CLA recommendations sought for Olympus RC

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by kirt_carter, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. I purchased a near mint Olympus RC earlier in the summer and have been quite pleased with sharp and contrasty
    images. My only complaint is that the rangefinder patch is a tad difficult to sight in on under some lighting
    conditions. I compared it to a friend's RC today and hers is much brighter. I have cleaned everything externally
    spotless. As I would like to keep this camera as part of my classic collection for years to come, I would not mind
    sending it for a CLA. As such, I have two questions for the experienced folk here:
    1. Would a CLA help brighten the rangefinder patch or is this something I should just live with?
    2. If yes to the question above, can you suggest a most reputable repair person I can send the RC to?
    Thank you very much. I enjoy reading this forum on a daily basis and have learned a lot from all of you.
  2. I would recommend Classic Camera Workshop. I just received my Canonet QL17 and was surprised how bright a compact rangefinder window can be! When I sent it to him the shutter was frozen, the seals were a gooey mess, and the rangefinder was cloudy. For about a hundred dollars he made it look and operate like new and included the battery conversion.
  3. I don't have good answers to your questions, but I hope you'll remember to share whatever you come up with. I've got two of those little beauties, and both have kind of dim rf spots. The 35 RC is somewhat easier to work on than a lot of Japanese cameras from that era. Rick Oleson has an excellent page on servicing the 35 RC, and there's a link to that on my page about the camera. As you will see, it is not very hard to get the top off. Unfortunately, I've never gained much from cleaning rangefinders, and there is some danger of damaging the mirror surfaces. Rick also has a page illustrating an easy quick fix for the problem which even someone like me with ten thumbs can accomplish.
  4. The rangefinder patch in that camera should be very sharp and nice. If you are reasonably handy, you can remove
    the top plate and clean the rangefinder/viewfinder yourself. There are two tricky parts to removing the top plate: The
    screw holding the self-timer lever and the screw holding the shutter speed knob. They are not typical screws, but
    you can usually loosen them with a paper clip bent into a U shape and held close to the screw. Once inside,
    cleaning the rangefinder isn't that difficult...stay clear of the semi-silvered diagonal glass, though. You can see how I
    clean a typical rangefinder in the re-sealing instructions I've written for the Petri Racer ( ). While not exactly like the Olympus, the process is very
    similar. I've written instructions for re-sealing the RC, also (although not including the rangefinder
    cleaning/adjustment). If anybody needs those, please e:mail me and I'll gladly send a pdf file via e:mail. I even show
    you just how to re-create that odd-shaped pad which holds the film canister in place. Good luck. If the remainder of
    the camera is working fine, I'd not pay the cost of a CLA. Money is dear these days, isn't it? I'd re-seal it myself
    (the kit I sell won't cost but $10 or $10.50 including mailing costs no matter where in the world you live) and I'd clean
    it myself, too. I think you might have fun doing it, actually.


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