Friday, March 22, 2013

Olympus XA - Review

Three years ago, I started shooting film. Just because I didn't have enough money for a DSLR. I love to shoot everything, everyone around me.

I've tried a lot of film camera since 3 years ago. First, I started with Minolta Alpha 7 - an AF film camera, And I also tried a lot of cameras and lenses, from 135 to medium format, from SLR to range-finder. I bought gears more than shooting. And sometimes, I felt I forgot my originalpurpose of shooting "I love to shoot everything, everyone around me - a moment-catcher."

But I hate to brings a bunch of gears, I still hate to brings a big camera and a big lens to my daily shooting. I also tried some range finder camera but didn't find the joy of shooting with them, or the result's quality wasn't fit my requirement.

One day, I found her, Olympus XA, a tiny film camera -  smaller than the notable Rollei 35 series, yet it includes automatic exposure and a rangefinder! Not only are the images wonderful, but the design and styling of these cameras are a joy to behold.


The XA's controls are uniquely laid out to save space. You select your aperture by moving the aperture scale vertically on the front of the camera. On the front below the lens is the ASA selection dial,  and the tiny rangefinder focusing lever. From above the photog can see the focused distance.  While the XA is an aperture priority,  you have limited exposure control  by using the 1.5 stop backlight exposure lever or by adjusting the film speed for a particular exposure. I always control eposure speed by adjusting the film speed: set the ISO lower to increase exposure and higher to reduce it.
Everything's working like a charm. The XA's tiny and you can put in your pocket. It's meter is consistent. The lens is sharp... And I have fun shooting with it.

From now, i've just shooted 2 rolls with my XA and Kodak Ektar 100. Nice to share them with our film community. All are original, just resized and resampled.

The first shoot with my wife, as always.

The result from a backlight shooting is great.

Mai Anh, an actress in Hanoi Pharmaceutical University

Mai Anh, in front of an old door at Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi

My cat, her name is Ruby because her eyes change color

My new friend, Viet, he loves sreetlife photography

You can find more of my work on my Flickr photostream.

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