Schuylkill Boardwalk

Did My Olympus XA Survive Vacation?

posted in: Photography, Travel | 0

One thing I didn’t mention about our recent Arizona and California trip was that, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, I tripped and fell with my Olympus XA in one hand. Other than a scraped knee and elbow, I was fine, but I wasn’t sure how well my camera survived the fall since it also hit the pavement rather hard.

Once I got up and dusted myself off, I checked on my Olympus XA, and I didn’t see any obvious damage. Luckily, the clamshell was closed so the lens wasn’t broken. Nothing was rattling so it seemed like there was nothing amiss on the inside.

I had just loaded a roll of Ilford Delta 100. It was toward the end of our vacation so I took only a handful of shots in Carmel before finishing the roll on our return to Philadelphia.

Throughout the roll, everything seemed to be working, but I really wouldn’t know if it wasn’t damaged until I got the roll developed.

My local photo lab takes a long time to develop black and white film and then there was a problem getting my my scans so it was two weeks from the time I completed the roll until I saw the results.

I’m happy to report that my Olympus XA still works. All the pictures turned out.

Unfortunately, I was still testing the idea of overexposing my film by one stop so I had set the ISO to 50. Although this worked well with color film, I was on the fence about my prior results shooting Ilford Delta overexposed with my Minolta Hi-Matic. This time, the highlights were mostly blown out without really lightening the shadows causing some unpleasant contrast.

I had taken only 1 photo before taking my tumble, and it was clearly the first of the roll.

First of the Roll Carmel Building
First of the Roll Carmel Building

The picture I was wanting to take when I tripped was of a little free library outside of the public library. I still had the wherewithal to take the photo mainly because I wanted to see if the XA was still functional.

Free Library in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Free Library in Carmel-by-the-Sea

I wasn’t particularly happy with either of these shots and wasn’t happy with most of my other photos from Carmel, both those at Mission Trail Nature Preserve or at Carmel Plaza.

Thankfully, there were a couple photos from our trip that I did like, one of a fence in Mission Trail Nature Preserve and one of a statue in front of Carmel Plaza.

Mission Trail Nature Preserve
Mission Trail Nature Preserve
Carmel Plaza
Carmel Plaza

When we were back in Philadelphia, I set the ISO back to 100 and had better results.

One night, Holly and I took a neighborhood walk after dinner. There were a few photos I wasn’t so pleased with.

However, there were a few that I liked.

I finished the roll on a trip to my brother’s over the Memorial Day weekend. I took a few pictures in 30th Street Station while waiting for the train and then took some in his backyard.

The pictures in the train station turned out fairly well.

The pictures from my brother’s yard were pretty bad. I think part of the reason was it was a bright, sunny day and his yard has a fair amount of shade so there was a lot of inherent contrast.

And, as always with the XA, I have some issues getting the focus right because of the short throw of the focus lever.

Although I wasn’t all that pleased with the results of this roll, I don’t think the camera hitting the ground was the cause of any of the issues. That said, I may want to shoot another roll with it soon to confirm that everything is fine.

My Olympus XA has been one of my favorite cameras so I’m quite glad that it’s still fully functional.

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