Experience report

Olympus 35 LE

Single-lens fully automatic rangefinder. This is quite a rare camera and impossible to find any information about. If anyone reading this blog has access to the user’s manual please get in touch!

Work in progress! My experience reports are updated all the time. Please visit again from time to time.

The Basics

Type of cameraSingle-lens rangefinder type camera, combination of metal and plastic body.
Film/sensor type/size35mm film (24x36mm )
Lens typeD.Zuiko 42mm 1:1.7, 7 elements…. 8 diaphragm blades…
Closest focus distance0.8m
Filter size55mm.
ViewfinderFixed. Size? Magnification?
FocusingFixed, overlapping pictures type. Parallax corrected?
Exposure meterBattery-powered CdS sensor. Located above the lens and inside the filter ring.
Exposure programFully automatic.
Exposure lockNone.
Exposure compensationNone. Use ISO setting.
Shutter typeSeiko 1/15 to 1/500. Metal-bladed, vertical travel, focal plane. Cocked via film advance lever.
Shutter speedManual 1″-1/1000 + B
ASA setting and rangeManual, 12-1600
FlashNo built-in flash. Electronic flash PC socket 1/125 sec
Multiple exposure mechanismAutomatic prevention. You can probably use the rewind release button on the bottom plate.
Film advanceManual, single stroke lever
Film rewindManual, folding crank
Self-timer mechanismYes – 10 seconds using button in front of the camera.
Interchangeable backsNo.
Weight and size 14 x 9 x 6,5 cm, 689 g
Battery typeNeeds a battery to function. Still a mystery what type of battery I can use. One 1.5V 625 seems to work fine.
Year of production1965.
Repair and maintenanceBattery size probably a problem. Need to create some kind of adapter. Light seals will need changing.
Link to manualCannot find it 🙁

Shooting experience

Just started using it. Difficult to see if it even works properly. Having trouble finding any information about the camera, in particular the battery. It looks quite stylish in its half-case. It is supposed to have an excellent lens. Bought very cheap.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good lens, f:1.7.
  • Quite stylish in its half-case

Cons:

  • Battery.

Automation

35 LE seems to be a fully automated camera. It was marketed as the first fully electronic rangefinder. It is similar to my Minolta Hi-Matic E:

  • Fully automatic functioning.

Other resources and references

  • Technical data about the camera (in French) at this site.
  • A review of the camera done by Tobias Eriksson is here.
  • A 5 “frames with” post by Tobias here (not much more information than the above review).

Sample photos

Here are some photos taken with camera.

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Verdict

Not decided yet.

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