Olympus AF-10
Despite being a heavy hitter in the camera world, Olympus took a while to finally produce a good autofocus camera. They started off with the Olympus C-AF in 1981, which was a strange-looking camera which was only produced in Japan, it wasn’t so good.
In 1984, Olympus produced the AFL series and the Olympus Trip AF series, which were more successful but still incredibly basic in terms of autofocus.
It wasn’t until 1990 when Olympus finally produced the Olympus AF-10/AF-10 Super. After learning from past mistakes, they produced something that was pretty good, reasonably affordable and fairly weatherproof too!
What’s The Difference Between The Olympus AF-10 and AF-10 Super?
The difference between the Olympus AF-10 and AF-10 Super is that on the Olympus AF-10 flash is automatic whereas, on the AF-10 Super, you can choose between Auto, off and on.
There isn’t anything else different about these cameras!
Olympus AF-10 VS The Olympus MJU I
The Olympus AF-10 (Infinity Jr) and the Olympus MJU I (Stylus) have a lot of similarities, so it’s worth exploring these so you can see how they compare!
|Olympus AF-10||Olympus MJU I|
|AF||5-Zone Active IR||Active IR AF|
|Aperture||F 3.5||F 3.5|
|Shutter Speed||1/45 – 1/360||1/15-1/500|
|ISO Range||50 – 1600 (Via DX code)||DX 50-3200 ISO|
|Focus Distance||0.7m to Infinity||0.35m to Infinity|
There’s a fairly big difference in quality between the Olympus MJU I and the Olympus AF-10 and this is mainly in the AF. The Olympus AF-10 had just 5 focus steps and the Olympus MJU I had 100, this showed a massive gulf between the quality of these two point-and-shoots.
Also, the MJU I could focus a lot closer than the AF-10, at .35m as opposed to the .7m the AF-10 has on offer. Again, this is a significant difference. We all know the frustration of taking fun snaps on a night out and discovering that they’re all out of focus.
I’d say one of the handy things about the AF-10 in comparison to the MJU I is that you can use two different types of batteries in the AF-10, whereas the MJU I only takes one kind.
What About The Build?
I quite like the build of the Olympus AF-10, you can certainly see how it inspired the Olympus MJU I. The clamshell design is great for keeping your lens and viewfinder clean and free of scratches.
The AF-10 is a bit boxy, which makes it a bit bulkier than some of the more modern film cameras. While it is a bit bigger I’d still say it’s more compact than most film cameras of its time.
It’s not the most exciting camera but it serves a purpose and it keeps the camera in good condition.
A nice little addition is that when the sliding door is open, there’s effectively a grip for you on the front. It’s a nice little thing that adds to the usability of the AF-10.
How Much Should I Pay For The Olympus AF-10 (Infinity Jr)?
The AF-10 is worth around £60-90 ($70-100) these days although you can definitely find them for less if you take your time.
If you’re careful on eBay then you should be able to pick up one of these for £40 or so. The AF-10 Super shouldn’t really be any more or less as there isn’t much difference between them.
What Kind Of Photography Is The Olympus AF-10 Best For?
The Olympus AF-10 is best suited to day-to-day and nightlife photography. Due to its compact size and ease of use, it’s the ideal camera for somebody that just wants to document their life. The flash is always ready to go, the camera is safe from the elements and it’s nice and compact.
As you can see, the flash pretty much always produces red eye which is a really frustrating aspect. Apart from the flash, there isn’t too much to complain about apart from the pretty low-quality AF.
Personally, the reason why I really like this camera is that it’s so simple and it’s pretty much always ready to go. There’s nothing better than being able to pick up a camera and just shoot!
I’d use this camera if I was looking for a budget 35mm point-and-shoot that was durable, reliable, weatherproof and easy to use. And if I wanted to shoot day-to-day life, nightlife, festivals or anything along those lines.
I wouldn’t get this camera if I wanted really good quality film pictures, if I wanted to take portraits, landscape photography or anything remotely professional.
What Kind Of Film Should I Use With It?
This one is slightly complicated and that’s mainly due to the fact that the highest shutter speed for the Olympus AF-10 Is 1/360s. Due to this fact, if you use high ISO film with the AF-10 then it’s possible that your picture would be overexposed!
For this reason, I’d say the ideal film is something like Kodak Gold 200 or Colorplus. Of course, you can choose to use something faster like Kodak Ultramax 400 but I’d say that’s slightly riskier than a 200 ISO film. I certainly wouldn’t exceed 400 ISO, just to be safe!
How To Use The Olympus AF-10
Good news, using the Olympus AF-10 is really simple, so don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of this really easily!
To turn it on you simply have to slide the front door open to reveal the lens. Once you’ve done this, the camera will be on!
To take a picture you simply need to press the big button on the top. For the AF-10, the flash will go automatically, for the AF-10 Super you’ll have a switch to put the flash on or off.
For the self-timer, there’s a small button on the top middle, just press that.
To load film use the switch on the side to open the back of the camera. Then place your film cartridge into the back of the camera and pull the film across to the spool. Once you’ve done that, close the door and you should hear the film winding on. If you don’t think it’s wound on, open the back and check, you should see that the film has started to wind around the spool. If it hasn’t, try again!
Unloading film is completely automatic with this camera, you can’t manually rewind the film which is really annoying. So once you come to the end of your roll, the camera will automatically rewind itself. When it’s finished you can open the back up, don’t worry! There will be a small amount of film left out of the canister, that seems to happen with this camera.
How To Take Good Pictures With The AF-10
Taking good pictures with a point-and-shoot may seem easy, but it can be surprising how easy it can be to take a bad picture!
1) Keep People At Arm’s Length
Keeping people at least 0.7m distance will ensure that you’re more likely to get your pictures in focus! This is because the AF-10s closest focusing distance is 0.7m, so if your subject is closer than that, your picture will be out of focus!
2) Take Your Time
Sometimes the AF-10 may be using quite low shutter speeds, so you need to take your time to make sure that your pictures aren’t blurry! Just remember to hold your camera up, take your picture and keep your camera in that position and then you can move on. Take your time and you’ll always get better shots!
3) Think About Your Composition
Try to think about what you’re photographing, what you don’t have in the frame can be as important as what you do have in the frame! If you take your time to compose a picture then you’ll almost always get a far better image!
If you want to take amazing film photographs then you definitely want to read this article that I wrote just for you.
My Experience Of The Olympus AF-10
The Olympus AF-10 is a camera that I regularly suggest to friends. It’s nothing special but it does what a lot of people want it to do, it takes alright film pictures, it doesn’t cost much and it’s easy to use.
I even gave my girlfriend an AF-10 because I knew it’d be no hassle and it’d do what she wanted. She loves it and she takes it on every trip that we go on.
I’ve used the AF-10 too for a video, as I suggested it’s one of the better budget point-and-shoot cameras. I really like it. One of the biggest things for me is if a camera is always good to go, always ready to take a shot. For me, this ticks those boxes.
As mentioned before, there’s a lot that isn’t perfect about this camera but for a point-and-shoot that’s so cheap, you can’t really go wrong.