This is the second of two articles about the Trip 35. The first is here, and that one is a simple review that deals with using the camera as it was intended. In this second piece I talk about how the camera came to Italy with me and we got all arty together. A bit …
Olympus Trip 35
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 …
Over the course of 2023, I’ve decided I’m going to shoot a roll of film every week. 52 films sounds both like not very much, and yet also an absolutely enormous number. 52 weeks times 36 shots – hence 52×36 – is a rather daunting 1872 images. Of course, 35mm film comes regularly on 24 exposure rolls too, and I also intend to shoot medium format – usually 15 images from a standard 120 roll on my Bronica ETRS – and some instant. Let’s conservatively call it 1200 images.
The Olympus Trip 35 is a compact 35mm viewfinder camera released in the late 1960s that sold millions of units and had a long production run. It’s a famous benchmark camera for sure. (A look at the Olympus website is instructive here.)
It was a pretty basic camera in the Olympus lineup and came out after the Pen EES of 1962 that shared the electronic exposure system and before the more advanced Olympus 35DC compact of 1971 (that needed a battery) and the OM-1 of 1972. Obviously it was spot-on for the time it was made – its sales success attests to that.
In many years of amateur (at best) photography, I’ve almost entirely used digital since I started with a compact in 2005 or 2006. But recently I’ve been increasingly keen to try going ‘analogue’. Largely as a result of reading 35mmc, I might add!
I already had a nice Olympus Trip 35. It was a present to me from my parents, a year or two, I think, before I went digital. Back then, the cost of film and development, as well as not really understanding how it worked – at the time I would have been 11 or 12 – meant I didn’t do much with it. It sat in a cupboard for the next 15 years (give or take a few) while I progressed through digital compacts, bridge cameras, and finally to mirrorless where I’ve been for the last decade or so. It doesn’t really seem that long.