Olympus Trip 35

My name is Les, and I’m a camera addict. Or something.

You might recall that when I bought my lovely little Olympus EP-1 Pen, that I mentioned its resemblance to the classic Olympus Trip 35, which my addled memory made me think had been a rangefinder thingy, and that I recalled adverts for the Trip which I’d seen, well, probably in the late 1970s or very early 1980s. Having mentioned it at the time, I mostly forgot about it, and carried on having fun with the Pen. It’s the camera that lives in the bag that goes with me to work every day, and it’s been a Good Thing to have. I still prefer my big Canon for when I’m deliberately going out to take pictures, but it’s good to have a decent camera with me nearly all the time.

Anyway, I was reading a photography magazine the other day, and an article mentioned in passing that if you fancied playing with film cameras, it was possible to get an Olympus Trip 35 on eBay for not very much. So I had a look, and found a nicely refurbished one with a quite acceptable “Buy it now” price, which is what I did.

And here it is:

Enjoy your Trip

Enjoy your Trip

What we have here is a fully-functional, moderately small camera with a minimum of controls, and which needs no batteries to work.

The lens is a nice bit of glass – 40mm (no zooming here, if you want to change your composition, you’ll have to move), with a useful maximum aperture of f/2.8. For those not familiar with older cameras, the shiny bit around the lens is the light meter.

All the controls are set around the lens barrel:

  • There’s a simple zone focus setting – basically, you can tell the camera to focus quite close, a bit less close, not very close and oooh, way over there
  • You can set the aperture dial on A for automatic, or set it at any stop from f/2.8 to f/22
  • Finally, this being a non-electronic camera, there’s a dial for setting the film speed from ISO 25 to ISO 400

It couldn’t be much simpler to use – load the film, wind it on, point it in the right direction and press the shutter release. If you leave the aperture ring on A, then if it’s too dark for a proper exposure, when you try to press the shutter release, a red flag pops up in the viewfinder and the button locks. On the other hand, if you manually set the aperture, the camera assumes that you know what you’re doing and lets you take your picture however dark it may be.

One other nice feature is that if you look through the viewfinder, you’ll see a small window that lets you see the aperture and focus setting that you’ve selected.

I’ve taken one roll of film, and once I’ve got that processed, I’ll report back on the results.

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