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Old 03-26-2019   #41
Solinar
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Times two. Unless I have plenty of time to focus and compose, I'll generally use zone focusing with the XA due to its dim RF patch.

One problem to this approach is the XA does not have many marked focus settings. (On my example, the focus is marked in Imperial measurements, 2.8, 4 & 8 ft, plus infinity, that's not a lot of options and there are no hyperfocal lines to guide you.)

By the way, the XA made me a fan of the Rollei 35S - which has a longer throw to its focus movement and unlike the XA that movement is well dampened. The longer focus throw allows the 35S to have more than 3 marked distance settings. It also includes a hyperfocal distance scale.
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Old 03-26-2019   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste_S View Post
Sorry to necro quote, but this isn't true is it ?

The XA2 etc suffer from the same problems that the Trip 35 has - it's a zone focusing camera where you have no control over aperture and thus don't know what your depth of field is.

I'm much rather have the XA for street. Set an aperture so that you're getting a minimum shutter speed of 1/125 in the shadows, focus to roughly 12ft and you're good to go. Just as quick to use and more accurate than the XA2, just takes a minute to set up if that.

This thread has me tempted to get an XA2 or XA3. But, I have another question related to the zone focusing. I've been shooting ISO 100 in my XA and other Japanese rangefinders... so that I can get the aperture a little more open. Are the XA2 & 3 users shooting ISO 400, since the zone focusing is less precise?
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Old 03-26-2019   #43
ChrisPlatt
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In good light ISO 100 film works fine with the XA2 and XA3.
That said I use mostly 200 and 400 speed film in mine.

BTW I prefer them to that fussy little XA I owned way back when...

Chris
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Old 03-26-2019   #44
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The XA2 is just plain fun. If I could tell my teenage self to buy a camera and shoot it all throughout my teen and young adult years, it would be the XA2. Focusing is easy as pie, the action is fast, and it's easy to burn film with it. Mine has an intermittent light leak but it's all part of the charm. Low light is not its forte, however.


XA2 with expired Kodak Portra VC 400


XA2 - Light Leak by Archiver, on Flickr
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Old 03-27-2019   #45
David Hughes
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Originally Posted by wwfloyd View Post
This thread has me tempted to get an XA2 or XA3. But, I have another question related to the zone focusing. I've been shooting ISO 100 in my XA and other Japanese rangefinders... so that I can get the aperture a little more open. Are the XA2 & 3 users shooting ISO 400, since the zone focusing is less precise?

Hi,

I have had one or two (meaning the XA, XA1, XA2, XA3 and XA4) from new and so I have spent a lot of time shooting with slide film. That means 25, 50 and 64 ASA or ISO as I have to say these days. I didn't notice any problems then and still don't although I mainly use negative film these days.

Of course, I can't really answer the question because I don't know what type of photographer you are and what you want to use it for; they were/are great carry everywhere cameras.

You should also note/be warned that I am not one of those who thinks that all lenses should be f/1 or faster and that all film should be 1600 ASA and you should only print posters (but not use a tripod) etc, etc.

If you want a very usable, everyday camera that you can buy for a song and get repaired if necessary then the XA2 and XA3 have a lot going for them.

Regards, David
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Old 03-27-2019   #46
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Hi,

Isn't that your version of zone focussing?

Regards, David
Yes... but you seem to have missed the point
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Old 03-27-2019   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwfloyd View Post
This thread has me tempted to get an XA2 or XA3. But, I have another question related to the zone focusing. I've been shooting ISO 100 in my XA and other Japanese rangefinders... so that I can get the aperture a little more open. Are the XA2 & 3 users shooting ISO 400, since the zone focusing is less precise?
Yeah, if you want to zone focus regardless of the camera you'll want a high ISO so you can keep the lens stopped down with a reasonable shutter speed.

In the UK at the moment 400ISO will get me about f8 1/125s in the shadows. Focus at 17ft with a 35mm lens and I'm good for 9ft to Infinity.
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Old 03-27-2019   #48
David Hughes
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Originally Posted by Ste_S View Post
Yes... but you seem to have missed the point

Hmmm, one of the points I missed was how you expose for the shadows with the XA and another was why you'd need 125th exposure with a 35mm lens...


Regards, David
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Old 03-27-2019   #49
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Truth is that the photograper can lie to the camera with regards to film speed.

As long as one remembers to undo his or her handy work, select a slower speed ISO that is 1/2 or 1/4 of the rated film speed to bring out the shadow detail.

With that said, I usually forget to reset the film speed afterwards.
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35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus an Oly 35RD and a Voigtlander Vito II
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtländer Perkeo II and Bessa II, 2 of them - a ZI Mess Ikonta 524/2 - plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes - still going over a decade later

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Old 03-28-2019   #50
David Hughes
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Exactly. The problem as I see it is that "pocketable" imposes restriction on the camera's size and weight. And then there's the restrictions imposed by pockets. When it's jeans and tee shirt weather the pockets are somewhat restricted by money, car keys etc, etc. So that knocks out the Leica IIIc and Summitar or Summicron.

Which leads to small light cameras and restricted facilities but whatever we have chosen we ought to be working within the limitations of the camera. So I can't see how always exposing for the shadows will work in practice without a lot of fiddle, fiddle, fiddle with the few controls available. OK once or twice if you can guess correctly and remember to go back to the film's true speed but a pita just the same.

That's assuming that we are talking about small cameras which tend to be fully automatic exposure. I can't think of a small, pocketable one with spot metering for the shadows and manual override.

Then add into the equation that easily pocketed means easily dropped out on to the concrete bus lane just as a bus drives by...

Add an essential like a lens hood then there's no small camera available that I know except the Contax Tix but that was APS and so isn't possible these days. So that just leaves us - oh dear - smartphones...

Regards, David
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Old 03-28-2019   #51
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Hmmm, one of the points I missed was how you expose for the shadows with the XA and another was why you'd need 125th exposure with a 35mm lens...


Regards, David
So just to refresh. My original point was that the XA can zone focus more accurately than the XA2 as you have control over depth of field.

Exposure for shadows is either done with the exposure compensation lever or by changing the ISO dial.

Why a minimum of 1/125s ? Generally you're zone focusing for street and/or grab shots where you want a minimum shutter speed that can freeze motion
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Old 03-28-2019   #52
David Hughes
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Hi,


I think the problem is that I am thinking that exposing for the shadows is a very precise thing and so can't be guessed. OTOH, you could guess and then bracket it but that's extra fiddly with the film speed control.

And going for 125th all the time means that the aperture cannot be a choice because the exposure dominates it.

But having said that I'd be happy looking at the scene in general and then adjusting the exposure by a third or so and keeping my fingers crossed for luck.

DoF with the XA2 is good or usable to my mind at f/3.5 and the default zone.

Regards, David
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