Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Spotlight: Olympus 35 RC

 A little over a week ago I went to a camera show and picked up an Olympus 35 RC. The 35 RC is a fantastic little camera that was made in 1970. It's a fixed lens, full frame 35mm rangefinder. Also, it's SMALL. The 35 RC, to my knowledge, is the smallest rangefinder camera with all manual controls in existence (The Olympus XA is smaller, but is aperture priority only).

Fits right in the palm of your hand...
The 35 RC runs just fine without batteries, but if you stick a mercury cell in it, you get a shutter priority mode. Woah! There's no metering in manual exposure mode, unfortunately. The lens is a 42mm Zuiko, with apertures ranging from f2.8 to f16. Shutter speeds range from 1/15th to 1/500th, plus Bulb. One really cool thing about the RC is that it has a full information viewfinder (both shutter speed and aperture settings are viewable with your eye to the finder). Not a lot of rangefinders from the time had this. In fact, Olympus's own flagship OM series cameras(At least through the OM-2) don't have full information viewfinders.

I found the 35 RC a lot of fun to use. The viewfinder is pretty bright, and the rangefinder is nice and contrasty for a camera in this price range. I really can't think of anything I dislike enough about this camera that's worth mentioning. Here are some shots that I took with my Olympus 35 RC:

Thanks very much for looking, and Merry Christmas!