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View Poll Results: Have you hacked your XA? / which is better - XA or XA2?
No, I'd never alter a XA and shame on you for asking... 28 28.87%
Yes, I've not only made it better, but faster and stronger too 7 7.22%
The original XA lens rules, end of story, good night! 48 49.48%
Dispel the myth, the XA2 glass makes the best pictures and I am unanimous in this! 24 24.74%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-05-2014   #41
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i've had them all.
XA-3 is the best, xa-4 if you like 28mm
i marginally prefer xa-2 or 3 lens over xa and stylus infinity lens.
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Old 05-18-2014   #42
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The original XA is, hands down, the most undervalued camera in the vintage film camera market. C'mon -- it is an aperture priority, manual focus TRUE rangefinder. Hell, it even gives you shutter speed in the viewfinder. It's FULL FRAME in your pocket. The lens is just fine. I modded mine -- a gift from a VERY generous RFF member several years ago, by doing the ole "sharpie over the patch" trick to improve contrast for focusing. Works a charm. If this camera wasn't so successful, and Olympus didn't sell a bazillion of them, and they were "rare", there would be bidding wars for these things. It is the best tool for street photograhy ever invented -- better than any Leica for this purpose. The lens does not protrude. It literally fits in any pocket -- for real and for true. It does not have to go through any start-up routine. Its shutter is virtually silent. The shutter release requires nearly zero pressure, reducing camera shake for lower shutter speeds. Slide open the door, it's ready to go. It has no noisy film advance motor. You have full manual control. It gets diss'd mainly because people don't spend a lot for them and they're plentiful, so they're taken for granted and underappreciated - but it's a near perfect tool for certain types of photography. It is a much better and far more relevant tool than, say, the much more expensive Nikon 35Ti from a practical standpoint. As for the others? What's the point? You give up too much... better off with a decent point and shoot from the 90's if you're going that route.

Full frame true rangefinder in your pocket with 100% manual control makes this camera a genuinely relevant photographic tool in the digital age... no need to explain, make a case for still shooting film, and no handicap points for nostalgia...
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Old 05-18-2014   #43
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The original XA is, hands down, the most undervalued camera in the vintage film camera market. C'mon -- it is an aperture priority, manual focus TRUE rangefinder. Hell, it even gives you shutter speed in the viewfinder. It's FULL FRAME in your pocket. The lens is just fine. I modded mine -- a gift from a VERY generous RFF member several years ago, by doing the ole "sharpie over the patch" trick to improve contrast for focusing. Works a charm. If this camera wasn't so successful, and Olympus didn't sell a bazillion of them, and they were "rare", there would be bidding wars for these things. It is the best tool for street photograhy ever invented -- better than any Leica. The lens does not protrude. It does not have to go through any start-up routine. Its shutter is virtually silent. Slide open the door, it's ready to go. It has no noisy film advance motor. You have full manual control. It gets diss'd mainly because people don't spend a lot for them and they're plentiful - but it's a near perfect tool for certain types of photography.
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Old 10-07-2014   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I sold several XA2 cameras, and (by mistake) sold the XA4 for $40.
Ouch!

I just traded a black OM2n body for an XA4. It should come in the mail this week.

I've had a few XA's over the years and they always malfunctioned somehow. A buddy of mine gave me an XA2 while I was on my motorcycle trip this summer and the results are quite good. I like it more than my XA's because it is less fiddly and its limited feature set better match its form factor and use as a point and shoot.
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Old 10-07-2014   #45
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After several XA2's I finally have an XA3 that works perfectly.
The XA2 is a sweet camera... all of mine need shutter button tuning on a regular basis.
The little spring gets sof and then the shutter becomes unpredictable.
The XA3 is newer and still in fresh condition. I like the 1600 iso as well.
A piece of tape is all that is needed to "decoy" the DX and set ISO manually.

Here is a slightly loose tutorial I did from disasembly documentation photos. Hope it helps someone.
The tutorial was an after-thought so... not completely comprehensive.

Cheers!
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Old 10-07-2014   #46
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My hack: if you cut off a small piece of the plastic ink tube from a ballpoint pen and put it in the hole where the flash mechanically interfaces with the camera, you know the one, and set the camera on 'flash', the slowest shutter speed will be 1/30th instead of 2 seconds, which I can't hand hold. Put tape over the hole so it doesn't fall out and you can switch back to 2 seconds by switching the camera off of 'flash', and back to 1/30th.
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Old 10-08-2014   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchu View Post
My hack: if you cut off a small piece of the plastic ink tube from a ballpoint pen and put it in the hole where the flash mechanically interfaces with the camera, you know the one, and set the camera on 'flash', the slowest shutter speed will be 1/30th instead of 2 seconds, which I can't hand hold. Put tape over the hole so it doesn't fall out and you can switch back to 2 seconds by switching the camera off of 'flash', and back to 1/30th.
This is a great one! When doing so, does the shutter trip with the aperture always wide open?
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Old 10-08-2014   #48
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No! Exposure works just the same except the lowest shutter speed is limited. On the XA you set the aperture, on the XA2 it stops down as normal. I should be more specific, it goes in the hole by the top of the camera, not the screw attachment, and you have to get the ring of tubing all the way to the bottom of the hole. The little metal tab at the side of the hole moves..

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Old 10-08-2014   #49
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I love the XA2. I gotta admit I've been through 3 of them and every one has had either an unreliable shutter button, or a problem with the pressure plate not keeping the film on the sprockets.

Anyway - pictures are more interesting than words.

http://freshfromthestreet.tumblr.com

The last 15 pictures on my tumblr were all taken with the XA2 on Ilford XP2.
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Old 02-01-2015   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchu View Post
My hack: if you cut off a small piece of the plastic ink tube from a ballpoint pen and put it in the hole where the flash mechanically interfaces with the camera, you know the one, and set the camera on 'flash', the slowest shutter speed will be 1/30th instead of 2 seconds, which I can't hand hold. Put tape over the hole so it doesn't fall out and you can switch back to 2 seconds by switching the camera off of 'flash', and back to 1/30th.
Is this for the XA? XA2? XA3?
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Old 02-01-2015   #51
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I sold my X4 for $40 or so, but I still have the XA and the XA2. O prefer the Minox 35GT over my XA, but I have used both in Japan; one camera in each pants pocket. It doesn't get any lighter than this set.
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Old 02-01-2015   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
Ouch!

I just traded a black OM2n body for an XA4. It should come in the mail this week.

I've had a few XA's over the years and they always malfunctioned somehow. A buddy of mine gave me an XA2 while I was on my motorcycle trip this summer and the results are quite good. I like it more than my XA's because it is less fiddly and its limited feature set better match its form factor and use as a point and shoot.

Glad you enjoy the xa. They're awesome. .... I was glad to give it to you
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Old 02-24-2015   #53
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Do you get consistent results by the meter of XA2? I know it is not there is a single CDs cell there, but do you frequently get frames with the exposure missed over a stop?
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Old 02-24-2015   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Do you get consistent results by the meter of XA2? I know it is not there is a single CDs cell there, but do you frequently get frames with the exposure missed over a stop?
One issue with my XA is the lack of an AE exposure lock for when you want to meter from the ground without any blue sky in the frame. When you feel the need to override the AE, set the exposure back-light comp lever to +1.5 - or - set the film speed dial accordingly.

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Old 02-24-2015   #55
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Does its meter get strongly influenced by well lit white objects in the frame? I get sometimes underexposed images even with easy to average subjects in a frame.
My XA2 does not have a back-light compensation feature and under poor light I always mess up with the film speed selector.
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Old 02-24-2015   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Does its meter get strongly influenced by well lit white objects in the frame? I get sometimes underexposed images even with easy to average subjects in a frame.
My XA2 does not have a back-light compensation feature and under poor light I always mess up with the film speed selector.
I bought my XA new in 1983 to use on a trip to London with the children. I did not bother to run a test roll through it before the trip, but the dozen or so rolls of Kodachrome that I shot came out with no major exposure problems that I can remember. Actually, the only time I recall having any poor exposures with this camera was when I tried to use the back-light switch.
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Old 02-24-2015   #57
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So, could it be just my XA2 that behaves erratically? Should I buy another one, an XA perhaps (although I love the vignetting of the XA2)?
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Old 02-25-2015   #58
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Hi Nikos, I don't know if this is relevant to your camera, but I have noticed that there are two versions of the XA2. The early version's exposure matches my other (non XA2) cameras, while the later version underexposes 1/3 stop. I have had three late versions and they all were like this, I just adjusted the ASA to compensate. You can tell which is which by the little people, the early XA2 has taller people, and the later has shorter people..
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Old 02-25-2015   #59
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It seems that my copy is of the later ones with the smaller people icon on the focus zone selector. I guess that it could be underexposure and it becomes more pronounced in frames where exposure accuracy had been a critical factor for a successful outcome.
Thank you for the tip, I will try compensating this via the film sensitivity selector.
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Old 02-27-2015   #60
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The XA2 has a tendency to underexpose.

First, make sure you have new silver oxide batteries. The XA uses power to hold the shutter open and cheap batteries or dead ones won't hold it. Throw those $1 junkers away. Your lost film costs more than a pair of proper batteries.


Second, i found with mine that I have to set the film ASA to half box speed. For 400 film I set it at 200.

Then I finally got good exposures.
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Old 02-27-2015   #61
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...You can tell which is which by the little people, the early XA2 has taller people, and the later has shorter people..
Cool observation. Thanks
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Old 03-01-2015   #62
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I just got an XA4. It was ugly, clearly used hard, and jammed, but it was cheap. I cleaned it, unjammed it (stuck rewind button), and put some new SR44s in it. It's still ugly, but it seems to be functional.

The test roll of Tri-X showed significant underexposure. I set the ISO to 200, as I normally shoot Tri-X at half box speed (bulk loaded, so no DX coding). Most of the roll was shot outdoors yesterday, when it was bright, sunny, and about 25degF, with some snow in places - these shots were all underexposed to varying degrees. A few frames were shot indoors to test focus - these shots were exposed nearly perfectly. Developing was controlled properly and verified OK by edge markings.

I started testing (meter subject, trip shutter and observe behavior through open camera back, compare to program chart in XA4 user manual) and it seems like the meter does, as suggested by someone above, overreact to bright light-colored subjects (snow-covered ground, white monitor screen) by about two stops. It seems to be right on with more non-reflective subjects.

I don't know how temperature might affect this - testing was done indoors - but it seems like it could be an additional factor. Any insight on this?
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Old 03-02-2015   #63
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Found my xa w/A11 on the cheep counter with all the p&s through aways. All were marked at the price of about $1.03. That was about 14 years ago. Give it a workout each year- -- it always comes through. Recently added it to a rangefinder bag as a backup cam. Lite, accurate reliable. what more do I need?
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Old 09-07-2015   #64
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Besides the lens and its compact size, a great thing about the xa4 is that it's viewfinder is less squinty than the other models. What are they going for these days?
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Old 09-08-2015   #65
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Hi,

The XA2 holds the record here (jointly with a mju-I) as the cheapest camera I ever bought, at 49p; that's 49 pennies for anyone doubting it. It worked OK too, just needed SR44's and film.

And they can be repaired or checked and made even better, although I've only done it with one of them, a red one from memory as I wanted to sell it...

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Old 09-08-2015   #66
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Besides the lens and its compact size, a great thing about the xa4 is that it's viewfinder is less squinty than the other models. What are they going for these days?
Working ones are normally well over 120 USD and I've seen mint ones go for north of 200. I think the ones with the OEM macro measuring tape are worth even more. Cool camera, but considering their reputation for longevity way too expensive for me.
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Old 04-27-2016   #67
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I've never had anything other than the original XA, and the vast majority of exposures have been good if not dead on, including with reversal film. The backlight compensation switch works for most situations with strong light sources.

If the RF focusing gets in the way, just use hyperfocal focusing.
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Old 04-27-2016   #68
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What? You can't mount filters on your XA camera. Of course you can !! I do it all the time (or maybe not ALL the time). All you need is a Cokin filter bracket whose sole purpose in life is to adapt Cokin filters to cameras like the XA's that have no filter ring around the lens. I will admit that using this bracket is more fiddly by several orders of magnitude than anything else I can think of, but it does work.
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Old 12-01-2016   #69
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I have an XA, but the rangefinder is so dim as to be unusable. I just load it up with Delta 400, set focus to the hyperfocal setting (red), set the aperture to f11, and shoot away. It is with me in the car all the time.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #70
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Quote:
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Let's say, tiny Yashica Electro 35 MC (not same as GSN). I wonder why XA is cult camera and MC isn't.
Because the XA is almost the exact dimensions of my wallet and has nothing on it to cause "pocket drag". It is, literally, the camera I can take anywhere that I'm wearing pants. The Yashica and any other camera with a protruding lens gets propelled out to another more distant ring of everyday carry convenience. Says nothing about the quality of the Yashica, just the convenience of using it.

My other pocket carry camera is a Yashica T4. Though it's not a RF camera (strictly P&S).

Quote:
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I have an XA, but the rangefinder is so dim as to be unusable. I just load it up with Delta 400, set focus to the hyperfocal setting (red), set the aperture to f11, and shoot away. It is with me in the car all the time.
This is why my XA didn't get much use for awhile. I loved the photos from it, but I hated the RF patch. Maybe I should have spent more time on forums learning cool tricks. I've recently learned about the "sharpie trick". I wasn't brave enough to apply permanent ink to my VF so I cut out a chip from a Post-It note and applied it to the VF with tweezers. The difference is quite remarkable! I might try this again with something more opaque like electrical tape (aka "black tape"). I still see light coming through the translucent paper patch.
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