View Full Version : Oly 35, Pandora's box

04-12-2007, 18:26
I'm throwing myself onto the mercy of all who should read this and state I cannot perform a simple function with a camera I recently aquired.
I have an old Olympus 35 rangefinder from about 1950. It's built like a very attractive tank, but I cannot seem to open the back. A large dial on bottom of camera with "S" and "O" seems to logically have a say in how to open the back, but to no avail. I'm fearful of trying to force it, becasue even tanks break once in a while.
So, does anyone know the secret hand-shake to get this open? Is it "O" (Open) or "S" (Seriously,open!). Thanks.

(revision to original message, now have photos attached showing the dial. Excuse the mirror image of the camera top, I was trying to get everything in one shot)


04-12-2007, 18:59
Can you post a pic of the camera?

04-12-2007, 19:09
Good idea, and obvious. I'll work on getting a photo of my puzzle attached. Thanx.


04-13-2007, 06:46
Hmm, this seemed to be the earlier 35 Model, maybe Model I up to IV.

I have the Model V of this series and the way you open the back is by lifting up a metal latch on the right side of the camera (if you hold it like you'd take a picture).

The latch runs the length of the side of the camera, you can't miss it.
Fit your fingernail into the latch and lift up, sometimes it gummed up so it may take a bit of force.

If my direction is confusing, post pictures of the side of the camera, then I can tell for sure if it is what I think it is. It may not be, Olympus may decide to switch the back opening mechanism within the series.

04-13-2007, 19:35
Thanx for the info, while the model I have does not have the lever you are talking about, it at least points me to the right side of the camera. I still cant get it open, but the right side of the cover "gives" a little more than the left thereby suggesting it opens from the right, so I'll focus on this. This apparantly means the large dial at bottom left of the camera has lost importance in my life. If this goes on I may have a display-only camera. Bummer.


04-15-2007, 08:53
Alas, I have been given the secret code to the vault. I walked into a local camera store known for their expertise in the business and after giving the counter-person a fake name (Mark77) I explained I did'nt understand 1950's camera technology and couldnt open the back of my Olympus 35 camera.
I was actually hoping I would be told there was a part missing or broken that would justify my ignorance, whereupon I would divulge my real name and hold my head high again. However before I could finish explaining that I only had the camera for a short time and my busy work schedule involving fixing global warming prevented me from investing too much time on 1950's technology, the counter-person had popped open the back with ease and confidence.
I kept my fake name and he explained the dial on bottom in fact opens the back, but the back plate and bottom of camera are of one piece and detach from the camera. "Like a Leika" he said. Great, I hadnt realized there was a pre-equisite for Olympus 35 ownership. I profusely thanked the counter-person, promising to name my fourth-born baby after him and left, actually skipping out of the store.
It turns out I am the proud owner of an olympus 35 model IVa, circa 1953. Upon close examination the lens appears a bit dirty/clouded from inside the element. I'm shooting a roll of B/W now to determine the severity, but now when I go in to get it cleaned I can give them my real name, and hold my head high again.
My wife isn't to thrilled at my choice of the name "Heathcliff" for our fourth-born, but she'll have to get used to it. I'm happy now.


04-23-2016, 14:56
The back is not hinged. Turn the dial on the bottom to o then slide the two parts apart up and down. Hope this helps. If anyone knows what the switch *(R D A) on the top does I would appreciate.