Olympus 35 RC Rangefinder review


There are several cameras I can take with me travelling – they are all good image makers, some digital, most film. I have a choice between 35mm or medium format. The MFs are too large to take far, except the wonderful little Perkeo from Voigtlander which shoots 120 film producing a 6x6 image. But on this trip I decided on my Olympus 35RC for 3 reasons – 1) it is very small - 109mm long x 70mm high x 50mm thick only weighing 410 grams, so easy to carry all day.  2) It has a great lens - 42mm F2.8 E Zuiko 5 element considered a normal lens for 35mm format, and 3) shooting is foolproof with no blown out pictures to discover when you get home. Shutter speeds range from Bulb for those loooong exposures to 1/500 for bright sun. Aperture range F2.8 - F22. Film speeds from ASA 25 - 800, so plenty of scope there. Shutter priority In auto mode, with an appropriate shutter speed selected, the RC selects the corresponding aperture to correctly expose the frame, so shoot away, but if the RC can’t select an aperture to suit your shutter speed choice then the shutter locks.  Remarkably for a camera at this price point the photographer selected shutter speed and camera selected aperture are clearly displayed in the viewfinder. Everything just works with the RC – no fiddly buttons or knobs to adjust, only the rangefinder focus which is quick and easy. Depending what your image target is, the focus can be pre adjusted to suit street shooting or landscape infinity. Especially useful on the street where the image possibility can evaporate fast.  The only slight bugbear with the RC is the positioning of the aperture ring. Quite thin and right next to the body. Hard to grip but no problem if you’re in ‘A’ mode.  Even if you’re shooting full manual, usually aperture is not adjusted for each and every shot, so only a small niggle for an otherwise great and faultless travel camera. The RC is well built , being all metal with my only concern being the film winder which operates via a slot on the back of the top plate. An easy place for dust/dirt to enter so not the ideal camera for really dusty conditions. Uses an MRB 625 1.35V zinc/air Wein cell battery which we carry in stock at all times and supply a new battery with the camera. Take a look at the Olympus 35 RC which we have available right now.

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