PDA

View Full Version : Olympus 35 EC Reloaded


shadowfox
01-18-2007, 22:34
Last week I won an auction of 4 cameras from the bay: Ricoh 500 G, Konica C35 (black), Oly 35 ECR and EC.

The ECR is the one I was seeking, being a true rangefinder.
But unfortunately, it turns out to be a dud.
The famous Olympus "smooth-as-butter" thumb wheel won't budge even one millimeter. The shutter release is of course stuck, and the battery bays are visibly cleaned after heavy corrosion, so I don't know what to do with it (suggestions are welcome). Camtech charges $79-99 for a CLA :eek:

The rest of this post is about the EC. As for the Ricoh and Konica, I'll save them for another post. :p

If you haven't read it, and you're thinking of getting an ECR or EC or EC2, you owe it to yourself to read Bill Mattocks review of the EC, ECR. It's right here (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=291195&postcount=1).

I know that Bill no longer lurks in the RFF hallways, but no matter, the review is probably one of the best. Thank you Bill, you rock!

Especially his genius approach to overcome the pesky battery problem. Because I am *not* about to spend another $30 (times 2) for a darn adapter, nor do I think that buying a $5 (times 2) alkaline is a good solution in the long run.

Ok, back to the EC. The thumb wheel operates smoothly, it rotates the sprocket inside the camera, so I was relieved. However no battery, no shutter check.

So I pessimistically followed Bill's instruction and crumpled a wad of aluminium foil into one of the bay, and stuffed 2 SR44 batteries in the other. No dice, the battery test light didn't light up when I half press the shutter. Neither does the shutter opened (it just kinda jerked a bit).:bang:

Dissapointed, but quite resigned, I reopened the battery cover thinking that I may need some more foil to create a stronger contact. Then I noticed something, the two battery bay has + and - sign at the bottom respectively, they are not equal. So, just for fun I switched the SR44 into the + bay (flipped them so the flat side touches the contact at the bottom of the bay), and the crumpled foil into the - bay.

Voila! the battery test light lit up orange immediately (solid, not flickering) when I hold the shutter release at half.

Quite elated at this point, I opened the back door and verified that the shutter indeed opens and closes properly. Pointed at darkness, the shutter opens visibly longer then when I pointed it at a light source.

Needless to say, I am happy as a clam!

PS: Camera fashion shots and first test roll will follow...:D

Trius
01-19-2007, 04:22
Cool! I'd say strip the ECR and have some fun. :D

clintock
01-19-2007, 07:49
I've got working examples of both the ecr and ec and I like the ec better.. The asa dial on top is key, and those in-finder icons are so cute.
Focusing is overrated, for a 38mm f2.8 lens anyway..
Be aware the ec wanted mercury batts so the exposure is off when using silvers.
The good news is that since the circuit used two cells in series, the needed drop is twice what a single mercury cell camera would require, so you can use any old common silicone diode as the drop, instead of having to search for a schottkey type.
I used a 1n4002, for example..

shadowfox
01-19-2007, 09:25
I've got working examples of both the ecr and ec and I like the ec better.. The asa dial on top is key, and those in-finder icons are so cute.

riiiight, i love the asa dial on top instead of those darn on the lens dials that when stuck it'll break your finger trying to rotate it.

I have a long way to go using zone focusing though, I just needed more practice than others when it comes to guess distance and size... :confused: but I can see now that once mastered, it's even faster than rangefinder focussing especially for street-photography.

Be aware the ec wanted mercury batts so the exposure is off when using silvers.
The good news is that since the circuit used two cells in series, the needed drop is twice what a single mercury cell camera would require, so you can use any old common silicone diode as the drop, instead of having to search for a schottkey type.
I used a 1n4002, for example..

... eh, what you said sounded very interesting and important, if only I can follow it. To give you context, I *brag* about following Bill's dead simple instructions, that's how pathetic I am when it comes to electronics and mechanic stuff :o

can you help me out slowly...? what do you mean by "drop"? you mean I don't have to use my wife's aluminium foil? how do I use the silicone diode? I mean placement and positioning-wise.

shadowfox
01-19-2007, 09:27
Cool! I'd say strip the ECR and have some fun. :D

Don't tempt me! you know I have 10 thumbs (barely opposable :) )

clintock
01-19-2007, 09:38
Sorry to go into analog geek speak with such abandon..
By drop, I mean voltage drop, so the output of the silver cells will closely match the voltage the meter expects, from the old mercury cells. A diode differs from a resistor in that the voltage drop across the semiconductor junction inside of it is less dependent on the current- a resistor's voltage drop is directly proportional to the current.

Long story short, you get the plastic battery tub out, cut a wire and put the diode in the wire.. I'm embarassed to have gathered probaby half a dozen ec and ec2 by now and I've only done the mod to one. It seems I can only use one at a time!?
The mod I do is too hard to describe without pictures, and my workbench is covered with household electrical and plumbing crap right now, so this is a motivation to get that cleaned up so I can post a procedure..
My way uses four silver cells, two sets of two in parallel.. No aluminum foil, but some soldering and wiring.. for the wiring and soldering pictures will help..

Another popular method that does not require any mod other than the foil is the hearing aid batteries- cheap in multi packs, zinc air cells closely match the voltage of the old mercury cells.. You can read about the pros and cons of the zinc air cells-
Once you turn them on by peeling the tape off, they only last a couple of months, but you can put the tape back on when you put the camera away and the cells will keep longer.

Oh i've got a parts ecr floating around, so if you want yours fixed, i may be able to help..

Trius
01-19-2007, 10:37
Clint: You are scaring Shadowfox to death. I think Stephen will step in any time now with new rules about scaring the inmates beyond what their meds will accommodate.

shadowfox
01-19-2007, 11:01
Trius, one of these days... I'll visit the Northeast and I'll make the point to meet you in person. Gene's right, you are a hoot :)

Trius
01-19-2007, 16:02
:D In real life I'm too shy to go out.

shadowfox
01-22-2007, 08:12
Hey, hey, whaddya know, the test roll went not too badly. This little EC reminds me again why I like Olympus so much. I think I like the colors and bokeh even better than the comparable Konica C35 (later I realized that the EC has 5-element Zuiko, and the C35 has 4-element Hexanon).

Here's a link to the Flickr set (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mastaka/sets/72157594493164835/)

and here's my favorite of the bunch:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/160/365444671_83651537e9.jpg

zuikologist
01-22-2007, 09:05
Very nice shots. It looks like you got a good camera there. It is always surprisig what such a "humble" camera can do.

like2fiddle
01-22-2007, 09:19
And to think, I've had one listed in the classifieds since December. It does need a little work however.

Clintock, I just PM'd you about that. I think I want to keep it now.

shadowfox
01-22-2007, 10:16
Very nice shots. It looks like you got a good camera there. It is always surprisig what such a "humble" camera can do.

Thank you! I learned to respect these "humble" cameras, as they produces pictures that has characteristics that I've yet to see from a digital camera.

shadowfox
01-22-2007, 10:20
Clintock, I just PM'd you about that. I think I want to keep it now.

Good for you!!! don't sell it, although I've yet to get accustomed to zone-focusing, I already know that this one will be one killer street-shooting camera. I can't wait until its rangefinder brother the ECR got fixed.

Anyone know from experience the difference between the EC and the EC 2?

clintock
01-22-2007, 12:26
Thank you! I learned to respect these "humble" cameras, as they produces pictures that has characteristics that I've yet to see from a digital camera.

Another cool thing when comparing these to a digital- is that despite having no zoom, you can crop with a negative or slide from one of these little gems and often get better results than you could with an optically zoomed digital compact.
How? The little bitty compacts have often 2.8f lenses when zoomed back to 38 equivelent field of view, but when zoomed they slow down to like f5.8 or something, so the shutter either has to stay open longer, or the auto-iso deal kicks in, and with these teeny 8mp sensors, the noise is huge past ISO 50 or so. The shake made worse by the low mass of the camera and long focal length. Not to mention the arms length bad holding style for these poor digitals with no viewfinder at all.

Thus the digital is either making a 110mm equiv F5.8 shot at 1/60 second, and the shake whacks the pic, or at a faster shutter speed and the sensor noise kicks in..
Sort of leveling the playing field for the shot made on 400 speed Ultra Color at f2.8 and 1/250 to be safely cropped to a 110mm equivelent on the negative..
SO you do have zoom, just gotta do it on the computer screen (or enlarger)..

like2fiddle
01-22-2007, 12:31
I can't wait to dig into mine and get it going again. Thanks for your help Clint.

stawastawa
04-10-2017, 15:23
I just went about trying to get an ec working.

I think I have it working, I will develope the roll and let folks know in some days.

I put a wad of tin foil in the '-' battery cell.
I put a few strips of card stock around the '+' cell. I placed 2 fresh LR44 batteries in the '+' cell. note that the LR44 cells are a bit short, so I added strips of aluminum foil above and below the cells.

I noticed some corrosion around the battery door... recommendations for how to clean and with what?
Oh, and my light is not lighting up. but the shutter is working... strange.