Olympus XA Review

My Olympus XA

I’ve got my Olympus XA quite some time ago, but never used it. I think it must have sat in my dry cabinet for almost 3 years or more.

The Olympus XA has a 35mm F2.8 lens, shutter speeds from 1s to 1/500 in a small body that will fit in your jeans pocket.  Yoshihisa Maitani the designer of the camera manage to squeeze a rangefinder, clam shell body and a 2.8 lens all in this small body. It’s simply amazing and the quality of lens is great.

Unfortunately you can only set up to ISO 800 on the camera, but only a maximum of 1/500 shutter speed that is reasonable. The leaf shutter on this thing is quiet, much quieter that that of my Leica M2, and the focal length of 35mm makes it quite suitable for street photography and of course home photography, which sometimes i find 50mm is a bit too long.

The rangefinder patch isn’t as great as a Leica but its good enough. For zone focusing there are only 4 distances marked 2.8ft, 4ft, 8ft and infinity, most of the time i use zone focusing anyway only when the light level is low then i will use the rangefinder.

I’ve got the A11 flash which is powered by one AA battery, the inital charing of the flash takes probably about 30s which means its not meant for spontaneous flash shots.

A nice pocketable camera with a great lens and best of all its not expensive on the used market, i saw a few for about 100-150 around the internet.

The images below are TriX shot at 800 iso and developed in DDX scanned using my old Epson Perfection 1660. Click on the images for high resolution pictures.

Peeking

Shot the above using the A11 flash.

Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_XA
http://www.diaxa.com/xa.htm
http://www.cameraquest.com/xa4.htm