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View Full Version : Talk me out of buying a XA


MarkoKovacevic
02-10-2009, 12:09
I already have a stylus epic, but I want a XA for the old style and the quiet shutter. It is $110 canadian with shipping from KEH, which was the price of my Stylus epic new.

I really want it, but I don't know what I would do with the Stylus Epic.
Talk me out of buying one!

capitalK
02-10-2009, 12:22
I recently got a Stylus Epic second hand and used it as a backup snapshoot camera on a road trip last weekend. My friends are emailing digital P&S snapshots and in my opinion there's no comparison.

Missed focus a few times so the manual-focus XA could have come in handy, but I have no experience with it.

benlees
02-10-2009, 12:31
I recently got an XA and love it so I am not going to try and talk you out of it- except maybe say look for one for a little less $$.

Bike Tourist
02-10-2009, 12:39
Okay. Don't buy an XA.

funkaoshi
02-10-2009, 12:40
You can find them for much less than $110, on ebay and on craigslist. My friend has an XA. It's a nice camera, but the rangefinder is almost unusable. Perhaps this is just an issue with his copy. If you already have the Epic, i'm not sure what you gain the with XA. Also, max ISO is 800.

xayraa33
02-10-2009, 12:42
do it , go buy it.
enjoy your money before your lawyer does.

Ducky
02-10-2009, 12:42
The Epic is tough to beat.

rbiemer
02-10-2009, 12:45
OK, talk you out of it: It is too small to hold well, the shutter button is very sensitive and can fail before the rest of the camera, max iso of 800, focus is "fiddly"--very short throw from near to far, not built in flash and when the dedicated flash is attached the package is no longer the small pocket full it was, it's old.
The same arguments could be used in favor of the XA too, though...:)
Rob

Borghesia
02-10-2009, 12:59
I got a XA+flash for 12 euro's, 110,- dollars is too much.
I don't like the camera, it's too light and focussing is very instable even with a good rf patch. I also have an Epic, and I think that lens is sharper.
From my Oly trip I got more keepers then from my XA.

Leighgion
02-10-2009, 13:15
Don't buy the XA if you're going to Spain? :)

I like my XA. Wish it didn't top out at ISO 800 and that it had a faster lens, but the size and stealth are virtually unparalleled.

chambrenoire
02-10-2009, 13:16
Yeah, way too much money for an XA. I found mine at a good-will store for $3USD in mint condition.

aad
02-10-2009, 13:16
$110 is a lot. There's a guy named Desert Rat selling some XAs right now, on this page.

Oh, yeah, they are small enough to be fiddly. Nice lens, most rangefinders are faded.

Merkin
02-10-2009, 13:23
take a month or two to hunt yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets, craigslist, etc. a lot of people just see them as another old 35mm point and shoot, and part with them for almost nothing. If, after that time, you can't find one, and you are still desperate to get one, order one from the classifieds here. The only way i would pay 100 bucks for one would be if it were practically new in the box.

kuzano
02-10-2009, 13:28
Well two XA and two XA2 examples. I don't have $110 in all of them and I also have three flashes.

1) XA works good
2) XA works but does not indicate shutter speed used
Not uncommon.
3) 2 XA2's both work well.

I usually use the XA2 models for the scale focus and auto exposure. They shoot great picture.

The XA's also take great pictures, when I have the time to focus the teeny weeny little focus patch on the rangefinder, as soon as I can find the lever with the very tip of my finger. Delicate focus usually takes many seconds... forget action or children at activities.

use the XA2

Same body, same clamshell door, same issues with the super sensitive shutter button. But, small enough that you are always playing pocket pool to see if it's still with you.

My wife just looks at me and says, Do you have a rash, or are you carrying that damn toy camera around again.

SimonK
02-10-2009, 13:36
I'll be glad to talk you out of blowing 110 bucks on one. I got mine on ebay for around 45. I had to replace the seals (easy-peasy) and the shutter speeds don't indicate correctly in the viewfinder but apart from that it is a great little performer - silent shutter, great lens and the rangefinder patch on mine is crystal clear.

So, get one. Pay 40 to 50 from wherever and if you don't like it sell it on ebay for what you paid.

drewbarb
02-10-2009, 13:40
Talk you out of it? Ok; $110 -especially Canadian dollars- is way too much money for one, as everyone else has said. The last XA I bought cost me $30 USD from the classifieds here. Admittedly that's a really good price, and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for another deal like that, but you should be able to find a good one for under $75 US- possibly even with an A11 flash for that price.

XA is a great little camera. I stick one in my pocket most of the time, whether or not I'm carrying a bigger camera. It's great for fill-flash, too- just re-set the aperture to f5.6 or f8 after you turn on the flash, and the camera fires the flash but also drags the shutter for the available light- very cool.

MarkoKovacevic
02-10-2009, 13:43
Its around 70 us with a A11 flash from KEH and the shipping is 16-20$

MarkoKovacevic
02-10-2009, 13:50
Is the ceramic breaking and leaving the shutterin self timer mode common?

shadowfox
02-10-2009, 14:31
If you're going to spend that much, get an XA4 instead. :)

MarkoKovacevic
02-10-2009, 14:37
Can you guys give me a list of questions to ask the salesperon about the XA?

jackbaty
02-10-2009, 14:50
I didn't like my XA at all. Too fiddly for my taste. I still carry two Stylus Epics though. Love them.

pkreyenhop
02-10-2009, 14:51
To scare you off: I have bought 5 XA's within the last couple of years because one after the other died (or arrived already faulty) and it was cheaper to buy another one instead of repairing them. I have given up on them as they are so unreliable. (BTW: I still have my first Stylus Epic)

st3ph3nm
02-10-2009, 18:07
Don't spend $100 on an XA. But *do* get one. I love mine. It's a great little camera, and every shot in my gallery is taken with mine. Also have a look at Gabriel's and Gene's galleries (Gene's New York Winter series with his XA were shots that convinced me that it was worth getting one of these things). Yes, it's not perfect. Yes, focusing in low light is difficult. Yes it only goes to ISO800. So don't expect it to do good low light photography (though for long exposures, it does have a great meter and self timer) and have a good time with it.

Cheers,
Steve

RayPA
02-10-2009, 18:15
Agree about the fiddly nature of the XA. I stopped using mine completely and sold it off, because the shutter would sometimes not fire. Also, I hate the sound of the film advance. It sounds like one of those disposable cameras (eeesh! like nails on a chalkboard).

Edit: I have to add that the lens will surprise with how good it is.
/

agi
02-10-2009, 18:15
Once again I agree with Will...if you're going to spend that much get an XA4 :)

benlees
02-10-2009, 18:17
Just as a typical internet counter example: I recently dropped my XA from shoulder level on to concrete in -10c weather and nothing broke. Works like a champ. Big chunk came out of the self timer lever, however.

I will agree about the hair trigger on the shutter: usually 2 shots per roll are wasted.

rovnguy
02-10-2009, 18:59
Quit screwing around and just buy the XA. Then learn how to use it. Life becomes nicer with one of each (XA and Epic). A lot of folks gripe about the XA, but they probably don't have the mindset to get the most from it. I recommend that you keep a roll of Fuji Reala in the XA and a roll of good ISO 400 film in the Epic (NPH 400 comes to mind). The Reala is great for color, and it desaturates very nicely for good B&W.

lambyu
02-10-2009, 18:59
hello:
i've been using XA for over 7 yrs, it never fails me, i bought several XAs because i'm afraid they'll break but i'm still using the first one i bought.
in my opinion sometimes it's focus is easier, faster then auto ones, esp. when you're shooting outdoor in daylight, just set the focus to 3 meters then you'll get a good shot.
and battery lasts for about 2 yrs...... even you shoot several rolls per month.
about picture quality, you may take a look at my site, www.lambiseverywhere.co.nr
almost all TRAVEL photos were shot by XA.
cheers,

pschauss
02-10-2009, 19:08
$110 U.S. is about what I paid for mine when I bought it new in 1983. It is a great travel camera for those times when you don't want to look like a tourist with a big ugly SLR hanging around your neck. When I first got mine I shot mostly Kodachrome 64 and the light meter rarely gave me a bad exposure. The only drawback for me is that, with age (not sure whether it is my age or the camera's age :-) ), the rangefinder patch has become harder to see and, at times, I have trouble seeing the shutter speed indicator in the view finder.

I have heard that the viewfinders collect dust and get dim over time. If they can assure you that the viewfinder/rangefinder has been cleaned and that the rangefinder patch has good contrast, I'd buy it.

Bingley
02-10-2009, 20:01
Still need convincing NOT to buy an XA? Well, it's not a Leica... :rolleyes:

Bingley
02-10-2009, 20:04
Still need convincing NOT to buy an XA? Well, it's not a Leica... :rolleyes:

Mine is still going strong since buying it new in the early 80s. Yeah, the rangefinder patch is hard to see, but I just set it to f.8 and let the dof do the rest. Lens is great, meter works fine, and shutter is really quiet. The perfect stealth cam. Haven't priced them recently, but concur in the advise above to check out KEH for comparison pricing.

Matus
02-13-2009, 06:15
Still need convincing NOT to buy an XA? Well, it's not a Leica... :rolleyes:

An that that is good - I could not afford it otherwise. I just got mine 1 hour ago (my first rangefinder ever) and it is so sweet. Yes - the RF patch is not that easy to see (I do not know whether a CLA would fix this or not - would love to know), but the viewfinder is much better than I expected when compared to what I have read (I have never used ANY RF camera like R3A or Leica - I am not spoiled ... well, yet ... ;) ).

You should be prepared to change the light seals if this was not done before - mine are nice sticky ...

Be prepared that it may be problematic to focus the camera while mounted on a tripod, as the focusing tab is very close (and very low too) to the mounting point. I have just tried that with the table top Manfrotto 709B tripod.

Just get one. If you do no like it - they are easy to sell and you will not loose much.

John Hermanson
02-13-2009, 08:49
XAs jammed in self timer mode OR giving constant 10 second exposures is a defect usually caused by impact damage. Broken ceramic was never available separately and there wer atleast 2 different types. IMO, I love the XA but Stylus Epic has always produced sharper results (and I've seen results from many samples). It produces what I think are the sharpest pictures from any p&s non-zoom camera. For the amount of overall control though, I'd have to go with the XA. Proud Olympus user since 1977 (I was technician at Olympus Woodbury when the XA came out and have an early sample of the A11 flash when it was actually called the "A12"). See http://www.zuiko.com/index_029.htm. John, www.zuiko.com

John Hermanson
02-13-2009, 08:51
Forgot to mention that even though the RF is inside the body, years of use will allow a fine film of dust to settle on the RF elements. This is a noticeable deterioration of rf performance. A CLA makes it a little better, but keep in mind that the XA rf was always a little dim. John, www.zuiko.com

johannielscom
02-13-2009, 11:31
... Yeah, the rangefinder patch is hard to see, but I just set it to f.8 and let the dof do the rest...

When used like this, why not buy an XA1?

I've got an XA1 with case that is seeing no action at all. No flash available. Tested and works fine.

If interested, PM me and I'll let go of it for a trial-and-error price plus shipping.

hjagis
02-25-2009, 23:43
OK, talk you out of it: It is too small to hold well, the shutter button is very sensitive and can fail before the rest of the camera, max iso of 800, focus is "fiddly"--very short throw from near to far, not built in flash and when the dedicated flash is attached the package is no longer the small pocket full it was, it's old.
The same arguments could be used in favor of the XA too, though...:)
Rob

Use it with the flash. Much steadier. Hjalti

whitecat
02-26-2009, 01:57
The XA is a little work of art. Go for it!

MarkoKovacevic
02-26-2009, 02:48
I bought one!

gdi
02-26-2009, 03:29
You will enjoy it!

http://www.tunachaser.com/modules/pnCPG/coppermine/albums/userpics/10001/_EPS1176-Edit.jpg

landscapepics
02-26-2009, 11:26
Is Spain fatal for the XA ? In Gran Canaria last week my wife asked to borrow the XA whilst I was in the pool. She asked how to use it and I said open the lens cover - so she pulled it off the camera completely ! I managed to get it back on but it doesn't seem as smooth now. I've had my XA for about twenty years and love it. The quality of the pictures are first class. I agree that the rangeffinder is difficult to use and my flash stopped working a long time ago, but I'm not likely to want to use flash with this camera anyway. I have taken the XA as an only camera on cyle touring and walking trips where it operates very well.

However more and more I want to use filters for landscape photography, and the XA doesn'r have a filter thread.

btgc
02-26-2009, 11:53
It's impossible to judge camera, relying on opinion of others. While I had only Mju/Epic I thought it's best P&S camera ever, when I got XA2 I loved (and still do) scale focus (though don't release trigger). Each camera has it's strong and weak spots.

There's only one way - use camera for some time and truth will appear. And XA seems to keep resale value well, so this isn't dead-end investment.

SimonK
02-28-2009, 16:49
Just got back from a week in Miami Beach, where all I took was an XA. Amazingly, the viewfinder shutter speed indicator, which had been jamming since I bought the camera, miraculously fixed itself.

I shot 200 fujicolor and forgot to change the ASA dial from 100 for the first roll (doh!)but no matter - every shot is absolutely faultlessly exposed - even the dusk, self-timer shots.
You just gotta, gotta get one.

jn053
03-01-2009, 07:03
I shot 200 fujicolor and forgot to change the ASA dial from 100 for the first roll (doh!)but no matter - every shot is absolutely faultlessly exposed - even the dusk, self-timer shots.
You just gotta, gotta get one.

Well, this gives me hope. I just bought an XA that looks like it's
seen less than 20 rolls of film and yet the meter seems to be
about a full stop over, 1/60 sec. at Sunny 16 conditions. I guess
there are two Cds cells, one for shutter exposure and one for
the meter so maybe it's only the meter cell that's gone off
a little. We'll see...

btgc
03-01-2009, 08:14
I shot 200 fujicolor and forgot to change the ASA dial from 100 for the first roll (doh!)but no matter - every shot is absolutely faultlessly exposed - even the dusk, self-timer shots.

one stop over for negative doesn't harm; actually, it makes shadows better.

clarence
03-01-2009, 09:01
I couldn't stand the rangefinder patch on my XA. In fact I hated it so much I managed to lose the camera somewhere in Islington.

Clarence