Olympus XA vs XA2

Mid Day Matinée

A
Mid Day Matinée

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Cumberland Falls-7

A
Cumberland Falls-7

  • 1
  • 0
  • 71
Winter

A
Winter

  • 2
  • 0
  • 179
Pig Iron elevations.jpg

A
Pig Iron elevations.jpg

  • 1
  • 0
  • 246
Cumberland Falls-6

A
Cumberland Falls-6

  • 0
  • 0
  • 189

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
181,940
Messages
2,517,797
Members
95,456
Latest member
jrhii
Recent bookmarks
0

pdeeh

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
4,767
Location
UK
Shooter
Multi Format
XA.
Better lens, actual focusing (XA2 is like a simple snapshot camera from the 70s - focusing is "Landscape" or "People Quite Near"), decent metering, and a little bit of exposure compensation (+1.5 stops for strong backlight)
The XA2 is fun and light and simple, but I'm always picking up the XA.
On the other hand, my XA2 cost £2 from a charity shop (complete with working flash unit) while my XA cost me €25 from an APUG man (bless 'im)

Flash unit works with either btw.
 
Last edited:

darkosaric

Subscriber
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
4,473
Location
Hamburg, DE
Shooter
Multi Format
I had both of them, XA definitely is much much better. In comparison to Mju I and Mju II - I cannot justify Mju II higher price against Mju I, but for XA I can see why one pays more than for XA2.
Only thing that is better in XA2 is actually the same thing that is worse - zone focusing can be used as quick street point and shoot without much thinking about the focusing.
 

macfred

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
3,681
Location
Germany
Shooter
Multi Format

Theo Sulphate

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
6,492
Location
Gig Harbor
Shooter
Multi Format
Having used both the XA and XA2 quite a bit, I can say the XA is better in every way unless you want quick grab shots.

IMAG9667-1-1-1.jpg
 

ericdan

Subscriber
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
1,344
Location
Tokyo
Shooter
35mm RF
I’ve shot the XA2 quite a bit.

Pros:
lens is great
Compact
Zone focus

Cons:
Can’t control shutter speed. Lots and lots of blurred photos. Basically you have to shoot this camera in bright sunlight only. Otherwise make sure you only use 800 speed film.
It also sometimes doesn’t fire. I think that’s because it’s trying to figure out exposes. I need a camera that fires when I push the trigger. I’ve missed a lot of shots this way.
I shoot B&W film with filters and slides need warning filters too. This limits me to color negative film for the XA.
The flash system for this is useless in my opinion. I use flash at parties, dinners etc. indoor situations. The camera still tries to meter in that case. Meaning it tries to expose for 15-30 seconds the fires the flash. You can imagine the results.

The XA is better because you can force apertures.

That being said, it’s my default camera for going to the beach.
 

guangong

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
2,857
Shooter
Medium Format
I use an XA. I do a lot of shooting in dim places and while rangefinder is squinty I find it useful. For point n shoot I use a Contax T3 (because I already have one, at today’s prices I would get an XA2).
The XA is also light and well designed, so no case needed.
If you can stand the weight in your pocket and estimate distance, but get a brighter finder, think about a Rollei 35. XA has faster lens.
 
OP
OP

Chan Tran

Member
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
5,039
Location
Aurora, IL
Shooter
35mm
I use an XA. I do a lot of shooting in dim places and while rangefinder is squinty I find it useful. For point n shoot I use a Contax T3 (because I already have one, at today’s prices I would get an XA2).
The XA is also light and well designed, so no case needed.
If you can stand the weight in your pocket and estimate distance, but get a brighter finder, think about a Rollei 35. XA has faster lens.
I have a Rollei 35 but it doesn't work. When I bought my first XA it was in 1979 and I chose it instead of the Minox or the Rollei.
 

blockend

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
5,056
Location
northern eng
Shooter
35mm
I prefer the XA3, though I've also owned the XA2 and MjuII. The XA series are snapshot/street cameras, there are more efficient and ergonomic rangefinders cameras out there if you need precise focusing. Neither the XA's nor the Mju series are particularly robust.
 

tedr1

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
941
Location
50 miles from NYC USA
Shooter
Multi Format
In five years of use my XA never let me down. The 35mm f2.8 lens has enough differential focus wide open for creative use. Almost silent, unobtrusive, pocketable, built-in lens hood, lightweight, battery lasts forever, the poor man's Leica :happy:
 
OP
OP

Chan Tran

Member
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
5,039
Location
Aurora, IL
Shooter
35mm
In five years of use my XA never let me down. The 35mm f2.8 lens has enough differential focus wide open for creative use. Almost silent, unobtrusive, pocketable, built-in lens hood, lightweight, battery lasts forever, the poor man's Leica :happy:
Poor man Leica M7? No wonder Leica discontinued it ans it's the only film Leica with aperture priority.
 

macfred

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
3,681
Location
Germany
Shooter
Multi Format
Just keep it away from sand. I speak from personal experience.

Same advice from my side - a few grains of sand can ruin the "clamshell" mechanism rapidly.
The lady of the house took our Olympus mju:II to the beach - the clamshell lens cover fails to operate; camera didn't work anymore.
The XA has a similar mechanism.
 

bvy

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
3,286
Location
Pittsburgh
Shooter
Multi Format
Same advice from my side - a few grains of sand can ruin the "clamshell" mechanism rapidly.
The lady of the house took our Olympus mju:II to the beach - the clamshell lens cover fails to operate; camera didn't work anymore.
The XA has a similar mechanism.
Right. In the case of the XA, it's not a lost cause if you address it right away. With some finagling, the sliding cover will come off enabling a thorough cleaning. Afterwards, I think it worked better than before the sand incident. What you don't want to do is keep using it hoping it will work itself out.
 

Cholentpot

Subscriber
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
5,650
Shooter
35mm
XA2 because I have two of them and they are cheap.

Unless someone has an XA they're willing to part with for a decent price...then I'm sure I'll love that camera even more.
 

swchris

Subscriber
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
233
Location
Bavaria
Shooter
Multi Format
for street photo XA2 hands down
zone focus is great
I second that. Having both XA and XA2, it seems that the XA2 is getting much more use. Yes, the lens is a little bit slower, but the zone focusing and not thinking much about the aperture saves a few seconds of thinking which might be too long for this very moment, and the moment is over.
 
OP
OP

Chan Tran

Member
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
5,039
Location
Aurora, IL
Shooter
35mm
I actually like the XA better because I can shoot at f/5.6 and f/8. I don't want to use f/3.5.
 

Ko.Fe.

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
3,202
Location
MiltON.ONtario
Shooter
Digital
If you have working XA hold to it. It will do everything cheaper XA2 will do, including auto-set of focus lever on opening, but it has more advanced lens, not XA2 4 elements only and it has RF.
I used my XA at f2.8 on the street and inside. And at 5.6/8. Not a problem. :smile:
 

blockend

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
5,056
Location
northern eng
Shooter
35mm
Some people have suggested the 4-element lens is sharper at most apertures. I like the XA3 because it has higher ISO capability and backlight compensation. Re-setting the camera to mid distance when it's closed is also neat. Whatever, the XA series are pretty ancient plastic cameras and that should be born in mind if people are looking for a workhorse.
 

blockend

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
5,056
Location
northern eng
Shooter
35mm
I'm interested in the XA4 with the 28mm f/3.5 wide angle lens and minimum focus distance 0.3m. It seems pretty rare these days - experiences ?
A photographer I used to follow owned one. He moved to other point and shoots, I think his XA4 failed at some point. They had a fairly short life and are pricey these days, in the UK anywhere from £100 to £260+ for a boxed example with flash. The XA series have a membrane shutter which tends to fail at some point. The exception is the XA1, an underrated camera with a conventional shutter and Trip style cell around the lens.
 

macfred

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
3,681
Location
Germany
Shooter
Multi Format
A photographer I used to follow owned one. He moved to other point and shoots, I think his XA4 failed at some point. They had a fairly short life and are pricey these days, in the UK anywhere from £100 to £260+ for a boxed example with flash. The XA series have a membrane shutter which tends to fail at some point. The exception is the XA1, an underrated camera with a conventional shutter and Trip style cell around the lens.

Thank you, sir !
That's what I heard from others too - I'll stay with my original XA - it works flawlessly since I got it a few years ago.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom