Thursday, March 8, 2007

Meet the Ace

Once in a while, there are cameras that intrigues me more than others. Even among Olympus cameras. One of them is the Olympus Ace. This is the first and the last foray into interchangeable-lens rangefinder market that Olympus ever made (as far as my research shows).

Last week I got a Tower 19, which is what Olympus Ace E is known in the United States, distributed by Sears, the only indication that it's manufactured by Olympus is the lens markings and the leatherette embossing on the back

Cosmetically, it is in a pretty bad shape, there are dirt, grime, grease, oxidation, you name it all over the top chrome covering, the bottom is pretty clean, and the leatherette cover is in very good condition.

However, the rangefinder is working, the self-timer is working, even the selenium meter is pretty accurate.

Operations on the camera are smooth. Just as I expect from Olympus cameras (when they are in working condition, that is). The film advance lever has a tactile feel to it, and it springs back nicely, the shutter on the other hand is too light to touch for me, I accidentally snapped two frames just because I rested my finger on it.

One thing that confuses me is that the shutter speed ring has the ASA numbers on it (at the bottom) but the ASA selector knob is detached from the ring, as the result, when I change the shutter speed, the knob is no longer pointing to the correct ASA number. What gives??

I hope I'm just missing something obvious here.

Now, the cool part about this camera is that the lens is detachable, there are a total of 4 lenses available when this camera hit the market in 1958. One day maybe I will get the other lenses, but for now, I'm stuck with the "standard" one, a five-element 45mm/2.8 E.Zuiko.

As for the all important image quality, have a look at a this flickr set

This one is my favorite: