Olympus 35RC

Olympus 35RC

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Yes, dear, I know it seems to be exactly the same as the other ones, but if you look closely you’ll notice that the shutter speed selector is on TOP of the camera instead of on the lens barrel. Uh, yeah. And it’s a sharp five-element Zuiko lens. Mmmm, yeh. Oh, did I mention it’s cute?? No, huh? Well at least it doesn’t take up much space! Can I keep it PLEEEEZE?

Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I had this one recommended to me, and just when I’d swore off buying any more rangefinders — yes, again, keep your comments please — and, um, not counting the one already on its way in the mail, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find out what this was all about when I won it in auction for $14. Must have been the filter ring ding, no biggie IMO.

Usage – set the shutter speed on top of the camera and the aperture on the ridiculously narrow ring on the lens barrel. Set to A for Auto exposure (shutter priority) and OFF when not in use to save the battery and lock the shutter. Wind lever is not on top but integrated into the upper part of the camera, kind of cool. I’ve seen that style on a lot of little Petri compact rangefinders. Focal range is 3′ to infinity and the turning radius is short and sweet.

The lens on this camera is semi-legendary, tiny but sharp, 5 elements instead of the common 4 in this size lens, and fairly fast (f2.8) as well. I’ve even heard, more than once, that it’s sharper than the — possibly overrated — Canonet QL17 lens….


Light seals!

Tips & Tricks

In auto mode the shutter locks if there’s insufficient light, like a couple other rangefinders I could mention (notably the Canonet QL17). Don’t like that. I hate any feature that implies that the camera knows more than I do. At least let me take the shot!

When using flash, set the Guide Number of the flash on the lens barrel, switch the shutter selector to the lightning bolt and let the Flashmatic system figure out the rest. Marked choices are 32′, 65′, 130′ but between the marks are unmarked options 45′ and 90′. Or set the aperture manually according to the camera-to-subject distance. Good tip from the manual for fill flash: set the GN, then set to the lightning bolt, press the shutter halfway to get the aperture reading in the viewfinder, then set the aperture manually to the selected reading. Cool.

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