What a little gem of a camera! First thing I noticed was the quality and craftsmanship, nothing less than I have on my beloved OM-1n that I've had for over 30 years. This camera has some 'glass' too, having a six element 40mm 1:1.7 F.Zuiko lens! I am able to use the 49mm skylight filter from my F.Zuiko Auto-S 50mm 1:1.8 om my OM-1n too. Made in 1971, it is basically the same as the 35RD from 1974, sharing the same rangefinder body and lens. This model though is fully automatic only with no manual override as on the RD.
I had been wanting a vintage Olympus rangefinder for quite some time, preferably a 35SP or a 35RD but those are fetching heavy prices. I saw this one as a "buy it now" for under $40 in "near mint condition". I looked it up on Camerapedia before bidding and it had quite a favorable write up, mentioning the same fast lens as the 35RD I wanted and I was sold. It is indeed in near as you can get to mint condition, even the original case looks like it was never out of the box. I didn't even really have to clean the camera up (but I did)
The metering is pretty cool and well advanced for the time. It is fully automatic featuring a needle in the viewfinder pointing to the correct exposure. As you press down on the shutter release button, the needle moves across the bottom of the viewfinder until it reaches the correct setting. As this is happening the aperture is closing to the proper setting, so if needed, you can point to the main subject of desire, hold down half way on the shutter release, then re frame the subject and it will keep the original selected exposure!
Also a nice feature is a "back light correction" button that, when held in as you squeeze the shutter button, it will automatically correct -1.5 EV for a subject with backlight such as snow, sun behind subject, standing in front of a window etc...
Took off the top plate, this was different as usual as this camera has a self timer knob protruding from the front of the top plate. I learned the hard way, the set screw is reverse thread, I almost over tightened it. The rangefinder optics are near impossible to get to as there is a circuit board and wires resting on top of the black dust cover. I wasn't about to mess with those. This is for the Hot Shoe contact. The hot shoe isn't hard wired but rather a contact making top plate removal easy with no hot shoe wire to worry about.
I replaced the light seals in the film box door. That was a chore as there is all foam seals on the door itself, not as usual down in the grooves. The pressure plate comes off easy to help get in there.
I cleaned the leatherette with Meguiar's Leather foam and used Windex and Q-Tips on the glass and chrome.
The older Zuiko lenses use an alphabetical designation for the number of elements in the lens. ie. F.Zuiko =6 elements, F is the sixth letter of the alphabet.
Here is a photo from this camera
MANUAL: Olympus 35DC owners manual
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