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TheHibou
04-25-2017, 08:47
Hello all,

Beyond my Olympus XA, I am thinking of acquiring a more point-and-shot model from the XA family, whiwh one would tou recommend ? I do belt level shooting in streets, public transportations, bars, etc, places with not so good light and you can't use the flash...

Regards,
TheHibou

Chubberino
04-25-2017, 09:40
I like the XA2 to compliment my XA

RobinWinter
04-25-2017, 10:14
XA4 is outstanding if you can find one for a decent price. Lens is as fast as the XA2 and XA3 but its wider so better for shooting from the hip, and as I understand it, wider lenses can be held steady at slower shutter speeds...or at least shake is less apparent. ISO also goes up to 1600 which is really nice, but its DX so youll need to tape over your DX strip on the film can if you want to push to a higher ISO.

kuzano
04-25-2017, 10:18
Hello all,

Beyond my Olympus XA, I am thinking of acquiring a more point-and-shot model from the XA family, whiwh one would tou recommend ? I do belt level shooting in streets, public transportations, bars, etc, places with not so good light and you can't use the flash...

Regards,
TheHibou

I kept an XA, just to say I still have it.

I find the XA2 overall a more usable camera. The Zone focus is superior to the rangefinder on the XA. I don't really see the lens on the XA as that much better. I really do like the slight hint of vignette of the XA2.

If you lined up one of each of the four variants, not counting the cosmetically colored one(s), I would grab an XA2 every time. My folders with XA2 slides are a bit better overall than the XA. Perhaps if my eyes were better, but I just don't personally think I get a better focus with the XA.

By comparison three or four good XA2's will cost about the same as one reputed to be "good" XA.

TheHibou
04-25-2017, 10:22
Dear all,
Thanks for your answers !
TheHibou

dourbalistar
04-25-2017, 10:34
FWIW, the iso range on the XA2 only goes up to 800. Might be a consideration depending on what "not so good light" means.

p.s. I'm using an XA2 in my avatar photo.

David Hughes
04-25-2017, 11:36
Hi,

Have you seen this site http://www.diaxa.com/ just click on the red button to start.

The XA3 is a DX'd XA2 with +1 EV.

The XA4 focuses to a foot and the lanyard acts as a measure. And a 28mm f/3.5 lens. And +1 EV.

The XA1 is like a Trip 35, no batteries needed but fixed focus and 100 or 400 ASA/ISO only but the ASA switch gives 2 EV if thought about carefully. The lens is f/4 and 35mm.

I've had the XA and XA2 for decades and the others for about a decade or so. Whatever you do, don't start looking at the XA4's flash accessory and the four fancy cases for them...

Regards, David

Darshan
04-25-2017, 12:19
I bought the XA4 for its wide angle lens; it's a little expensive but I like the small gem. Here are a few photos from it: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kromefoto/albums/72157649694103071/with/15969494856/

nomadia
04-25-2017, 15:21
The XA and XA4 are wonderful cameras. I use the XA4 more when there's good light. I don't know what aperture it normally pre-selects, but mine seems to be in F5.6 and above when not used in closeup mode (so not ideal for low light documentary work).
https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157648690870114


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

DwF
04-25-2017, 16:31
I have an XA and have also considered an X4 but for lower light, having the f 2.8 lens is useful. Of course a tripod would have been handy for a shot like the one below but I think more of this as the OP says suggests, a camera for belt-level shooting. Although not quite as low profile, cameras like the Yashica Electro 35, and Konica Auto S3 and offer extra speed with f1.7, f1.8.

http://m9.i.pbase.com/o10/91/523491/1/165321759.GPEeJ8Qn.DuskontheBay.jpg

Agfa Vista Plus 400

ChrisPlatt
04-25-2017, 16:38
The XA2 and XA3 are terrific point and shoot cameras.

I owned an XA for 20 years since new, but even after a Camtech CLA I sold it.
It's far more fussy - and slower - to use than the other models.

Chris

David Hughes
04-26-2017, 08:36
A photo from the XA4:-

https://photos.smugmug.com/Photography/Olympus-XA4-Macro/i-zncr9br/0/c3824b34/L/And%20OK_resize-L.jpg

and this is what you get if you touch the shutter button too soon...

https://photos.smugmug.com/Photography/Olympus-XA4-Macro/i-GJvD35R/0/e8c7380d/L/Mistake_resize-L.jpg

but, at least it shows how it works.

Regards, David

DwF
04-26-2017, 09:30
Thank you for sharing those David- quick shutter notwithstanding- lovely pic. That is one in this series other than the XA that appeals to me. I know the XA2 is also a good camera but I like having the focus and find it perfectly easy to use.....the finder window not as good as my Konica but design-finesse over function! :)

David Hughes
04-27-2017, 03:07
All part of the service; FWIW I've one of each and the XA2 that I've had forever, it seems, recently packed up working. I'm wondering if I should get it repaired. You can see the conflict between sense and hedonism, I hope.

Regards, David

DwF
04-27-2017, 06:17
David,

I have a bit of that temptation with the Contax T. I had one years ago and recently while looking at some old slides, I stumbled on some pictures taken with the T. They made me long for the camera. Funny that when I actually had it back then, I was way more into my Hexar, so I didn't connect with it which is why I sold it. My better sense says, stay away!

I would think that repairing your XA2 would make sense. Stewardship trumps Hedonism! Pun intended ;)

David

mackigator
04-27-2017, 07:31
Carrying the XA with one film and the XA4 with another, while traveling = great combo.
I've carried with Tmax400 in the XA for low light, knowing I can push in development, and then loaded the XA4 with slide film or ISO100 flim of choice. Nice results that way.

I've made free use of the bolt on flash for the XA, which was a surprise to me (it's weak), to cover me for those really dark moments when I want to get a usable exposure. If you throw an small external slave flash in the bag, one that syncs with other flash's via light, you can overcome the "flash" look, if you want to, by getting quick 2 and 3 point lighting setups. Metz MZ 52822D 28 CS-2 Digital Flash works well for this.

I carried the XA a lot more before I met the Ricoh GR digital though. I still love my XAs and they have produced many of my favorite photos.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4046/4680377092_a7c4d01fc0.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/88Aa3L)Wii trance (https://flic.kr/p/88Aa3L) by Clark Mackey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkmackey/), on Flickr
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3060/2569635052_b2fa1453fe.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/4V53YC)Waiting (https://flic.kr/p/4V53YC) by Clark Mackey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkmackey/), on Flickr
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3112/2635011727_652d0496da.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/51R8bF)Shop swing (https://flic.kr/p/51R8bF) by Clark Mackey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkmackey/), on Flickr

TheHibou
04-27-2017, 12:26
Thanks to all for great imputs and fantastic photos. I understand each model has its role to play...
Bottom line, a XA-3 is on the way, a XA-2 could follow soon, still looking for a XA-4 :-)
Take care
TheHibou

dourbalistar
04-27-2017, 13:25
Now you just need to get them in all the colors. :D

https://www.getdpi.com/forum/gear-fs-or-wtb/32056-fs-olympus-xa-series-all-them-all-colors.html

David Hughes
04-28-2017, 01:03
Hi,

And don't forget to get the 4 different cases that go with them...

I managed to track all of them down but could only afford two of them, so be warned.

Regards, David

mackigator
04-28-2017, 07:15
And don't forget about the flash trick with the XA: by turning the flash on, with the body switch, then moving it to a normal aperture (flash off on body) you will still fire the flash, but it somehow gives the meter enough light to end the exposure and creates a second-curtain like effect on film image.

Here's a good link for anyone new to the camera or looking for all the details of the XA and progeny: http://www.diaxa.com/xastart.htm

And the Olympus XA Users Collective: https://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

mackigator
04-28-2017, 07:19
Hi,

And don't forget to get the 4 different cases that go with them...

I managed to track all of them down but could only afford two of them, so be warned.

Regards, David

@David is there a place online where all 4 case variations are pictured? I'm curious which ones I have.

DwF
04-28-2017, 09:39
And don't forget about the flash trick with the XA: by turning the flash on, with the body switch, then moving it to a normal aperture (flash off on body) you will still fire the flash, but it somehow gives the meter enough light to end the exposure and creates a second-curtain like effect on film image.

Here's a good link for anyone new to the camera or looking for all the details of the XA and progeny: http://www.diaxa.com/xastart.htm

And the Olympus XA Users Collective: https://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/


Thanks for these photos Clark. Its always nice to see what people are doing with these cameras. And your travel combination makes sense too. I have used flash fill with my photography but the slave idea is intriguing. I played with one at a friends art studio years ago but that was it. Here is an interesting link related.
https://www.reddit.com/r/analog/comments/2a14qg/i_made_a_flash_cord_for_my_olympus_xaxa2_and_a11/

David

David Hughes
04-28-2017, 14:03
@David is there a place online where all 4 case variations are pictured? I'm curious which ones I have.

Hi,

There's one of the VIP ones on ebay at present at:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Olympus-XA-VIP-Leather-Camera-Kamera-Case-Cover-V-I-P-Vtg-Rare-/291980282724

And here's one that comes in two lengths for the cameras with the A11 and A16:-

http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Olympus-XA2-camera-outfit-/152497229915?hash=item23818b105b:g:LDYAAOSwB-1Y40Qh

The 4th version is very rare and I've only ever seen one, I've a sketch of it that I'll try and find and then come back to tell all.

EDIT:- The fairly modern case for the -V fits the cameras nicely but not the cameras with the flash fitted.

2nd edit: I can't find the 4th XA case but have found a posher one for the series, so the old fool was getting confused... Sorry about that. :-(

Hope that helps.

Regards, David

ChrisPlatt
04-28-2017, 15:49
With flash attached camera is larger, heavier and definitely less pocketable.
Flash increases the fusiness factor; IMO then it's no longer a "point & shoot".

Once removed I never reattached the flashes to my various XA models.
The large electrolytic capacitor C1 is probably defective by now anyway.

Chris

weihsuan
05-03-2017, 19:22
Now you just need to get them in all the colors. :D

https://www.getdpi.com/forum/gear-fs-or-wtb/32056-fs-olympus-xa-series-all-them-all-colors.html

Not forgetting the very hard to find Pink XA2! ;P

johank
07-11-2017, 01:29
At a Church sale I got a Boxed XA with flash for 2$, the battrey with was ofcourse dead, but
there was Film in it so I'm eager to see who used it, perhaps 6 frames, long time ago.
My first I bought on Cyprus in 1983.
My love is my XA4 found cheap in a Pawn shop.

DwF
07-11-2017, 05:57
At a Church sale I got a Boxed XA with flash for 2$, the battrey with was ofcourse dead, but
there was Film in it so I'm eager to see who used it, perhaps 6 frames, long time ago.
My first I bought on Cyprus in 1983.
My love is my XA4 found cheap in a Pawn shop.

First, congratulations on that find! Enjoy your XA, wonderful little camera. As for the used roll of film and what you might uncover, this could be the sequel to Blow Up that Antonioni has been waiting for!

David

David Hughes
07-11-2017, 09:35
At a Church sale I got a Boxed XA with flash for 2$, the battrey with was ofcourse dead, but
there was Film in it so I'm eager to see who used it, perhaps 6 frames, long time ago.
My first I bought on Cyprus in 1983.
My love is my XA4 found cheap in a Pawn shop.

Hi,

That was lucky and I guess it will remind us all that there are still some great cameras out there at nice, easy prices. And they are just waiting for someone to rescue them and love them...

Regards, David

Archiver
07-12-2017, 02:10
I bought a XA2 at a camera market in 2007, and found it to be a great snapshot camera. Burning through a roll was disturbingly easy with zone focus. It's the camera I wish I'd had as a teenager and young adult as it is small, discreet, easy to use and easily kept in a pocket.

amhildreth
08-22-2017, 13:58
After reading this thread, I suddenly have the urge to hunt down an XA4 as a friend for my XA and XA2.

DwF
08-22-2017, 14:26
After reading this thread, I suddenly have the urge to hunt down an XA4 as a friend for my XA and XA2.

Hear hear! I've thought that would be a fun camera to have as well :)

Darshan
08-22-2017, 18:00
I use several cameras and I have to say my XA4 is the fastest shooter of all - open the front flap, scale focus, compose and shoot; I can take a photo within 3-5 secs after deciding to take it. Scale focus on this is very easy as there are only a few settings, and I have come to use 5 ft, 10 ft & infinity the most. After running several rolls through it I don't have to check the focus scale to set focus, I can adjust focus even while composing through the vf. The dof with the 28 mm lens is huge and getting an OOF shot is not a big concern. Because of the 3.5 max aperture, it is not best suited for night and indoor shots however I have gotten decent results in those settings.

Here are some examples:

Daytime:
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7517/15809534817_27fefe7d2c_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/q62ZUv)

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7583/15969494856_2e49d8696a_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/qkaQsd)


Indoors:
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7508/15968892076_4021689951_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/qk7Kgs)


Night shots:
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7562/15968891846_bd9e0ef414_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/qk7Kcu)

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8672/15806441168_4068d6d003_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/q5L9gJ)


It is also my smallest full frame camera :)

David Hughes
08-23-2017, 00:13
After reading this thread, I suddenly have the urge to hunt down an XA4 as a friend for my XA and XA2.


Hi,

Be careful; it won't end there...

We seem to be hard wired to want the full set and you'll then start looking for the XA1 and XA3 to complete the series.

Regards, David

amhildreth
08-23-2017, 17:55
Hi,

Be careful; it won't end there...

We seem to be hard wired to want the full set and you'll then start looking for the XA1 and XA3 to complete the series.

Regards, David

Now that you've put the idea in my head...

Artingei
03-22-2019, 01:33
https://abload.de/img/whatsappimage2019-0332krn.jpeg

Artingei
03-25-2019, 01:20
Wow, the XA3 makes the concept of the XA series "round" for me, I shot 2 films with it on the weekend. It feels like an MJU with scale focus regarding the lens performance. The XA couldn't convince me completely. Maybe because of the rangefinder, maybe because of the compromises that were made in the design of the lens (vignetting, resolution was rather moderate at least for my copy).

The lens of the XA3 has character, resolution is excellent and also the scale focus is more than sufficient for a 35mm 3.5 lens, if you don't plan to take only portraits with it. Currently it can also be seen as a budget option in the 35mm compact camera range. Buying tip, e.g. as travel camera.

FujiLove
03-25-2019, 01:28
Totally agree. Love mine. They make superb travel or back-up cameras.



Wow, the XA3 makes the concept of the XA series "round" for me, I shot 2 films with it on the weekend. It feels like an MJU with scale focus regarding the lens performance. The XA couldn't convince me completely. Maybe because of the rangefinder, maybe because of the compromises that were made in the design of the lens (vignetting, resolution was rather moderate at least for my lens).

The lens of the XA3 has character, resolution is excellent and also the scale focus is more than sufficient for a 35mm 3.5 lens, if you don't plan to take only portraits with it. Currently it can also be seen as a budget option in the 35mm compact camera range. Buying tip, e.g. as travel camera.

David Hughes
03-25-2019, 01:45
OTOH, better take the XA3 as the main and the XA2 as a back up.


But let's keep this thread going as it will keep the XA2's price in coins.


Regards, David

Ste_S
03-26-2019, 01:03
The XA2 and XA3 are terrific point and shoot cameras.

I owned an XA for 20 years since new, but even after a Camtech CLA I sold it.
It's far more fussy - and slower - to use than the other models.

Chris

Sorry to necro quote, but this isn't true is it ?

The XA2 etc suffer from the same problems that the Trip 35 has - it's a zone focusing camera where you have no control over aperture and thus don't know what your depth of field is.

I'm much rather have the XA for street. Set an aperture so that you're getting a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 in the shadows, focus to roughly 12ft and you're good to go. Just as quick to use and more accurate than the XA2, just takes a minute to set up if that.

David Hughes
03-26-2019, 01:57
Sorry to necro quote, but this isn't true is it ?

The XA2 etc suffer from the same problems that the Trip 35 has - it's a zone focusing camera where you have no control over aperture and thus don't know what your depth of field is.

I'm much rather have the XA for street. Set an aperture so that you're getting a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 in the shadows, focus to roughly 12ft and you're good to go. Just as quick to use and more accurate than the XA2, just takes a minute to set up if that.


Hi,

Isn't that your version of zone focussing?

Regards, David

Solinar
03-26-2019, 03:14
Times two. Unless I have plenty of time to focus and compose, I'll generally use zone focusing with the XA due to its dim RF patch.

One problem to this approach is the XA does not have many marked focus settings. (On my example, the focus is marked in Imperial measurements, 2.8, 4 & 8 ft, plus infinity, that's not a lot of options and there are no hyperfocal lines to guide you.)

By the way, the XA made me a fan of the Rollei 35S - which has a longer throw to its focus movement and unlike the XA that movement is well dampened. The longer focus throw allows the 35S to have more than 3 marked distance settings. It also includes a hyperfocal distance scale.

wwfloyd
03-26-2019, 13:00
Sorry to necro quote, but this isn't true is it ?

The XA2 etc suffer from the same problems that the Trip 35 has - it's a zone focusing camera where you have no control over aperture and thus don't know what your depth of field is.

I'm much rather have the XA for street. Set an aperture so that you're getting a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 in the shadows, focus to roughly 12ft and you're good to go. Just as quick to use and more accurate than the XA2, just takes a minute to set up if that.


This thread has me tempted to get an XA2 or XA3. But, I have another question related to the zone focusing. I've been shooting ISO 100 in my XA and other Japanese rangefinders... so that I can get the aperture a little more open. Are the XA2 & 3 users shooting ISO 400, since the zone focusing is less precise?

ChrisPlatt
03-26-2019, 16:15
In good light ISO 100 film works fine with the XA2 and XA3.
That said I use mostly 200 and 400 speed film in mine.

BTW I prefer them to that fussy little XA I owned way back when...

Chris

Archiver
03-26-2019, 20:34
The XA2 is just plain fun. If I could tell my teenage self to buy a camera and shoot it all throughout my teen and young adult years, it would be the XA2. Focusing is easy as pie, the action is fast, and it's easy to burn film with it. Mine has an intermittent light leak but it's all part of the charm. Low light is not its forte, however.


XA2 with expired Kodak Portra VC 400


https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2396/1655221882_9deb6261af_o.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/3wgrNj)XA2 - Light Leak (https://flic.kr/p/3wgrNj) by Archiver (https://www.flickr.com/photos/archiver/), on Flickr

David Hughes
03-27-2019, 04:14
This thread has me tempted to get an XA2 or XA3. But, I have another question related to the zone focusing. I've been shooting ISO 100 in my XA and other Japanese rangefinders... so that I can get the aperture a little more open. Are the XA2 & 3 users shooting ISO 400, since the zone focusing is less precise?


Hi,

I have had one or two (meaning the XA, XA1, XA2, XA3 and XA4) from new and so I have spent a lot of time shooting with slide film. That means 25, 50 and 64 ASA or ISO as I have to say these days. I didn't notice any problems then and still don't although I mainly use negative film these days.

Of course, I can't really answer the question because I don't know what type of photographer you are and what you want to use it for; they were/are great carry everywhere cameras.

You should also note/be warned that I am not one of those who thinks that all lenses should be f/1 or faster and that all film should be 1600 ASA and you should only print posters (but not use a tripod) etc, etc.

If you want a very usable, everyday camera that you can buy for a song and get repaired if necessary then the XA2 and XA3 have a lot going for them.

Regards, David

Ste_S
03-27-2019, 04:38
Hi,

Isn't that your version of zone focussing?

Regards, David

Yes... but you seem to have missed the point

Ste_S
03-27-2019, 04:54
This thread has me tempted to get an XA2 or XA3. But, I have another question related to the zone focusing. I've been shooting ISO 100 in my XA and other Japanese rangefinders... so that I can get the aperture a little more open. Are the XA2 & 3 users shooting ISO 400, since the zone focusing is less precise?

Yeah, if you want to zone focus regardless of the camera you'll want a high ISO so you can keep the lens stopped down with a reasonable shutter speed.

In the UK at the moment 400ISO will get me about f8 1/125s in the shadows. Focus at 17ft with a 35mm lens and I'm good for 9ft to Infinity.

David Hughes
03-27-2019, 10:01
Yes... but you seem to have missed the point


Hmmm, one of the points I missed was how you expose for the shadows with the XA and another was why you'd need 125th exposure with a 35mm lens...


Regards, David

Solinar
03-27-2019, 10:19
Truth is that the photograper can lie to the camera with regards to film speed.

As long as one remembers to undo his or her handy work, select a slower speed ISO that is 1/2 or 1/4 of the rated film speed to bring out the shadow detail.

With that said, I usually forget to reset the film speed afterwards.

David Hughes
03-28-2019, 02:04
Exactly. The problem as I see it is that "pocketable" imposes restriction on the camera's size and weight. And then there's the restrictions imposed by pockets. When it's jeans and tee shirt weather the pockets are somewhat restricted by money, car keys etc, etc. So that knocks out the Leica IIIc and Summitar or Summicron.

Which leads to small light cameras and restricted facilities but whatever we have chosen we ought to be working within the limitations of the camera. So I can't see how always exposing for the shadows will work in practice without a lot of fiddle, fiddle, fiddle with the few controls available. OK once or twice if you can guess correctly and remember to go back to the film's true speed but a pita just the same.

That's assuming that we are talking about small cameras which tend to be fully automatic exposure. I can't think of a small, pocketable one with spot metering for the shadows and manual override.

Then add into the equation that easily pocketed means easily dropped out on to the concrete bus lane just as a bus drives by...

Add an essential like a lens hood then there's no small camera available that I know except the Contax Tix but that was APS and so isn't possible these days. So that just leaves us - oh dear - smartphones...

Regards, David

Ste_S
03-28-2019, 04:17
Hmmm, one of the points I missed was how you expose for the shadows with the XA and another was why you'd need 125th exposure with a 35mm lens...


Regards, David

So just to refresh. My original point was that the XA can zone focus more accurately than the XA2 as you have control over depth of field.

Exposure for shadows is either done with the exposure compensation lever or by changing the ISO dial.

Why a minimum of 1/125s ? Generally you're zone focusing for street and/or grab shots where you want a minimum shutter speed that can freeze motion

David Hughes
03-28-2019, 09:55
Hi,


I think the problem is that I am thinking that exposing for the shadows is a very precise thing and so can't be guessed. OTOH, you could guess and then bracket it but that's extra fiddly with the film speed control.

And going for 125th all the time means that the aperture cannot be a choice because the exposure dominates it.

But having said that I'd be happy looking at the scene in general and then adjusting the exposure by a third or so and keeping my fingers crossed for luck.

DoF with the XA2 is good or usable to my mind at f/3.5 and the default zone.

Regards, David