Japanese retro

Olympus-35 EC

My deep-rooted interest in film photography has taken flight again. Two years have passed since a 1968 Soviet Zenit took its place in my camera family, but its mechanical bulk and a slight fear of its needs have left it resting gracefully in a drawer.

A visit to The Photographers Gallery here in London set this new phase in motion. Their shop sells beautifully reconditioned Olympus Trips, a classic of its era. A bit of sage advice from Zorki Photo and a trawl around eBay resulted in the purchase of a well looked after Olympus 35 EC for £32.

Unlike my hulking Zenit, this is a 35mm compact in every sense. Its electronic shutter is powered by a couple of small batteries. Essentially a point and shoot, all you need to determine is the focus, divided into five zones.

Click first image to view the gallery

I’ve already loaded my new baby with a roll of Fuji Superia 400 colour film, a much more stress-free task than with the Zenit. A couple of test shots made it feel as simple as it was intended at the cusp of the 1970s, although there’s no pleasing mechanical shutter release thunk.

The only worry is that I’ll become frustrated over the lack of control with this little Olympus, preferring to operate my Fuji in manual mode at all times. But I already see it as a camera I can easily pop in my pocket and revive the joy of shooting film with – seeking out different light and colours and not knowing your results until they arrive in the post.

And yes, some shots may well eventually find their way onto that least analogue of mediums…

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A higher plane

A higher planeYou cannot visit a cathedral without looking aloft to enjoy its impressive height and ornate ceilings. That’s where I end at Norwich Cathedral in eastern England, capturing the building’s beautiful roof space. It’s tempting to lie down in this pursuit, but that seems inappropriate – and mirrors are provided to easily glimpse the upward divinity. Unmissable.

Resplendent roof

Gallery entrance


This is an amazing space. It was built to inspire and continues to do so. But it’s also tricky to capture in photographs, with its vast elevations and dimensions. Even on a sunny day, the light can be hard to capture, although it can create some wonderfully subtle shade and shadowing. It’s stunning.

Sunlight and shadow

The Photo Shop

Celestial windows

Celestial windowAn ancient place of worship embracing both the traditional and modern. The stunning architecture of Norwich Cathedral is studded with intricate, heavenly stained glass. But there are a set of windows bedecked in something more contemporary and plain, throwing a lemon and cyan light across the old stones. It’s difficult to be unimpressed with both. Any preferences?…

Stained glass modern

Gallery entrance


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