View Full Version : Olympus-Auto Electro-Set

02-24-2009, 14:45
I recently acquired this beautiful RF. Why is it that practically no information about this specific model is available on the Internet. It is very solidly made (1008 gram - 2 lb 4 oz). and is in a fully workable condition. Is it rare, desirable or not worth much? I will be happy if anybody can provide me with more information, or advise me of a source for a user manual.

Thanks - Pierre







02-24-2009, 14:47
Sorry my pictures did not attach - I will investigate!

02-24-2009, 15:19
Got them attached now (original edited)

02-24-2009, 16:45
Pierre: I don't have an answer to your question, but I have one as well, though I have yet to shoot it. It is taken apart, as it was not functioning properly. That was a LONG time ago, I couldn't figure it out and have not yet got back to working with it. Your post prompts me to try again. And if you would please post photos made with it, that would be lovely.

02-25-2009, 09:35
Nice, thanks for sharing, I've never came across this one even in my collecting days. It looks like a variation of the Auto series produced in the late 50's early 60's according to the Olympus Camera History site (http://www.star.ucl.ac.uk/%7Erwesson/esif/om-sif/camhistory/camhistory.htm).

Hey, if it's working, I second Earl's request for some photos from it. That E.Zuiko can't be bad.

12-18-2011, 05:22
hello guys. I just joined over a week ago and i have a olympus auto electro-set, the one with the cover over the selenium meter. The meter still works! As far as i can tell it gives fairly accurate readings. I'll be posting some pics soon. I hope you still have these cameras so that we can discuss working with it. Cheers!


12-18-2011, 13:11
This cameras are dificult to find, i'm after the previus model at some time

Olympus Auto B electro - set (1959 - 1960)


followed the Olympus Auto electro-set from 1958-1959
Olympus Auto B electro - set

The missing cover over the cell of the light meter and the less fast
E. Zuiko 1:2,8 f = 4,2 cm,
are the only differences to the Olympus Auto. All other technical features stayed unchanged.

Specifications Type: Olympus - Auto
Engraving: Olympus - Auto
also: Olympus - Auto electro set
Release date: September 1959
Body color: chrome
Leather color: black
Shutter: Seikosha - SLV
Shutter-Speeds: B, 1 to 1/500 sec.
Flash syncronisation: M and X
Finder: Bright frame, distance meter mix picture
Rangefinder: coupled
Film-Advance: Film advance lever
Exposure meter: Selenium
ASA: 10 to 800
Battery: none
Extras: Selftimer
Lens: E. Zuiko 1:2.8 f = 4.2 cm
F-Stop range: 2.8 to 16
Focusing: 2.5 ft to infinite
Elements: 7
Groups: 5
Size: 142 x 88 x 68 mm
Weight: 750 g
Price at release: 22.800 Yen

Now, the first one:

Olympus Auto electro-set (1958 - 1959)

1958 was the appearance year of theOlympus Auto electro-setOlympus wrote in the manual:
This camera is the result of the gained experience.That means, this camera is very special.
Based on the ACE body an amazing camera was developed by engineers with no limits.
Again supplied with a fixed lens (E. Zuiko 1:1,8 f = 4,2 cm) the camera had got a coupled Selenium light meter with a hinged cover over the meter cell.
A buster-cell could be connected for better measurements. The plug was on the front right under the meter cell. The round ASA scale window was on the back, the ASA setting was done by pressing a lever and rotating the aperture ring. For exact exposure, the shutter speed must preset and the aperture ring, according to the meter reading, turned.
Multi exposure was possible by pushing a small lever at the back.
If the camera was loaded, the film transport could be watched in a small window next to the viewfinder.
Rewind knob and camera back safety was placed at the base plate and luxuriously constructed.
The large viewfinder window with bright frame, combined with the coupled distance meter results in best possible picture sharpness. A lever at the distance ring made focusing easier.
There was a special connection for fixing the carrying belt.

Specifications Type: Olympus - Auto
Engraving: Olympus - Auto
also: Olympus - Auto electro set
Release date: Dezember 1958
Body color: chrome
Leather color: black
Shutter: Seikosha - SLV
Shutter-Speeds: B, 1 to 1/500 sec.
Flash syncronisation: M and X
Finder: Bright frame, distance meter mix picture
Rangefinder: coupled
Film-Advance: Film advance lever
Exposure meter: Selenium
ASA: 10 to 800
Battery: none
Extras: Selftimer
Lens: G. Zuiko 1:1.8 f = 4.2 cm
F-Stop range: 1.8 to 16
Focusing: 2.5 ft to infinite
Elements: 7
Groups: 5
Size: 142 x 88 x 68 mm
Weight: 780 g
Price at release: 34.800 Yen

12-18-2011, 18:47
hello! thanks for replyig. I think you also read the booklet made by the Mr. Claus Marin, an oly collector- a great resource for olympus camera information!

here is the link: http://oly-e.de/pdf/olympus_classic_35mm_cameras.pdf

here also are some pictures of my oly auto electro-set:

12-19-2011, 16:49
Hi Dingdongblake, thanks for your tip, it is a nice pdf.
If someone want more historical facts of this camera and other Olympus until the seventies,send me a message with your email and I'll send a pdf book about Olympus cameras & Zuiko history.

Did you know that in 1958 the Olympus Auto was then the only camera in the world with coupled exposure meter that when the shutter speed dial was rotated, the aperture was also changed to maintain the same light value, but when the aperture dial was rotated, only the aperture setting was changed.
At that time Olympus made history many times, and this one was the only with this kind of versatility.

12-20-2011, 10:13
Echoing the above post.
Thank you for the link to the document from Mr. Marin.

It's nice to see that the interest in Olympus rich history hasn't gone by the wayside.

01-08-2012, 05:34
guys hello! happy new year.
I think I know the basic controls of the cam but i still have some questions though. I'll post my questions with clear pictures of the cam next time (I don't have a decent digicam, i have to borrow). Here are some pics taken with the auto-set. Post-scan pics seemed washy, prints look better. anyway it is still a pretty good camera considering its age (52 years old) and the meter works fine too! some of my problems are its weight and its strap lugs (il post pics soon).
thanks for all the replies guys! i'm very much enjoying film rangefinder photography. i now have an mg-1 and a canonet 28. i know they are not full manual but im still learning, and the ql17 and oly sp are hard to find here and a bit expensive too!
greetings from the philippines!
dingdong :D
p.s i cant post pics,prompt says i exceeded quota. sorry.:bang:
here they are in image shack:

01-24-2012, 16:11
Thanks for posting, they are not to bad.
I have mine on the way now, hope it arrives ok, but I will have to fix it before take pictures with it.

01-25-2012, 10:56
Those picture looks sharp and detailed.
Subject and composition is not bad either.
My favorite is the second and the last one.

Most scans are washed out without some post-processing, just increase the contrast a bit, it should look as good as the print.

02-02-2012, 10:34
Does any of you have the instructions manual of the camera?
I don't have it :(

02-27-2012, 05:07
Hi, I couldn't find a free manual either (you can buy one on the internet for for 13 quid, though). I found the following, messing about with the camera: setting ASA is done by flipping the right-arrowed button to the right and turning the aperture ring until the preferred ASA number is aligned with the red mark (at least on my camera the meter reads fine then; black mark is probably for use with the booster).
Horizontal rf alignment is behind the black screw between the film guide rails.
Vertical alignment can be done by removing the screw and lid of the acc.shoe. The copper screw at 45 degrees near the top deck is the one to use.
I am on my second roll with this machine, because it turned out lens-infinity was way out of wack (lens reached infinity at 3.5 m). If you have to get inside this camera, beware of the grub srews: they are made of very soft copper.
I hope this is useful information for you.
Cheers, Jan

02-29-2012, 02:55
Hi, after having bent the inside aperture mechanism back into the right shape, I found the black marker to be the one to be used for metering!
Cheers, Jan.

02-29-2012, 05:07
hello guys sorry for the late reply. I was so busy for the past months. Here are some pics attached. The button with the right arrow pointing down is for double exposures i think. You should push down and cock the shutter. The button with the arrow pointing right is for ASA adjustments just like Jajong said. I hope your auto-sets have functioning meters. I bet they have because the meter has a cover, unlike most other built-in selen meters.

for metering:
1. when it is sunny i close the meter cover and use the black dial as match needle with the left dial.
2. If there is less light i open the cover and use the yellow dial as match needle.
3. I haven't tried the orange one but i think it is for flash(????)

i hope this helps. My meter works fine!
i will post more pics soon.*
thanks everybody!



03-09-2012, 09:32
Hi all, my Auto B is shaping up ( a bit). Here are some pics taken last week. Dull weather 250 and f5.6 or f8 (200 ASA). The first one is before lens collimation. The camera is in such an excellent condition, that I think it has not been used very much: the lens must have been out of whack already when it left the factory! The other two are after collimation.
Cheers, Jan.


03-10-2012, 14:08
The last two photos look very nice.
Thanks for all the answer, but still there are some questions to be answered.

Lets hope someone knows someone adds something more or gives a link to the original instructions book. I will try one source.

03-27-2012, 14:55
I've sold mine about 1 & 1/2 month ago because I could not fix it, but luckily I've found another that seems in top condition, still in the original paper box & with the instruction manual :)
When I receive it I will give news, and make an instructions pdf to anyone that needs.

04-10-2012, 14:16
Hello again.
I've scan the manual for anyone that has the camera.
Send me an message with your email if interested.

04-11-2012, 06:41
Super, Denny. I would like to have a look at it. PM sent. Cheers, Jan.

06-11-2012, 16:29
Some photos of my set:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7047/6985348574_1bccc7b74d_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/6985348574/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set rangefinder camera boxed-7321 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/6985348574/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7225/7136388287_8e178058e9_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7136388287/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set rangefinder camera boxed-7328 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7136388287/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8148/7136391431_535603db20_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7136391431/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set rangefinder camera boxed-7336 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7136391431/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7096/7146466861_d257666585_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7146466861/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set rangefinder camera boxed-7339 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7146466861/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7090/7197777648_5632fc0989_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7197777648/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set rangefinder camera boxed-7354 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7197777648/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5458/7197771050_3118cc5e70_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7197771050/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set rangefinder camera boxed-7360 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7197771050/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

11-26-2012, 08:49

I have come across one of these cameras, how much are they actually worth? It's the type seen in the post above but without all the accessories, camera only.


11-27-2012, 13:36
Olympus Auto Electro-set & Fujifilm Superia Asa 200 photos:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8441/7787276950_84c8a6ba4a_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787276950/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set_Superia Asa200_004 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787276950/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8296/7787275044_b63e1874bb_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787275044/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set_Superia Asa200_003 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787275044/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8283/7787269154_eca529768e_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787269154/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set_Superia Asa200_00 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787269154/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8285/7787304186_3f538f616d_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787304186/)
Olympus Auto Electro-set_Superia Asa200_017 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/olympusrf/7787304186/) por THE OLYMPUS CAMERAS COLLECTOR (http://www.flickr.com/people/olympusrf/), no Flickr

01-03-2013, 23:08
Hello guys! Happy new year to all. Nice set you've got there Denny. I bet the meter is working flawlessly. Here are additional pics I shot last Jan 2012. By this time I have a Canonet 28, QL17, Konica S2, Zorki 6, some SLRs. :bang: I am hoping to get an M someday but I sure won't let go of this RF. Thanks for posting your superb pics guys.

Pics shot with Kodak Color 200.



01-04-2013, 00:51

so this is how you post pictures!



01-15-2013, 10:42

one of my first pics from this camera

02-09-2013, 00:21
Soon after fixing my Auto-B, I found the original Auto. It had the same problem as my Auto-B: a slipping distance lever. Apparently, the copper screws used to fix the lever (ring) to the lens are too soft. I replaced 2 of them, using iron sharp-pointed ones. In my gallery on Pbase (http://www.pbase.com/jajong/olympus_auto) you will find some pictures taken before the last adjustment (still using the original screws); some of them are unsharp, because the lens was set to go "beyond infinity":o.
I do like the heft and precision of these machines, though.