Olympus 35 | Vintage Exploration

Olympus 35 | Vintage Exploration Series | Antique Vintage Film Camera

Recently I told you about the discovery of a box of vintage cameras found in my grandma’s closet (click here to see the post). I took a series of photos of each of these gems and am finally ready to start sharing them! Today I want to tell you about the Olympus 35.

Olympus 35 | Vintage Exploration Series | Antique Vintage Film Camera

I’ve had a hard time finding info on the web about the Olympus 35. The closest I can find is the Olympus 35I which is very similar. The 35I was released in Tokyo in 1948. The one in my family’s possession, to the best of my grandma’s knowledge, dates back to sometime between 1954 & 1955 when my grandfather was stationed in Japan with the U.S. Marine Corps. My grandmother can’t remember if grandpa purchased it before he went overseas or while he was there. What we do know is that there are photo albums from his time in Japan with photographs taken with this camera.

Grandpa’s Olympus 35 is still in pristine working condition. It is a bit dusty, but even the leather case is in remarkable shape and looking no where near its 60+ year age. My husband and I put a roll of film in it and took a few photos (I’ll share those another day).

Below are a few of my favorites from the Olympus 35 Collection.

Olympus 35 | Vintage Exploration Series | Antique Vintage Film Camera

Olympus 35 | Vintage Exploration Series | Antique Vintage Film Camera

Olympus 35 | Vintage Exploration Series | Antique Vintage Film Camera

I hope you enjoyed the brief trip back into my family’s history!

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  1. Garth on September 5, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for the interesting post and beautiful photos. I also inherited an Olympus 35Ia in remarkable condition. I’m in the process of learning how it operates. The shutter and aperture are self explanatory. Do you know what the R, D, A switch on top does?


    • Angela Andrieux on September 6, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Garth, Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I had a lot of fun capturing the photos of my grandpa’s Olympus 35. I’ll have to do a bit more research on the RDA switch. I have no idea what it does and the web searches I’ve done haven’t proved helpful. I’ll have to see if I by chance have the original manual. Stay tuned! :-)

      • Kelly on September 16, 2016 at 10:33 am


        I recently acquired an Olympus 35 at an estate sale and was curious about it’s history too. I searched the web and had dated the camera from around 1948-1955 with only one difference…. The letters E.P on top of the viewfinder. To narrow down which model I had I decided to reach out to Olympus directly (the EP was throwing me off). Olympus was kind enough to respond to my inquiry (asked for pictures) and responded with the below. If you have the manual, please scan and share it here (I’m also searching).

        Thank you for your reply with attached images.

        We appreciate your time.

        Regarding your inquiry, this model is Olympus 35IVa (1953)
        and you can see more info listed link below.


        Concerning the E.P mark on top of the view finder, probably
        E.P meant the shopping center called “Exchange Post”
        on American military base back then.

        Therefore this model may have sold only military base in
        Japan in around 1953.

        For your information, you can see more history of our camera
        from following link below.


        We hope that you will enjoy your Olympus camera continuously
        for a long time to come.

  2. S. Philip Neri on February 4, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    R stands for rewind

    D stands for bracket double exposure of a single frame

    A stands for manual standard normal shooting mode


  3. Paulo Cesar Schmaedecke on August 3, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Angela!
    I’m in south Brazil. Beautiful photos and interesting article have some Olympus, and love its.
    If you want see my fotos it is ni my page on Facebook.

    • Angela Andrieux on August 4, 2023 at 10:01 am

      Hi Paulo – Thanks for your comment and kind words!

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