Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Little Camera That Could
I'm telling you - this may well be the only camera you'll ever need! My favourite cult camera by far, and I just got this one off Ebay for $15 plus $15 shipping. I lost my old one a couple of years ago - it might have fallen out of the car into a snowbank, because I think I found a small piece of it in the spring, like a snowblower caught it. I don't know what kind of secret sauce Olympus put into this camera, but the image quality is simply outstanding - period.
I checked it out thoroughly - everything works as it should. This camera is fully automatic, aperture priority, yet it requires no batteries. Those bubbles surrounding the lens serve a dual purpose - it is a "selenium array" that measures the light, and at the same time, actually provides enough electric current to operate the metering circuit itself - a job normally done by a battery in many other cameras. The circuit automatically selects one of two shutter speeds - 1/40 or 1/200, and opens / closes the aperture to the correct f-stop based on the film speed "ASA" (same as ISO) selected. The aperture is only two blades, and it forms a square opening- it's not intended for making good bokeh, but simply as the primary means of controlling exposure. The shutter is also a two bladed leaf design built into the lens - and therein lies part of the secret formula. The other part is the extremely high quality Zuiko 40mm lens, which also opens to f2.8 - fast enough for night shooting.
Speaking of night shooting, the Trip 35 in it's normal "A" Automatic mode might put up a red flag in the viewfinder if the light is too low, and not operate. No problem - simply set the Aperture ring away from "A" to f2.8 - it is now in manual mode, and the shutter will fire at 1/40 no matter how dark it is. With 400 ASA film in the camera, it just might register something eerie, as long as there is some kind of light source. Flickr has an entire group dedicated to night shooting the Trip 35. You simply must have a look at this!
The other trick to using this camera is to control Exposure Compensation using the ASA selection ring. If you have ASA 200 film in it, you can over expose by turning the ASA down to 160, 125 or 100. Under exposure can be attained by turning it up to 250, 320 or 400. So effectively, Olympus has created exposure control as fine as one-third stops!
Guess how I'll be spending my day tomorrow!!