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  Olympus 35 RC

  Smallest 35 Rangefinder ever with AE Exposure and Manual Override?   1970




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 If you have read a number of my reviews, you might think that I like only the rare, exotic, expensive cameras. Well sometimes, but sometimes not.    In the US at least, the Olympus RC is common on the used camera market, and cheap.  Yet is has an outstanding combination of features that merit the Olympus 35 RC a place in the fabled Compact 35 Rangefinder Hall of Fame.   The RC is packed with so many features,  it  reads like a photographer's wish list, easily winning the "Most features in the Smallest Size" for this camera class.   If you like confound and confuse, have your RC   repainted black with "Leica" engraved on the top.  The fun you have with it thereafter will be priceless.

The RC is a very compact camera, measuring only 4 1/2" long, 2 15/16" high, 2" deep including the lens.  Mounted is a 42/2.8 Zuiko, focusing down to 3 feet, with a 43.5 mm filter size.  Weight is a petite 15 oz, amazingly light for an all metal camera.    Shutter speeds run from 1/15th  to 1/500th plus B,  on the top mounted shutter speed dial.   The RC offers Shutter Priority AE, with manual over-ride.  Overall, the RC gives the impression of being a well finished, precision camera, and one of my compact favorites.

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RC accessories were limited to the EV case (which has usually self-destructed), Olympus 43.5 filters, a clamp on hood, lens cap, the Olympus PS 200 flash, a close-up lens, and a four legged spider copy stand.  The last three items are so rare I have never seen them. 

The Plus Side

The Negative

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Olympus RC and RD:  2 oz and 1 1/3 f/stops apart.

To appreciate the Olympus 35 RC, just compare its features with the comparably sized Rollei 35's!! The RC has feature after feature that the Rollei doesn't, notably rangefinder focusing, AE exposure, shutter speeds and f/stops visible in the viewfinder, and  conveniently placed traditional controls.  The little Olympus 35  RC is one great little camera, and  a best used camera  buy.  In the US, used Rollei 35's often sell for 3 to 4 times more than used Olympus 35 RC's.  

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The RC's hard to find presentation case.

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Revised: November 26, 2003 Copyright � 1998-2002  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.