For my birthday this year, I received an Olympus XA2 35mm rangefinder camera from the 80’s! I wanted a lightweight, compact device that I could easily carry around with me on a day to day basis. The Olympus XA2 is a great quality user-friendly camera that allows me to do just that! Not only is it perfectly portable it brings back the authenticity of photography for me. For example, although it’s unlike what I’m used to, I love the mystery of not knowing how a photo is going to turn out. Plus, because you only have 24 – 36 shots, you really stop to think about what you are about to capture rather than simply snapping away! Finally, different types of film act as Instagram filters, in a way, and give your pictures a consistent look, which I love!
I was eager to put it to the test as soon as possible! Luckily I was heading to Northern Italy the following week and was able to try it out and play around with two different types of film. Seeing as I just recently got the photos developed, I figured I would share the results with you! Some of the pictures turned out great and others… not so much. You’ll notice that a lot of the photos are overexposed or slightly blurry, so I clearly could use more practice. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a professional photographer by any means (but I try!). Nevertheless, I thought it could still be interesting for you to see how the film turned out.
When I peeled back the envelope and laid eyes on this first batch of film, I was so incredibly disappointed! Most of the photos were distorted or completely overexposed to the point where I had to discard them completely. That being said, I don’t think the film itself is to blame! I think it may be due to the fact that the film passed through the X-ray machine at airport security. Nevertheless, here are some of the photos I was able to salvage from this strip of film! Despite being a little overexposed, I do enjoy how some of them turned out (especially photos 1 through 6).
Once again, I had several issues with overexposure and distortion with this strip of film as well. However, the photos that did turn out are stunning! My favorites are photos 1 through 4, 11 & 12. The quality and vibrancy of these pictures are excellent however I did notice that the camera yields much better results in overcast weather. If the sun is too strong, the photos will be very overexposed! Now, as much as I prefer the quality of the slide film pictures, the film itself is quite expensive to buy and develop. So, I will most likely continue to practice with a cheaper film like the Fujifilm Superia 400 before experimenting with more slide!
If you’re interested in checking out the Olympus XA2, you can find a bunch of them on eBay!
For a little more technical information about the camera, you can check out this blog: Matt’s Classic Cameras.
You can also have a look at this Flickr group‘s amazing photos which were all taken with the Olympus XA2!