Maiden Voyage of the Olympus XA


Got these scans from Snapfish on Tuesday, five days after the film was postmarked. I have no complaints about their service, FYI, except that I wish they processed medium format. 😛

About the Olympus XA: OMG, a rangefinder! I’ve never owned one before. See, you look through the viewfinder, and there’s a ghosted image of your subject superimposed on your little view of the scene. When the subject is in focus, the two images become one, giving you the focusing feedback that normal point-and-shoots lack. I like the fact that this will help train my eye regarding distance and focusing.

This is not a shoot-from-the-hip camera like the Lomo. This is a photographer’s compact camera. The user sets the film speed (ISO) and the desired aperture, and the camera’s light meter reads the scene and displays its calculated shutter speed in the viewfinder. This is a good feature, don’t get me wrong, but I do like the Lomo’s ability to do automatic exposure, as well. With the XA, there is no such option.

There are also several features you wouldn’t expect on a compact camera, including backlight compensation, a self-timer… even the light meter is nice to have on such a tiny axe. The lens appears sharp and doesn’t seem to require cleaning, which is good.

The test images were taken around the same time as the Argoflex pics: late September. For a camera comparison, compare the photo of the telephone poles (left) to the photo taken with the Argoflex, and compare the photo of the bench (right) to the Lomo version. (The Lomo version is a much better composition, though, IMO.)

Overall, I’d say I like my XA. It’s all I was hoping for… except no auto mode. That’s a small price to pay for a decent-quality compact camera, though.

3 thoughts on Maiden Voyage of the Olympus XA

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  1. i was surprised, too, when i heard the term used in a photography context. i considered myself an amateur musician before i considered myself an amateur photographer, so it works for me. 🙂

  2. Glad your part of the XA lot now 🙂 you can pick up a XA2 as well if you like the lomo’s features its the cheaper better version of the lomo.

    I love my XA infact you should join the XA crew on flickr ^_^

    I’m working adapting my XA for b/w stuff some how making a filter slot for it or something. We’ll have to see won’t we!