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Olympus 35SP


Olympus 35sp review

The 35sp was the only compact rangefinder to have a build in spot meter, hence giving it an edge over it’s rival such as the Yashica Electro, Canon Canonet, Monilta Hi-Matic and such. If you are not familiar with rangefinder cameras, click here on my past article 'What is Rangefinder Cameras ?'
The camera come equipped with a fixed 42mmf1.7 Olympus Zuiko lens. Being a prime lens, the optics are indeed very sharp. I truly enjoy the focal length as it is a good compromise between a 35mm ( street photography ) and 50mm (portrait lens). This camera utilizes the leaf shutter mechanism hence it’s possible to hand held at really low shutter speed ..say 1/15s.

On the streets
Using this camera is very fun. It’s basically “like” a point and shoot camera once you set it on A (automatic) mode. The camera is constantly on shutter priority mode when it’s on A . Don’t get mislead by A as Aperture priority like on all modern camera.  Hence the user selects the desired shutter speed, the camera will automatically determines the suitable aperture setting based on the light reading. I normally max out the shutter speed at 1/500s so the camera will be forced to use the min possible aperture setting.

The camera also allows manual operation but the operation is a little tedious. One would have to read the Ev value based on meter reading and set the Ev value manually on the lens for a perfect exposure. I personally find it slow hence more suited for photographing still life or landscape with this exposure method .

Another nice feature on this camera is the close range focus throw . Which mean with a slightly more than a quarter turn it bring the focus from closest to infinity. So with a little practice, shooting moving subject would not be that difficult.

This camera basically come in two version. The Olympus SP as shown here and the Olympus SPn which is basically an identical camera but with an additional battery check button. The SPn is a lot harder to find due to the low production quantity hence will normally fetch higher prices among collectors.



Pros : Good optics . Small and light which makes carrying it whole days is not a problem. Light meter is fairly accurate and rather spot. Really easy to use and good for everyday cam.

Cons : It's not cheap. A good copy might set you back around RM 1200.