We’ve all heard about the XA series (XA, XA1, XA2, XA3 and XA4) but nothing beats the original, the first invention that made enormous sucession: the Olympus XA.
image from Olympus
Olympus XA was created during the 1970’s, when the Japanese camera designer of Olympus, Mr. Yoshihisa Maitani created a rugged, little clam shell body-like camera. It is actually double the dose: XA is a rangefinder camera and it can fit inside your pocket!
There are several cool features about this rangefinder-slash-compact camera. You can set your ASA from 25 to 800, select your aperture from 2,8 to 22, and it is AAP (automatic aperture priority). Whatever your aperture is, the camera will identify it and your shutter speed will just follow through depending on the availability of the light that comes in your lens. Plus, this compact rangefinder camera is coupled with 6 element F.Zuiko 35mm f/2.8 lens giving your shots a crisp, creamy pictures all the way.
Using this camera, stick in two (2) SR-44 Silver Oxide cell battery found in the base of the camera. Now, you are ready to go! Depending on the available time, the XA will compensate with the aperture, and most likely your shutter speed ranges from 10 seconds to 1/500th second. It also comes with a +1.5 stop back-lighting exposure compensation switch which can be found in the bottom of the camera together with the self-timer and battery check switch.
I have some tips and tricks for this one!
1. Vignettes – this compact camera gives off vignettes when you bake it together with slide films but what about negative films? Simply adjust your ASA by lowering it 1-stop (asa50 for asa100 films and so on), the aperture to f/2,8 and you’ll get those dreamy vignettes in no time!
2. Bulb setting – the shutter speed can last up to 10 seconds but what I tried to do is place the switch found under the camera to battery check. The red light and a “beeping” sound will then be seen and heard. Place your camera in a flat surface to avoid shakes. Press the shutter, you’ll hear the first click and there you go! After enjoying a 30 second or 1-minute shot, slowly return the switch back to its place and the lens will just close (you’ll hear a second click with this one).
3. Double Exposure – we’ve all heard this before but just to recap; shoot, but do not wind. Tighten the film in the film can a bit – not too much (as if rewinding without having pressed the rewind knob). Press the rewind knob, so the film transport is disengaged now wind – hopefully without moving the film. Shoot a second time.