Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2017-05-08
One of the more rare cameras in the Olympus XA series.
It came out in 1985 and was only manufactured during one year.
Lens: Olympus Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 (5 element)
Closest Focus: 0.3m (1ft)
Aperture: f/3.5 to f/14
Shutter: 1/750s to 2 sec
Light meter: CdS just over the lens (Iso 25 - 1600)
Battery: Two 1.5v SR44 or equivalent
Flash: None built in, flash accessory can be mounted on the side
Takes 135 film
Very simple, bright and usable size.
It has a frame mask with markings for close focusing as well as a little green led in the corner.
This light up if the shutter speed are low and you risk getting blurry images handheld.
It's mostly plastic with some metal parts but still quite nicely built.
The body itself are very sturdy and the only part that feels a bit plasticy is the sliding part that covers the lens.
It's one of the smaller full-frame compact cameras that is very silent to operate.
So it can be great for thing like street photography or anything where you want to be discreet.
Sure it's not very fast if you want to take multiple shot in a burst.
But can be a really fast point and shoot for one shot.
Something that could be useful for this is its scale focusing which automatically goes to 3m when the camera is closed.
The most versatile focus setting and load it with a film so the aperture stops down a bit and you get a long depth of field.
But scale focusing can also be a bit tricky as judging closer distances by eye can be a bit hit and miss.
However the camera do help you with the closest distances as you can use the cameras arm straps to easily measure out 0.3 and 0.5 meter.
The film is exposed @ ISO25 and I expect that most pictures are taken with an aperture of f/4 - f/5.6.
Except for the macro shots which are probably wide open.
Analogue B&W filmConclusion
Flare / Backlight
More sample images can be found at:
One very nice pocket sized cameras and it's close to sorcery what Olympus managed to cram into this.
A 5 lens element, non-collapsible 28mm prime that can focus down to to 0.3m and they did this in one of the smaller full-frame cameras out there.
Only know of the Ricoh GR1 cameras which are somewhat comparative but it's bigger and has a collapsible lens.
As for its lens optical quality which is really good and would compete with the best of this type.
Lovely sharpness, bokeh and how it handles flares.
The only downside I can see with this is that it's somewhat rare which is a shame and often a bit pricey.
Plus some might not be a fan of the scale focusing while others love it.
Lightweight and small
Closest focus of 0.3m (1ft)
Somewhat rare and often a bit pricey
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