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View Full Version : Favorite XA (all types) hacks & is the XA2 lens better?


eli griggs
11-18-2008, 23:56
I'm sure I'm not the only photographer to have fantasied at one point or another about finding a way to use filters with or make a lens shade for, a XA camera of one sort or another.

Years ago, with my first XA, I would sometimes hold Kodak gel filters for b&w in front of the lens and as I did so, I'd wonder, what can I do to make this easier, without wrecking my camera?'.

Tonight I read in an older thread where some folks are using duck tape to secure XA cameras to street signs, etc for steady rest. What do you do with your XA class cameras to enhance or augment it's photographic potential?

How here has tried to improve fading rangefinder focusing with colored filter or markers or bits of black tape and how did it work out for you?

I'd also like to know your opinion; is the XA2 lens a better lens than the original XA glass?

Having only XA2s at the moment and wondering where I can find this 'cult' camera at a reasonable price, I have to ask, is it worth the effort and extra expense over the cameras I have now, image wise that is? In a side by side, which lens delivers the best image and , if there IS a difference, why is it better?

Lets hear it, what's your take on this subject... ?

Eli

btgc
11-19-2008, 02:42
I think, it's hard to compare them. Simply because XA lets you set aperture, while XA2 doesn't. Comparing f2.8 to f8 is mixing apples to oranges. Guessing what aperture chose XA2 is task I'd do after I've finished taking pics.

XA2 has nice, sharp and contrasty lens. When I want to be sure about aperture, I grab any from those compact cameras allowing this adjustment. Let's say, tiny Yashica Electro 35 MC (not same as GSN). I wonder why XA is cult camera and MC isn't. In fact, MC does the same what XA does and costs nothing. Oh, it's scale focus only. It takes regular 46mm screw-in filters, not rare unusual size push-on filters. XA shooters who use RF focusing with tiny and long ago faded patch, will be disappointed. Sorry, in this respect MC can not substitute XA. Sorry again.
Most important feature of XA is aperture control, missing on XA2. Not lens, not VF, not anything else.

I just wish I would start using MC before reading too much on "cult cameras", I'd have taken much more pictures. That said, opportunity to try many great cameras can become pitfall, trapping shooter in realm of test shots and periods of adaptation.

And finally, if you want XA so badly, just get it and see that pictures look very similar to pics from XA2 :)

ClaremontPhoto
11-19-2008, 03:19
I used to use an XA4 (the 28mm f3.5). But they were limited production and rarely available now. Mine got trashed in a street accident in China. Well worth looking out for.

As for duck/duct tape I'd prefer to use gaffer tape because of no sticky residue. Although in one of the Star Wars movies there is the line "Duct tape is like the Force, it has a light side and a dark side, and it binds the Galaxy together".

nightfly
11-19-2008, 04:31
"The force is an energy field creating by all living things. It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together."

Sorry my inner Star Wars geek was offended.

The XA's rangefinder patch is of limited utility. You end up basically scale focusing it anyway. As for the lens it's OK. Lots of flare and vignetting. Not sure how it compares to the XA2 but I wouldn't spend too much on an XA for the lens. For the kind of quick snapshot photos that I think you end up using the XA for, the ability to set the aperture is also I think over-rated. The lens is faster than the XA2 though, 2.8 vs 3.5 which could make a difference.

I like the design of all the XA's better than almost any other super compact camera. They are tiny, quiet and the sliding lens cap blows (barn) doors on the Contax T1 or Minox Style cover.

newspaperguy
11-19-2008, 04:58
Both are super-silent and great stealth cameras...
no one looks twice at you when you're shooting one.
I have both - pre focus the XA, jus like the XA2 - so not
much difference in using either one.
Very little difference in the results IMO.

bmattock
11-19-2008, 05:04
I think the XA rangefinder patch is fine - depending on your own specimen. Some are faded, no doubt.

I do own both, and I like the XA2, but in general, I have found the XA to have a demonstrably-better lens than the XA2. I have (had) two of each, so I had a slightly larger sample size that perhaps typical.

ClaremontPhoto
11-19-2008, 05:11
nightfly: Thank you for the clarification.


I am very tempted by the XA's much newer cousin the mju-V which was expensive when new but now very affordable LNIB from Ffordes or Luton Cameras. This is the polished aluminum camera with sliding cover like the XA.

shadowfox
11-19-2008, 11:23
The lens on the XA is fine and dandy, good day! :)
However, the lens on XA4 simply rocks!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2294/2226193009_b6d5be75b2.jpg

bmattock
11-19-2008, 15:16
I really like that photo, Will.

agi
11-19-2008, 15:45
I agree with Will. The XA4 "simply rocks". Another piece advice I got from Will is try shooting E6 with it. I never even considered it until he showed us some photos.

Trius
11-19-2008, 17:56
@ f2.8, the XA-2 lens doesn't even come close to the XA lens.

Trius
11-19-2008, 18:00
The XA's rangefinder patch is of limited utility.

I get along with mine quite nicely, thank you. Some XAs need a cleaning due to age of course, maybe some will never be useful due to deterioration of the patch because of environmental factors. But a good one performs quite well. You also have to learn to centre your eye. In dim light the patch is problematic, I'll give you that. But a blanket statement that the XA patch is of limited utility is, IMO, not correct.

shadowfox
11-20-2008, 07:15
I really like that photo, Will.

Glad you like it Bill, my daughter took that one, the XA4 fits her hands (she was three) :)

shadowfox
11-20-2008, 07:30
I agree with Will. The XA4 "simply rocks". Another piece advice I got from Will is try shooting E6 with it. I never even considered it until he showed us some photos.

... and kids, yeah that's you newcomers to RFF, if you want to see a proper street-photography using XA4, you owe it to yourselves to check out John's Alapan blog. ;)

agi
11-20-2008, 16:47
Will you're too kind.

John Hermanson
12-04-2008, 04:29
I prefer the original XA, though the rangefinder patch is and always has been dim. With age, dust settles on the mirror and it gets dimmer. Some people have put a small piece of yellow wratten filter over the rf window and that improves contrast a little. John, www.zuiko.com

mcgrattan
12-15-2008, 04:06
I sold my XA as I didn't really get on with it. The look of the images didn't suit me and I didn't like the ergonomics [mine was all working fine, decent rangefinder patch, etc.]

I did prefer the photos I took with the XA2. I don't know for sure if they were sharper as I didn't 'stress test' the XA2 in the same way [wide open, close-up, etc.] but I certainly didn't think there was as much vignetting and the lens seemed sharper on landscape type stuff.

John Lawrence
12-15-2008, 05:59
Loved my XA and thought the lens better than the XA2. Having Leicas as well, I always found it difficult to use the rangefinder patch because of the short focus throw, so I generally used scale focus on the camera.

ferider
12-15-2008, 08:31
I'm quite impressed how the little XA handles flare. Check out

http://ferider.smugmug.com/photos/431317907_2LzrQ-O.jpg

RF patch is very usable on mine, too. Still cann't believe that I got it for 20 bucks.

Roland.

pompadork
12-24-2008, 18:10
I've not used the XA only because I'd prefer something a little bigger if I'm using rangefinder focusing. I've used an XA2 for a while and enjoy it a lot.

petronius
12-24-2008, 22:26
The main statement should be, that there is no bad XA in the whole series. Even the XA1 with its fixed focus is a nice snapshooter. The GAS says: "Have all of them!"

Three samples from the XA, the XA1 and the XA2 - find out which camera for each picture!

btgc
12-25-2008, 00:24
Isn't hard to compare sharpness of XA2 with XA because it depends a lot of aperture, chosen by AE? That said, brightly lit scene isn't problem at all, while in dim light wide open it will depend on how well one guesses hyperfocal distance for possible aperture, I think.

shadowfox
01-05-2009, 12:24
The main statement should be, that there is no bad XA in the whole series. Even the XA1 with its fixed focus is a nice snapshooter. The GAS says: "Have all of them!"

Three samples from the XA, the XA1 and the XA2 - find out which camera for each picture!

Ok, I'll take a stab, XA1, XA, and XA2. Am I close?

David Hughes
01-26-2009, 07:48
Hi,

You can get XA2's for a couple of pounds in England (well, I have). There is much that's good about them, especially if you've dropped a RF XA and found out what the repair will cost (well, I have - II).

Funny thing: I dropped an XA2 once and it improved the pictures a lot. I've often wondered about it... Probably just a lucky accident; like falling out of bed and finding it cured your back problems...

Regards, David

petronius
01-26-2009, 10:56
Ok, I'll take a stab, XA1, XA, and XA2. Am I close?

Sorry, not close!

Spyderman
02-09-2009, 00:52
I've got XA and XA2.

They are almost identical in size, but IMO quite different in use.

In sunny day I prefer XA2, because the scale focus is quicker. The positions are 1.5m (5ft), 3m (10ft), 6m (20ft) to infinity. In sunny day there is enough light so the camera closes its aperture and there is enough DOF.

The XA isn't as fast in bright daylight. At least for me. I tend to change aperture and focus, but if pre-set or if you can set the focus by feel it can be used the same way as XA2.
A big plus for XA is the backlight compensation lever (exposure +1.5) for occasions when you are photographing someone backlighted and the camera exposure system could get fooled.

The exposure metering is very good on both cameras by the way.

Regarding the lenses - I think the XA2 4-element ("Tessar") lens is sharper, but it may as well be that it's more contrasty, but the images appear sharper.

There is another big difference: the XA feels much more fragile. And I'm speaking from experience. I once dropped XA about 1m on capeted floor and the front sliding cover went flying and something got stuck inside. No matter how I moved the focus lever - the RF patch wouldn't move, so I ended up with scale focus for the day. XA2 on the other hand feels more robust - probably because there is no RF or exposure readout mechanism.

BTW: the RF patch on XA is poor indeed. But I managed to put a ND filter (actually a clear piece of unexposed developed BW film) over the main VF window. The view is a bit darker, but the RF patch is much much more visible. I put it there when I had the top cover off to repair stuck rangefinder :/

nrb
11-15-2013, 02:26
I have had both cameras and I concur with your opinion.

mdarnton
11-16-2013, 09:09
Hack: I put one of these on the back of my XA. Once it's on, it stays on: http://www.theclip.com/store/product.php?productid=16218

Greyscale
11-16-2013, 10:01
I prefer the XA3, because someone has to. Metered exposure to 1600 ASA, exposure compensation, what is not to love. Too many people see those "DX" letters and run away, but it is the easiest hack ever to override DX coding. The lens is different than the XA2, at least in the way that it focuses (interior helicoid on the XA3, lens barrel rotates on the XA2), I don't know if it is optically any different or not, but the camera is foolproof, and I should know about that.

David Hughes
11-16-2013, 11:09
Hi,

Why not just buy a case for the XA etc? They come in 3 or 4 versions and often appear on ebay. The one I see most often comes in two length for the A11 or A16 attached and has a belt loop.

Regards, David

raid
11-16-2013, 11:12
I sold several XA2 cameras, and (by mistake) sold the XA4 for $40.
I still use the XA. It is a very good small light camera.

CliveC
11-16-2013, 19:23
I own the XA, XA1 and XA2, but I haven't shot the 1 or 2 yet. It's interesting to hear that the XA2 is sharper. I guess that's next on my list.

Any differences in terms of how long the shutter can stay open between the XA and XA2?

David Hughes
11-17-2013, 07:00
I own the XA, XA1 and XA2, but I haven't shot the 1 or 2 yet. It's interesting to hear that the XA2 is sharper. I guess that's next on my list.

Any differences in terms of how long the shutter can stay open between the XA and XA2?

Hi,

Just looked in the manuals and the XA goes from 10 sec's to 1/500th but the XA2 (and XA3) go from 2 sec's to 1/750th, which is interesting. More interestingly, the XA1 is either a 30th or a 250th, which suggests Trip 35 parentage.

Regards, David

David Hughes
11-20-2013, 08:06
Hi,

Just read the title again, and is the XA2 better? Well, this was taken with the XA2...

http://idrh.smugmug.com/Other/Oddments/i-KpndFtx/0/XL/Photo%2010%20%2B%2B-XL.jpg

Will it do?

Regards, David

btgc
03-08-2014, 01:59
Hi,

Just looked in the manuals and the XA goes from 10 sec's to 1/500th but the XA2 (and XA3) go from 2 sec's to 1/750th, which is interesting. More interestingly, the XA1 is either a 30th or a 250th, which suggests Trip 35 parentage.

Right, XA2 has 1/750 top speed at f/14 and [email protected]/3.5
Interesting if XA's top 1/500 is at same f/14 or f/16? Just looked up and XA stops down to f/22

So in fact we have to compare effective EV's instead of absolute numbers.

Nica picture, David.

David Hughes
03-08-2014, 08:31
Right, XA2 has 1/750 top speed at f/14 and [email protected]/3.5
Interesting if XA's top 1/500 is at same f/14 or f/16? Just looked up and XA stops down to f/22

So in fact we have to compare effective EV's instead of absolute numbers.

Nica picture, David.

Hi,

Thanks, a bit cheesy (the picture) but I wondered if the camera would cope given the wide dynamic range of the scene. Also it says a lot for the cheap supermarket film I buy whenever it is going super cheap (under UKP2) and there's space in the fridge.

If f/22 is available then I wonder how the lens performs there...

Regards, David

PS It's York Minster and the city is not on the tourist routes although a few manage to get there. I got some nice shots inside it too with the same little camera.

pixelatedscraps
03-08-2014, 08:51
Loooove my XA4. The 28mm is a forgiving focal length for the kind of candid street photography I prefer with a camera this size and is definitely sharper than the 35mm f/3.5 lens on the XA2 (still a great camera though).

Is the XA4 worth the premium? I've had mine for almost 3 years and never had an issue yet went through 2 XA2s that died shortly after I started using them before finally finding a good one. I bought my girlfriend (now fiancée) a Yashica 35 MC for a birthday present after a trip to Lemon Cameras in Tokyo one year and although it is one of my favourite small cameras (Yashica T4 Super and Olympus 35RC being the others), it doesn't have the pocket friendly or discreet styling of the XA line. People quite often think you are holding a strange bulbous sort of calculator with an XA, not a camera.

Apologies if this is off topic but I haven't come across a need to gaffer tape any of my XA cameras yet. They are firmly held in one hand at all times just...waiting.

ChrisPlatt
03-09-2014, 07:29
I had to have an XA when it debuted. There was simply nothing like it.
Later when the XA2 came out I bought one for a then-girlfriend to use.

Over the years I got some very nice photos from my little XA.
But I grew tired of the hard-to-see RF patch and fiddly controls.

A few years ago I sold the XA and tried the XA2, which I had callously kept.
After some growing pains I discovered the XA2 was every bit the equal of the XA,
yet faster and easier to use. I have since added a second XA2 and an XA3.

Chris

Rodchenko
03-11-2014, 03:06
I love my XA. I thought I'd find it fiddly because of my big hands (and fat fingers), and that the lens might be a bit substandard, but it worked out fine. I didn't get on with the XA1 at all, though the lens was probably the best on a fixed focus camera short of the Minox 35AL.

The XA is the camera I'd always dreamed of having - a Minox with a rangefinder. OK, so my photograaphy has moved on a bit, but it is a good and easy carry.

Would I 'hack' it? Well, there's no way to fit a filter, which is ever so slightly annoying, but that's it, really.

LonelyRadio
03-11-2014, 03:12
About a year ago I picked up an XA and an XA1 and completed my "set" - I'll admit I haven't tried the XA1, at all, and one roll in the XA hasn't been enough to make me want to use it over the XA2 (best $30 I ever spent!), which has kept me company on many of my travels - a year ago I broke my M6 on the first day of a holiday in Thailand, and only had the XA2 as backup. It delivered!

I've found I have trouble keeping the XA4 straight when I shoot, but I guess I just have to shoot it differently.

ianstamatic
04-05-2014, 04:50
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.

NickTrop
05-18-2014, 20:53
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...

NickTrop
05-18-2014, 21:15
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.

FrankS
10-07-2014, 08:36
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.

f16sunshine
10-07-2014, 09:21
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. (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137072) Hope it helps someone.
The tutorial was an after-thought so... not completely comprehensive.

Cheers!

Ranchu
10-07-2014, 22:37
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.

Sid836
10-07-2014, 23:35
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?

Ranchu
10-08-2014, 00:01
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..

:)

FredtheLlama
10-08-2014, 10:17
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.

olind
02-01-2015, 12:15
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?

raid
02-01-2015, 12:53
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.

nikonosguy
02-01-2015, 15:25
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

Sid836
02-24-2015, 00:50
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?

Solinar
02-24-2015, 02:33
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.

Best Regards,

Sid836
02-24-2015, 03:13
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.

pschauss
02-24-2015, 10:40
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.

Sid836
02-24-2015, 22:35
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)?

Ranchu
02-24-2015, 23:19
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..

Sid836
02-25-2015, 01:50
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.

wblynch
02-27-2015, 07:32
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.

wblynch
02-27-2015, 07:34
...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

02Pilot
03-01-2015, 12:41
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?

Red Robin
03-02-2015, 03:25
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?

FrankS
09-07-2015, 15:57
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?

David Hughes
09-08-2015, 01:45
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...

Regards, David

nongfuspring
09-08-2015, 02:37
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.

Trius
04-27-2016, 02:27
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.

Spavinaw
04-27-2016, 08:28
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.

viridari
01-16-2017, 05:52
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).

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.