The Olympus XA1 is probably the simplest camera I own. Part of the iconic XA series, it has a fixed focus 35mm f4 lens and automatic battery-free exposure. There is only one setting to worry about – selecting with 100 or 400ISO for the film speed.
One of the coolest features of the Ricoh R1 (the less sought-after sibling of the fabulous GR1 series) is its panoramic feature. “Big deal”, I hear you say, “Loads of 35mm film compacts had panoramic features that just used shutters to crop the film at the top and bottom”.
However, the R1 is different. Selecting its “WIDE” panorama mode actually alters the position of the lens elements. The standard 30mm f3.5 lens magically transforms into a 24mm f8 lens.
A fairly common issue on online forums with the Fed rangefinders seems to be rangefinder accuracy. When I first bought my Fed4, the rangefinder patch did not align accurately either at infinity or at closer distances.
Luckily the rangefinder is fairly easy to adjust – although I could only find guidance for other models, so I thought I’d briefly outline the steps I used to adjust the rangefinder on my Fed4.
Early experiences with Soviet cameras left a lasting impression. I have always wondered what I would think if I used these cameras again today, after more years of experience in using cameras of all types.
Recently I had the chance to find out, as I came across a Fed4 in a local secondhand store at a good price. It was in nice condition, with a clear lens, and in its original brown leather case.