I didn’t own a car until I was in my mid twenties. In my late teens and early twenties, travel was all about motorcycles. At 17 an Olympus Trip 35 was my companion for on and off road adventures. I got hooked and before too long I traded it against a Minolta XG2. After that things got expensive and culminated in a Bronica SQA and a collection of 35mm kit. We all make mistakes and I gradually sold all the gear to pursue a different and worthless ambition in vain. Returning to photography after a long finance induced break; everything had changed. Dabbling with various digital cameras, I slowly becoming hooked again.
A mass produced 1970s compact camera.
Today there is reasonably impressive array of digital based kit, studio lights etc, cluttering up the house but bringing great pleasure. Enough to keep me satisfied, but then equipment restlessness struck. Late nights trawling the ‘bay’ for some of the cameras I had owned in the past, Minoltas, Bronicas, Rollei 35s and then Olympus Trips. Best start at the modest end. It seemed like a good Olympus Trip was going to cost more than I wanted to pay, but eventually finding two ‘untested’. New light seals and a few frames on a roll and the first one seemed to be working okay, though the results weren’t staggering. Accounting for the light seals it sold for about what I paid for it. The second one looked in slightly better condition. Again the light seals were replaced and this time a whole roll of Fuji 200 went through. Probably the time of year, perhaps more light, maybe more thought on my part. The scans and negatives came back and… well, really not bad. This is a mass produced 1970s compact camera after all. Trip 35 production actually ran from the end of the 1960s into the early 1980s I believe. Here are a few images.
No Problem, all functioning.
Focus below hyperfocal distance seems to have been a bit hit and miss. Well it is all symbols based on the Trip, unless you turn the camera upside down and look at the distance scale on the underside of the lens.
Trips have a fairly simple system linking the meter to the aperture and only two shutter speeds, but it all seems to work really quite well and without the aid of a battery to worry about. A little red flag moves upwards into view in the finder window if there isn’t enough daylight A small secondary window enables you to see the setting and focus symbol, without moving your eye from the viewfinder. The film advance wheel is probably a little primitive and slow compared to a lever, but it has a reasonably positive feel and it does its job. Everything is automated when shooting in daylight and hardly a challenge to use. The challenge of course is forgetting trigger happy digital and making the time not to waste a frame. With the intention of selling this Trip, I even hooked it up to the studio flash set up whilst taking a shot of a Mamiya. Thought I should just test the flash sync was working. Turn the settings ring from A for auto, to the calculated aperture. Surely the sync connector is corroded after all these years? Press the shutter button… ‘dupp’ followed by the simultaneous beep as the two flash heads come back up to charge. No problem, all functioning. You could take cheap and cheerful studio shots with this thing for fun. The little Zuiko lens had quite a reputation and it does seem to live up to it.
I had one of those.
Back in the early eighties, when you could buy film in most corner shops, an Olympus Trip wouldn’t turn any heads. Take one of these out today and it draws comments. Typically either ‘I had one of those’, or ‘what is that?’ I find I am pointing it at things that are important to photograph, like family, pets and friends. Things I somehow don’t get around to capturing or don’t shoot in the same way with digital. Snaps rather than masterpieces, but isn’t that also what photography is for? This OT 35 can probably fetch more than I paid for it… but for now, I think I’ll spend a little more time bonding with it.
Think I’ll keep the Trip for now
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