View Full Version : buying olympus 35sp

01-10-2008, 08:27
Hi. now that my XA1 is not working properly, i'm looking for a new camera.
I've seen the yashica cameras, and also de olympus 35SP, but I have doubts about the battery. It uses the old and unavailable mercury 625 1,35V. You SP users, how do resolve this problem? thanks!

01-11-2008, 09:43
There is a 625 alkaline battery type that is widely available. I use that one instead of the original mercury-type 625.

Alkalines give a higher voltage than the mercury type. So, when using the alkaline battery, you have to decrease ISO by about 2 stops, or have your camera technician adjust the camera for the alkaline battery (which is what I did).

I have used for 3 years a 35 SP with the alkaline battery, including several trips. It is a wonderful camera with an incredible lens. Use a hood to avoid flare; the lens has an exposed element that is prone to generate flare.

You may also use a standard LR44 battery (used to be called a 76 battery), if you put an O-ring around the LR44 and include a metal piece to make contact.

They tell me that zinc-air batteries may also be used and will give a voltage similar to that of the original mercury type.

Steve Bellayr
01-11-2008, 10:16
There's a store where I am called Battery Plus. They actually sell LR44 with O-rings pre-packaged. So I imagine there is some place on the net selling something like that. Nice camera.

01-11-2008, 10:54
... us SP users deal with this problem using one of these variations:

- Don't use battery (that would be me)

- Get a hold of the original mercury battery (that won't be me)

- As mentioned above, get a 50 cents pack of no.9 O rings from Home Depot and use Walgreen hearing aid battery (the rubber ring is just for padding).

- Contact John Goodman ([email protected]) and for $10 get an adapter that you can use your LR44 or SR44 batteries in. Good quality and one time purchase and you can use it on any other cool cameras that takes the same battery.

... choose your poison :)

01-11-2008, 11:09
I'd also mention the somewhat more "luxurious" step of having a camera technician adjust the camera for the newer (higher) battery voltage. I think this isn't an expensive proposition, and eliminates the worry.

There are also some DIY descriptions on the web for adding a diode to the electronics to "step down" the new battery voltage to 1.35V - this (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40217) thread on RFF, for example, describes such a process.

That said, however, I should point out that I'm still using an original battery on my SP, and it's working fine. If you keep the camera in a case, or otherwise shade the meter window when you're not using it, the battery should last a good long while.

I wholeheartedly second your idea of getting an SP to replace the XA1 - it's a fantastic machine.


01-12-2008, 18:47
I bought an XA new along with other Oly gear. I wouldn't part with them. Several years ago i pcked up an SP and some other prosumer RFs of the same era. I prefer the SP. The Olys optics are good. It's compact, and it's got a really nice feel. A bit more Leica-like (but quieter) than the Yashica or Canonet.

ORings aside, Adapters are around and can be fixed permanent during a service. Ideally you get one in good shape. But I'd have mine repaired if neede.

If the XA is not a beater, I'd consider checking with John Hermanson, aka Camtech at zuiko.com. There may be other people who are good with Olys, but there's no one better. I know he could handle the SP. His website is good. Factory trained ont everything of consequence (did a T32 strobe for me). When he's done, it will be with you for a long time.

01-20-2008, 11:39
Hi people. Thanks a lot for your advices. Finally I've bought a olympus 35RC to replace the XA1, because I also need to replace the om30, and decided a om-2. I'm leaving money in that ebay hell...

01-20-2008, 16:21
FWIW, do NOT use alkaline batteries in place of the 625 or a zinc-air. Alkalines will give faulty readings. And even if you adjust the ASA to compensate, the discharge curve of alkalines is gradual, so near the end of its life you will get bad readings even when the battery checks "OK". Never, never use an alkaline in an Olympus camera, at least nothing through the OM-1. None had a circuit that compensated for voltage drop.

Paul C. Perkins, MD
01-20-2008, 17:44
I got a CRIS adapter for mine three years ago. My 35SP has been very happy with it.


01-20-2008, 20:07
What lens hood do you recommend with the SP?

01-21-2008, 03:33
The hood for the OM 50/1.8 (which is the correct hood for the 50/1.4 & 35/2.8 as well) works very well. It is a clamp on style so is easy to use when working with filters. There are metal and rubber versions; I use both.

There was also a metal screw-in hood from Vivitar. It is not quite as deep as the Olympus hoods. I have it on one of my SPs, but I have not tested to see if it is as effective. I do have some shots from a recent roll that exhibit some strange flare conditions, but I'm not 100% sure the hood was at fault.