Olympus 35 DC Rangefinder
The Olympus 35 DC is an almost forgotten small rangefinder, first appearing in the early 1970s, with automatic aperture and shutter. The photographer only has to load, wind the film, focus and click the shutter. Really a point and shoot. This is not terminology I like as it intimates there is no real consideration of the subject which should be front of mind for the photographer.
It has the same F Zuiko 6 element 40mm F1.7 lens as the much revered RD. The body is slightly larger than the Olympus RC but smaller than the Minolta 7SII, making the DC a great camera for out and about. To give some degree of exposure control it has a back light button which when utilised narrows the metering range to the rangefinder patch, prioritising this area of the image. In the reality of street photography where only a few seconds may be available for the shot the DC is the perfect choice. Olympus build quality shines through with the shutter release being very quiet. The aperture/shutter speed settings selected by the DC appear clearly along the lower edge of the viewfinder. The rangefinder co-incident patch is sharp and contrasty. The DC is best suited to normal daylight photography using a moderately fast film. The fast (F1.7) lens does confer reasonable low light capability but the shutter does not go below 1/15. The shutter locks if the light conditions are outside the DC’s meter parameters. There is no B setting so the DC is not a night owl. Take the RD, RC or SP instead. It does need an Wein MRB625 1.35v battery to operate the meter as well as the shutter being auto aperture/shutter. It is the best option to use the Wein cell battery as these deliver a steady voltage over their life, whereas other alternatives deliver a slowly declining voltage which can result in random light meter readouts. The full auto design of the DC is a blessing most of the time, especially if you are in a new city and want to cover as much ground as possible. You can take your time framing up and the DC takes care of the technicalities. Go ahead, find your subject, focus and take the picture. When you develop the film you will be smiling. The DC is worth remembering with an A+ Olympus DC coming in at NZ$250 - $300.