Olympus 35 ED (1974 – 1978) Program Automatic Exposure control only

Olympus 35ED
Olympus 35ED

Olympus 35 ED

The Olympus 35ED was one of the last rangefinders to be made as single lens reflex cameras began to overtake rangefinders in the marketplace. It is programmed Automatic Exposure control only. There are no manual controls. This is something I don’t like. It means if you have flat batteries you can’t take a picture with the Olympus 35ED at all.

Specifications: Olympus 35 ED

Type: 35mm Rangefinder Film Camera

Lens: Olympus D-Zuiko 38 mm f2.8 Accepts 43.5mm filters which are difficult to get. The focus is from 0.9m to infinity. Marked in both feet and metres. The lens has 4 glass elements in 3 groups. The filter thread is Olympus 43.5 screw in type.

Viewfinder: Viewfinder combined with a rangefinder. Bright frame with no parallax correction. There is a square centre rangefinder spot. Magnification: 0.55x. When the shutter-release button is pressed halfway down a yellow light comes on to indicate the batteries are charged. This lights green in the Flashmatic setting. Otherwise, there are no other lights or indicators to show shutter speed or aperture.

Olympus 35 ED
The Olympus 35ED works with two cheap alkaline LR44W button cells placed in the same battery compartment. I used foil to fill the second compartment to make electrical contact. These are 1.55 volt but seem to provide correct exposure – at least with negative film. Shown are two of the old green ringed mercury batteries that are no longer available.

EE Mechanism: Built in exposure meter with CdS cell. Program Automatic Exposure control only. There are no manual controls on the Olympus 35 ED. The Flashmatic system enables the camera to adjust the lens aperture relative to distance for correct flash exposure. There is no indication from the camera as to which shutter speeds or apertures are being selected.

Film Speeds: ASA 25 to 800 / Adjustment on a ring at the front of the lens.

Battery: Originally 2 x 1.4v mercury batteries (which are no longer available). Mallory RM-640 according to the manual. Works with two cheap alkaline LR44W button cells placed in the same battery compartment. I used foil to fill the second compartment to make electrical contact. These are 1.55 volt but seem to provide correct exposure – at least with negative film.

Manual Control of Aperture: Not possible.

Shutter: Leaf Shutter. Speeds range from 4 seconds in dim light up to an unusually fast 1/800 of a second plus B. Automatically sets aperture, self-cocking combined film/shutter wind, and x synchronisation.
 
Type: Seiko-ESF B leaf shutter.
 
Self Timer: Yes. Runs for 10 seconds.
 
Flash Contact: an Accessory shoe with direct contact plus conventional flash socket.
Flash Auto Mechanism for other flash units

FlashMatic system. GN settings for 10, 20 and 40 metres. The automatic flash setting is determined by the flash unit depending on ASA of the film used. Flash sync at all speeds. A Flashmatic system with the setting ring on the lens barrel.

 Film Advance: Single stroke approx. 135 degrees.
 
Film Counter: Resets automatically.
 
The price in 1978 Australian dollars.
The Australian Photography Directory 1978-79 shows the new price of the Olympus 35ED to be A$187.48. By way of comparison, the same publication at that time listed the popular Olympus 35RC as the same price at A$187.48. The higher spec Olympus 35RD was priced at A231.61

More on the Olympus 35ED

Here is a short piece on the 35ED from My Camera Cabinet.

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