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Tom Harrell
12-12-2009, 06:15
I just restored voltage to an Olympus 35 ECR camera by using the hearing aid batteries and foil trick! The shutter now fires! I don't have a set of operating instructions so my question is this: Does this camera require a lens cap to shut off the light meter? The photo cell is located on the front of the lens and most of those photo cell locations need a cap to keep from draining the batteries don't they? Thanks in advance!

Tom Harrell

bmattock
12-12-2009, 07:36
I just restored voltage to an Olympus 35 ECR camera by using the hearing aid batteries and foil trick! The shutter now fires! I don't have a set of operating instructions so my question is this: Does this camera require a lens cap to shut off the light meter? The photo cell is located on the front of the lens and most of those photo cell locations need a cap to keep from draining the batteries don't they? Thanks in advance!

Tom Harrell

Hi Tom,

I do not know for sure, but since the ECR has a 'battery check' condition when you slightly depress the shutter release, I'm going to guess that it doesn't engage the circuit unless you press down on the shutter release, which would mean that no, you don't need to store the camera with the lens cap on. However, it couldn't hurt!

Here is a link to a manual for the ECR, in case you don't have one:

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/olympus/olympus_35ecr/olympus_35ecr.htm

I really like mine (and the EC and EC2, which are non-rangefinders but slightly smaller and have a brighter viewfinder and the same lens). Hope you enjoy yours!

Tom Harrell
12-12-2009, 07:40
That makes sense! Thank you for your response and the link to the manual! I'm looking forward to putting some film through the camera, I've heard the lenses are fairly good!

Tom Harrell

zuikologist
12-12-2009, 07:43
I agree with Bill - if the meter was on all the time the lights would also be activated all the time.

THe EC series have good lenses and a very solid feel. Enjoy.

Tom Harrell
12-12-2009, 07:48
The little camera does have sort of a robust feel to it! The only other thing that is wrong with it is the focus ring turns really easy no drag what so ever. I don't think that will be a problem if I remember not to bump it and wreck the focusing! It does have one corner of the covering that is letting go but I will use some Pliobond to secure it!

Tom

Pompiere
12-13-2009, 06:38
I really like my ECR but I think the battery is starting to get weak. The shutter is kind of erratic, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have been using 640 alkaline batteries with good results. I keep a lens cap on but I agree that nothing gets activated until you press the shutter button. Some don't like the lack of manual control or exposure information, but I think the camera does better than I would. This summer I found a little flash that fits the proportions of the camera. I need to get some new batteries and start using it again.

kuzano
12-14-2009, 00:44
Tell me about the exact placement in the chamber, battery type and foil location please.

I have 4 of the EC's.... Two EC, one ECR and one ECII. I have seen references to the battery workaround and not been able to generate a light or shutter operation on any of the examples I have.

Thanks for any assistance or response.

Lars

btgc
12-14-2009, 01:08
The only other thing that is wrong with it is the focus ring turns really easy no drag what so ever.

the same with my all-manual 35RC. I wonder if this is common for small Olympus cameras with front focusing ring (no massive greased helicoid, as I understand)?

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 03:52
Lars,
I'm using two 675 hearing aid batteries. Unscrew the lid to the battery holders. You need to fashion a small card board cylinder that will fit into one of the battery holders. With the camera upside down and the back of the camera facing me I used the battery holder on the left side. Put the card board cylinder into that holder and place a battery in the cylinder with the negative terminal pointing down, now place the 2nd battery into the cylinder with the negative terminal pointing down as well (same polarity as the first battery). If for some reason you choose to use the battery holder on the right side just reverse the polarity of the batteries as you drop them in.

Next in the battery holder on the right side that is empty, crumple up enough aluminum foil to completely fill up that battery holder. It must be filled enough to stick up high enough that the contacts in the battery compartment lid make contact with the batteries and the foil to complete the circuit.

Tom

bmattock
12-14-2009, 03:58
Tom is correct. It is also unfortunately true that the wires connecting to the battery compartment are very thin and fragile. Corrosion is not uncommon on the contacts in the bottom of the well, and sometimes the wires under the battery compartment come undone. One can discover this by removing the bottom of the camera (several small screws) and then carefully prying out the battery compartment (flexible plastic). I have been fortunate that only half of the EC / ECR cameras I have purchased have been disconnected in this way. Quite hard to fix for non-solderers such as myself.

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 04:16
Bill,
I have not yet tried to take the top and/or the bottom off of this camera. Do you consider removing them a difficult task? If I remove the top cover will I be able to clean very much of the range finder? Will I be able to recalibrate the range finder?

Thanks,
Tom

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 04:27
This morning I noticed that the meter indicator light was not working. I took the battery compartment lid off, took the batteries out and measured their voltage with a volt meter. The voltage output from the batteries were correct so I put them back into the compartment and adjusted the foil in the other side, making sure that the lid contacts would make good contact with the foil on one side and the (+) battery terminal on the other side. I screwed the lid back on and I had a bright meter indicator light. However the longer I held the shutter release button down the meter indicator light got dimmer. I suspect that either (a) the hearing aid batteries have not been activated long enough to put out their full output or (b) they don't have very much power draw capability. I really suspect it is the latter case. After all they were designed for hearing aid circuitry which should have very little current draw compared to the analog circuitry of a camera meter. What do you think Bill?

Tom

btgc
12-14-2009, 04:28
RF horizontal adjustment screw is accessible from film chamber, unscrew what looks like small screw around top film guide rail and it's inside hole.

Cleaned RF glass is worth the job, 35RC has one of nicest VF's, ECR could be very similar.

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 04:32
Thanks for that info! As soon as I finish the roll of film that is in the camera now I'll give it a shot. I think the calibration is off horizontally the best these old eyes can tell.

Tom

bmattock
12-14-2009, 05:05
Bill,
I have not yet tried to take the top and/or the bottom off of this camera. Do you consider removing them a difficult task? If I remove the top cover will I be able to clean very much of the range finder? Will I be able to recalibrate the range finder?

Thanks,
Tom

The bottom is easy. I have not tried to remove the top from mine.

bmattock
12-14-2009, 05:14
This morning I noticed that the meter indicator light was not working. I took the battery compartment lid off, took the batteries out and measured their voltage with a volt meter. The voltage output from the batteries were correct so I put them back into the compartment and adjusted the foil in the other side, making sure that the lid contacts would make good contact with the foil on one side and the (+) battery terminal on the other side. I screwed the lid back on and I had a bright meter indicator light. However the longer I held the shutter release button down the meter indicator light got dimmer. I suspect that either (a) the hearing aid batteries have not been activated long enough to put out their full output or (b) they don't have very much power draw capability. I really suspect it is the latter case. After all they were designed for hearing aid circuitry which should have very little current draw compared to the analog circuitry of a camera meter. What do you think Bill?

Tom

I don't know. The hearing aid batteries should work, but they do require air to function - note the tiny holes in them.

The original batteries were EPX-640 mercury cells - 1.35 volts each, for a total of 2.7 volts.

You can purchase EPX-540 alkaline batteries online, but they put out 1.5 volts each. I do not know if the Olympus EC/EC2/ECR series had any kind of internal voltage regulator. They were often not considered necessary as part of the metering solution because the mercury cells were such flat performers - their voltage tended not to wander much as they aged. The alkalines could cause small differences in exposure. Whether or not the differences would be noticeable in processed film, I cannot say.

One could try just about any silver-oxide or alkaline battery or batteries that one could stuff in the battery holders with a cardboard tube to hold them straight, as you have done; as long as their combined voltage is somewhere in the neighborhood of the original 2.7 volts.

I have used the zinc-air hearing aid batteries without incident, but after leaving mine to sit for over a year, they were dead as doornails. I may try to revive one soon and perform some new experiments to see what I can some up with.

bmattock
12-14-2009, 05:16
Thanks for that info! As soon as I finish the roll of film that is in the camera now I'll give it a shot. I think the calibration is off horizontally the best these old eyes can tell.

Tom

If you do happen to take the top off, remember not to 'clean' the mirror. The coating is on the top of the mirror, not the bottom, and nothing holds it onto the glass. It's semi-transparent - if you lay a swab to it, it will become fully transparent, and no longer capable of being a rangefinder. So don't clean that!

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 05:58
Okay Bill, I understand! If I do take the top off I will not touch the mirror! I would only clean the inside of the the windows.

Tom

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 06:07
I'll see how the camera holds up with the hearing aid batteries. I don't mind changing them out as necessary, they are fairly cheap! It would be interesting to test the little camera with a known light source and target with a good variable power supply hooked to the battery chamber terminals and try different voltage settings and snapping shots of the target. Develop the film and look for differences in the pictures. Because the latitude of the film you might not see much of a difference though!

Tom

bmattock
12-14-2009, 06:17
I'll see how the camera holds up with the hearing aid batteries. I don't mind changing them out as necessary, they are fairly cheap! It would be interesting to test the little camera with a known light source and target with a good variable power supply hooked to the battery chamber terminals and try different voltage settings and snapping shots of the target. Develop the film and look for differences in the pictures. Because the latitude of the film you might not see much of a difference though!

Tom

People who are into electronics have also come up with little voltage regulators that can be inserted into the camera battery circuit and then you can use whatever is close in voltage. But I'm not such a person. There are some threads on the subject on various forums.

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 06:18
By the way, for those of you that like to use lens shades this camera has a 43.5 Tiffen Adapter Ring Series 6 mounted directly to the lens. Screwed into that is a Vivitar 1A Skylight Filter Series 6. Into that is a Vivitar series 6 lens shade. I need to order some series 6 black and white filters. If you want to take pictures without any filter attached you can remove the filter and the shade screws directly into the Tiffen Adapter Ring.

Tom

Tom Harrell
12-14-2009, 06:31
Probably a good test using the variable power supply would be if you could determine what shutter speed the light meter selected at various power supply voltage settings and compare those shutter speed that a good hand held meter suggest for a particular ASA setting. It all sounds like too much work. Might as well be taking pictures and quit fooling around.

Tom

kuzano
12-14-2009, 09:45
I will dig my cameras out and have a go at trying to get a light and a reading out of them... Hopefully at least one, so I know I can read and follow instructions.

Lars

Tom Harrell
12-15-2009, 01:06
Lars,
Let us know how you make out with your cameras. If you need help just let us know.
Tom

cliffpov
02-06-2010, 13:28
Hello, Count me in on the Oly 35 ECR fan club. Love this little camera.

Pompiere
02-08-2010, 02:36
I got my ECR working again. Corrosion had travelled up the power wire like a wick and caused a bad connection. I ended up replacing the wire. It is a great little pocket camera.

NiallOswald
02-19-2010, 11:27
RF horizontal adjustment screw is accessible from film chamber, unscrew what looks like small screw around top film guide rail and it's inside hole.
Are you *sure* about that? I've just picked up a 35 ECR, ran a roll of film through it and the focus seems to be way off. The 35 RC certainly has a removable plug for rangefinder adjustment, the 35 ECR has a couple of small screws which aren't hiding anything.

I've had the top (and bottom) off mine, and can't see anything which is obviously a rangefinder adjustment. Any advice much appreciated!

Also, to add to the battery information - I did a few tests today with a couple of multimeters and a bench supply (set to 2.7V). My 35 ECR draws between 25 and 65 mA when the shutter button is 'half-pressed'. The current draw depends on how much light is falling on the photocell. The Zinc-air batteries that I tested (brand new Rayovac 675) will not supply 65mA at 1.4V. Sticking a 24 ohm resistor across one collapses the terminal voltage to below a volt, dropping pretty quickly to around 0.5V. I'd be interested to know what sort of current draw other 35 ECRs have - 65mA seems pretty high compared to what I've read for meters in old cameras. The Zinc-air batteries are listed as being able to deliver 24mA for 100ms once an hour on the datasheet...

However, the roll of expired Portra 160NC I put through it as a test came back with 39 nicely exposed frames. The focus is completely off though :-( I'm reasonably sure it's not me being an RF newbie, distance reported by the focusing ring seem fairly sensible too.

Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nialloswald/sets/72157623466109944/

NiallOswald
02-21-2010, 11:39
*Bump* Any ideas?

As it happens I've also bought a 35RC, but the ECR is such a nice simple little camera it'd be a shame not to get it working...

btgc
02-21-2010, 11:52
Are you *sure* about that? I've just picked up a 35 ECR, ran a roll of film through it and the focus seems to be way off. The 35 RC certainly has a removable plug for rangefinder adjustment, the 35 ECR has a couple of small screws which aren't hiding anything.


Then ECR, while quite similar, isn't identical to 35RC from which I gave advice. I stay corrected.

John Hermanson
02-25-2010, 06:14
The ECR had a very nice rangefinder as I recall. Nice and bright (if all elements inside are clean). Problem had always been the power source . The mercury batteries were extremely prone to leakage, brand new mallory stock would leak in the box before we could even go through the inventory. ECs often had fully corroded circuit boards when the leakage traveled through the wire like a pipe. At the very least we (at Olympus, Woodbury NY) had to replace the battery contacts and wires in every single EC series camera that ever came in for overhaul. John