My Olympus XA

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I recently bought a new film camera to ease my hunger for the two more expensive ones that I really would love to get my hands on, a Bessa R3M and an old Hasselblad medium format. The camera I bought is an original Olympus XA which were made between 1979 and 1985 I believe and I was lucky enough to find one on ebay that ended up being brand new in the original box that had never been used and I could not be happier with it.

A few months back I bought the XA’s successor the XA2 which was kind of a simplified version of the XA and I really enjoyed using it and was surprised with the quality of photos that I could get out of a camera so small. The thing that drew me to get this second, original, XA was the fact that it is essentially a fully equipped tiny rangefinder with manual focus and aperture priority shooting. The original also had a faster 2.8 lens which I love seeing as Im always shooting in dark places. I shot a quick test roll to test the mechanics of it and check for light leaks and whatnot and it worked flawlessly so I stuck a roll of Portra 400vc inside (which I later discovered was expired) and gave it a chance with some nice film.

The following photos are a handful of images from that roll that I thought i would share here. A lot of these, if not all, are either on my flickr stream or will be soon. Please pardon the scan quality of the images as the scanner I’ve been using is a bit archaic.. Also, the more I shoot film the more I’ve been thinking of writing up a short article on my approach to shooting, something that may be useful to others getting into photography or others interested in what I look for when I take a camera out to shoot something. Its just one of many ideas floating around in my mind.

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Comments

  1. sunhead* - August 26, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    nice ones! eccentric housewares & love the gso dusk skyline & “eat well, live well” subliminal messaging…

  2. mandy - September 5, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Great Pictures!!! Love them!

    *nice olympus too*

    mandy

  3. Ray - September 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I bought an XA on the strength of your writeup!
    I love it too…

  4. john - September 11, 2008 at 8:22 am

    mandy, thanks!

    ray, great! enjoy it!

  5. J K - October 31, 2008 at 1:10 am

    very nice, i love the vignetting. I am about to pull the trigger on one of these. after getting my first slr a couple of months ago i’ve started reading about lomo’s and lomography. they are so expensive so i am now going to opt for an xa. i’d be more than interested in a write up about how you shoot with it.

  6. john - October 31, 2008 at 8:46 am

    JK, yes, the lomo stuff IS expensive! and for really cheap cameras.. they just have the monopoly on it and through their extraordinary marketing have made somewhat of a large cultural impact on the amateur photography scene.

    I find that buying into older cameras is much more satisfying, they are usually made really well, its still amazing to me that today i will buy a product and only expect it to last 3-5 years but here i am also shooting with a couple of cameras 20-30 years old, its pretty amazing really.

    The XA is totally worth it and writing up something about my ilm cameras could be fun to do sometime and I think I will put that on my to do list for future posts as I have time to post them, thanks!

  7. Rodolfo - November 26, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Hi!
    I love this camera too!
    I have an XA and a XA2, but the XA2 is not the XA’s predecessor, it is the simplified version produced after the XA at a lower price.
    The original XA designed by Maitani is the XA, as the name itself confirm.

    Bye!!
    Rodolfo

  8. john - November 26, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Haha, looks like I used the word predecessor wrong. I really should take more time to proof read eh? I’ll fix that right up.. I knew the XA2 came after the XA and then was also followed with other versions after that, just used the wrong word, kind of funny really. Well, that or embarrassing. Thanks for pointing that out!

  9. 绝 « 呆着 - October 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    […] My Olympus XA […]

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