View Full Version : painting/resurfacing an XA?

09-14-2009, 03:46
I'm thinking about picking up an XA for cheap, but the camera body has some cosmetic wear on the back of it. Is it possible to paint (is the camera even painted?)/resurface the XA?

Justin Smith
09-14-2009, 08:48
Not sure about the XA, but my XA2 has a metal film door (aluminum?). Thought about painting the worn spots, but decided to keep the patina :D

Here is link (http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/seal/Olympus_XA.pdf) to Jon Goodman's light seal replacement instructions. They contain info on how to remove the film door, if you decide to paint it.

Dave Wilkinson
09-14-2009, 09:02
Personally - if it worked o.k.,I'd just stick it in my pocket and use it!, these are supposed to be cameras that nobody notices!, IMO home paint jobs usually look worse than a little wear.

09-14-2009, 17:00
Painting Aluminum is exceedingly difficult. It's so smooth, it's hard for paint to get any grip. Special prep must be performed. If it were mine, I'd leave it alone or NOT buy it. Heavy wear on the outside, usually means wear on the inside too. It could be worn out. XA's are not among the most robust cameras produced in that era.


09-15-2009, 22:31
An alternative would be using adhesive covering. Not difficult, as long as it doesn't involve with the sliding cover. You can even make a fashion statement with the pattern you choose...

09-15-2009, 22:52
I've done a lot of metal prep and painting (autobody). The backs on the XA/XA2 are simply too smooth to have finished with paint as they did. The back is the only metal surface on the camera and looking at the paint too hard will cause it to pop off in chunks on some of the cams:D.

The trouble it would take to properly prepare and finish the back is a bit more than I ever wanted to pursue.

Best Option..

Find an XA2 with a really nice back. They are cheap because of the automation. (Personally I have switched to the XA2 as a better camera because of the XA squinty rangefinder and unreliable dual needles to show shutter speed). I use XA2's now.

Take the bottom off the camera.
Use a good needle nose plier.
Get a grip on the hinge pin at the slot where the strap goes.
Slide the pin out the bottom.
Do this with both cameras.
Exchange backs and slide the hinge pin in from the bottom.
Replace the bottom of the cameras.

15 minutes... with fumbling.

Never let the camera lie on it's back. Make a velvet pouch for it. Threaten mayhem to any other person who touches the camera. The black paint may stay on, as long as you don't sneeze near the camera when it's out of the velvet pouch. Consider hiring guards for when you cannot monitor activity around the camera.

Actually the back switch trick is your best option. The last XA2's I bought, I paid $20 for two. Both of them work better than my 2 XA's. They do vignette a touch more, but I like the effect.

09-16-2009, 13:28
RFF never fails to deliver the answer (or answers) I'm looking for... thanks guys!

09-16-2009, 13:34
here is the damage by the way: http://i27.tinypic.com/16113de.jpg

the owner is a pro photographer and she assured me the camera is in perfect mechanical condition. I have faith this little guy will be a good one ;)

Oh, I may just throw some electrical tape over the back...

09-16-2009, 13:39
my XA has similar damage, but with the way I treat it I'm sure any paint job would wear off in less time than it took to repaint it. I bought it specifically to be a "toss in my pocket and not care about it" camera. I have enough cameras that I baby too much, I wanted something I honestly didn't care about scraping up. I actually bought one that already had paint loss on purpose, the mind recoils from getting that first scratch so I let someone else beat me to it :)

09-18-2009, 08:24
wow, what a great little camera! I walked the streets with a confidence previously unknown. Smaller is better!



09-19-2009, 18:26
I vote strip/polish.

09-19-2009, 19:16
think I'm gonna leave as is, really. nobody sees the back of the camera when it is in my hand anyway.

John Hermanson
09-24-2009, 05:59
I have a few BRAND NEW original XA back covers with nice springy foam. $20 + S&H. John