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Olympus Trip 35

Adam P , Jan 22, 2010; 08:53 a.m.

Hello everyone,

I just bought this beautiful little camera at an auction site for the equivalent of 9 dollars. Had to clean it and repair the stuck aperture leaves, following online instructions. But I think it was worth it. I loaded Superia X-tra 400 and had fun! I thought I'd post a few samples for the record. I know that some of us (including me) when buying an old "worthless" camera off an auction site would first like to see what pictures can be taken with such and such model. The flickriver.com site is good for that, too.

For those who don't know, Olympus Trip 35 is a very compact camera (fits easily into my coat's pocket) with automatic exposure but no need for battery. The only thing to remember before taking a picture is to set focus using simple "zone" system (i.e. pictographs denoting various distances from the subject).

In my opinion after the first roll, focusing needs a bit of getting used to. I found myself turning the camera upside down and using the meter scale instead, but I believe it's just a matter of practice.


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Robert Gussin , Jan 22, 2010; 09:20 a.m.

Great Photos Adam! I also have an Olypus Trip 35 with a working meter! I keep it loaded in the glovebox of my car. The lens on mine is crazy-sharp! I, too flip the camera to read the distance, but just as on my Chaika II, I found the symbols do impart distance. Each figure is meter. Without running down and checking, let me see if I remember. The one person is one meter (three feet). The one big and one half sized person in 1-1/2 meters or 4-1/2 feet. Three people is three meters or 9 feet and the mountains are infiniti. The flash setting /distance/aperture compensator works great. My only complaint is once in a while the camera chooses the slower 1/40 shutter speed when I'm trying to capture motion.
It's a really cool solar-powered camera!

Charles Stobbs , Jan 22, 2010; 10:53 a.m.

My Trip 35 has a foot/meter scale on the other side of the lens. The click stops coincide with metric scale but there is a foot scale with settings of 3,4,7,15 and infinity. And as a bonus the icon scale can be seen through the auxiliary viewfinder. The fixed 1/200 shutter speed helps insure sharp pictures.

Brian M. , Jan 22, 2010; 11:39 a.m.

The film advance looks funny. Is it just a dial?

Adam P , Jan 22, 2010; 12:12 p.m.

Brian, yes, it's just a dial. And it works surprisingly smooth. At least for someone raised on a Zorkij.

Walter Degroot , Jan 22, 2010; 12:17 p.m.

although there were poorly made cameras made and most of them no longer function.
but many of the older cameras, with a little TLC work extremely well. and are capable of results as good as or better than new camera.
Of course most of these are before DX coding, auto focus and auto ex[posure. You have to use your brain instead.
Kodak passed thru the era of alternate films such as 126 disk 110 and advantax and 35mm survived.
Week after week we read stories of great photos from older cameras. what is the surprise.
I expect it, and I am still happy to read each posting.

Maciek Stankiewicz , Jan 22, 2010; 09:59 p.m.

For me it's hard to call those pictures Nice or Beautiful in term of optical quality. They are not that sharp and the colors look bad. But maybe with different or fresh film Your Trip will shine. I am glad that You like this camera. I owned one and got nice, very sharp pictures with saturated colors.
The secret is probably in the simple lens construction with only four elements. It works most of the time.
The thing that I didn't like was the shutter lock in low-light situations. Yes, I could switch for manual f2.8 but I think with 1/40 speed camera still can capture some light and camera don't need shutter-lock mechanism.
Ken Rockwell got very interesting article about Trip 35 and his samples look really great, worth reading.
Once I compared my Olympus Trip (early model with metal shutter button) against Voigtlander Vito BL. Voigtlander (model with 2.8 Skopar) wins hands down delivering even sharper pictures without ANY distortions and better colors. I didn't care for distortions, nothing major, 'till I saw the same pictures from Voigtlander. My jaw dropped and I sold Olympus.
Olympus Trip35 is a nice camera, for high quality snapshots, for me more like an everyday notepad than camera for vacation.

Take care, M.S.

Olympus Trip35 Warsaw, Old City.

Jim Momary , Jan 22, 2010; 11:01 p.m.

Here's a nothing shot on Kodacolor Gold200 from my Trip 35.
Sharpness is usually decent I find.
Colors too, at least not when in full sun.

Olympus Trip 35 is 'stumped'.

Adam P , Jan 23, 2010; 01:36 a.m.

Maciek and Jim, excellent sharpness to your samples. Mine is nowhere near, but that's probably because my Trip did not step aperture down anywhere further than 4 I think, and because my scans are bad. Good to see there are more people enjoying this small camera. As for your Voigtlander, Maciek, I'll watch out for bargains on auction sites, and maybe will give it a try sometime!

Rick Drawbridge , Jan 23, 2010; 05:22 a.m.

Adam, I think your pics are just great, and I wouldn't get too bogged down in discussions about sharpness or the lack of it. I really like the muted colour, and the drab winter atmosphere your photographs evoke. The pic with your young model placed at the side of the frame is great, and the one with the 'phones could have come from one of my folders. Please keep posting...it's nice to see a fresh eye on the forum.

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