Model: Olympus-35 ECR
Lens: 42mm f/2.8 E. Zuiko lens, aperture range f/3.5 to f/13 (yes, f/13 says the manual. Perhaps they were all out of f/16 that day?). Minimum focus distance is .9 m/3 ft. 43mm filer thread.
Shutter: Seiko ESF shutter, shutter speeds 4 s – 1/800 s. Exposure and aperture settings are fully automatic, no manual control.
ASA settings: 25-800
Batteries: 2 x PX640 (mercury batteries, no longer available).
PC sync socket
For flash photography, guide number of flash is set on a ring, and then aperture is adjusted based on the focal distance setting.
Shutter lock on front of the camera, to prevent accidental exposure.
Slow shutter speed LED on top and in viewfinder.
Film advance is with a thumb wheel.
This camera is smaller than the Minolta Hi-Matic F, and one of the smallest rangefinders ever made. It’s a really cute camera! I’ve got it next to a Yashica Electr-35 below, so you can get a sense of the size. Unfortunately, the full-auto aspect of the camera drives me nuts. Therefore I’ve only run one roll through it so far, and it’ll be awhile before I do so again. Not being able to select my aperture is just insanity! The camera did seem to perform well with getting the exposure right, although I did also have one or two blank or severely dark frames. I don’t know if this was exposure error, a defect in this particular camera, or user error…but hey, I wasn’t allowed to set anything myself, so it can’t be my fault.
I put in two 625 Alkaline batteries, with some aluminum foil stuffed in to make up the difference in battery height. Seems to work just fine.
This is a ‘fast focusing’ rangefinder. By that I mean the focusing ring has a relatively short travel range. Focusing is possibly less precise, but faster to get where you need to go. The overlaid-image portion of the viewfinder is an ill-defined blob of a circle, but the image itself is reasonably bright and easy to focus. The size is pushing the limits of what my big hands can properly control, but it’s still usable.
I want to like this camera. But for quick shooting, in street photography for example, it’s hard to rely on range/zone focusing with this camera. You don’t know what your aperture is, so you don’t know what your depth of field is. Therefore you can’t just set the camera to its hyperfocal distance and shoot away. Nor can you reliably approximate the distance and pray your depth of focus is sufficient to compensate for bad guessing. You have to be precise with your focusing, in other words. Also the thumbwheel film advance is a little slow and cheesy-feeling. The ECR *is* small enough that no one will take you seriously, which is probably a good thing.