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View Full Version : *My* New Toy - Olympus 35-S


bmattock
11-28-2003, 16:00
http://www.growlery.com/olympus_35-s/olympus_35-s_14.jpg

Howdy, folks!

Got home from North Carolina yesterday, found this waiting for me from eBoy. Looked to be in fine shape - some dust, some very minor pitting, and one of the rangefinder windows has a crack in it...ok, so not VERY fine shape, but FINE shape! It has a G. Zuiko 42mm f1.7 lens, same as the SP and RD and so on. Don't know if it the *same* lens, exactly, because this camera was made circa 1957 or so.

I was blown away by the overall quality of construction of this little beast. It is small and heavy - a bit larger than my Olympus 35 RC, but smaller than my (also arrived yesterday) Minolta Hi-Matic 9. It's got a feel to it like a fine machine. Rangefinder, despite the crack in the front, is clear and bright - and the patch does not flare out in bright sun (some of these old ones do). Rangefinder appeared to be dead-on accurate as well, but I decided to put it to the test last night - the wife and I went over to a family friend's for Thanksgiving dinner, and I took the camera and a roll of Kodak Portra 160NC.

For the flash pictures you'll see if you follow the link, I used a remanufactured Vivitar 16A Auto (hehe, also arrived yesterday) that I bought from Vivitar direct on eBoy for $5 or something. I got the recommendation for that flash here on Rangefinderforum.com (THANKS)! Interior shots were taken at 1/125 @ f5.6. Look sharp and clear to me.

I went out this morning to shoot up the rest of the roll. We live about a mile from the longest tramway in the world, the Albuquerque Tram. I drove up and got lucky, the tram was just coming in for a landing. These shots were taken at 1/125 @ f11 - f16.

Nothing fancy here, just some test shots, hope you like them. My main goal was to test the camera - I'm very pleased!



Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

http://www.growlery.com/olympus_35-s/

back alley
11-28-2003, 17:09
so what you're saying is that it wasn't like thanksgiving day but more like christmas day.
congrats on your new toys.
the camera looks good as do the photos.

joe

bmattock
11-28-2003, 18:02
Originally posted by backalley photo
so what you're saying is that it wasn't like thanksgiving day but more like christmas day.
congrats on your new toys.
the camera looks good as do the photos.

joe

Thanks! Yes, you could say it was like Christmas day, but you know, this collecting thing has been getting WAY out of hand! I go away for a week at a time, and when I return, three or four new cameras have made it to my doorstep. My wife is SO understanding! Christmas every dang Saturday...

Besides, I was lusting after rsilfverberg's new Olympus 35-LC, so I hadda do *something*! (grin)

Now, I have a question for anyone -- why is the Mamiya Super Deluxe so expensive on eBoy? There have been several of them recently that went for (relatively) big bucks...

Mamiya Super Deluxe eBoy Auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2967670198&category=15234)

I have to admit, it reminds me of the Olympus 35-LC - very 'space age' like an old AM radio. Ugly - but now I'm starting to think that the stupid thing is actually attractive! Agh, I don't know what's wrong with me...

Oh, by the way...Fedex came today...surprise...an Aires 35 IIIL. Something ELSE to clean and test...sigh.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

Rich Silfver
11-28-2003, 18:05
VERY nice photos. As big an Olympus 35 fan as I am I haven't ventured into the cameras from the 50's but is still 'living' in the 60's and early 70's.

I think the lens may be a little bit different than the 'later' G.Zuiko's that was introduced with the 35LC/LE (the 42/1.7 lens). Prior to that - and that includes the 35-S - the fastest G.Zuiko out there was 1.8 (which seems to be the one on your camera).

By the look of your camera it seems as if what you have is actually an Olympus 35-S II (still engraved just with 35-S) and would have been built between 1958-1959.

The version you have (there were several) has the fastest lens in the S-series and was also the most expensive version out there (back in 1959 you would have had to pay $91 for it (that translates to about $574 in 2003 :-)).

Congratulations!

Rich Silfver
11-28-2003, 18:15
Haven't looked into Mamiya rangefinder at all I must say... I'm still too busy with the Olympus cameras and setting up my site covering them all in obscene amounts of detials (and with photo examples from each camera...).

This site seems to list them all though: http://herron.50megs.com/rangefinder.htm

But..why would you want to settle for anything less than...ooolympus.... ;-)

bmattock
11-28-2003, 18:33
Originally posted by rsilfverberg
VERY nice photos. As big an Olympus 35 fan as I am I haven't ventured into the cameras from the 50's but is still 'living' in the 60's and early 70's.

Thank you, I'm glad you liked the photos! I have to say that it appears to me that the lens is as sharp as the Minolta Hi-Matic 7S that so surprised me a few weeks back, but it has a distinctly different 'flavor'. Comparing photos, it seems not to 'punch up' the colors quite so much. Could be me, I dunno...colorblind, ya know. But it's something I noticed.

It feels very different from my beloved 70's rangefinders. More solid, better made. Nothing against the classics from the 70's, but ya gotta admit, with the exception of the last Canonet, the RD and the SP, many of the 70's cameras are stamped-metal rattle-traps. Great pictures, and well-made by TODAY's lousy standards, but not up to the quality that went into them when machine work was milled and not stamped.

[i]I think the lens may be a little bit different than the 'later' G.Zuiko's that was introduced with the 35LC/LE (the 42/1.7 lens). Prior to that - and that includes the 35-S - the fastest G.Zuiko out there was 1.8 (which seems to be the one on your camera).[/B]

I looked again - you're right! It's a 1.8, not a 1.7. My eyes...getting older...ah well. I would like now to find an Olympus Wide 35, which looks the same but with a wider lens. They cost a bit on eBoy, though.

[i]By the look of your camera it seems as if what you have is actually an Olympus 35-S II (still engraved just with 35-S) and would have been built between 1958-1959.[/B]

I was wondering about that myself. I read the various descriptions out there over and over, seems a bit confusing.

[i]The version you have (there were several) has the fastest lens in the S-series and was also the most expensive version out there (back in 1959 you would have had to pay $91 for it (that translates to about $574 in 2003 :-)).

Well, here's the auction where I got it... I guess I got it at a good price, maybe? I try not to go over $20 or $25, but I really liked the looks of this one...

eBoy Olympus 35-S II Auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2962141808&category=15234&rd=1)

[QUOTE][i]Congratulations! [/B]

Thanks again for the kind words!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

bmattock
11-28-2003, 18:42
Originally posted by rsilfverberg
Haven't looked into Mamiya rangefinder at all I must say... I'm still too busy with the Olympus cameras and setting up my site covering them all in obscene amounts of detials (and with photo examples from each camera...).

This site seems to list them all though: http://herron.50megs.com/rangefinder.htm

But..why would you want to settle for anything less than...ooolympus.... ;-)

Ah, I love the Olys, really I do! I'm a True Believer! But I have the bug, bad! I have 2 RC's, 1 RD (in the shop being totally rebuilt, big bucks, dang it), 2 XA's, and an XA2 in addition to the new baby. I don't really want to spring for an SP or SPn, as much as I like them, and what else is there (well, besides your cool LC)?

I'm not a 'completist', I don't collect to collect - I shoot them all, and I want them to take good pictures, no automatic stuffage. I like all manual, or at least with the capability to shoot all manual. I like fast lenses...and so on.

So, I keep exploring. The camera that has my heart is not the best one out there - the Braun Super Paxette, of which I think I have 20 or so now. All of them have SOMETHING wrong with them...sigh.

I really love the Agfa Karat IV, but once you have all four lenses that were available for it, what else is there? Zeiss, same thing - only a couple of really good ones that aren't on everybody's radar already. The Konicas are fun, but so far, I've purchased three of them - ALL WITH STUCK SHUTTERS! I 'fixed' one, but it doesn't focus so good now...(grin).

Ricoh? I've got two Five One Nines and a rare (I think) 519M, but again, what else is there? The 500's are allegedly not so good, and the rest are pretty blah.

I'm starting to consider the ultra-small semi-auto thingies like the Minolta 7sII or the Konica C35 just to keep trying new things out, but then I consider that if the electronics are shot, the thing don't work. I've got four Yashica Electro 35's, only one of them works...

Ah well. I'm nuts. Ask anyone.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

back alley
11-28-2003, 19:17
oh bill i too lust after a minolta 7sll.
but the dang things go for too much money on the big e.
i'm on a budget and i have not had any luck bidding on them.
i have this dream of being at a garage sale and finding a mint one for 10 bucks!
whadya think? keep dreamin'???

joe

bmattock
11-28-2003, 19:38
Originally posted by backalley photo
oh bill i too lust after a minolta 7sll.
but the dang things go for too much money on the big e.
i'm on a budget and i have not had any luck bidding on them.
i have this dream of being at a garage sale and finding a mint one for 10 bucks!
whadya think? keep dreamin'???

joe

For those of us who can't (or won't) pay the cult-status premium for a fine fixed-lens classic camera, there are always the clones...

Is this a Minolta 7sII in sheep's clothing? Hmmm? (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2968402199&category=15234)

Frankly, I don't know...but hmmm...

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

PS - I will say this - from time to time, for whatever reason, things just happen on eBoy. I've been lucky a few times, maybe all the camera nuts were off fishing or something. A few months ago, a mint-in-box Canonet GIII QL-17 came up on eBoy for a buy-it-now price of $7.50. With the rare square lens hood. With the original flash, manual, and rotting never-ready case and bigger leather box thing. I bought it. I have it. I love it. Stuff happens, sometimes.

Rich Silfver
11-28-2003, 20:21
Originally posted by bmattock
Thank you, I'm glad you liked the photos! I have to say that it appears to me that the lens is as sharp as the Minolta Hi-Matic 7S that so surprised me a few weeks back, but it has a distinctly different 'flavor'. Comparing photos, it seems not to 'punch up' the colors quite so much. Could be me, I dunno...colorblind, ya know. But it's something I noticed.

I think this lens is not multi-coated like the later 1.7 lenses - but not 100% sure. May be that it is a bit more prone to flare in that case and that a lens hood may be a good investment :-)


Originally posted by bmattock
It feels very different from my beloved 70's rangefinders. More solid, better made. Nothing against the classics from the 70's, but ya gotta admit, with the exception of the last Canonet, the RD and the SP, many of the 70's cameras are stamped-metal rattle-traps. Great pictures, and well-made by TODAY's lousy standards, but not up to the quality that went into them when machine work was milled and not stamped.


I definetively agree but there are still a high number of quality compacts out there for you to get your hands on (I liked the look of some of those later Mamiya 35 range finders...hmm..

Rich Silfver
11-28-2003, 20:44
Originally posted by bmattock
Ah, I love the Olys, really I do! I'm a True Believer! But I have the bug, bad! I have 2 RC's, 1 RD (in the shop being totally rebuilt, big bucks, dang it), 2 XA's, and an XA2 in addition to the new baby. I don't really want to spring for an SP or SPn, as much as I like them, and what else is there (well, besides your cool LC)?


I'm waiting for my 20-something dollars LC to get here as well. Will see whichone I keep. May sell it to get olympus-dollars to get an LE as well even though it's a bit too automatic for my taste.

Also been eyeing some 127-format cameras....

Have you looked at the Werra or Werramatics? Those are FUN with great little Zeiss lenses. eBay Werra Example (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2967326740&category=4701) I love the look and feel of these little cameras (and the way your advance the film..is by turning the lens :-) )

Another great little camer (not that you need more camera suggestions) is the Agfa Isolette III - folding MF camera. Just make sure you get the one with the good lens and shutter ;-)

bmattock
11-28-2003, 21:24
Originally posted by rsilfverberg
I'm waiting for my 20-something dollars LC to get here as well. Will see whichone I keep. May sell it to get olympus-dollars to get an LE as well even though it's a bit too automatic for my taste.

Hmm, how about the 35 UC?

Also been eyeing some 127-format cameras....

Argh, don't get me started. Yes, I've looked. So far, I haven't done it. But some of the TLR's...gray baby, yashica, oooh, fun. And we know where we can get film, etc, eh? I've even given some thought to 126 cartridge or even (gasp) 110. I had a Pentax 110 once (actually, I had two of them, one was stolen, I evenually lost the other). It wasn't horrible. Got me through 6 years in the Marines.

Have you looked at the Werra or Werramatics? Those are FUN with great little Zeiss lenses. eBay Werra Example (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2967326740&category=4701) I love the look and feel of these little cameras (and the way your advance the film..is by turning the lens :-) ) /QUOTE]

Yep, I was thinn'in about those the other day. You must be reading my mind.

[QUOTE]Another great little camer (not that you need more camera suggestions) is the Agfa Isolette III - folding MF camera. Just make sure you get the one with the good lens and shutter ;-) [/B]

Ah, can't afford those III's. I have a couple of I's and some Zeiss Nettars as well. Fun! But my favorite 120 rangefinder is my Fujica G690. MONSTER!

I keep my eye on auctions by 'certo6' on eBoy. He has the good stuff in MF folders. Sometimes other things that are cool, too.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

back alley
11-28-2003, 21:39
just found this
http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/photo/cameras/vivitar_35es.html
thought you might be interested.

joe

Rich Silfver
11-28-2003, 21:42
Originally posted by bmattock
Hmm, how about the 35 UC?


The Olympus 35UC has exactly the same lens as the SP and SPn's. Some cosmetic changes compared to the SPn but the UC comes with a hefty collector-price-premium due to it being so rare.

Originally posted by bmattock
I've even given some thought to 126 cartridge or even (gasp) 110.


Oh..I've already taken the step over to the 126 cartridge land.... Check out the Kodak Instamatic 500 camera.. You'll love it.. Has a very nice Schneider lens...and produces traditional square images. Mmmm..square.... and the build quality..wonderful...

This one went for 8 dollars: Kodak Instamatic 500 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2964403092&category=4701)

On the topic of Werra's here's a good page about them..just to get you thinking about what you should write Santa about: Werra Site (http://home.planet.nl/~ucklomp/werramatic/)

bmattock
11-28-2003, 21:59
Originally posted by rsilfverberg
The Olympus 35UC has exactly the same lens as the SP and SPn's. Some cosmetic changes compared to the SPn but the UC comes with a hefty collector-price-premium due to it being so rare.


Yes, but sometimes I've noticed that others don't notice it like they do the SP, SPn, and RD's. One can sneak by, especially with the occasional BIN eBoy from a seller who knows no better...

Oh..I've already taken the step over to the 126 cartridge land.... Check out the Kodak Instamatic 500 camera.. You'll love it.. Has a very nice Schneider lens...and produces traditional square images. Mmmm..square.... and the build quality..wonderful...

You're a very, very, bad man. Wicked. How you tempt a girl!

On the topic of Werra's here's a good page about them..just to get you thinking about what you should write Santa about: Werra Site (http://home.planet.nl/~ucklomp/werramatic/)

Yes, yes, I'm getting close, you naughty man.

Just for that, I did this, just now:

Yashica Electro 35 CC (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2968433271&category=15234&rd=1)

And it's all your fault. It's gonna cost me a fortune to get it shipped from Australia.

And if you manage to tempt me into Instamatic land, I can snatch up all the unwanted Konica 261's and wasn't there a Kodak Retina in 126? An icky SLR to be sure, but I have some Retina lenses...

I'm sure you know about this...

Instamatic Central (http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~ifex534/cameras/cameras.html)

And the madness goes on and on...

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

bmattock
11-28-2003, 22:37
Originally posted by rsilfverberg
I'd happily pay $200 for a 35UC in great condition...

Aside from my late-night Yashica madness just now, I've been at least trying to keep costs down...more fun, cheaper cameras, but also a lot of junk (all 'mint' of course).

If I get to the point of paying $200 for a rangefinder, well, I think I'll be shopping for a Bessa R (which I also lust after), or perhaps a Canon 7 (or 7s or P, etc).

I'm sure I'll end up there, but like my watch collecting, I'm trying to keep the tone down for awhile...easier to justify in my mind somehow. I know I'm just delaying the inevitable.

But WOW that's a great looking CC. They're VERY hard to find in that condition. Nice wide 35mm lens as well. Hmm...maybe I want one of those as well... Hmm...

That's one of those that I had to mark as a favorite and then come back to later. I kept wondering what I was missing in the advert that was keeping smarter people than me from snapping it up. I re-read the ad over and over. Hmmm. Couldn't see the snag. Yep, gotta do it. Did it. Sigh. Now I gotta PAY for it.

Well it's 11:20pm My wife and dog are sleeping (I'm not allowed to call them 'my bitches' anymore - I was the only one who thought that was funny..) and one of them is snooring loudly. Think I'll pour a small glass of 18 year old Mcallan as I surf around for another hour or so...

I'm in MST, so it's later for me and I'm off to bed now. Sounds like some good Scotch, but wasted on my philistinian pallet - I'm a Bourbon man.

Oh the snoring one is the four-legged one :-)

We've got CATS that snore. Ug!

On Sunday, I'll be in Manhattan. Running around loose, with a VISA card. Bad mojo in the camera shops. I'm taking only an Olympus XA with me. More room to bring stuff back.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
Albuquerque, NM - g'night y'all!

Rich Silfver
11-28-2003, 22:41
There's a really old camera store in Manhattan that has a really good on-shelf collection of classic cameras....if I only could remember their name...

Doug
11-29-2003, 21:58
126's? I recall using and liking the Yashica EZ-Matic. Two models, at least, one with f/2.7 or so lens and the other faster, about f/1.9 I think.

An eBay search reveals several. This one has about 18 hours to go, and is just as I remember:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2966575169&category=15241

Three others offered, two of them said to be 35mm, but that's just not so. The last one doesn't even specify film format.

Is film still available?

Rich Silfver
11-29-2003, 22:05
Yes 126 film casettes are still available. Atleast one company (italian) is producing new film.
You can get them from several places on the internet - one being www.frugalphotographer.com