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  1. #1

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    Should I ditch my current set of cameras for an Olympus XA?

    Since 2011, I've acquired assorted 35mm cameras from thrift stores, estate sales and eBay. Only recently, however, have I started using any of them. My two favorites thus far are the Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 and the Ricoh FF3-AF.

    One of my favorite photographers has recently made it known that his primary camera is an Olympus XA rangefinder. I found a website dedicated to the XA series, and I'm beginning to think that it might be a good idea to sell my current crop of 35mm cameras and use the funds to buy an XA - one of the originals, not an XA2 or any of the other later models.

    Are there any XA users here who would be willing to help me in my decision? Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.
    Olympus XA | Nikon L35AF | Ricoh FF-3 AF

  2. #2
    frank's Avatar
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    I've owned a few XA's in the past. I didn't have luck with any of them as they all died one way or another. Based on my personal experience, and the age of this camera, I would not/could not consider an XA as a primary camera. You can buy one for around $50. The market value of your current cameras is minimal ($2-5) in my area.
    My blog / photo website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

  3. #3
    dehk's Avatar
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    I think the biggest thing you're looking at is early AF (not as dependable) vs RF.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  4. #4

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    XA2 user here, it's my carry piece so to speak (whereas my 5x7" Kodak kit camera is a bazooka)

    I was in the same boat as you, whole slew of compacts and film cameras....narrowed my kit down to a Soviet FED-2, Nikon FE/FG, and parted with all of my compacts except my XA2.

    Yeah it's not an XA, but it gets the job done for me and I've already got a dedicated RF system, I got the II because I wanted fully automatic exposure just point and shoot.
    5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit, under the knife for a bit
    4x5 Graphic View / Schneider 180 / Ektar 127
    RB67 Pro S / 50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
    Random 35mm stuff

  5. #5
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Forrest Conifer,

    You probably should not ditch everything for the Olympus XA. But feel free to pick one up and use it. Sometimes when you find a small unassuming lightweight 35mm camera that does all you need, you think that it's silly to want for more.

    I'd rather hear you ditched everything for an Olympus OM-1 and Zuiko 35mm f/2.8 because the skill you pick up can be more transferrable.

    Same film size goes in. But you can see more of what you are aiming at through an SLR than a small viewfinder can offer. And it isn't THAT much bigger or heavier.

  6. #6

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    I had an XA bought new in 1980. It's a fine camera but I only had it until 84 so I don't know the long term. I recently bought 4 XA's but none of of them really work. The RF faded so it's very difficult to see now. The meter needles on 2 of them don't work (although the cameras still expose film correctly because Oly built 2 metering system into the XA. One for exposure and one for just display). Out of the 2 working the one that has good metering doesn't look too good and has very faded RF. The other looks very nice and the RF is good but the indicating meter is off by 2 stop but the exposing meter is OK.
    So I like the XA I must say finding a truly fully functioning one is difficult.

  7. #7
    frank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Forrest Conifer,

    You probably should not ditch everything for the Olympus XA. But feel free to pick one up and use it. Sometimes when you find a small unassuming lightweight 35mm camera that does all you need, you think that it's silly to want for more.

    I'd rather hear you ditched everything for an Olympus OM-1 and Zuiko 35mm f/2.8 because the skill you pick up can be more transferrable.

    Same film size goes in. But you can see more of what you are aiming at through an SLR than a small viewfinder can offer. And it isn't THAT much bigger or heavier.
    Ditto.
    My blog / photo website: http://frankfoto.jimdo.com/

  8. #8
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    XA is a very capable camera. Any good photographer can make excellent images with it. I just said a lot in those two sentences.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  9. #9

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    well...

    One can always look around for a camera that you want that is in perfect condition. Talking about the XA rang a bell for me so I looked and found I have an Olympus AF Trip 50 in its original box, unopened, with two AA batteries and one roll of Kodak Gold film. The film has two dates, 10-1-2007 and 5-25-2005.
    The point is, you never know what is out there until you look.

  10. #10
    nsurit's Avatar
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    Buy an XA, try it and see if you like it. It may do everything you want it to do or it may not. I have one which I use from time to time. Good lens, easy to put is pocket. Much to like, however there is a reason why they make both chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Bill Barber

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