Olympus XA2 Shutter Problems

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Armandillo, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Armandillo

    Armandillo Member

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    I ordered an Olympus XA2 from Amazon and put two rolls of film through it. The shutter stopped working and the film will not wind. Pressing the shutter reIease button will activate the self-timer but the shutter still will not fire. I am in the process of returning it but I am wondering if this is a common problem on these 30+ year old cameras. Am I wasting my time in trying to find an XA or XA2 that will hold up to continous use? My sense is that there is a bad chip or other electronic part and that it probably cannot be repaired or replaced because the camera is so old. Has anyone else had similar experiences with these cameras?
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    The XA series cameras are ancient, and if they have not had a service, however minor/major, they are going to fail at some stage during their life, and they have had a very, very long life. Not all of them are a risk; those in mint, well looked-after condition should give a few years of service, but they will not tolerate rough treatment or amateurs opening them up to fiddle with the electronics (unfortunately this is a very common problem with used cameras).

    The electronic shutter is a common area of failure for all XA series cameras, particularly loss of function of the shutter button. No new parts are available, so repairs as needed introduce redundancy and further risk of unreliability, when and where such repairs can be made. I have owned 5 XA cameras over a 35 year period, and only one of those developed the dreaded shutter button/failure to fire malaise. It was not repaired but sold off for parts-only. The present XA was bought in 2005 and still working fine — touch wood.

    PS: I would advise steering clear of Amazon and seeking out a tried and tested used XA series camera from a street store. There will always, always be risk ordering and paying for something you have not had a chance to put in your hands and examine. Same comments go for others of Amazon's ilk: B&H, KEH...
     
  3. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    What Poisson said -- plus, are you sure, did you take the film out and see if the camera would wind and fire?

    As he said, these are pretty old cameras at this juncture -- on the other hand, i found an XA 20 years ago at a yard sale and used it a LOT and finally wore its little plastic gears out -- it would not cock any more. But it had actually been pretty rugged -- it was dropped once and the in-window meter needle quit working but the camera still worked fine (it as two separate meter functions) and a cupla years later I dropped it AGAIN and the meter needle started working again.

    So, yeah, find a good one. I get mine at thrift stores -- they still turn up amid all the pt and sht plastic fantastics, usually for $5 or so. I see KEH wants $180 for one, which is just rediculous.

    When they work, marvelous cameras.
     
  4. Born2Late

    Born2Late Subscriber

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    I love the XA's, but have not had good luck finding any that were fully functional. Although larger and heavier I would look for one of the more traditional cameras.
     
  5. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Maybe, maybe not. A couple of times in the last 2 years a mint/little used XA was up for and sold at a store for more than $300 (with flash). From memory, these were both beautiful specimens but at front of mind, they are still very, very old cameras.

    Dunno about KEH though........
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Armandillo

    Armandillo Member

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    Your point is well taken. I have learned my lesson. I checked with KEH initially but they did not have this item in stock. This is my first experience with ordering a camera on Amazon and it will be my last. I am lucky the camera failed inside of a few weeks, since there should be no problem with returning the camera for a full refund. If it was more than a month, I would probably be SOL. This is an attractive camera but you are right that it is just to old to be reliable at this point. This is too bad because the camera has a nice lens and I liked the photos that I did get back. Interestingly, I have two Rollei 35s with mechanical shutters that are older than the XA2 and are still working great. This confirms my preference for mechanical shutter cameras. Thank you and everyone for your help.
     
  7. blockend

    blockend Member

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    They're wonderful little cameras, but getting long in the tooth. I picked up a clean XA3 last summer in a box of cameras for £15, but they have found their market and £50-100 is the going rate, the XA rather more. The XA series have a membrane shutter and the problem and fix is available on the internet.
     
  8. John51

    John51 Member

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    I thought I'd got a bargain XA from that auction site, less than £10 but what turned up was an XA1. Even worse, it was listed as an XA1. (Don't drink and bid folks.)

    Although it is considered an inferior camera, I've grown to like it. Same metering system as the Trip and as the clam is always closed when not taking pics, I'm expecting the selenium cell to outlive me. All mechanical with a choice of 2 speeds, 100 and 400 asa. All C41 films give good results at 100 asa ime. Unless you want to make big prints, IQ is good enough and it is easy to carry. Like the rest of the XA series, it can go from pocket to 'click' very fast. fwir, that is what the XA was designed for.

    Having fell in love with the shape and feel of the camera, I took a chance on an XA with a listed shutter problem. Again under £10. It turned up with alkaline batteries and once they were replaced with silver oxide, I had a fully working XA.

    The XA1 gets more use because I'm not that worried about dropping it and for street photography, the XA gets set to f5.6/3M to make it a point and shoot like the XA1.
     
  9. blockend

    blockend Member

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