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.

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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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6 thoughts on “Japanese retro

  1. This looks an amazing little camera! I took my Olympus OM10 out on a walking this weekend and am anxiously awaiting the prints (on Ilford Delta 3200, my all time favourite film), Your post inspires me to go in search of something more compact for street shots.

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    • Thanks Andy! Yes, it’s a sweet little thing. I’ve enjoyed using it so far and hope that no nasty surprises emerge when the film is developed (like I can’t judge focusing distances). Pleased to hear you feel buoyed to seek out a smaller film camera – the market is awash with Olympus Trips, that classic point and shoot. I’ll be interested to hear what you find.

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      • I will keep you posted. I am also (nervously) due to serve as the wedding photographer for one of nieces soon and am agonising over investing in a new telephoto lens…want Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 but have read a lot about the 70-200 f/4 which is lighter and cheaper but seems to get rave good reviews. can’t really afford either but then… ;-)

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  2. Pingback: Mike Osborn, Photographer, UK – London | From 1 Artist 2 Another

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