Olympus 35 SP meter nightmare

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by The Salaryman, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. The Salaryman

    The Salaryman Member

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    Hi all

    Well I hope I did not make too big a mistake! I got impatient to try a 35 SP and bought the most lovely one ive ever seen on ebay - with the caveat that the vendor 'did not have a battery' and therefore could not verify if the meter was operable and would not accept returns on that basis. Bidders were going for it like mad. I called Luton Camera who priced a CLA and mistakenly told me it would be like £20 to replace the meter if needs be. I thought I was on to a winner.

    They've had it for a while now so I called to check on progress. I was told that the meter was not recalibrating or coming to life and they were not sure why. It needs a meter of its own (can't use the OM-1/RD type) and of course they have none. I feel a raging fool for not doing more extensive research and being more paranoid about ebay. The camera itself is lovely apparently and they are still trying to get the meter operational. There is a still a 'chance'. Otherwise, I have to find a meter. And I've blown my budget already :-(. Any ideas or contacts anywhere in the world where I may find a meter to put in there if needs be? Its an awful situation! I'm just not a handheld meter kind of guy. If I was, I would be rocking an M3 or some other wonderment.

    Cheers,

    j
     
  2. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    OK, well you don't need the meter for this camera to work. The "sunny 16" rule works, and works as well as most metering systems I've seen. See Fred Parker's guide to exposure without a meter here: http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm.
     
  3. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    The normal solution is to buy one with a working meter but a banged up lens or some such and from these two basket cases make one working camera.

    I have an SP with a jammed shutter/aperture that someone tried to fix and really munged up. No idea if the meter works though. Do you have any idea about which part of the metering system is bad?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    The Salaryman

    The Salaryman Member

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    Thanks both! Luton just rung today and much to my relief they somehow got the meter 'fired up again' so fingers crossed! We'll see. For my own curiousity and knowledge I'll try to find out what was wrong and post on it here...j
     
  5. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    So would we.

    I think a very important part of these threads is the final resolution of the problem. Often they end with a string of suggestions and some go-round but no indication of what the OP eventually found out - did the problem get fixed and what was the fix: did one of the suggestions work, did none of the suggestions work, did the OP give up?

    Negative results are just as important as positive results. Knowing what doesn't work is very valuable knowledge.
     
  6. vitus

    vitus Member

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    Hi,
    it would be nice if you share the final problem with your 35 SP meter.
    I have that great 35 SP camera, the meter works but it needs recalibrating or cleaning because it doesn’t work properly. During the years I noticed a lot of 35 SP examples with bad meter on eBay.
    It is no easy to find 40-ty years old Olympus-35 SP camera with accurate meter including properly working SPOT function. The meter problem is well known weak point of all 35 SP cameras.

    The Zuiko Repair Service told “New parts for the SP are long gone. Dead meter could be caused by a corroded battery wire, but often it is due to a dead cds cell or open meter movement. In most cases the only fix for those two problems is to swap in parts from a working camera”

    But the lens is so marvelous, the rangefinder is so quick and accurate and the quality of the pictures is so excellent that the camera is worth to keep even with bad meter.

    If your feeling is you overpaid the camera because of CLA service, I tell you something true. You have the great, lovely Olympus with excellent 7- elements 42mm f/1.7 Zuiko lens which is comparable to expensive Leica CL 40mm f/2 Leitz Summicron.

    The meter reliability is also well known Leica CL weak point but for one CL you can buy a lot of SP cameras, swap in parts/meters and always feel happy.

    Jan Wilhelm
     
  7. Oak Street Studio

    Oak Street Studio Member

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    Who needs a in camera meter with these amazing optics? Hand held meters aren't scary and I find them even faster then on board meters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2010
  8. grainyday

    grainyday Member

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    Cant agree more with above - the 35 Sp despite its never ready case, loud shutter and being .. lets say it just ugly - is the most precious camera I have or I shot with. fast, reliable , quick focus. and the contasty lens does the rest. I love this ugly Shrek even more with working spot meter. Have fun.
     
  9. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    Did you get anywhere with your 35SP in the end Salaryman...?