Olympus XA


The Olympus XA reached a certain cult status among film cameras and perhaps its not for just one reason but several.  If you start with the idea of what do you want from a camera and that turns out to be ‘packability’ then the XA meets that.  The clamshell design both protects the lens and makes it easy to slip into pockets and small spaces.  If you also want a quality lens in that small package the XA delivers that as well.  The lens design with 6 elements is unique and allows for the overall thinness of the camera.  Then there are the controls of the camera.  Focusing is performed with a small lever under the lens that both aligns the rangefinder patch and moves internal lens elements. XAFocus

Its finicky and can be difficult but it is manual and better than zone focusing.  The exposure system also allows user input in the form of aperture selection with a fully automatic electronic shutter.  Fortunately the exposures are accurate so fully manual adjustment isn’t often missed and for backlight situations you can select a +1.5 EV override.

All these various attributes together are what made the Olympus XA desirable back when it was available new and what continue to make it a desirable camera today.

I used expired generic drugstore ISO 400 film for the following images.

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