View Full Version : XA Scale Focusing Question

03-23-2010, 09:44
I've recently started to become interested in shooting my XA again for some street photography. I noticed when looking over the camera that the number "8" is highlighted in red/orange as is the f/stop 5.6. What does this mean? Is this some indication that some distance x - infinity will be in focus? I'd like to try some scale focusing for street and want to be able to set the focus to a certain spot for ease.

Any thoughts?

03-23-2010, 10:21
I'm sure someone will chime in to tell you exactly why the 8ft. mark on the distance scale and the f5.6 aperture mark are both highlighted in red/orange- but I can tell you that the XA is very easy to accurately scale focus in good light. I shoot with an XA all the time as my camera to carry when I don't want to carry a camera, and I rarely use the RF patch, since it's so dim. Unless I need to shoot wide open, I just guesstimate the distance (this is very easy to do, especially after years of photography and paying attention to my distance scales with many cameras). With an XA loaded with 400 speed film and set to f5.6 or f8, I almost never miss my focus. Don't worry- just shoot a roll the way you plan to, and see how well it works. It may take a little practice to get up above 90% accuracy, but I promise, it's easy, and just gets easier. Enjoy!

Juan Valdenebro
03-23-2010, 10:23
Well, they highlight in orange both a focusing distance (8 feet) and an f-stop (f/5.6) because the designer Maitani considered the lens gives good results there and a comfortable way of shooting subjects in the foreground in the usual 2-4 meters range... It is not easy to focus close and get infinity on focus too, even closing aperture... What is easy is -as the focusing throw is so short- to teach your finger where the focusing tab should be quickly placed for near or far subjects without necessarily taking a look at the distance scale or focusing patch... Personally I tend to shoot my XA at f/8 and f/11 and I shoot it on sunny days usually... And when it's necessary at f/5.6 or f/4 in shadows or overcast.

For a precise depth of field chart, take a look at page 14 here:




03-23-2010, 10:44
I bought an XA early on for my wife. I still have the camera and the instructions. There is an INSTRUCTIONS booklet and a single folded sheet titled INSTRUCTIONS AT A GLANCE. The booklet does not mention the special markings. However, the folded sheet under SNAPSHOTS says set aperture to f5.6 and distance to 8 feet. Referring back to a depth of field chart in the booklet, you are in focus from 5.84 to 12.8 feet based on a circle of confusion of 1/760 inch.

03-23-2010, 13:16
Thanks for the replies! I'm thinking of setting it on f/5.6 or f/8, distance of 7ish feet and shooting away. Seems like it should work well this way based on Spavinaw's calculations of 5.84 - 12.8 feet.

Thanks again!