Continuing my occasional series on the cameras in my collection, it’s time to focus on the olympus xa.
I picked this one up on e-bay a good few years ago for about 25 quid, a sound investment as they’ve picked up a cult following along the way so have held their value well. I was looking for a high quality, small, portable camera, and after much research settled on the xa. Later versions (xa1 through to xa4) were produced, but none has really been able to steal the show from the original xa.
It was very “gummy” when I first bought it, perhaps that’s why the price was so low, so I had to give it a good clean and replace all the foam, but aside from that it was working and ready to go. Over the years the rangefinder spot has faded to invisibility, so I’ve fitted a piece of cleared colour negative over the viewfinder to bring back a little contrast and make it usable again.
The xa family is so compact, so pocket-able, it really is a go anywhere little camera. with a sharp 35mm f2.8 zuiko lens you can expect quality images.
In truth, I haven’t actually used this camera for some time. Other cameras have come along and won my attention, but I’ve never lost my affection for it. Indeed, handling it for the purposes of writing this post has reminded me of it’s charms, so I’ve put in a fresh battery and loaded a roll of Fomapan 400 for us to get reaquainted.
I don’t intend these posts to be seen as reviews in any way, just a few personal thoughts and some illustrative shots. There’s a multitude of resources on the web with all sorts of information, so do go and search if you want to know more. One I’d recommend is diaxa.com. I don’t think it’s been updated for a while, but it’s full of interesting stuff all about this little gem of a camera.