I don’t know about you but for me it has been a VERY busy last few months - so much so that I’ve had to put the blog on the back burner, but fear not my friends that doesn’t mean I haven’t been shooting a veritable cornucopia of film cameras while I’ve been on my travels, and travel is the operative word for this blog which features my latest travelling companion the Olympus 35RC.
I wanted something which had a proper focussing system, a coupled lightmeter, decent viewfinder and obviously a great lens - and can it all be wrapped up in a (just about) pocketable body as well please?! fortunately back in the 70’s the good folks at Olympus had already prefigured my demands and manufactured a great series of rangefinder cameras which would fit the bill nicely.
At first glance you’d be forgiven for mistaking the Olympus 35RC for one of those naff toy camera jobs but this is a serious camera with a serious lens and feature set - if only it was in the posesssion of a serious photographer eh?!
The camera itself is a pleasure to use - it’s a shutter priority rangefinder which manages to have a large viewfinder that also shows you all the exposure readings and meter readout which is no mean feat and something that mega expensive posh leicas don’t do! The shutter is near silent and whilst the focus ring on the lens feels pretty loose/cheap it is a very short focus throw and easy to nail focus, in short I highly recommend you try one if you can, the lens itself is a 42mm f2.8 zuiko and as I am already a paid up member of the Olympus Zuiko appreciation society this lens is worthy of that name!
As befits a good travel cam the pics here are from all over the place - I’ve been doing a lot of travelling for work (one of the reasons why I haven’t been blogging as much) and was lucky enough to work in Ireland for a few days (note pint of actual Irish Guiness, purely for scale purposes) On my travels I shot two rolls of Kodak Gold 200 with the 35RC a film which is often overlooked in favour of it’s more professsional grade relations in the Kodak lineup but I managed to pick up 10 rolls which were on the verge of expiry for £20 - these were immediately put on ice in the freezer to keep them just on the edge of expiry for eternity! I really like the look of this film, it’s got a good grain texture and handles colours well too - in good light the images are clean and crisp, in the shadows and poor lighting you start to see the film struggling a bit but as it is I’m more than happy with how it’s turned out and given the price it’s well worth it.
These first few images are on the streets of Wakefield and are my first shots with the camera, it’s discrete enough to be a solid street shooter although still not as diminuitive as my Rolle 35S it more than makes up for this with having a coupled rangefinder which I much prefer to the scale focus estimation of the Rollei.
And we’re airborn! the flight from Manchester to Knock in County Mayo gave me a good opportunity to recreate a few of those holiday snaps we all took in the late 90’s and 00’s :) Lovely colours and contrast which is a combination of the lens and film working together of course - there is a noticeable amount of grain in the images here but it’s nice, I like it! Embrace the Grain people!
A few images of the stunning Westport House in County Mayo, just around the corner from my hotel - wonderful old buildings and scenery
As a whole package the Olympus 35RC is wonderful, it does have a quirk which requires mentioning, in shutter priority mode the camera won’t allow you to take a shot if it thinks the exposure is wrong which is slightly annoying - i appreciate it’s trying to save my precious film snaps but ultimately I’d like to be the one who decides! if the camera thinks that the scene is too dark or too light then it just disconnects the shutter button so nothing happens! in the grand scheme of things this is a minor thing especially given that the whole package is such a sweet shooter.
Again, I’m really pleased with the sharpness and contrast in these images - the Zuiko lens is a beaut!!
Tipping it down with rain for the flight back to Manchester….
Blue skies above the clouds….
…and more rain as we come in to land in Manchester
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little trip to Ireland and back (via Wakefield)?! the Oly 35RC is amazing and I cannot recommend it enough! I’ll be back soon with some more tales of daring do in the realm of film - in the meantime happy travels and safe home!