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Olympus XA

March 4, 2009

Olympus XA

Probably one of the most famous and well-engineered compact rangefinders ever. By this I mean compact ‘point-and-shoot’ style cameras, not full-sized models…no doubt the Leica is the big daddy of them all, and I doubt the XA even comes close in a performance test. But for a camera that you can fit in a pocket? This is an engineering marvel. It beats the Canonet QL17 hands down in features, and the lens is only a few stops less bright (the XA makes up for this with +1.5 EV exposure compensation feature).

The flash is not manual, only correctly exposing at ISO 100 and 400…it’s one of the rarer flashes made for the XA line, and probably was purchased with the XA1 I also bought at the same time. But it works.

If you’re shopping for one, you should try for the XA3 or XA4…they are essentially the same camera with a few extra features: both meter to 1600 and accept DX-coded film, and the XA4 is wide-angle with a 28mm lens that also has a macro setting (allowing focussing down to 0.3m).

I wasn’t camera shopping. I went to a camera shop to buy photo boxes and negative sleeves to organize my now over 100 rolls of exposed film. I’d been to the store before and never seen cameras for sale, so I thought I was safe.


When I saw the 2 XA’s, and the fact that their price tag didn’t add up to more than $50 (a freaking steal…the XA generally starts at $75 on ebay, never mind the shipping), I just snapped. Sigh…

I’ve been wanting this thing for 2 years, and never thought I’d see one for so little money…the few times I’ve seen them at pawn shops or Henry’s, they were at least $100 a pop.

She’s mine…now I have to wait for the deep freeze to end…brrr, it’s cold out there…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    March 9, 2009 3:51 pm

    Enjoy reading your blog.Btw, this is first time I visit to your blog 🙂

  2. ken permalink
    May 31, 2011 8:08 pm

    I have a xa3 with a11 flash myself its one of the few cameras I ,ve used and results were good as I remember its a kool piece of kit,mine is black but I remember seeing a blue one and I think there is a white one but these were limited and are rare finds,I would have bought the blue one but it was very badly scuffed,I ,ve got the same addiction that you have I enjoyed looking at your pics I used to work for a russian owned company they imported cameras into the UK

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