View Full Version : Olympus 35 SP repair questions

01-07-2009, 14:43
Hi there,
I have been reading in this forum for quite a while, it's great! No megapixel discussions around ;)

I recently got a Olympus 35 SPn on ebay, which has finally arrived here in Germany. It's got several issues, and I hoped that I could find some support here.

Initially the meter did not work at all. I opened up the camera and found out that the meter was jammed by some piece of metal.

This piece turned out to be the head of the screw which holds a little lever located under the bottom plate of the camera. The lever is the locking mechanism that prevents you from winding as long as the shutter is not released. I've seen this issue in a forum somewhere: Now you can wind on and on without ever releasing the shutter.

Where could I get hold of such a little screw to repair the lever? (I can post a picture if that is of any help)

After having removed the screw head, the meter works again, but the upper dial is a bit bent. This means that the reading is probably off. Is there any way to calibrate it?

One other problem is that the spot metering button does not work at all. I don't know if it is on all the time or just does not work. How can I fix this?

At least the lens is clear, although it sits a bit loosely.

Are there any repair manuals around? Especially the wiring is a bit confusing, does anyone here have notes on how it is supposed to be?

Thanks a lot for your help!


01-07-2009, 17:52
The mount on SPs can be a tad loose, but it doesn't really affect photos, at least in my experience.

As for the screw, any scrap/parts Olympus RF would probably provide a compatible screw. Look for 35RC (lots of them around), EC, etc. A junker SP would, of course, be best, but most SPs are restorable, so I wouldn't use them just for parts unless they were just too far gone.

Also, you might check with John Hermanson at Zuiko.com ... he will know what screw is required and might sell you one.

01-09-2009, 13:39
Thanks for your reply. I might try to get a screw from another camera.
I managed to sort out the metering and the camera is working now, besides the film advance problem.

I did some testing and found that the rangefinder is not perfectly correct. Shooting a portrait at aperture 1.7 and focussing small distance on the eye, the ear turns out to be in focus.
I did some testing, and the camera has a "backfocus" of about 14cm at a distance of 1.5m.

Any idea how to fix/adjust this? I've seen something on the vertical adjustment, but not on the actual distance.
Actually I've got the same problem with my 35 RC, which I just checked as well.

And is there any way to test the rangefinder alignment without shooting a film each time?


01-09-2009, 17:08
That adjustment (horizontal alignment) is easy. Open the back of the camera (you might want to remove film first :D ) Above the top film rail you will see a slot head screw. Remove this screw (careful not to drop/lose) and recessed into the screw hole is another slot head screw that adjusts the horizontal alignment. I can't recall which direction is which with respect to infinity, but you will figure it out.

Focus on true infinity (e.g., a building quite far away) by setting the lens to the infinity mark. Then turn the adjustment screw until the patch lines up. I don't think you have to measure and do closer objects, such as setting to closest focus, but I may be wrong.

Good luck.

John Hermanson
01-09-2009, 19:32
Yes, the screw accessible through the hole above the film rail is the infinity adjustment for the rf. Lens infinity focus would have to be checked with a collimator. John, www.zuiko.com

01-29-2009, 09:52
I just tried out a SP I bought a few days ago. I took a few in-door shots and then ventured out in windchill of probably close to 0 for 20 minutes taking mostly outdoor scenes. Inbetween I entered into a building and took a few shots but did not stay long. Well, when I got the film back, it appears that frames from 7 to 15 are blank, including those indoor shots in a building. The rest of the frames are OK. Could this be a problem with low operating termperature? BTW, I live in Minneapolis. Any help would be appreciated.

02-01-2009, 06:25
I hate to say this, but are you 100% sure you took the lens cap off for frames 7-15? (don't ask how I know!)

If you were shooting in Auto and the camera was at 0 degree F, it was for sure outside working specs. But I'd bet on the lens cap anyway, based on my own experience.

02-03-2009, 11:23
Hi, Julio, That is a distant possibility. Thanks. BTW, I was not shooting auto for the camera's light meter does not work.