Olympus microscopes and photomicrographic equipment

SC 35 Type 12 microscope camera


The SC 35 Type 12 body is a modified version of the OM101 (which was known as the OM88 in North America), designed for use with Olympus microscopes and the Photomicro Adapter L.

Olympus SC 35 Type 12Olympus SC 35 Type 12
Olympus SC 35 Type 12 – FrontManual adapter
Olympus SC 35 Type 12
Olympus SC 35 Type 12 – Top

The differences from the OM101 include:

The non-interchangeable Focusing Screen 1-12 makes the SC 35 Type 12 suitable for use with the Auto Bellows or the Telescopic Auto Tube 65–116 and the 20 mm and 38 mm bellows macro lenses. To fit the Auto Bellows, a 7 mm Extension Tube (manual or automatic) needs to be fitted to the SC 35 body so that the release lever on the camera body mount does not foul the overhanging pentaprism. To fit and remove the Telescopic Auto Tube, its tripod collar needs to be loosened so that it does not foul the base of the camera.

Microscope ref. SC-35-12
Olympus no. 7-C563
US catalog no.


There were 3 other versions of the SC 35, differing in the focusing screen and the hot shoe; none of them are suitable for microscopes. Type 9 was fitted with Screen 1-9 (for endoscopes), Type 11 was fitted with Screen 1-11 (for macro photography), and Type 15 was fitted with Screen 1-15 (for fibrescopes and borescopes). The 1-15 screen was not available separately.


The OM-2(N), OM-2SP and OM-4(Ti) can be fitted with the Focusing screen 1-12 and the Winder 2, to provide most of the functions of the SC 35 Type 12.

Going digital

It is not possible to convert the SC 35 to digital operation, so it needs to be replaced by a digital SLR and a simple adapter. The best replacement is a full-frame digital SLR such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, because the sensor is the same size as 35 mm film and you can continue to use your NFK 2.5× photo eyepiece.

You can also use a camera with a smaller APS-C sensor, for example the Canon EOS 7D, 40D, 50D, 600D (Rebel T3i) or 1100D (Rebel T3), but the field of view will be reduced unless you use an NFK 1.67× photo eyepiece; unfortunately these are uncommon and expensive.

Cheap adapters that allow a Canon EOS to accept Olympus OM lenses are readily available on eBay, and these adapters are also suitable for use with microscope adapters.

Instruction leaflet

These instructions are from a document entitled “Light Microscope Cameras” prepared by R. Briggs.

Olympus SC 35 Camera

Camera Information

This camera can be used for 35mm film (color-, B&W- or slide-film). The camera will be attached to a light colored OM mount (Photo Micro Adapter L).


Loading the Film

The camera has a provision for automatic film speed (ISO) setting and first frame positioning.


Setting the Exposure

There are 3 ways to set your exposure using this camera:

  1. Auto exposure:
    • set the mode dial on top of the camera to A (automatic);
    • set the shutter speed setting dial on the side of the camera to X;
    • the camera will automatically read the ASA and set the shutter speed accordingly.
  2. Manual exposure:
    • set the mode dial on top of the camera to M (manually);
    • turn the shutter speed dial on the side of the camera to the desired shutter speed.
  3. Bulb exposure:
    • set the mode dial on top of the camera to M (manually);
    • set the shutter speed dial on the side of the camera to B and shoot. The shutter will remain open while the shutter release button is depressed.

Taking a Picture


Exposure Compensation


Rewinding the Film

When the motor stops while winding the film, the film has reached the end. Audible and visual signals will warn you if you continue to press the shutter release button.

Shut Down

Checking Batteries

Instruction book

The Olympus instruction book for the OM88 camera provides illustrated instructions for loading and unloading film, and for changing batteries.

Send comments or questions to Alan Wood

Unicode Encoded
Created 23rd October 2010   —   Updated 28th December 2011
Copyright © 2010–2011 Alan Wood

Olympus microscopes and photomicrographic equipment

Olympus OM system close-up and macro equipment