5 frames with...

5 Frames with an Olympus Trip 35 and expired Kodak 400 Ultramax – by Tiago Meirelles

Olympus Trip 35

The Olympus Trip 35 is one of the most reviewed film camera out there. For good reason; it’s cheap, beautiful minimal design, battery free and has a nice lens. I met the Olympus Trip 35 in my early photography days back in 2015 when I was digging in the flea markets after good finds. The first roll I shot with showed that it had a light leak problem and so I left, and forgot, the camera in a drawer.

Some years, rolls, and experience later, I felt a desire to shoot with something faster than my SLR. As a beginner photographer, I realized that my photos looked better when I used a good sharp lens. This is still true, it’s also true that the best photos I’ve taken are the ones I think over extensively. This process, however, drains a lot of energy through the days and weeks of working on a photographic project. And that’s when I remembered the Trip and decided to give it a try.

Leaks fixed, I loaded it with some old Kodak Ultramax 400, expired some 15 years ago – and surely badly stored. I set the light meter to 200 to be sure it would be overexposed, and here you can check the results…

The photos came out under exposed and with a whopping blue shift. Everything I usually try to avoid in my photos… at least if they weren’t taken with the Trip, and that was the beautiful thing about it.

I was a completely different photographer with this little camera in hands. It was simple and pocket sized so I carried it everywhere. I didn’t care about it falling in the floor, friends shooting, and even more, I forgot about thinking about the picture. For being a fully automatic camera, the exercise of shooting is reduced to zero, and so is the time spent thinking about the photo. It was liberating, and I was able to shoot stuff I normally wouldn’t. As the expectations also were nearly zero, I just loved the results. The ‘wrong’ colors, ‘poor’ compositions, ‘unsharp’ details. The Trip showed me again the beauty in the shooting film process. To embrace failure, to reduce expectations, to accept the picture as it should come out, and not as once I dreamed about it.

You can check the rest of my photos at instagram.com/tttuago/


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  • Avatar
    October 13, 2019 at 10:44 am

    My ‘rule of thumb’ with expired film is to over-expose by a stop every decade, so, if it’s 15yrs expired, I’d shoot a 400 film at 125. I’ve generally had quite good results across the board, even with poorly stored film. I do prefer shooting B/W expired as the colour shifts can be unpredictable. However, I’ve recently shot and cross-processed some very old agfa slide film – that looked pretty cool.

  • Avatar
    Michael johnson
    October 13, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    I sometimes do not understand this website. I enjoy reading about old film cameras, but the posted photos leave a lot to be desired. The phots presented lack artistic merit, poorly executed and just plain crude. Is it me? Am I too critical?

    • Avatar
      October 14, 2019 at 1:32 pm

      Well uhh that just like, your opinion, man

    • Avatar
      October 15, 2019 at 10:15 pm

      Yeah, not impressed with most of the images from most of these reviews. The least the photographer could do would be to think before he or she composes or shoots. These images here are just bad.

      • Avatar
        October 17, 2019 at 6:44 pm

        Hello Michael, Johnny and Michael,

        Author of the post here.

        Well, the debate about photo compositions is relative, don’t you think? And I’m pretty happy this blog is democratic and accept all types of photographers as writers. You should also try to write a post sometime! Quite a good experience.

        Also, in the post I described this pictures as not my usual scope of work, not my usual camera, and even less my usual film. But it was an interesting experience that I wanted to share! I thought maybe others could enjoy. Liberating exactly of rules and compositions and thinking and putting myself into boxes. And I liked the result, more than I liked the pictures. Complex feeling.


    • Avatar
      Michael Gayler
      October 17, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      It’s heading into the Lomography territory. Not really what I want to see – but, live & let live!

  • Avatar
    October 13, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Nice compositions. More than makes up for any color shifts; In fact, it helps the blue seashore shots. Happy days.

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