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Hi all! I just received a really clean Olympus 35SP.
WOW! what a great camera it is.
I am going to have to get the shutter serviced first (oil on blades).
But I am really looking forward to using it.
Will it meter OK with 1.5 volt batteries or do I need to get some zinc-oxide?
I've been using modern hearing aid batteries in mine; the meter is one stop off, but easily compensated for by adjusting the ISO dial on the side.
The lens really is pretty spectacular - I keep thinking I don't really need to keep mine (lots of other similar cameras), but when I think about the lens I can't bring myself to sell it. Lots of other good things about it too; the shutter is a bit agricultural compared to the rest of the camera, but it's a minor annoyance.
Congrats on the 35SP...its a great camera...I have one too and also the older 35-S...the lens is fantastic...super sharp and buttery smooth...
About the battery I found this on Andrew Yue's site...
As far as I know, the 1.35 volt mercury oxide battery cell that is used in the 35-SP is no longer being made. That's a shame, because mercury oxide cells, in addition to being long lived, have a very even and reliable discharge voltage that's a perfect match for these old CdS light cells. So, it may pay do a search for either the PX625 or PX13 button cells while there are few left somewhere. The more practical alternative is to try a zinc-air replacement for the mercury oxide cell. Wein Inc. markets a Zinc-air replacement cell that is a drop-in replacement, but has a limited life span once its seal is opened. I'm currently using a Z625PX zinc air from photobatteries dot com and it works well. In the humid climate where I live, they last about four to six months. With a little ingenuity a size 675 zinc-air hearing aid cell can be made to work for about a $1 a cell. The more permanent solution is to have light meter calibrated to accept a silver oxide battery cell. This usually can be done while having the camera cleaned, lubed and adjusted, CLA'd, at a reputable repair facility. Silver oxide cells are widely available, and provide a constant voltage over their life. However this voltage is about 1.55 volts, so you can't just drop one in and expect to have accurate exposures. In case you are considering the use of alkaline cells, be aware that their oultput voltage will decline significantly during use, resulting in an even wider range of inaccurate meter readings.
To the OP:
You can use an alkaline type of the 625 battery. Just set the ISO lower by one or two stops and check exposure with a known meter in a range of illumination, so you know that you have the right correction for ISO for your meter and camera.
The alkaline battery has a higher voltage than the original mercury 625 when fresh, that's why you have to correct with the ISO.
If you allow the alkaline to discharge, it is true that voltage drops. But an often unknown fact is that the SP takes very little current, less than 0.1 mA in typical operation, so you never really get to the low voltage part of the discharge curve unless you let your battery in for a very long time.
Discharge curves are meant for hearing-aid devices where current consumption is far higher than in the SP.
I'd recommend that you use alkaline 625 batteries, set a lower ISO, and change the alkaline once a year. It works well for me (I have used a SP for 7 years and am very happy with it, the lens is phenomenal).
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