The James Bond of cameras!


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That’s what I like to think about these cameras!

And what cameras are we talking about here? The Olympus XA.

You know, it never fails to amaze me every time I pick up an XA camera; it’s such a cleverly designed thing, just the feel of it in the palm of your hand is so comfortable. Just how the Olympus engineers were able to cram such a top class lens system into such a miniscule body is a wonder in itself. And a rangefinder at that!

The Olympus XA was the brainchild of that genius Yoshihisa Maitani, who incidentally passed away in 2009.

Obviously, the heart of any camera is always the lens, and that is what gives this little marvel it’s well-deserved iconic status.

A full 6 element, 35mm f2.8 lens is what we are talking about here. Apparently, in order to get those 6 elements correctly into such a small space was an Herculean effort which nobody thought could be achieved, but lo and behold, it was done.

There have been review upon review of the qualities of the lens, so I’m not going to bore the pants off you with all that technical stuff; suffice to say that a quick search on Mr Google should bring up a plethora of info for you!

Let me also point out that the XA is one camera that professionals still use as a back-up should their digicams fail during a shooting; that tells you something of the quality of results it is capable of.

And how is it in use? A quick slide action of the top cover and you’re all set to go, easy as that!

Well, let’s just say it can be as easy as that, unless you want to use the rangefinder, in which case you have to align the 2 images in the viewfinder, as per normal when using rangefinders. That may or may not take a little longer, depending upon how familiar you are with it. In my case, I use one all the time in street shots, and for that sort of shooting-on-the-fly, all you need do, like me, is to select f8 or f5.6 and a distance of around 3m, and fire away at your leisure! At those settings, all your shots will be correctly focussed and exposed.

The camera also has a compensation setting selectable on the bottom, which is very handy too. In actual use, this camera cannot be beaten, and I say that from many years experience using it. People go on about another favourite of mine, the Rollei 35, but although I agree the Rollei is a very, very solid piece of engineering, it is no match for the XA in size, plus the fact that the Rollei has no rangefinder, so taking shots at the correct settings can be critical.

One other thing about the XA is that 99% of people in the street think that it’s just a cheap, plastic point and shoot camera, so they equate that to the person using it, meaning they usually are not bothered to see you taking their photos, but little do they know!

Has that whetted your appetite yet? It has? Well, ok then, you can have one of mine! But before you decide, why not have a bit of a laugh at this video advert of the XA when it came out!

Fully tested, almost immaculate condition, just a few tiny bits of paint missing on the bottom through normal use, not misuse, lens crystal clear, rangefinder clear and fine, all other things working as they should be. Comes in it’s own zip-up case, with original instructions, FREE film and brand new batteries.

Price £124.99 plus £5.99 shipping UK

Rest of world price: US$198.99 plus $29 shipping

Payment: GoogleCheckout, NOCHEX, Paypal. If you are in the USA/Canada, you can pay direct via Bank America or CIBC into my account. I will accept cheques from UK buyers.

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About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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