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Help Needed Please: CDS Light Sensor

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by Thomas Keidan, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Thomas Keidan

    Thomas Keidan Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone, my new Olympus 35 RC recently arrived with a slightly too small lens cap. When I was trying to put it on I noticed It may have rubbed against the CDS light cell which is on the side of the camera lens. Do I have to be super fragile around the CDS cell or does it not matter if it get's scratched or anything like that? I'm a complete novice so I apologise if this is a stupid question.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Either the meter works or it doesn't. I doubt rubbing the cover would do much to it unless you were using a permanent black marker pen. I'd suggest to check the reading against something else just to be sure it is on calibration.
  3. Thomas Keidan

    Thomas Keidan Well-Known Member

    I suspected so, I haven't put a battery in the camera yet but was worried that me scratching it in any way (not that I have) would affect it's operation in any way... do I not need to worry about it?
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I can't tell you not to worry if you are prone so to do :)

    Best thing is to put a battery in it if it needs one and test it out. Cameras are not so delicate that they fall apart at a touch but it's best not to throw them across the room.
  5. Thomas Keidan

    Thomas Keidan Well-Known Member

    Hi Rob, yes I am very prone to worrying! The camera in question has been recently refurbished so everything should work ok. I just noticed that when I was putting the lens cap on that the CDS light meter is very much in the way. I was worried that a scratch to the coating may affect it's abilities in some way! But from what you're saying I don't think that's the case.
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    A Cadmium Sulphide cell isn't exactly a precision light gathering device. A scratch on the window will make virtually no difference to how it reads. Essentially a CDS cell is a resistor that changes value depending on the intensity of light falling on it, a scratch won't affect that unless it is large and even then it probably won't have a profound effect. Unless your lens cap is metal the window on the cell will be harder than the lens cap.
  7. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I have two Olympus 35 RCs, although neither has been used for many years. The original one was my first competent camera, upgrading from an Instamatic. I passed it to my wife when I bought an SLR, she dropped it at Devil’s Bridge, mid Wales, where it landed on a rock and would then only work on manual. Repair wasn’t economical, so I went into London to buy a new compact camera, but couldn’t find anything contemporary that offered both manual control, and the ability to juggle exposure, shutter speed and aperture under automatic exposure, and came home with another 35 RC, 2nd hand, for about the same cost as my original one had been new.

    On the front, to the side of the camera lens, is a small, strongly convex lens. Behind that is a ring with a series of aperture holes for controlling light admission to the CDS cell, which must be behind that ring, so you wouldn’t have touched the cell itself. (Your post reminds me that I don’t think it ever occurred to me that I should clean that lens.)

    I’m surprised your post is under ‘Lens Matters’ rather than ‘Olympus Chat’, but I wouldn’t have noticed it there!

    Enjoy your 35 RC. Mine was mainly responsible for generating my enthusiasm for photography. I loved the combination of compactness and control it offered, and the lock that prevented the shutter opening for over- or under-exposed shots, at a time when I found film and developing expensive. But I always regretted that I couldn’t put a protective filter over the lens, as it would have blocked access to the film speed dial. I used that for exposure compensation, setting a low film speed for snow, etc, modified by experience. So it wouldn’t have mattered whether the meter was accurate, as long as it was consistent. But when I took a photo of our group in a London tube train, I was shocked how much the upright handrail was curved by barrel distortion. Also I learned not to use AGFA film, as the RC 35 chewed out the sprocket holes. I came back from our honeymoon with about 3 shots on one roll, thinking the film seemed to be lasting a long time!

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  8. Thomas Keidan

    Thomas Keidan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for such an in depth response Chris, I was worried that the convex lens you mentioned was quite fragile but it seems as if any cosmetic damage to it would not affect the light meter's functionality in any way which is a big relief. This is my first film camera and i've heard it's a great entry into the world of film. Really excited to start shooting with it!
  9. Thomas Keidan

    Thomas Keidan Well-Known Member

    Thanks Geoff, that is a big relief. I was worried I might have damaged something but it's good to know I havent'

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