A week before leaving home for California, I decided to snap up a film camera. My last one, a Minolta XG-M, did not fair too well at Oktoberfest. In fact, it hasn’t worked since. Prost, Oktoberfest!
Naturally, I turned to eBay. If you’re relaxed on quality and are willing to take a bit of a risk, there are some film camera bargains to be had. Beware though, if a film camera is TOO cheap to be true, it’s likely to be in a bad condition.
After a quick Google search, I found the baby I wanted. Small, simple, stylish and comes with a cult following. Hello Olympus Trip 35.
The Olympus Trip 35 is a fully-automatic viewfinder camera, produced from 1967 to 1984, ish. It’s super simple to use and best of all, needs NO batteries. It’s bad enough keeping check of the film, never mind the batteries too.
Rather than entering into a classic eBay bidding war, I paid £50.00 for a ‘Buy It Now’ Olympus Trip from an eBay camera store. This ensured the quality of the camera and the store’s return policy meant I could return it if necessary.
For some cool refurbished and serviced models, I urge you to check out Trip Man.
Olympus Trip 35 – The Basics
I will happily admit I’m no camera expert so take everything I’m about to say with a pinch of salt.
In comparison to my original Minolta XG-M, the Olympus Trip 35 is incredibly lighter and smaller, which makes it perfect for holidays and travelling, as the name suggests. It’s roughly similar in size and weight to an Olympus PEN digital camera.
The lens is fixed and therefore cannot be changed. Whereas, the lens on my Minolta XG-M was interchangeable, and was changed a total of ZERO times. No love lost there.
The focus ring is marked with focus zones, with the zones being 1 metre, 1.5 metres, 3 metres, and infinity. Essentially, you take a best guess at how far away your subject is and choose the appropriate zone. It’s that easy.
The camera is designed to be used on a fully automatic exposure mode, meaning the focus zone is the only setting to worry about when taking a photo. The idea being, it’s fun to use and lets you focus on the composition of the photo, not the stuffy camera settings.
Olympus Trip 35 – The Photos
Olympus Trip 35 – The Verdict
Luckily, the environment meant light was not too much of an issue in any of the photos. Thanks sunny Cali. The use of wrong focus zones resulted in some photos not being crisp, however, this should improve with experience.
Given the cost and simplicity of the Olympus Trip 35, combined with the results, I think it’s AWESOME.