Olympus XA


The technical stuff:

Camera type: Rangefinder

Lens Type: Zuiko 35mm f2.8

Shutter Type: Seiko

Aperture Priority Automatic exposure



The photographer's pocket camera, and that's a small pocket. Such a miniscule camera and with manual controls for aperture, iso, rangefinder focus and even a thumbwheel winder. Sadly this particular example is missing it's shutter button but it does still work with a bit of a fiddle. If the first roll lives up to expectation I may have it repaired.

Using a little ingenuity and some stiff card I have fabricated a shutter button and it's now operational. In fact after it's first outing it has become my digital substitute. I was getting ready to go out and couldn't find a digi with live batteries so I whacked a roll of film in the XA and took it with me instead. The only reasons I carry a digital is for convenience and to use as a lightmeter but this fulfils both roles. That was a great decision and very quickly showed me why these little gems are so sought after, I can't wait to see the results of the first roll.

Well, the results are in and they are not quite as good as anticipated but certainly good enough for the purpose intended. Having said, this is the first roll and with practice it can only get better. It is a bit prone to overexposure and you have to be careful to avoid getting fingers in the way of the lens. One thing which is for certain is that it is ready for instant pictures. Because the lens cover locks the shutter it's safe to roll the film on to the next frame so all you need to do is slide open the cover and you're ready to shoot. There's no waiting for the lens to extend or circuits to warm up and no auto flash to disable just point and shoot.





























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