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  1. #1

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    Olympus 35 RD Meter Annoyance

    I just bought an Olympus 35 RD and it seems to be a great camera.
    I've noticed a little issue with mine though, and it's merely an annoyance.

    The little match needle in the viewfinder seems to be off by one stop. When it should be indicating underexposure, it's in the f/1.7 zone. When it is f/2.8, it shows f/4. It does not seem to affect the actual aperture, just the display. I say this because when I set the camera to manual mode and f/4, the stick moves to roughly f/5.6.

    Is there an easy way to calibrate this? I just want to move that stick over a bit.

    I'm using a Zinc Air 675 hearing aid battery, which supplies 0.05 extra volts (1.4V vs, 1.35V spec in the PX625). Surely that couldn't be it?

  2. #2

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    Battery

    It is my quick guess that it is the battery. The small voltage increase may affect the reading, although on some cameras (Pentax) the voltage doesn't seem to matter. There are several ways you can get around this, the simplest and quickest is to alter the ISO rating of your film on the camera meter to bring the needle back down to what it should be. The 2nd and possibly the most satisfactory is to get a device that reduces the voltage of a 1.5V silver oxide cell down to 1.35V.

    I don't know if they are available where you are but in UK there is a company called 'The small battery Company' Just Google the name and you will get their site. This device is designed to fit the socket where the old Mercury cell fitted and a smaller silver oxide cell fits inside. This has electronics that reduce the voltage from 1.5v to 1.35v.

    The downside is they are a little pricey. In UK pounds they are about £20 so multiply that by 1.5 and add shipping, you are looking at around $30 each The upside is the silver cells are a lot cheaper than zinc/air type and last longer too.

  3. #3
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    My advice: if it is consistent just make the mental adjustment whenever you use this camera. It is not worth the money to correct such. It's no big deal to work around this. Here, consistency and a steady needle are more important than dead accuracy. - David Lyga

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMbikerider View Post
    It is my quick guess that it is the battery. The small voltage increase may affect the reading, although on some cameras (Pentax) the voltage doesn't seem to matter. There are several ways you can get around this, the simplest and quickest is to alter the ISO rating of your film on the camera meter to bring the needle back down to what it should be. The 2nd and possibly the most satisfactory is to get a device that reduces the voltage of a 1.5V silver oxide cell down to 1.35V.

    I don't know if they are available where you are but in UK there is a company called 'The small battery Company' Just Google the name and you will get their site. This device is designed to fit the socket where the old Mercury cell fitted and a smaller silver oxide cell fits inside. This has electronics that reduce the voltage from 1.5v to 1.35v.

    The downside is they are a little pricey. In UK pounds they are about £20 so multiply that by 1.5 and add shipping, you are looking at around $30 each The upside is the silver cells are a lot cheaper than zinc/air type and last longer too.
    It's hard to believe a variance of 0.05V will cause the meter to be out consistently like that. It seems to me far more likely that the meter needle was knocked out of alignment at some point.

    With the 35RD, even without the battery, the needle will move in manual mode to show the selected aperture. It's still off by one stop. I've eliminated the battery as the source of the problem.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    My advice: if it is consistent just make the mental adjustment whenever you use this camera. It is not worth the money to correct such. It's no big deal to work around this. Here, consistency and a steady needle are more important than dead accuracy. - David Lyga
    I'm leaning towards this as well. I'll get it addressed if/when the camera needs a CLA in the future. By all accounts, the shutter will need it at some point.

  6. #6

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    Clive,
    I lean toward what David Lyga says also. I have a nice 35RC that is spot on, but most of the time I just shoot away not paying any attention to settings. And that little camera takes wonderful pics in spite of how I use it. I got mine in a box of old camera gear, that cost me $20 bucks a few yrs back. I've had more fun w/ it than some of the bigger cameras. I don't think it knows how to take a bad photo..

  7. #7
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    I HAVE removed the top of the XA. There is a plastic part, the sliding door that opens and closes the lens area. This door snaps apart if I remember correctly, but has a ball bearing that you have to watch out for. I eased off the top and bottom, bending slightly, so that I was able to remove it.

    But, please note, sometimes the shutter lag is NOT caused by dirt but by a (chip? circuitry?) delay that becomes maddening. Usually when this happens another push on the shutter causes an immediate firing. It is truly maddening sometimes and I have never experienced another camera that acts like this. Of course it does not ALWAYS act this way but certain XAs (and their offspring) do.

    2bits: the RC relies upon a clock mechanism for the shutter and is, in my old-fashioned opinion, MUCH more reliable. This is the reason that the Nikon FE is priced drastically lower than the FM. And the reason that the Pentax ME is priced drastically lower than the MX. Sometimes old-fashioned springs are just more reliable. (Check the prices on MINT Nikon F2 bodies. This was the LAST Nikon body to use springs to time the shutter.) - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 02-15-2013 at 05:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    I HAVE removed the top of the XA. There is a plastic part, the sliding door that opens and closes the lens area. This door snaps apart if I remember correctly, but has a ball bearing that you have to watch out for.

    But, please note, sometimes the shutter lag is NOT caused by dirt but by a (chip? circuitry?) delay that becomes maddening. Usually when this happens another push on the shutter causes an immediate firing. It is truly maddening sometimes and I have never experienced another camera that acts like this. Of course it does not ALWAYS act this way but certain XAs (and their offspring) do. - David Lyga
    Is this post for the other Olympus thread?
    I also own an XA, but I haven't noticed this issue.

  9. #9
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    If I posted wrongly I am sorry. I am getting feeble, I guess. Yes, it's for whatever is relevant. Thank you for noticing. Can you copy me correctly onto the other thread? - David Lyga

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CliveC View Post
    It's hard to believe a variance of 0.05V will cause the meter to be out consistently like that. It seems to me far more likely that the meter needle was knocked out of alignment at some point.

    With the 35RD, even without the battery, the needle will move in manual mode to show the selected aperture. It's still off by one stop. I've eliminated the battery as the source of the problem.
    It's .15 volts, better than 10%. It will make a difference.

    If you do not wish to buy an adapter, you can use a #675 hearing-aid cell and an O-ring (as a bushing to hold the cell central). If you block off three of the four airholes in the cell, the service life will be increased drastically.

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