5 frames with...

5 frames with an Olympus 35 LE – By Tobias Eriksson

I bought my Olympus 35 LE believing it was an Olympus 35 LC. It is now a camera that I cherish, but was for a while one I wanted to forget.

The camera has fully automatic exposure control. Apparently, when it was introduced in 1965, it was “the world’s first programmable electronic shutter with a flashmatic function” (Camerapedia). I have no idea what that means. All I know is that it is the one exception I make from my obsession with total control of the film exposing process. It is the only full auto exposure camera I use.

The LE is of equal size to my Canonet QL 17, which was featured in an earlier ‘5 frames with‘. These two fixed lens rangefinder cameras have the same SLR-like size and weight.

My disappointment with having gotten an auto-exposure camera (LE) instead of a manually controlled one (LC) – and it needing an extinct battery model to even be usable – had me exiling the camera into a box for six months. Somehow I got wind of what voltage was required to power the exposure electronics, and since it was common enough I inserted a battery and some more junk to fill up the space. And it worked! I only need to compensate two steps of ASA to let in more light, apart from that the exposure works well.

These 5 examples are from two rolls of Fuji Superia 200 exposed on our summer vacation. We usually spend an entire week with my girlfriend’s family in a green oasis on the west Coast of Sweden. I am very happy with the rendering of the lens. And of the 53 year old exposure thingamajig! The shutter is so quiet I took several pictures of my furrowed brow inspecting it.

Thanks for reading!
Visit my Etsy shop &
read my Blog!

Important Information

Analogue Spotlight at The Photography Show: The Photography Show 2020 is set to have a much bigger Analogue Photography presence with a new “Analogue Spotlight” feature and a significantly increased contingent of analogue photography businesses and individuals having stands or a presence at the show.
Find out more about the show including a code for dicounted tickets here,

Support the upkeep of 35mmc:For as little as $1 a month, you can help support the upkeep of this website. The more people chuck me a small amount of cash each month, the more time I can spend building and improving upon it - simple as that!
Or, for $2 a month you can get access to my behind the scenes micro-blog over on Patreon!

Either way, want to help out, become a patron of 35mmc here:

Become a Patron!

Alternatively, if you just enjoyed this post, or like the odd post here and there, please feel free to chuck a few pennies in the tip jar via Ko fi here:

Write for 35mmc: read more here, about how you can help build upon this ever growing resource
Subscribe/Follow: click here, to discover all the ways you can follow 35mmc

You Might Also Like


  • Avatar
    Mike Eckman
    June 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    What a neat camera! I love Olympus’s full size rangefinders of the 60s. I need to get one of these for a review of my own one day!

  • Reply
    Olympus 35 LE – The Frame
    February 21, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    […] 5 “frames with” post by Tobias here (not much more information than the above […]

  • Avatar
    March 2, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Hello! I recently purchased this camera. I’m have quiet a difficult time finding a manual online to show me how to insert the battery- let alone what type a battery I need. If you could shed some light that would helpful! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    March 2, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Hi! Yeah, I found nothing online. If I remember correctly a 4,5v battery is what it needs. Tape three together, then add some bundled foil to press them in place. It worked for me.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Thank you for commenting

    ...now share the post with your friends?