Welcome to Retro Game On!

Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Retro Unrelated: Olympus Trip 35

Welcome to a new category of posts I'm starting today called Retro Unrelated. In these we're still keeping with the general theme of retro, but instead taking quick breaks from gaming and looking at other goodlyness in retroness (yes, I did just write that).
Today, we look at the all mighty Olympus Trip 35:

First released in 1967 as the ultimate holiday camera, it enjoyed quite a healthy run until 1984, ten million units later. It had many appeals as a camera to take on a trip. For example, it didn't run off any batteries. This is a mix of the fact that it has no internal flash, and that the metering system is powered by solar cells surrounding the lens.
Another plus is how tough it is. This isn't an official feature or anything, so I wouldn't go flinging it at walls for the joy of it. I know this because of various stories around the web and the fact that my Dad once left this on top of his car as he drove off. It fell of course, but it shrugged it off like the champ it is.

This camera has a huge cult following most probably to do with the amazing four-element Tessar lens it carries. There are blogs and Flickr groups all over the net devoted to it, containing many people who collect and actively use them because of the awesome photos they produce.
I found mine in my cupboard. Well, the box anyway. This was a big enough tease as it was since the camera was nowhere to be seen, but my Dad eventually found it buried in his draw. He had purchased it in the early 80's from a duty free shop on the way to Kuala Lumpur. The receipt is still in the box and he paid $59.90 Australian for it, as well as buying duty free booze and smokes (because that's what people did in the early 80's).

While not offering fully in-depth manual settings, it does give you a fair amount of control for the price at the time. It has a range of aperture settings, from f2.8 to f22. It also has an automatic setting just in case you don't know what all that means. From there you could determine how far away the subjects were either in feet or meters, and what the ISO was (or ASA).
Since the camera has no inbuilt flash, there is a hotshoe for an add-on and a Prontor-Compur. The box I found for this also included an even smaller box inside for a Sunpak SP140 flash. Unlike the camera though, the actual unit is still at large.

I haven't had a chance to test it out yet as I'm still awaiting on some film to arrive. The film wasn't hard to find though since it of course runs on 35mm. In the future if all goes well with the camera I'll endeavour to find were I can buy it locally instead of online.

It's only once I've used up all the film and gotten it developed I can truly find out if it's working or not.
From what I cant tell without taking photos, it seems in tip top shape except for one small thing. When the camera perceives that there isn't enough light, a red indicator is suppose to pop up warning you that it is too dark. When I cover up the lens with my hand and press down the shutter, this indicator doesn't show. It seems to be a common problem with the actual indicator being stuck to the insides once the internal grease becomes sticky. This however, is also suppose to effect the lens opening and shutting correctly. If that is the problem the lens opening and shutting would be shoddy and non fluent, but this does not seem the case for me. It opens and shuts quite quickly like it should.
This may mean I would only be able to use the manual aperture settings, but that really isn't a problem for me. I'm willing to do that. If I don't have to open it up and clean and replace the grease, I won't. There are a lot of delicate and small objects inside (for example ball bearings) which I just don't want my fat fingers touching if I don't have to.

Stay tuned to my other blog as I'll probably post the pictures from this camera there when they do eventually get taken and processed. I'll also leave a quick note on this one, as who knows when that could be.


  1. This was an awesome post :) I don't use our DSLR to the degree that it deserves, but it does take amazing photos, but I need to earn to play with the manual settings more and start using RAW and learning to do stuff there. That's why I think I'd struggle to go back to film - I can stuff up as much as I like with a digital camera :)

  2. You have a very good point, I don't know where I would be without my Live View >.< Having this camera is only a novelty though, I won't be using it for my main photos. That's what my shiny new DSLR is for.