RIP My Olympus XA

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by summicron1, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    I found this beauty about 20 years ago at a yard sale with the A16 flash for a whopping $10. Since then it's photographed children, friends, family, a couple of weddings, many vacations and all sorts of really great pictures of bicycles in Italy -- producing images that were Leica quality at least, no kidding. It was my street shooter of choice, tiny, accurate, nobody cared about it.

    Hundreds of rolls of film, no exaggeration.


    But plastic gears do not a Leica make -- or whatever sort of gears it has, and last week it finally died, getting increasingly hard to wind and finally refusing to fire, but giving excellent exposures right up to the end.

    Replacing it with a thrift-store find, another XA of course, but I gotta tell ya, the little guy took a beating and kept on ticking.

    this is one of the last shots it took:

    xa test_0005.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2012
  2. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    That's a great last photo.She went out on a high note.The king is dead,long live the king.
     
  3. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Your Olympus certainly gave you good service. And yes a lovely final photo.
     
  4. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Very sorry to hear! I had a broken XA that I fixed using parts from a cheaper to buy parts XA2 off the bay....

    Sometimes these XAs just need a cog transplant....

    You ready to toss her?
     
  5. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Mine hardly works any more, but if I jiggle the winding knob it will fire.

    Jon
     
  6. James in GA

    James in GA Member

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    All the 35 spy camera just the best to have. I'm sad one more gone.
     
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    nope. it gets a place of honor on the shelf. I already have a replacement, and XA2s seem to show up in the local thrift store on a regular basis.
     
  8. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    i tried that, but no-go. From how hard it was getting to wind I suspect it is either terminally gummed up or just worn out. Someone else suggested a cog replacement, and I suppose I could cannibalize an XA2 to fix it, but I have a replacement already that looks nearly mint and just did a test roll spot-on, so that's the direction I'll take.
     
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    shot with the replacement. Not bad xa test_0003.jpg
     
  10. zsas

    zsas Member

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    If your getting shots like that in the new rig, you shouldn't look back! Glad you kept the retired XA and didn't toss it too; as if the electric is still kicking, re-gearing isn't too hard if you find one while thrifting, to get new organs from (cogs, clutch) and a 1oz tube of Molykote to lube the gears....
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Very long-serving XAs are not the exception, but the norm. My long-time cycling friend (we first met in 1979) had an XA that lost functionality of the shutter release button, becoming progressively more awkward to fire. He bought it in 1980 I think, when he was a uni student just starting cycle touring, and it was in use until 2007 when I last saw it with him in Adelaide. I admired the fact it was battered, scratched, dented but otherwise flawless of optic, just that repair of the shutter button was said to be uneconomical/unrepairable. The flash still worked. By my and his own estimate, the XA was in use 27 years and countless, countless rolls of his favourite film, Kodachrome 25, sometimes Agfa 100 and latterly Fuji Provia. He favoured slides for reproducing the images of his cycle touring trips in his books. Never mind, there are still plenty of super trooper XAs out there just waiting to be picked up and mollycoddled or taken on trips with adoring owners! :smile:
     
  12. zsas

    zsas Member

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  13. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    It's long gone from him. Neither he or I knew about these fixes back then. He moved up to digital for all his work (Nikon compact). He's not one of us analogue types by any stretch.
     
  14. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    replace it with the button from a stereo?

    Pass. I suspect mine would work again after a thorough disassembly, clean, lube, replacement of worn gears and who knows what else, but I found a near-mint replacement at a thrift store years ago for a couple of dollars that was just waiting to take its place, so I'm going that route.

    :tongue:
     
  15. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    I love my little XA2, gifted to me by a friend who found two in one hit. I've always been on the lookout for an original model XA, but until then, the XA2 happily lives in one of my panniers, or in a coat pocket. It's almost always within reach.