Olympus Trip 35 Zone Focus 35mm Point and Shoot Film Camera

The Olympus Trip 35 has become legendary amongst fans of vintage point and shoot cameras and has quite a following - and as soon as I got my hands on one, I discovered why. The Trip 35 was a very simple point and shoot camera aimed at the consumer market - yet there are reasons why camera enthusiasts love it so much. For starters, it features a very sharp and contrasty D.Zuiko 40mm f2.8 lens that is surrounded by a selenium cell light meter. So right off the bat, we're talking about a fantastic lens and no batteries required. Read more in the likes/dislikes below, and also view a sample photo and specs below.

The Olympus Trip 35

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LIKES: That lens! This is definitely a 'good piece of glass' as photo geeks like to say. It's sharp and contrasty, relatively fast at 2.8, and the 40mm focal length makes for great street shooting. Beyond the lens, other likes include: no batteries required (assuming the selenium cell meter works); screw on filters cover the meter as well as the lens; zone focus is great for us old folks with aging vision; although not quite 'pocketable', it's very light and easy to carry around; even though it only has two shutter speeds, they are very well chosen (especially cool is that the slower speed is 1/40th, which is in keeping with the concept that you can hand-hold a shot at a speed of one over the focal length).

DISLIKES: Very little to pick on with this one. Complaining about lack of bells and whistles would be just wrong, since that's the whole beauty of this camera. But if I have to find something (you knew I would), I would say my first feature request back then would have been to make the two shutter speeds user selectable.

TIPS: using 400 speed film results in faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures when in auto mode, resulting in sharper images (true for any camera of course, but helpful here in the lack of exposure controls); When there's not enough light, the Trip 35 will not let you take a photo - but if you turn the aperture dial over to 2.8 instead of A, you force it to 1/40th of a second shutter speed at 2.8 and you can then take available light shots in very low light - such as the shot shown below. Technically, you don't have control still as a working meter will stop down the aperture despite the setting. But if the camera just told you 'no' when you tried to take it, we can assume it will just stay wide open and take the shot no matter.

Old Box Car with Graffiti, click for Olympus Trip 35 sample photos gallery

Above: Old Box Car with Graffiti, photo taken with an Olympus Trip 35.

View gallery: Olympus Trip 35 sample images gallery

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Specifications of the Trip 35

(the following is from the manual which came with the Trip 35)

Film size: 24 x 36 mm.

Lens: D. Zuiko F2.8, f=40mm. (4 elements in 3 groups)

Shutter: Programmed system. Automatic: 1/40 sec. or 1/200 sec. Manual: 1/40 sec. X syncro. contact. Self shutter-release-button locking system for under-exposure.

Lens opening: Automatic: Diaphragm automatically moves from F2.8 to F22; Manual: For flash photography from F2.8 to F22.

Viewfinder: Luminous bright frame finder (Magnification 0.55) with parallax correction mark and zone indicators.

Film loading: EL (Easy Loading) system.

Film winding: Rear wind-on wheel. Self-cocking to prevent double advances and double exposures.

Film counter: Progressive, self-resetting type.

Film rewinding: Crank type with rewinding button setting system.

Focusing: Zone focusing system (4 zone indicators) with distance scale (in meters and feet).

Exposure meter: Automatic exposure adjustment by built-in electric eye meter. Light measuring range EV 8 ~ EV 17 (ASA 100).

Film speed setting: ASA 25-400.

Filter size: 43.5 mm (screw-in).

Rear cover operation: Hinge type.

Accessory shoe: Cordless flash contact.

Size & weight: 116 (width) x 70 (height) x 57 (depth) mm, 410 gm.; 4 1/2 (width) x 2 3/4 (height) x 2 1/4 (depth) in., 14 1/2 oz.