Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Olympus 35RC - A Reliable Camera

There are not too many small rangefinder cameras  that I have kept over the years.  I have fallen in and out of love with Canon QL-17s, Yashicas, Argus C4s, Zorkis, Retina IIas, Minoltas, and the Konica Auto S2.  None of them have had the reliability and compact size of my Olympus 35RC.  This camera was traded to me in 2006 by Ross Orr, for a M39 lens that I had.  Over the years, it has been used sporadically, but every time I use it, I have been pleased with the results, and the reliability of this shutter-priority  as well as fully manual compact rangefinder camera.  Perhaps the best review of this camera is on the Cameraquest website.  I am sure that my reading it long ago had me wanting one immediately.  If that isn't enough to interest you, this page is also very informative.

In March, I had the opportunity to travel to Yale University for a workshop.  I didn't want to bring a lot of gear with me, so I brought this camera, my Nikon 1J1, and a Yashica A TLR.  The Oly distinguished itself by taking excellent exposures in all situations, and when I felt I should override the meter and shoot manually, it was never a problem.  The camera isn't large, but it's also not so tiny as a Rollei 35,or an Olympus XA. The 42mm focal length is just fine, and the largest aperture of f/2.8 is not limiting for the kind of photography I do.  The top-mounted shutter speed dial is also well-placed. In short, a well-designed, fairly simple camera that does the job.    I'm going to have to remember to keep this camera in my backpack for everyday use.

Some color shots from expired Agfa 200 film:

Some shots from a roll of Kodak Tri-X

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