The Olympus XA 4 – My Everyday Carry Camera!

xa4

The Olympus XA 4 is a wonderful merger of Zone / Scale Focus, sophisticated photographic creative control and an amazing 28mm macro lens… released in 1985! In a previous video blog I compared the Olympus XA to the LOMO LCA and LCA+  for the purposes of pointing out strengths and weaknesses to both systems- the Olympus XA 4 strikes the perfect balance between these two very different cameras and has now found itself as my everyday carry camera.

VIDEO:

IMAGE:

powerxa4

TEST EXPOSURE…Olympus XA 4 focused at 1′. Exposed on Kodak Ektar 100… exposure was hand held at under 1/30th of a second (interior light glows at exposures under 1/30th) at F5.6  (at the 1′ focus setting the minimum f stop is f 5.6. Note the nice crisp detail and beautiful  out of focus (OOF) rendering. Yes I know it is not “Leica Sharp” but damn it is really good for a Point and Shoot from 1985! One additional thought… I love the new Kodak Ektar 100!

LINK:

Fantastic sites with lots of information on the XA line…

http://diaxa.nfshost.com

The XA Way

11 Responses

  1. Clemens

    funny, stumbled on your blog while searching the net for a xa4. it’s definitely hard to find one. so, anyone reading that and willing to sell… dont hesitate !

  2. Adrian

    Very nice video Steven. I share your enthusiasm for this great camera (and for its more common XA brother too).

    One very minor correction… when setting the focus to either of the two close-up settings (1 or 1.7 feet) the green warning light will glow if the shutter speed falls to below 1/90 second. For all other focus settings it glows when the speed is less than 1/30.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for this camera.

  3. justin

    hey man, i’ve recently gotten a mint condition xa 4, just wondering where can i try my luck to get the flash adaptor for the xa 4.

    i;ve tried ebay, no luck. haha

    cheers!
    Justin

  4. I just got one from eBay – it arrived today.
    Seems in very good condition.

    Am excited but only have 200 ISO film and it’s a dull overcast evening.
    Will test it properly tomorrow.

    Wide angle and close-ups are two of my favourite things so having both in one camera is very cool indeed.

  5. alan

    great clip..

    i managed to get an xa4 for 5 dollars in a thrift store.
    i believe this camera is one of the greatest compacts ever a real masterpiece.
    the lomos are toys when compared to this. so much intelligence and genius went into the xa and the xa 4.
    i avoided these cameras for years my mistake, if you come across one grab it.

  6. Simon

    Stephen, thanks for the very useful vid. Just bought my own XA4 and I love it. Only two surprises, one being the total absence of any viewfinder info (apart from the green slow shutter warning light you mentioned). This will take a bit of getting used to, and having no idea of the shutter speed is maybe the one thing about this camera that I’m not so keen on. The other surprise is that on my sample the distance scale is set in meters; they obviously made two versions. Brilliant and inexplicably underrated cameras.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s