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Olympus Auto Eye

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The Auto Eye series were rangefinder cameras introduced by Olympus in April 1960. The Auto Eye was the first Japanese camera with automatic exposure[1], and one of three selenium metered automatic exposure cameras marketed by Olympus prior to advent of cadmium disulfide (CdS) cell metering[2].

There were two Auto Eye models, which featured:

  • built-in selenium exposure meters, fully coupled for shutter-priority automatic exposure. Setting a combination of shutter speed, ASA film sensitivity and "A" on flash-distance dial allowed meter to mechanically stop down aperture. Exposure readiness shown with brightline indicator in viewfinder and match-needle window on back of the camera.
  • +1 to -1 stop exposure compensation via ASA lever: setting lever at "+" next to given ASA allowed auto exposure to underexpose, and at "-" to overexpose.
  • "Pre-VU" auto exposure lock prior to shutter release.
  • 4-element D.Zuiko 45 mm / f 2.8 fixed lens.
  • Copal SL or SV shutter with speeds 1 sec to 1/500 sec plus B mode, with X and M flash-synchronization[3],

and,

  • "Flashmatic" flash distance and guide number compensation.

The first Auto Eye model was marketed for only two years and was replaced in 1962 by its successors, the Auto Eye II and Olympus SC Electro Set. The production of Olympus selenium metered auto exposure rangefinders ended with the introduction of the Olympus 35 SC in 1963.

References Edit

  1. JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p105.
  2. Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code numbers 3592, 3593, 3594.
  3. Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code numbers 3592, 3593.

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