Olympus XA4 - Others Like It?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by bvy, May 29, 2010.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I think I want an Olympus XA4. But they're a little hard to find -- and they tend to go for top dollar when they do turn up. So I'm wondering if there are other 35mm cameras like it. Specifically I'm looking for a very compact 35mm camera with a fixed 28mm lens and good manual control. Can you think of any others? Thanks.
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Ricoh GR-1. There's one in the classifeds, Nikon Ti28, Olympus Pen W if you can deal with 1/2 frame.
    It seems like the fixed focal length compacts all go for bigger money.
     
  3. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    Ricoh GR1
    Nikon 28Ti
    Minolta TC-1

    BUT: they're all pricey, and I don't think any of them allows full manual control - just exposure compensation and/or fiddling with the ISO setting.

    EDIT: I should say "tend to be pricey". Just saw the GR1 currently listed in the classifieds, as mentioned by John - that's a good price for a GR1.
     
  4. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    I had an XA4, but was disappointed: I found the lens to be "decent" but not more (I was expecting something more based on some reviews I'd read).

    Also, practically no control over f/ stop ect.
     
  5. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I have an XA4, and I love it. Actually I had an XA2 and I liked it just as much or more than the XA4, but the shutter quit being consistent. I found the XA2 lens to be very good. XA4, well I haven't really noticed, so it must be decent.
     
  6. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Member

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    Minox 35 & Rollei 35
     
  7. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Well I have quite a few different makes of P&S and found most of them have very good lenses (non zoom) but don't equal a SLR prime lens in an enlargement test. I have one P&S zoom (Olympus) and it's crap for sharpness.
     
  8. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    My GR1 in the classifieds allows for locked focus at any distance and aperture control. 28mm, same as the XA4 but a much better lens.
     
  9. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    My "standard" *is* that of a good prime lens.

    The Rollei 35, Minox 35 and a number of others do fit that bill allowing top quality enlargents which can be qualitatively as good as those from just about any lens out there.

    In my experience, the XA and XA4 perform at a much lower level.
     
  10. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Well I don't have a Rollei 35 or Minox 35, but the very good P&S Nikon L35ad lens i.e. 35mm f2.8 IIRC is based on the sonnar design, yet it can't equal my Canon FD 35mm f2.8 in an enlargement test....I'm not complaining but accepting that there might be the laws of optics preventing compact lenses in most P&S equaling SLR primes.
     
  11. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    A friend was telling me that the Ricoh 28mm f2.8 ltm (same lens as in the GR1,s,v) is used for industrial purposes because it meets such high standards. I'm sure the same can be said about the Contax T lenses - they are brilliant.

    Excalibur2 have you tried the Nikon 35ti?
     
  12. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I'd also suggest the GR1 currently in the classifieds. I've got the later GR1s and it's great. The 28mm lens is very nice, exposure compensation, aperture priority, a 'snap' mode with no shutter lag, infinity focus lock, a manual switch to turn off the flash and a very small body:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Well I haven't bought the Nikon 35ti, but have the Yashica T5 with zeiss T* lens and am not impressed...compared to my SLR lenses. Another nice small camera is my Konica C35, and again in enlargement tests it can't equal a SLR Prime lens.
    So it would seem from members opinions, some P&S lenses are exceptional but I've haven't come across one yet, and would just add:- I'm comparing the P&S lenses with known excellent SLR lenses and not something like a domiplan :smile:
     
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  15. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    Ah well. The GR1/s/v lens has made some pretty good prints for me in all conditions. While the Olympus XA, XA2 and XA4 were decent stopped down past f/8...but I wouldn't like to enlarge them past 5x7 otherwise. The negatives (all tri-x) showed less sharpness and less contrast than the GR1 and my other rangefinder lenses.
     
  16. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    ....and it goes on with the Canonet and the Olympus trip and the.........

    The Nikon L35ad is very good, you can blow up and read the inscription on original scan.
    http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn172/chakrata/img344-1.jpg

    and the Konica C35 is very good as well, from this crop:-
    http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn172/chakrata/yum603.jpg
     
  17. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I bought a Yashica T5 new back in the '90s but it got stolen soon afterwards. Later I read lots of comments about the T5's lens being brilliant so I dug out my old negatives and found nothing special in them. In fact, it was difficult to tell the difference between them and ones made on the Olympus Mju II. Considering how much cheaper the Oly sells for, I'd say that the hype around the T5's lens is just hype. Hesitant to talk up the GR lens too much lest I be accused of hype, I'll just say it makes nice prints at 10x8, noticeably nicer than the T5 or Mju.
     
  18. thegman

    thegman Member

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    You considered buying new? If so, check out the Fujifilm Klasse S or W, same camera except for the lens. You can shoot it in aperture priority with a nice aperture dial on top like the Leica X1, even has a cable release socket.

    Cheers

    Garry
     
  19. D1v1d

    D1v1d Member

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  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Indeed they do. Mine cost me £1.00 at an outdoor sale. I was hoping to get it for £0.50!


    Steve.
     
  21. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    If I were rich I would by a Konica Hexar. Maybe a bit on the large side, but from what I've read and seen it's very impressive.
     
  22. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Thank you all for the feedback thus far. Some variety of the GR1 is starting to appeal to me. Is the shutter quiet compared to the XA4? About the same?

    Here's what's driving this line of questioning... For stealthy street shooting, I want a 35mm compact with a wide prime, and a fast but quiet shutter. (I think 1/500 is the fastest that the XA4 is capable of.) Zone focusing is what works best for me. Need lots of DOF. As such, I'll probably need to shoot high speed film.
     
  23. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    The GR1 has a quiet shutter, it is the focusing mechanism and winder that makes the noise. A kind of electrical buzzing. Though it really isn't as loud as you think and works fine for candid public shots.
     
  24. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    In my XA4 I always use Tri-X and leave the meter on 1600. I develop it in Diafine. At this EI, dof is not a problem. I rarely use any focus position except the default 10'.
     
  25. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    With the GR you can set a 'snap' mode which fixes the focus at 7 feet, if you then set the aperture priority to f16, your focus range will be 2.8 feet to infinity. The snap mode also eliminates shutter lag.

    I've never shot the XA4, but I have shot an XA. I think the shutter is quieter than the GR, but the big difference is that winding on with the XA is a series of clicks as you wind the wheel, with the GR it's an electronic motor whirring. It's not really noisy like a motor winder on some SLRs, but I can hear it unless there's lots of street noise.
     
  26. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    You can also prefocus and lock the lens to any distance. For street I would lock it at ~4 feet