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Olympus RF This forum is for the Olympus rangefinders.

View Poll Results: When do you think your XA's lens get sharp
it's always sharp! 90 30.93%
by f4 43 14.78%
by f5.6 90 30.93%
by f8 39 13.40%
by f11 0 0%
it never really gets that sharp 29 9.97%
Voters: 291. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-20-2010   #81
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I found this graphs made in the past for a complete test of the XA, showing the sharpness (risolvenza, in terms of number of line per millimiter), the contrast and the light fall off (in terms of stops).
In allt of them the red lines refer to the center and the light grey lines refer to the border.
Sweet point seems to be around f/8-f/11 but very very good also starting from f/5,6.
Also the light fall off of 2,5 stops at borders, f/2,8 confirm what we observ in the real world (vignetting at f2,8 quite noticeable).
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Old 01-29-2010   #82
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I second (belatedly) Trius' recommendation of Camtech.
Great camera - great lens at all stops. Some vig. wide open.

[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Rick/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png[/IMG]

I really do have to learn how to post pictures to this forum!
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Old 02-06-2010   #83
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The setup of the lens is tricky, if you take the lens apart, you need a special Olympus spacing jig to put it back together. One internal element/group moves to focus -- it's not a unit-focusing lens. The rear element/group is (I think) the one that needs to be adjusted using the shim, to get optimal sharpness.

So it's quite possible to get a mucked-up XA.

The vignetting at wide apertures is all too real, got really noticeable with Kodachrome 64, not that bad with print film.
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Old 02-11-2010   #84
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I'm having an issue with my XA where the sharpness drops considerably on the left side of the pictures (or top when taken vertically), anyone have a clue of what might be happening?, i've had it for more than a year and never had such issues, i thought it might have been a scanning issue (i ordered a CD with scans at a drugstore lab), but it happened to a newer batch of rolls i left developing as well, i've tried looking at the negatives with a magnifying glass, but i can't tell if the sharpness drops at the negatives too, i think they do but i'm not sure.

Anyone have a clue what might be causing this? the only uncommon thing i noticed is that the outermost black metal "mask" or frame that sits just where the picture is projected on to the film through the lens had become completely loose, i've since reglued it in place with a bit of crazy glue, and shot another roll but haven't developed it, so i'm not sure if the problem is solved. I checked the pressure plate and it

Anyway here's a sample picture, as you can see the sharpness drop at the top of the building is quite noticeable.


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Old 02-11-2010   #85
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"Anyone have a clue what might be causing this?"

I don't know... maybe John Shriver took your lens apart before you bought the camera? Kidding...
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Old 02-13-2010   #86
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Yeah i guess it's time for a new XA, i grew pretty attached to this one, i'll hate seeing it shelved until i get a new one, which is pretty damn hard around these latitudes. I took some more pictures and they all came with that dreaded and awful blurryness at the edge, it's so frustrating... One thing i did notice is that the lens seems to have gotten a very early stage of fungus at some of the inner lenses, it's just barely noticeable like a small dust spec with a microscopic thread that flows from it, considering its size i doubt it's the cause for the loss of sharpness, but right now it's the only thing that at least makes some sort of sense.

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Old 02-15-2010   #87
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My first roll in a new old XA I found at a thrift store recently.





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Old 02-15-2010   #88
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Good pictures, Jack. I really like the last.
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Old 02-21-2010   #89
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at f2.8...

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Old 02-25-2010   #90
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No free lunch in this world. In one way or another, every camera is a compromise in some way. XA is no different. You get one of the finest pocketable cameras ever made by a great designer and with a sharp enough lens for its size and intent. But now they're in their dotage and need a CLA if they haven't got one. Actually, I liked mine better than my Yashica T4 because it was virtually silent; the Yashica wasn't, but Yashica's GSN was the quietest camera I ever ran across.

Hereare two shots from my last XA (bought another XA last night after looking at these pics and realizing what a great street camera it is):
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Old 02-25-2010   #91
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Ted:

I love my XA. Had it since the late 70's. Here are two landscapes that really speak to the camera's capability. And definitely not the photographer's. :-)



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Old 03-30-2010   #92
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Very much looking forward to my first XA arriving in the post this week.
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Old 03-30-2010   #93
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Jeff Greene: I do like those landscapes and they make me wonder why I never tried to do some with it. Usually all I do are street shots.
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Old 04-06-2010   #94
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Fascinating thread - I don't have an XA but I am considering one now...!

Is the XA the only rangefinder in the series...?
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Old 04-06-2010   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMboy View Post
Is the XA the only rangefinder in the series...?
The original XA has a coupled RF (though in a related thread you'll find many complain that the RF patch is nearly transparent)

Subsequent models rely on zone focusing.
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Old 04-09-2010   #96
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I really love my Olympus XA, I,ve owned a couple of examples, both have been very sharp, nice quiet shutters but to be honest where I feel they come into their own is night time. I really like putting it on a small tripod, self timer and let the camera do the rest, have got some great night time shots and it does not draw unwanted attention from not so nice people who sometimes hang arround at night What I dont like is the falre in the viewfinder which can make meter reading a bit difficult but generally for me f4/5.6 and the zuiko gets very sharp, I maily shoot at f5.6 anyway
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Old 04-11-2010   #97
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Oh, I never thought of using my XA on a tripod! About sharpness, it's fine by f/8, but wide open I don't like it that much...

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Old 04-11-2010   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMboy View Post
Fascinating thread - I don't have an XA but I am considering one now...!

Is the XA the only rangefinder in the series...?
The plain XA is the RF and was followed by the simpler XA2 which is zone focussing and has a programmed shutter. So you just P&S with it. The XA is aperture priority. The XA2 was slightly improved and became the XA3 with a +1 EV adjustment for backlit shots (like the XA has) and takes DX films.

Zone focussing is very easy to use in the XA3 and XA2 but the XA's RF is better (just). The XA 2 and 3 are f/35 not f/2.8 like the XA.

All of them benefit from a complete service but need a specialist to do it.

There's also the XA1 which is very basic, no batteries required, only 100 or 400 ASA film accepted, etc, etc. And there's the XA4 which I've neither seen nor used.

The flash comes in several versions; the A11 is commonest and the A16 is more powerful. Both are usually left at home.

Although I love the XA it does slow you down thinking about the aperture, speeds etc: it's aperture priority but the speeds are indicated by a needle in the VF. The zone focusing of the XA 2 and 3 is a delight to use and it is a programmed shutter. So a pure P&S. Also the XA2 and 3 are dirt cheap...

Dropping an XA can be very expensive, I've owned one from new and know the hard way, which lead me to the XA2 and 3 but I've an XA in the heap as I missed the thing.

Last edited by David Hughes : 04-11-2010 at 03:16. Reason: Second thoughts, poor spelling, finger trouble, etc
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Old 06-25-2010   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solinar View Post
My guess is that the subject need to be standing 6 to 12 feet from the camera to be in acceptable focus for a snap shot sized print when the lens is set to the highlighted 8 foot mark.

3 meters is 10 feet - so your mileage may very.

Raid gets the 64,000 dollar prize - camera shake can be a bugger with the XA - especially when it wanders into the slow shutter speed zone.
Yes, the DOF charts in the Manual shows
5.24' to 17.3' DOF when set at the focus scale to 8 and f/5.6. So for street use, this is pretty good distance span.
If you want more, like 3.91' to INF DOF, Use the 8 foot mark and f/16

Hope this is helpful
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Old 06-25-2010   #100
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Smile DOF Charts INSIDE... Your Welcome :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by alien8 View Post
Interesting. So, what zone is in focus when you set the focus tab to 8 ft (it's 3 metres on my version) and the aperture to f/5.6? Is it 8ft to infinity? I usually like to get closer than 8 ft, so I'm not sure how useful that would be for me.

Is there a pdf manual for this camera out there? Guess I should google it...
See charts below
"Save As" with your mouse to your desktop..

Edit


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Old 06-25-2010   #101
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I want to show 2 photos taken on the XA this past week.

This shows the effect of EV +1.5 and off.






Lens Flare is quite apparent when shooting against the light and wide-open, here is another shot, at f2.8



Film is TMAX 400, exposure index is 800. developed in HC-110 dilution H for about 6mins at 31C (Tap water).

cheers!

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Old 06-25-2010   #102
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I am continually impressed by the quality of the photos that you, raytoei, and others are posting. It's amazing what can be gotten from that tiny camera that's probably going on 30-40 years of age.
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Old 07-12-2010   #103
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Here's a recent one at f.4, taken w/ Fuji Pro800Z:

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Old 09-16-2010   #104
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I've got mine yesterday. And I guess I'll like it. Here some pics from my first color-roll. This weekend I will put some b/w in it.
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Old 11-04-2010   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenD View Post
On mine the lens is a lot sharper than the focusing capacity of the dim rangefinder patch )

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Old 11-07-2010   #106
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@raytoei My XA's don't show that type of "smearing" lens flare wide open. The lens has weaknesses, including at f2.8, I'm just pointing out that you might check for oil or a grease smear on either side of your lens, etc, or test another copy of the XA.
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Old 12-23-2010   #107
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Ireally like the XA, but the viewfinder is really poor, loads of flare, if the light is anywhere near the viewfinder its difficult to read the meter readout. However, stick it on a tripod and it is great for night shots
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Old 12-23-2010   #108
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Quote:
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... if the light is anywhere near the viewfinder its difficult to read the meter readout. ...
In most of the XAs I've encountered, the VF meters have been wrong or dead. They're about 30 years old!

I use my XA just as a pocket camera on the way to work and back, or when I don't want to carry around anything bigger. My only complaint is the advance wheel, which makes too much noise for my liking (I stick it in my pocket when advancing to muffle it.) The lens has always been sharp enough
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Old 01-18-2011   #109
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XA Lens Quality?
Yes, there is XA lens quality.
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Old 08-11-2012   #110
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My very first camera ever, given to me for Christmas by my OM-loving photographer father. I learned everything with this little gem. Exposure, focusing, composition etc. All my friends were into the P&S 126 film Kodaks and such. It became second nature to use the little RF patch and such. But now it is more work than I remember because I have been SLR'd.

I took it elkhunting in the snow and got a picture of my best friends first elk that I brought to the "real camera store" to get enlarged in 1989. I remember coming to pick up the print (16x20 i think) and the counter guy pulls it out to show me and asks "exactly what camera did you use to take this?" I told him and he nodded in acknowledgement. He said "That's a very sharp photo." Made my day for a lomg time.

I still have that camera and I pick up any I see in thrift stores, garage sales etc. I own 3 xa, and a xa2 that I keep in my tool bag on my motorcycle. Just a great little camera, thats all. And it doesn't eat batteries.
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Old 08-12-2012   #111
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The one I bought is in the mail. I hope the lens is good. I got it because I need a 35mm rangefinder lens and can't afford a decent LTM right now. Besides, it looks like fun..
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Old 08-12-2012   #112
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It's a lot of fun!


Birds in Paradise by bingley0522, on Flickr
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Old 09-07-2012   #113
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You're right. Its a blast!.
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Old 09-07-2012   #114
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Great lens/ size, but electronics are prone to failure. I spent a fortune on mine over 7 years and it just died forever. R.I.P

I'll not buy another.
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Old 09-07-2012   #115
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Bill, I was concerned about that issue, too, and bought a second XA body in classifieds a couple of years ago. Such a nice little camera...it's nice to have two of them!
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Old 10-01-2012   #116
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I sent mine for a repair some weeks ago as the shutter wouldn't fire. It's been fixed, serviced and the meter recalibrated and is now ready for collection.

I've got to admit I'm looking forward to collecting it!
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Old 10-02-2012   #117
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Sample Photo

Olympus XA; 1/6oth second at f/4 and taken a couple of weeks ago as a sample of what it will do.



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Old 10-02-2012   #118
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Beautiful, David.^^^
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Old 10-02-2012   #119
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Plus-X at 320 in Diafine:



Untitled by bingley0522, on Flickr
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Old 10-05-2012   #120
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Beautiful, David.^^^
Hi,

Cor! TYVM.


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