There’s A Hole in My Olympus 35RC

This is the Olympus 35 RC. It’s a great little 35mm rangefinder camera. Lightweight, easy to use, really good lens. The 35 RC ticks most of the boxes that I’d want ticked for a camera in this category. Plus it’s got great build quality. Or, pretty good build quality. Or…decent build quality? Ok, the build quality is very good. Here’s why I bring it up all.

As I mentioned, the 35 RC is a small camera so I never attach a strap to it. I took the camera out to shoot over the course of a couple of sunny days and had a great time with it. I shot a roll of Ilford Delta 400, developed in HC-110 (dilution B). I gave the wet strip of negatives a quick once-over and immediately noticed a series of dark bands stamped along the left edge of each of the last 10 or so frames.

I was stumped as to what had happened but figured I’d do a more a thorough inspection later. When I looked at the scans I found myself no closer to an answer. I mean, the “bands” looked sort of like light leaks but they were the most uniform light leaks I’d ever seen. 

I grabbed the camera, opened the back and checked out the light seals. They looked fine.

I glared at the camera after setting it down in front of me. And that’s when I saw it.

It was missing a lug! If I were a normal person who actually uses a strap of some kind I would have known there was a missing lug, leaving a gaping hole (am I being overly dramatic?) that allowed light into the film chamber.

I devised a brilliant solution: black tape!

Sadly, I can’t report on the effectiveness of that solution because my Olympus 35 RC is dead. DEAD. And it’s not the battery. But the shots from my final outing with the camera live on below.

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