With 10 million units sold between 1967 and 1984, there’s a good chance of coming across one of these for a bargain price, wherever you are in the world. David Bailey famously fronted the TV ads for the Olympus Trip, and with good reason. Zone focus, a solar-powered selenium light meter and a cracking Zuiko lens make this forerunner to the oft LCA-compared Olympus XA series a worthy addition to any photographers arsenal! I try and have mine on me wherever I am, and have never been disappointed with the shots taken.
image from wiki
Named after it’s intended market – the casual photographer wanting a compact and easy to use camera on holiday – the Olympus Trip 35 must have captured hundreds of millions of holiday snaps since it’s introduction in 1967. Discontinued in 1984, the vast numbers sold (10 million) mean that there are plenty of these out there going cheap for those wanting to experiment with 35mm film.
UK readers of a certain age (over 30!) might remember the David Bailey TV ads from the late seventies and early 80’s that spawned the ‘David who?’ catch phrase – a phrase to be muttered ever-more by bored subjects waiting for the family ‘Bailey’ to wind the film on or take the lens cap off …
You can see one of the ads, also featuring a young Phil Daniels, on youtube here
A Zuiko 40mm f/2.8 multi-coated lens ensures great quality shots, and whilst the Trip 35 has only 2 shutter speeds (1/200th or 1/40th sec), it does have a f2.8 to f22 aperture range, flash hot shoe and PC sync connector. Zone focus uses the familiar ‘heads / bodies / mountains’ settings seen on the later Olympus XA series (and also very similar to the Lomo LCA) Film speed is selectable from ASA 25-400, and I’ve had equally good results with both colour and black & white negative film. The lens features a 43.5mm filter thread, opening up a world of still readily available filters and close-up lenses, made by both Olympus and third parties like Hoya.
My dad bought me mine for my birthday 3 or 4 years ago – mainly because he wanted his Olympus XA3 back (which I’d rescued from the draw in which it had been languishing with a flat battery for 5 or 6 years) I’ve taken the Trip on day trips (naturally!), foreign holidays and even just to the shops and back – it’s unobtrusive and unassuming, but whenever I’m using it, it usually prompts nostalgic comments from those who see it. Lomographers could do worse than pick-up a secondhand Olympus Trip 35, load your favourite film (Fuji Superia is mine!) and join the masses who’ve loved this little beauty over the last 40 years.