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Olympus Trip 35: A World-Famous Classic

I am not the first to review the Olympus Trip 35 and I certainly won't be the last. What makes people want to shout so much about this little black and silver box?

Photo by Latente reproduced here under the creative commons license.

A world famous classic, selling millions of units worldwide. This means plenty are available in thrift stores, op-shops and across the internet. It’s no wonder then that so many people with a renewed interest in film photography end up with a Trip. What is incredible is that such a cult following has sprung up around them.

The Lomo LC-A’s following loves the quirks of the LC-A. Yes, it’s capable of very sharp images, is amazingly flexible with it’s almost limitless shutter speeds and the new LC-A+ can achieve very high film speeds. It’s renowned for it’s lovely vignetting, an effect I enjoy very much drawing the observers eye to the middle of each print. However sometimes you want something more accurate, more lifelike and that’s when the Trip comes in handy.

In short the Olympus Trip 35 give you the same quality of shot (or better) that a far more expensive SLR would. If you get the focussing right (it’s a zone focus camera so, like the LC-A, you must practice guessing distances before perfect focussing becomes natural) then images can be tack sharp with no distortion of any kind, and only occasionally minimal vignetting.

This makes it a marvelous alternative to a far larger, inconvenient, heavier SLR. The Trip can be carried in a handbag (or man-bag!) easily and like the LC-A be used in a truly fast way.

Many rave about the Trip, but it is unfair not to bring your attention to some of the quirks that make it a companion, and not an alternative to the LC-A.

When the Trip was in production, films were not as fast as they are today, this means the ISO settings on the camera are a bit strange, starting at 25 with very minor increments it only goes as high as 400. With todays films being much finer grain and not as slow the only really useful ISOs are between 100 and 400.

There are only two shutter speeds, 1/200 and 1/40. This means that you will only ever achieve those tack sharp images it’s famous for in brightish light, shake can be very evident at 1/40. The camera’s lens is quite bright at f2.8, but still, this is not as flexible as the LC-A+.

Still thinking of buying a Trip? Good. Mine has become one of my favourite cameras and I recommend it. If you do, make sure you check the light meter is working, that the ‘little red flag’ isn’t stuck. One thing you will have to do is replace the seals. After some light leaks (who want’s a leaky Trip? Its quality is the point!), I replaced the seals, easy and fast (message me for a contact who makes the kits to do so) and since then I haven’t had a problem.

Even in quite poor light with expired film, the Trip is capable of capturing amazing detail in the grass in the first shot, right to the corners of the shot — one oddity here is the vignetting, I only ever get that with expired film.

Technicalities aside, the one last word I have to say about the Trip is this. It’s beautiful. You simply cannot disagree it’s miniature SLR aesthetics, silver and black trim…what a pretty thing.

written by adam_g2000


  1. alex34


    Nice galleries. It seems like a highly functional point-and-shoot, which is sometimes exactly what you want/feel like (I have a Beirette VSN for that). Good review.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. wuxiong


    Love the camera.....<:) nice review too...<:)

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. blinghaha


    Dusting mine off right now, nice review!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. foodeanz


    Now i know how incredible performance that the Tip have...=) thanks for sharing...

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. adam_g2000


    @foodeanz I don't think I gave it enough credit, it's easy to maintain and repair, a great all rounder. highly recommended.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. foodeanz


    ok..thanks for the info..=)

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. clogged


    i love mine so much.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. szzs


    I love this camera! I recently bought one and now I'm waiting for results...

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. neanderthalis


    Excellent. I would get one if only I could convince my wife to let one more camera in the house....

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. crevans27


    Bought one on Monday....waiting for it to arrive. This has made me even MORE excited!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. tahe87


    Picked up a mint looking (and working) one today for only 20€, really looking forward to using it next week!!! Very nice review!!!
    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. snowybub


    so sad..changed mine twice & still having problem. The red flag kept popping up, refusing to let me take pics.
    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. franty


    Bought one saturday! I'll finish the test roll and send it to the lab in the next hour or so.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. adam_g2000


    @franty good luck. @snowybub if you are sure you are operating it properly in the right light, there is nothing to stop you trying to repair it. It would be worth it for the experience! http://www.flickr.co(…)2345237173/ amongst others.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. joao-pedro


    I want one

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. melvin1011


    i using this camera, realh is amazing...! i love it so much!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. ali_d


    Nice review. My first roll is just done and can't wait
    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Français, Português & Spanish.