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View Full Version : Point and shot Olympus XA1, 2, 3, 4 ?


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...