Olympus 35 EC/ECR/EC2

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The Olympus-35 is a range of cameras produced by Japanese manufacturer Olympus starting in 1969.

Olympus-35 EC


The Olympus-35 EC is a electronic controlled 35mm compact camera introduced in 1969. [1]. It features a fixed Zuiko 42mm f/2.8 lens comprised of 5 elements in 4 groups. It takes 43.5mm filters. The electronic shutter is a Seiko ESF and is automatically controlled and cocked with the press of the shutter release. It has a range of 4 to 1/800 sec.

There is two indicator lights which can be somewhat confusing to the photographer, as their meanings are not apparent from the camera itself. There is a yellow light which appears on top of the camera as well as in the viewfinder. This acts as a battery check feature with a half press of the shutter release. It will also briefly light as a slow shutter warning when speeds are 4s to 1/30 of a sec. A blue light in the finder will appear when a flash is both A: detected by the shoe or PC socket and B: needed for the shot. The blue light will not emit if there is sufficient light.

A shutter lock lever is mounted on the face of the camera, looking something like a self-timer, so as to prevent unwanted exposures or meter readings. Locking it will prevent the batteries from being drained from accidental pressure on the shutter release.

The camera has both hot shoe and PC socket, and for flash photography, the shutter speed is automatically set to 1/20s. and the aperture is automatically set according to the distance. Guide number is set on one of two scales on a rotating ring on the lens barrel--one is for feet, and one is for meters. Both are given as ASA 80 guide numbers rather than the standard ASA 100 guide numbers--not a full stop's difference, so probably within tolerances. The guide number of a fixed-intensity flash is given for a certain film speed (normally 100 ASA) by an equation of correct F/stop multiplied by distance, such that by dividing it by the distance, one gets the required aperture for correct exposure at that film speed. or vice versa. Inputting the guide number lets the camera, which also "knows" the film speed and (approximate) distance to subject, choose the aperture automatically.

The exposure meter is based on a CdS cell. The film speed is set in a window on top of the camera by rotating a thumb-wheel on the back. The other exposure factors (shutter speed and aperture) are neither decided by nor known to the photographer, but are decided internally.

The camera uses a zone focus system with a range of 1m to inf. There are focus stops for 1m, 1.5m, 3m and inf. They are also represented in the viewfinder by iconography of a persons face, portrait, group and mountains. The film transport has a auto resetting counter, uses a manual thumb wheel for advancing the film, and a rewind crank is on the base of the camera. The exposure system and shutter is powered by 2 mercury PX640 batteries. (Four alkaline PX625a batteries will not do a horrible job of replacing these.)

Olympus-35 ECR

The Olympus-35 ECR is a rangefinder camera version of the Olympus-35 EC. It was introduced in 1972. It is based on the same body as the EC, but with a taller top housing to allow room for the rangefinder. The ASA settings are now moved to the front lens area instead of the top back plate. The CdS cell has also moved to the front of the lens, with the original position occupied by the window for the rangefinder, which is set in a translucent panel which illuminates the (fixed) bright lines of the finder, which feature parallax marks for closeup photography. The finder size is a 0.6 magnification instead of 0.7 of the EC.

While it still offers roughly no manual controls, and thus is well out of the same feature range as, say, the Canonet series, this camera can be a well-featured introduction to rangefinder photography with pleasantly easy focusing and very accessible and versatile flash capabilities.

Olympus-35 EC 2

Strangely a nearly identical model of the EC was released as the Olympus-35 EC 2. There is not any major noticeable changes from the EC as they share the same specifications. The flash light did change to a green color unlike the EC or ECR with blue lights.



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