Olympus 35 SP Pros, cons?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Uncle Bill, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    Hi, I have been virtually kicking tires on the Olympus 35 SP. I really like the lens specs and the fact it has one hell a decent meter, I do have some skill testing questions though, any issues other than the battery that I should worry about, my camera tech and deal with the battery situation easliy. What is the going market value of one of these cameras? I am looking at one on Ebay and I don't want to pay too much for one.

    Bill
     
  2. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I would be more inclined to go for the Olympus 35 RD. The light meter is positioned closer to the lens as opposed to the SP meter being away from the lens. This means that on the RD you can use filters and the meter will compensate for them, on the SP you have to mentally compensate.
    Mind you, that is the only reason I would go for an RD over an SP. If the price is right, grab it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2006
  3. Larry H-L

    Larry H-L Subscriber

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    SP Pros: Great lens, spot meter, bright VF.
    SP Cons: Loud shutter, bigger than other Oly RFs.

    I've found the SPs to be much more reliable than the RDs.
     
  4. meltronic

    meltronic Member

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    I have an SP. Cool design, but as a word of warning, the shutter is pretty loud, and mine has a problem with the diaphragm opening for the meter cell. It's easy to open, but really tricky to stop down for slower films. I don't know if this is a recurrent problem or only my camera.

    Check finished auctions on Ebay to see what the market is paying.
     
  5. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I've had 2 SP's over the years. The first one had a disappointing lens and because others had said favorable things about the camera's optics, I assumed I had simply gotten a clinker. I loved the metering system and function of the camera so purchased another example a few years later. The lens was also a bit soft on that one, too, but better. Mine is a small sampling but I swore off of them after 2 episodes like that. The worst that should happen is that you can resell the eBay example and simply have a bit of shipping expense for the trial of it. I recall the finder being quite good and it being easy to focus. This is a number of years back so I'm going by foggy, old guy memories!
     
  6. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I have an Olympus SPN, bought off ebay approx 1 year back.
    Cost me about $140 AUD.
    Picked up the correct Mercury battery pretty cheaply & I'm sure it will last for years.

    This is a very good camera.
    The fixed 40mm lens is excellent.
    I like the way the meter works in Exposure Values & you then set the EV on the lens which gives a range of shutter/aperture combinations. Very clever.

    I find the viewfinder to be a bit dim & also the focusing patch is faint. That is probably due to age. My camera repair guy said he could improve this with a clean. Of course if you are into measuring distance by eye & setting focus this won't be a problem.

    I haven't used flash with it but there is also an ingenious auto flash system.

    Don't use it much anymore as I bought an M6 & 35mm lens & find this very easy to work with. The viewfinder & focusing is so much better on the Leica. However I still use the SPN occasionally & want to keep it as an example of excellent camera design.
     
  7. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    I am trying to get one on ebay but without luck. I saw two of them went close to 200 dollars, and RD or RC is rare to find.

    Good luck in finding one.
     
  8. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

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    Hi Bill. Bought one for £35 a year ago. Liked it at first, but kept leaving it at home because of the metering; couldn't get use to it, just me I guess. Lens was real good, shutter on mine was quiet, well, better than a Zorki! Look out for naff light traps as there's one in the lens assembly and it's a pig! Drops nasty little black bits all over your nice Zuko lens. Would I buy another, no. Play with Zorki's most of the time and shoot with anything that takes a good picture, Richo 500 Richo 35zf Richo Gr1v (magic in a box!) R2. And if I want a little fun in my life I use----- my Cosmic Symbol (great fun and you can't take a---bad picture with one of those) nor can you with a Diana. Oh: and I use my FM3A too. Oops! Sorry forgot myself there.


    All the best
    B.
     
  9. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Hi Bill, I also owned one and found the lens to be ok but that's all. The metering is interesting but I don't know about spot metering on a rangefinder. For my money if you want a classic RF go for a Minolta 9 or 7s or even better, a Konica Auto S2(a real Sleeper) I like the RC or RD but agree that they are hard to find and too expensive when you can. The shutter on the Sp is kinda loud but I like it, really cool sound and it feels like theshutter ie going to launch itself out the bottom of the lens! Cheers, Tony
     
  10. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    Hi, my name is Earl and I have an Oly 35SP problem.

    Bill, you know I'm a big proponent of the SP. So, here goes (again)

    Lens: Great. If you find one that doesn't have a great lens, it needs repair. My first one had a real problem, and at first I thought it was a focus issue as the focusing ring was binding. Turned out the rear element was actually chipped, and Clint at Photosphere fixed me up just fine.

    Viewfinder/rangefinder: Big, bright, beautiful. (Goldie: a good clean is highly recommended!) When I was at the RF gathering in T.O. last November, Gene fell in love with the viewfinder. The RF patch is contrasty enough for me, though it is not as good as a Leica. But pretty close.

    Metering: A joy except that the EV system is not for everyone. But I've gotten used to it, and when I'm using the SP exclusively, it's second nature. The spot feature on a rangefinder? Brilliant! Works great and has paid for itself many times.

    Size: I think it's a great size. The RC/RDs are a bit small IMO. Focusing and setting aperture on an RC are a bit fiddly due to size, IMO (I have an RC, but not an RD), but YMMV. The SP feels great in my hands, with good weight and balance.

    Shutters: Sounds fine to me. As quiet as a Leica? No, and different sound of course because it's not a cloth focal plane shutter. I have heard quieter shutters in fixed lens RFs, but the SP is not loud or objectionable. I'm sure there are samples out there that are too loud, again needing service.

    Sample photos here.

    Earl
     
  11. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Hi Earl, checked out your photos- great! It seems that I should try more than one camera to get a good idea of that particular marque. The SPn that I had must have been a dummy so I guess I'll have to search for another one- back to ebay!