This year I went on two short city trips, both times having the Olympus Trip35 in my pockets. It was quite a tough decision which camera to take with me. It has been a bit more than a year since I started picking up analog photography again and the reason for that was a friend who sold me his Hasselblad. I always wanted a Hasselblad and couldn’t resist being offered one. I got infected with the analog virus right away, and it had severe consequences…
Window-shopping with mom, Stockholm / Olympus Trip 35 / Agfa APX 100
Ebay and flea markets played a huge part on my quest to find more and more old cameras and about 14 Months and two new display shelves later, standing in front of about 50 analog cameras, it came to choosing which one to take on my trip to Stockholm.
I’ve never been to Stockholm and I wanted to use the opportunity to do different styles of photography. I started doing street photography with my rediscovery of analog and I needed a camera for that. I wanted also to take some normal tourist photos, so a second camera had to come on the Trip. And for safety reasons I wanted to take a digital camera with me as well.
I knew they had to be small and not too heavy. So the Sony RX100 III was my digital choice, and the Olympus mju Zoom 140 was the choice for the tourist photos.
Olympus mju Zoom 140
I loaded this one with some expired slide films that came with another camera from ebay. So I made slides for the first time in my life!
Guarding the palace, Stockholm / Olympus mju Zoom 140 / expired slide film
A camera for street shooting…?
Two cameras down, one to go. I was left to choose the camera for my street photography. I’m still learning this genre and knew I wanted an easy automatic camera with not much to do other than checking focus and releasing the shutter. It came down to three cameras that met this criteria. The Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, the Minolta Hi-Matic F and the Olympus Trip35.
The Minolta Hi-Matic 7s I got brand new with the original box a few months ago at a sale where an old camera store went out of business. I like the camera. It’s a beauty and makes sharp pictures. But i wasn’t going to take it on the trip because it was too big and too heavy.
Minolta Hi-Matic 7s
One, two, three on stairs / Minolta Hi-Matic 7s / Ilford Delta 400
The Minolta Hi-Matic F is a small, pretty camera with a nice sharpness to please the eye. But one thing disqualifies it for the Trip. The Shutter Release Button can’t be locked and as such can be pressed by accident when carrying it in your pocket.
Minolta Hi-Matic F
Reverse S, Zurich / Minolta Hi-Matic F / Fomapan 100
The Olympus Trip 35
So my choice was the Olympus Trip 35. I got mine from ebay a few months ago from a guy who refurbishes old cameras and I love its color. This nice, funky red looks perfect. It has a sturdy feel to it and isn’t heavy. Also, there’s no need for a battery. I already shot two rolls of film with this camera and was pretty pleased with the results.
Man with dog, Lucerne / Olympus Trip 35 / Ilford FP4 Plus
Taking a break, Zurich / Olympus Trip 35 / expired color film
The focus ring locks on four symbols: Head, two people waist high, group and mountain.
Most of the time i’m using the group setting which means everything from about 3 to 6 meters is in the sharp zone. It’s pretty quick to shoot this way. Easy as point and shoot. And that’s awesome for street photography. And since the shutter sound is quiet enough as well, you hardly ever get noticed taking candid pictures.
Studying the map, Stockholm / Olympus Trip 35 / Agfa APX 100
Man in bus, Stockholm / Olympus Trip 35 / Agfa APX 100
One thing i like, is that the camera gives you the ‘red finger’ when there’s not enough light. Then a red plastic thingy shows up in the viewfinder and the shutter release button is blocked. So there are no accidental photos taken when the camera is in your pocket.
The selenium light meter does a good job. There’s little over or under exposure.
Girl with bike, Stockholm / Olympus Trip 35 / Ilford FP 4 Plus
Working, Stockholm / Olympus Trip 35 / Agfa APX 100
After the Stockholm visit i was eager to see what I got. So developing and scanning the two black and white films was done in a hurry and I was pleased with the results. Out of 72 pictures taken with the Olympus Trip 35, none were unusable in terms of sharpness or exposure. And about 10 Photos, I thought, turned out pretty good.
Baby Stroller, Stockholm / Olympus Trip 35 / Agfa APX 100
But I wasn’t pleased with the slides. Mostly because of the expired film, which always is a risk since you don’t know if there’s something usable on it. I had to send the two films in for developing and it almost took a month till I got them back and I already got used to the idea that they were lost forever because I received a letter from the post office in which they told me they don’t know where my package with the developed slides is. Fortunately, they turned up, but after seeing the results, I wouldn’t have been too sad if they were lost forever…
The second trip for the Trip
So on my next trip to Amsterdam I would definitely take the Olympus Trip 35 with me. Having taken almost no digital pictures with the Sony RX100 III, I decided to leave that one at home. I wanted to do the experiment with the slide film again, but this time I fancied a camera with a more wide-angle lens than the 35mm of the Olympus Mju Zoom 140. I found an Olympus mju III Wide 100 with 28mm at the low end of the zoom for a few bucks on ebay.
Olympus mju III Wide 100
This time no delay in receiving the slides and the results were a bit better. But scanning slides is only that much fun. So ebay again, slide projector in the search field and shortly after, proud owner of a Leica slide projector in mint condition. Now I’m planning a nice slide evening with lots of wine and some poor, friendly souls who have to sit through 144 mostly awful slides from Stockholm and Amsterdam. It’s gonna be fun.
Graacht, Amsterdam / Olympus mju III Wide 100 / expired Slide Film
More Trip success
Again I took 72 Pictures with the Trip 35 and all of them were usable. No wrong exposures, no out of focus.
Drawing, Amsterdam / Olympus Trip 35 / Fomapan 100
Hand in hand, Amsterdam / Olympus Trip 35 / Fomapan 100
I loved using the camera. It’s easy to carry in a jacket pocket, I’m fast taking pictures and the photos look great. I hardly ever missed a shot. Well, except the one of a great looking old lady in the subway, where the Olympus Trip 35 showed me the red finger because it was too dark. And by the time i pulled my iPhone out of the pocket and started the photo app the moment was gone.
Lunch time, Amsterdam / Olympus Trip 35 / Fomapan 100
Sitting, Amsterdam / Olympus Trip 35 / Fomapan 100
I was very pleased with my experience with this gem of a camera. I don’t know yet the destination of my next trip, but I’m sure, the Olympus Trip 35 will be with me in my pocket.
Mini Bicycles, Amsterdam / Olympus Trip 35 / Fomapan 100
Heads with Guest Star/ Olympus Trip 35 / Fomapan 100
Thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts, I would like to hear from you in the comments.
Feel free to follow me on Instagram: @himmelrot
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20 thoughts on “Olympus Trip 35 – Two Trips with a Trip – by Daniel Stoessel”
There’s something I call the friendly camera, which in general terms is the one giving you back more that what you expect from it. No matter if cheap or expensive, so good or not as much.
Quite often there are no reasons for that choice, just it’s your friendly camera and it brings you the photos you want from it… and perhaps more.
Nicely put, George.
Good post – try moving the aperture to 2.8 ( i..e. manual mode) when you get the “finger” and you just might get a good image !
Thank you Dave. Funny enough, i never even thought about that and kind of considered the camera to be only automatic…
One feature of the Trip that is often seen as a negative is the wheel film advance. However, it does let you advance the film quietly and sneakily, one-handed behind your back: try doing that with a lever wind!
Very nice article.
Thank you, Merlin.
Very nice B&W photos from the Olympus. A few years ago I got sucked into the Japanese sort of automatic, pre-autofocus camera faze. What I found was that almost all the cameras sold on ebay were broken. And those that were ‘working’ with ‘new light seaks’ etc were highly priced as in $125 or more, more than when they sold new. The conclusion I came to was this. If you want one of these types – and there’s quite a few – then look for one at a yard sale for $1 where you can at least try a couple things. If it’s later found to be defective, toss it and look for another one. Sellers on the bay found such a camera for 50 cents and then want to sell it (‘seems to be working’, ‘…I’m not a camera expert’, ‘no returns. ..,) for $30 + shipping. Not a rant on ebay.
Thanks Mike. So far i was lucky with my eBay purchases and never received a broken camera. And, like you said, visiting yard sales or flea markets regularly is a good way to find some treasures.
I like these photos very much Daniel, did you do any adjusting or are they straight out of the camera?
Thank you Stu. I did some minor adjusting in Lightroom. Mostly contrast and highlights/shadows.
When put in “flash mode” (i.e. not in “auto” mode) the camera will shoot at 1/40s and the selenium meter still works and it will stop down the lens as needed to get correct exposure. Beware that the meter will only stop the lens DOWN, which means that it won’t open wider than the aperture selected by the user. In practice, when in low light I set aperture at f2.8, I try to keep a steady hand (1/40 is more than adequate to avoid shake), estimate subject distance and let the Trip choose the correct aperture for a perfect exposure. With 400 ASA film it works like a charm even indoors. Few people know that the Trip does this and I don’t know of any other camera that does the same.
Good one, Christos. Didn’t know that and have to try it out sometime. Thanks.
I’ve just bought two of them on ebay (ok, I made a mistake, I’ve placed a second bid thinking it was the first one I’ve seen, I won both) and it seems a sturdy little camera. I have a number of XAs too, smaller but they seems toys when you have them in your hands, the trip 35s seem ‘real’ cameras instead. The fact they work without batteries, well that makes me almost crying by happiness.
I’ve just completed a first roll on one of them, I have still to try the other one, I can’t wait to see the results.
Hope you have lots of fun with them. And feel free to share some of the pictures.
Nice article. Love the trip in Amsterdam.
Is that you on the drawing?
Hi Maxim. Thanks. And no, that’s not me on the drawing.
Nice pictures and nice article. I just acquired a Trip for 10$ canadian. I’m going to try it very soon.
Great little review. Very nice bw photos. How do you scan your negatives?
Thank you. I scanned those negatives with a Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II. An ok scanner for beginning. But i have upgraded to an Epson V800 since then with much better Results.