Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Olympus Trip 35

Olympus Trip 35

This camera got my fancy in the summer of 1994, as it sat abandoned in a box near the counter of RSPCA charity shop in Watford. It was almost brand new, I mean unused. Near it, a bunch of 35mm colour expired films, mostly Boots or something. The label on the camera was 2 pounds, so I bought it right away, together with that bunch of films, each at 50 p., so yes, that was a good day. I sat on a bench outside the shop and had a film put in the camera, snapping away on my way home.

As far as I remember, the results were encouraging, and the prints made from the films shot with this camera must be somewhere in the house. Probably, at some point I’ll find them. The camera is still with me, heavily used and I haven’t run a roll of film through it for ages. At some point it was dropped from the car, the aluminium hood needed to be reshaped, the ASA setting ring is loose now, and the entire lens thing is wobbly (ever so slightly, but it does wobble, mainly when I press the release button). It will remain so, just a memory of good old times.

Of course, this is a camera on which rivers of ink were spent; no point for me in explaining in fine details what and how works. I will only say this: for what it is, the Olympus Trip 35 made my travel days a pleasure to record places and people. It was a sturdy and trusty companion, even when the light or dark made it no option to shoot. As a street photography tool, it was unobtrusive and really good performer, if film and conditions were right.

For what is worth, there you go: Olympus Trip 35 is a camera made from 1968 to 1983. The Zuiko 40mm f/2.8 lens is tack, razor sharp, which is great. A simple viewfinder, no parallax effects, but bright lines are visible within.

Fully automatic, two speeds 1/40 and 1/200, provided by means of metering by the selenium cell around the lens. Mine was relatively ok when I bought it, and now I guess it is not anymore (the cell I mean). Flash is available, at 1/40, but no B or T settings. The “A” setting puts the camera in automatic mode, anything else on that scale will click at 1/40.

Focusing is a zone thing: 4 icons shows you the ropes. Single person up to 1.2m, two people 1.2m to 2m, group of people 2m to 6m, mountains icon from 6m to infinity. Of course you may use intermediate distances, if you are so inclined and are good at it. Film advance is by means of a thumb wheel, really liberating I guess.

Great camera, and one can only understand how liberating is to use it, if one takes it out and shoot with it. No electronics, no battery, no buttons and dials clutter, just pure joy of pointing and shooting with it.

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