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Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Markok765, Feb 12, 2009.
What are some common olympus XA problems to look out for when looking for one?
I don't know, but I think I have a couple of them around here somewhere. Low miles.
The shutter can be a little tricky. It's very sensitive to pressure, and has a very short travel. Sometimes, though mine won't fire at all, and then will click when I'm just handling the camera. They are sweet cameras, though. I always carry mine in my briefcase. (or in a plastic bag when I'm out kayaking) It uses a dedicated flash, the A11 or the A16. There are lots available on ebay, but be careful... I bought one at a great price, and it never worked well. (and it was worse after I tried to fix it. :rolleyes: )
I heard something about the ceramic part or something cracking and leaving the camera on self timer mode. How would I test to see if this has occurred?
I got one bought in 1979 I didn't have any problem with it until I sold it in 1984. I have 3 others bought used from ebay and the 2 of them still work but the meter doesn't move any more. The yellow rangefinder is also fading out and is very hard to see.
The most comon problem is a sticky shutter. I have two XAs and one very occasionally doesn't release - the meter needle trips so the electronics has tried to release the shutter, but it's stuck. Another couple of presses of the release button usually fires it, but it can be a nuisance. Otherwise I think they're pretty reliable. I've not heard of the self-timer issue, but you should be able to check this quite easily. If the self-timer is set, when you press the shutter release the LED on the front of the camera will light and the shutter will trip 10 seconds later. The XA is a great little camera but they're all getting quite old now, and I don't know what the availability of parts is like.
And...of course, the XA being an old camera, the light seals might need replacing.
Dirty battery contacts can cause a variety of strange things to happen too.
+1 on this. I used some very fine crocus cloth on the end of pencil eraser, it made all the difference. No response to depressing shutter button can also be the advance wheel has not been advanced all the way, firm turns until it stops seem to end that one for me.
I don't recall my XA having light seals. I thought the back on it had a hard light trap design. But it's been several years since I had an XA, so I could be wrong.
(Once I thought I was wrong, but was mistaken)
I think you are correct re: light seals. I would open mine to verify, but there's a roll of TMax 100 in it right now.
John Hermanson the Olympus guru on the "rangefinder Forum" states that there is a flexilble circuit with a small ceramic circuit on the rear of the shutter. If this cracks the self timer will always be on.
I also replaced the seals on my XA2 using John Goodman (interslice on ebay) kit. Easy to do and John give excellent directions. Good value, after the XA2, I sealed an OM 2n and an OM PC and still have material left!
I was very disappointed with the lens on the two I had: not very sharp and very prone to flare. The lens was a telephoto design to keep the camera thin and preclude the need for a pop-out lens. I think the lens' 6-element/5-group complexity, use of high refraction glasses and requirement for very tight tolerances are the cause for the flare problem and large sample-to-sample variation in optical performance. Wide open the lens is a bit of a dog. My problem with the self timer was the little ST/backlight tab broke off.
I was, and still am, very happy with the lens performance on the Yashica T4 Super/T5.
My current carry-around is a Nikon 35ti, but it is a bit of brick.
The XA's strong points were its pocketability and its manual RF focusing. The clamshell design was lovely. Now if they put a Zeiss Tessar lens on it (I don't care if the lens extends), clothed it in titanium and had Nikon design it's innards to F-series standards...
I've always found the XA to be sharp. On the rare occasions I stopped down to f22 there was vignetting. As intended, a great pocketable snapshot camera.
You might want to go to rangefinderforum. 2 were just listed there today 2/13/09
Common XA problems: always jammed in self timer AND 10 second exposures, no matter what f stop you are set to. Both caused by cracked circuit board (often caused by impact damage). By now, all XAs will probably have bad light seals. John, www.zuiko.com
Hello Ken, I bought a rather beaten-up XA some years ago. It still works fine but I had the replace the seals in the inside of the camera door.
Oh, well. So the XA does have seals. I told you it's been awhile.
I did very much enjoy having the XA. It had a decent lens and was full-featured enough to be usable.
I bought a used XA with flash from a camera store in the late 1980's. I really love the camera. It does tend to eat batteries, and it is battery-dependent. The flash died several years ago in that I couldn't get it to stay in the retracted position. The top broke off. I keep the flash attached to use as a small grip to help steady the camera. It has a fine lens.
The XA I bought in the 80's needs seals also the sliding door is starting to get arthritis(just like me) This camera has lived a long and full life-backpacking in the Rockies, trecking in Nepal , uncounted fishing trips, skiing every year for 20 years. My wifes XAII has other problems. I still love both, but I guess its time to either spend money on them, or sell them cheap to someone who will care for them.
Handy little camera. I have a 16X20 hanging in a local bank made from a scan. Looks great. Don't think the lens is a problem. Bill Barber
Avoid XAs that are always in self timer mode or give 10 second exposures. (both caused by cracked circuit or bad IC) . John, www.zuiko.com
Be careful not to bang the camera against something hard. The rangefinder mechanism on the XA is delicate. I had to get mine repaired one time and the problem was a broken part. Luckily parts were still available at the time. I've always been happy with the lens.
The main problem I have is that the flash button is always popped-up, thus eating the up the flash batteries. Why does it do this ?
Flexing between the camera & flash. You can verify this for yourself by trying it.
The Answer, take the batteries out, until I'm ready to shoot with the camera.
Problem: The flash has a very long recycle time.
Answer: Use Lithium AA's, which weren't even invented when the camera came out.
Just got one from ebay and hope it works all right because after handling a Minox 35, I found myself desperately needing for a camera this size!