RIP 1968-2018. Unfortunately after shooting this camera for 3 years the shutter is now stuck halfway open and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet.
It will happen though, because it’s small, light, easy to use, gives me spot-on exposure, and has an absurdly sharp lens. The Olympus Trip 35 and it’s my favorite mirrorless camera. Reading about some of my photo friends’ experiences with the Trip and also finding this fantastic store made me want to sing again the praises of this mechanical wonder that I found at the thrift store for all of $8.00.
It needs no battery: it has a selenium meter which gives perfect exposure, something I tested by shooting slide film in it. After reading about “night tripping” (which basically means using high-speed film in the Trip manually set to f/2.8 and its slower speed of 1/40sec), I’ve felt comfortable using the Trip in all kinds of situations indoors and outdoors. One thing that I’ve talked about a lot (though never tried yet) is putting a few rolls of Cinestill 800T through it; or now that T-Max P3200 is back that might have to happen. Either way I’ve yet to test the extremes of film latitude yet, but it will happen.
And the Trip 35 does indeed live up to its name: it travels so well! I took it to Wales where it was my camera for color film, and threw it into my bag for a last-minute trip to Ohio. Though the lens sticks out a bit it still easily fits in a jacket pocket without getting in the way. Speaking of the lens and its zone focusing, you do have to be careful when shooting inside, but made it perfect for shooting my William Klein masters’ study. Since then focus doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to, though most of the time I’ll get it right.
When looking through all the shots I’ve taken with this camera I couldn’t believe just how much I’ve used it in the last few years! It’s a large gallery–in order we have: Tri-X (6), Velvia 100 (3), Double-X (4), Provia 100F (3), T-Max 400 (4), Fomapan 100 (2), Kodak Gold 200 (2), Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (2), and Ferrania P30 (2). There will be other films shot in this camera one day, but for a while now I’ve been concentrating on the Spotmatic for my photo project that’s been going on since January (and long before).
I would definitely recommend this camera for people who don’t want the bulkiness of an SLR, don’t like relying on batteries, but still want an AE camera. My camera’s shutter still had accurate speeds after nearly half a century. Zone focusing can take practice but is doable, so don’t let that dissuade you!