5 frames with...

5 Frames with My Thrift Store Olympus XA – by Tiffany Perez

Hello everyone! My name is Tiffany Perez and this is my first post to this site! I am so excited. I am from Southern California, born and raised. This past year has been an adventure for me. I took a hiatus from photography and I have recently gotten back into it.

The Gear

For my return to film, I wanted to use the camera that I lucked out to find in the thrift store: the Olympus XA. This $5 thrift store find has changed my life. A full frame camera all in a little package. The lens is so sharp and the camera itself is so easy to use.

The Method

I use this camera for what I call “drive-by film shooting.” Since the camera is aperture priority, I set it to the smallest aperture I can, infinity focus, and just go taking pictures all from the comfort of my car.

Working in California, most of my time is spent in my car. Driving to and from work is a big chunk of my day other than my 9-5. So the only way I could get time to shoot was to do it while in my car. (This is done safely. Only at a stop. Not while the car is in motion. Safety first.) If I see something interesting on the street or if I drive by an interesting structure, I try to pull over and take a picture. This has taught me to not be in such a bubble on my commute.

I find a rangefinder like the XA to be best for this approach. Since the rangefinder patch is small, I zone focus the camera ahead of time to have it ready for when I need to take a quick shot. The XA is so small, too, that I can operate it with one hand. These are pictures from my most recent roll of Fuji Superia.

Advertisement

Shots Fired

Sunset Shot

Light Leak Trees

Drive-By Factory

Friendship Sunset

Shopping On The Street

Let me know what you think about my first submission to the site! To see my individual posts and commentary for these photos, visit my Instagram.

My Instagram: www.instagram.com/tjpiks

Tiffany Perez
The Drive-By Film Shooter

Want to learn more about this camera? Take a look at this review by jacint. This is post really gives you an idea of what it is like to shoot this camera.

Do you enjoy reading 35mmc?

For as little as $1 a month, you can help support the upkeep of this website. The more people chuck me a small amount of cash each month, the more time I can spend building and improving upon it - simple as that!
Or, for $2 a month you can get access to my behind the scenes micro-blog over on Patreon!

Either way, want to help out, become a patron of 35mmc here:

Become a Patron!

Alternatively, if you just enjoyed this post, or like the odd post here and there, please feel free to chuck a few pennies in the tip jar via Ko fi here:


Write for 35mmc: read more here, about how you can help build upon this ever growing resource
Subscribe/Follow: click here, to discover all the ways you can follow 35mmc

You Might Also Like

19 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Wim HH van Heugten
    April 16, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Seems that you have a light leak in the camera. Better check the light seals and the hinges of the back of this wonderful camera.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 16, 2019 at 7:03 pm

      Hello there. Yes, I am planning on getting them replaced after I play with them a bit more. Gonna keep this beauty maintained for the years to come. Thanks for the read!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Michael Kay
    April 16, 2019 at 10:39 am

    You’ve got a light leak there – new light seals needed!!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 16, 2019 at 7:02 pm

      Hello Michael. Yes, I plan on replacing them but for now, I am playing with them and their pleasant surprises it brings to my photos.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Graham Coad
    April 16, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Looks like you have some light leakage (orange patches on your images) Many XA cameras have that and need their light seals replaced. It can be done by the owner (research online) but here in the UK I sent my current XA off to an Olympus specialist for a full service, cost around £80 ($105) -this was well worth it for a quality camera at least 40 years old!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 16, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      Hello Graham. Yes I do have some light leaks. I actually liked them on these frames. I am planning on replacing them soon. Right now I am seeing what fun and surprises I can get with them. Thanks for the read! Cheers!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    AVSD
    April 16, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Tiff,
    I love my XA, this is such a great Pocket-size camera to take away with you everytime you go out.
    The light leaks (I presume) on your model, give a nice rendition, specially on the second picture (one with the trees) and I admit that sometimes it gives you nice “flares” or “color bursting modifications”. But after all, in my opinion and in the end, you can’t control them on every frame and, more important, at some point it will completly veil your negatives. I recommend you to change by your own the seals (it’s pretty easy and gives you the impression of doing something pretty cool for your everyday camera) and the coming pictures surely will be delights due to this magnificent lens.
    Cheers from France

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      Yeah, I replaced the light seals when I first got the camera but that was a few years back. Planning on replacing them soon. Thanks for the read! Cheers!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    John Smith
    April 16, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    I like the fact that it’s warm Californian light leaking in here. For me it adds to the sense of place. And another inspiring idea – “drive-by” style. This really is the coolest site.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 16, 2019 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks for the read and for the compliment!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Eric
    April 16, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Tiffany,
    Yes, it is an amazing little machine. Excellent image quality, and a package small enough to carry with you everywhere!
    I like your approach to commuting; must make it so much more bearable. And great IG posts!
    Eric

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 16, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      Oh yes…definitely makes the commute more bearable haha. Thanks for checking out my IG!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Lori
    April 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    California has such amazing opportunities for photography doesn’t it! Congratulations on that thrift store find. The stores up north have zero cameras. At least I’ve not found anything at all.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 16, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      It honestly was a great find. I hear that there are some nice thrift stores in Sacramento that have good cameras. Just have to go hunting. I go about once a month if I have time.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    William Parker
    April 17, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Very impressive Images, so much pleasure from a thrift store purchase, excellent and good to hear how much you are enjoying it.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Pete Berry
    April 17, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Tiffany,
    Thanks for the inspiration. I, too am returning to film after being away for a while.
    I keep two point and shoot 35mm cameras in my van with me. On.e colour film, one back and white film. I hope to utilize your method of capturing images because I am in my vehicle for several hours a day.

    Thanks, once again. Awesome photos.

    – Pete in Canada

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 18, 2019 at 6:05 am

      Thanks for your kind words, Pete! I have multiple cameras on me these days so that I don’t have to switch my lenses. One point and shoot (XA), an SLR (Nikon F3) and a half frame for when I am feeling adventurous. I would like to see your work if you have it posted anywhere. Cheers!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Chris Pattison
    April 20, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I really like the trolley shot. Your $5 XA is an absolute bargain!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      tiffyjoan
      April 23, 2019 at 3:47 am

      Thanks Chris! Truth be told I had to think for a second as to what you meant by trolley haha

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Thank you for commenting

    ...now share the post with your friends?