Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Olympus Trip 35

If any camera can claim to be a 'Volkscamera' then this one has to be fairly high on the list with over 10 million made between 1968 and 1988.
The camera is a very well built, totally automatic exposure (no batteries as it has a selenium cell round lens) and scale focus. The lens is a 40 mm F2,8 Zuiko probably a 4 element Tessar clone. Round the lens is the ASA/ISO ring that is marked 25-400 which should cover most films you'd want to use.
When this camera was a current model, it was very cheap and often came in kits with a flash and a roll of film.
If you get one in good working order today, expect to pay £5-10 (about $10-$20) as a rough price guide slightly more or less depending on condition.

And a 100% crop

A really impressive little performer, not quite up to 50mm prime lens standard but very close all things considered, very sharp 8x12" (A4) prints will be no problem.
The on board auto exposure is remarkably good also, probably good enough to use slide film! (although I've not yet tried)
Certainly this model gives a better image than its price point would suggest and coupled with ease of use would make a great first camera for a child or just for pocket carry everywhere use.

Another shot this time late afternoon:

I bought this camera for my seven year old son, and he loves it. Its sturdy build coupled with ease of use and excellent results make it a bargain.

Just a note:
If you wish to buy a trip this guy has some very nice ones, some with custom leather from £30.00!
Link 'Tripman"
© Mark Smith 2008


obakesan said...


I must say I like my trip 35 too, although its a little weak in the edges at less than f8. Basically its a bright light camera. But its strength is I can wack it into my backpack and on a 3 day hike in -10 or less it still bloody takes pictures!

(unlike my 20D which cracked the sh1ts with the cold)


Unknown said...

I haven't tried out my trip 35... my mom got it in a thrift shop somewhere in Israel and it's been with me for almost 3 years.. never been used... i'm glad it takes good pictures, I'm a super amateur, wait, not even amateur photographer and I don't want to be an amateur bacause I can decently move a DigitalSLR, I wanna learn the classics... Is the trip 35 a good starting camera?

Photo–Smith said...

Hi Kafka
Nothing wrong with being an amateur, some of the best photographers are 'hobbyists'
What the trip is good for is a carry everywhere camera, no batteries, not too many worries (scale focus is all there is to remember) gives good results.
The most important thing is it frees you from worry. Take it down town loaded with XP2 do some photo journalism, if someone smashes it/steals it that's Ok 'cos another $5 will get you back a Trip can't say that about my Nikon D2x.
My advice is a Trip is not really a camera to learn camera operation (F stops, shutter speeds, depth of field) but one to learn composition, framing and timing, the things that are the core of the art.
Go downtown buy a roll of the new Kodak Ektar 100 have some fun, the Trip will start you on a photographic journey.

mab said...

Oh.. I just adore my Trip.


been looking for this camera for cheap (~£20) for ages now, it seems they were quite cheap at one point not that long ago, but the cheapest I can find nowadays is £30 for okay condition.

Photo–Smith said...

I have seen a few of late at about £20. I think if you look for boot sale/flea market you can still get them.
OTOH you can get them from Tripman at about £50 covered in exotic leather finishes....

Paul Dawes said...

Olympus Trip 35

I just bought one off eBay. Really pleased with it and looking forward to having a go with it. I managed to pick mine up for £10 but only after watching about twelve others go for £20-£30.

The upside is that there are always plenty of these cameras on there, just watch as many as you can and wait for one to run out at the right time when nobody is bidding. Good Luck

Unknown said...

I bought a lovely Trip in a second-hand shop last week, for a mere 2 Euro, but I think I found out why it was so cheap: there seems to be something wrong with the lens. When I look at the shutter "taking a picture" from the inside, I can see light coming through, no problem, but when I look at it from the front on the lens, there's a little shutter (I assume it's a shutter of some kind, it looks like one...) and it does nothing at all, it's just stuck. Can anyone explain what this second shutter is? Or if it's at all repairable?
Thank you!


Photo–Smith said...

Hi Aurélia

To see if the shutter is functioning open the back (no film)and point the camera to the sky while firing the shutter.
You should see a small flash of light.
If not he shutter is probably jammed.
These cameras are pretty easy to service if you are good with a screwdriver.
copy and paste this URL

Good luck
Mark Antony

Christine Why said...

Was the Trip 35 not released in the U.S? I'm having a hard time finding vendors for it that are not overseas.
Thanks, if you still exist! (Old article, I know.)

Photo–Smith said...

Chistine as far as I know it was. Have you tried e-bay?
I've bought a few in charity shops for my kids, they tend to be cheap, they made millions!

Tripman in the UK is excellent and cleans and services them, often with custom leather.