This one (a later model) is from 1959 or so. It’s a fun little camera that weighs a ton especially given its small size (lots of metal and glass).
It’s an Olympus 35-S II that’s co-branded with Tower which I think is a bit odd. Nowhere on the body is it marked “Tower 10” – the only clue can be found in the instruction booklet. The model with the E. Zuiko f2.8 lens is the Model 10.
My camera is in surprisingly good operating condition considering it’s been sitting in a little vinyl camera case in a shed for more than a few years! Only three issues with it – “bulb” does not work, what appears to be typical for this model, there’s “brassing/corrosion” around the film advance lever, and lastly, the rangefinder/viewfinder windows had become detached from inside the camera and were misaligned. Oh, and it was a tad bit dirty.
It was pretty straightforward taking the top plate off from the body. A minimum of parts to remove and the viewfinder window was easy to get to and repair with some fresh glue and a steady hand. The viewfinder was actually very clean and thank goodness there was no mold or fungus to deal with.
As best as I can figure, the “Luminous Frame Window” (center) helps to bring more light into the viewfinder to aid in focusing. The view is impressive. It’s bright, clear and sharp inside that thingy.
It’s a rather simple camera – I like that! The three windows identify that this is the 35-S II vice the original 35-S
The corrosion around the film advance lever gives the camera some character – or that’s the story I’m sticking with! The lens, as described by Olympus, is a “fast” f2.8 made up of 5 elements in 4 groups (4.8cm).
Thanks for stopping by! If you can find a nice Tower/Olympus 35-S II I think you’ll find it a fun little camera to own. – Chris
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