The Olympus 35 SP Rangefinder

Recorded on June 29th, 2016

I’m perfectly happy with the Panasonic GX1 and the toys (strap and viewfinder) I’ve gotten for it recently. But part of me is always on the lookout for the next great new (or old) piece of gear. I was googling the phrase “poor man’s Leica”, and found that rangefinder nerds have a million opinions on what constitutes a poor man’s Leica. One camera that came up consistently in those search results was the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII. It looks marvelous and easy to use. People love it, but, superficially, I don’t care for its looks that much. Something about that trapezoidal rangefinder window over the lens puts me off. (However, a black one instead of a chrome one would would be very nice.)

Canonet QL17

As I hunted around further, I saw more and more mentions of the Olympus 35 SP. Yes, it’s at once cuter and also uglier than the Canonet. Most importantly, its lens is the highly regarded Zuiko 42mm f/1.7, it has dual-metering, and it is supposedly lightning fast at manual focus. I’m not saying I’m going out to buy one on eBay, but if I happen upon one at a yard sale, I will pick it up.

All this searching really makes me want to get a roll of Tri-X 400.

photo of Olympus 35 SP camera

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