Olympus 35 EC

I think this camera is one of the best finds I have made so far. It is a fine looking camera originally released in 1969, really solidly built and lovely to hold. Mine seems to be in great condition.

At first I thought it was broken as the shutter fired but the aperture fans did not move. I thought they might be stuck. The shutter button also seemed sticky. I didn’t give up and thought I would try replacing the batteries first. Wow, I have never seen this type of battery before RM640, they are huge looking beasts. Luckily I found that these mercury based ones could be replaced by with PX640 alkaline, so I ordered some on eBay. A week later they arrived and I was away. The battery compartment was clean, but I still had to find the ‘sweet spot’ of placement in order for the orange battery check button to light up. It was a great feeling when it actually did. This light also acts as a low light warning. I have since found other ways to work around the battery issue, such as this thread.

The Olympus 35 EC is fully automatic, you can only control the zoned focusing. The viewfinder has a zone diagram so it is easy to remember to switch depending on the distance of the subject. The speed is then set by the camera. I took mine for a walk around a local museum and then to Tokyo after loading it with Fuji Acros 100.

I was so surprise by the quality of the shots. They were all exposed correctly and I know the low light warning had come on at times. They were all focused correctly, so my zoning skills have improved. The shutter button was still sticky and it seemed to make a weird noise, but everything turned out great. I actually got quite despondent on the walk as I had wanted to go to a camera museum, which turned out to be closed. Then I was walking around with a camera I had no faith in, plus the weather was deteriorating. I have done that before, assumed a camera wasn’t working. I should have more faith in my choices.

So, sell or keep? I have an Olympus DC, but this one is so nice that I am tempted to keep it. I have made an eBay draft…but I haven’t posted it yet. I will ponder on it a little longer.


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