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Review: Olympus Trip 35



The Olympus Trip 35 is a bit of a favourite of ours…

Introduced in 1967, the Trip was sold in enormous numbers before being discontinued in 1984. and was named for its intended purpose – a compact camera for going on holidays. The popularity of the Trip 35 reached its peak during the 1970’s when even David Bailey used one.

We like it because of its sheer simplicity.

It’s ideal for someone who is just getting into photography and who isn’t used to manual settings or manual focusing. The great thing is, you can still have control over the aperture when you need to override the automatic mode, so you can still learn some of the basics while using it. You can set the aperture to either A, in which the camera will work in program mode, or you can set the aperture yourself, meaning it will be working in aperture priority mode. A downside is that there is no way of manually setting the shutter speed.

On top of its ease of use, it is tiny, lightweight and looks gorgeous.

There’s a full blog dedicated to photos taken with the Trip 35 . You should definitely take a look through it if you get chance.

Trip 35 Front

A few good bits

It’s got a great lens a 40mm f/2.8 Zuiko lens with 4 coated elements is an ideal lens for almost any situation. The lens coatings stop reflections and flare which helps to increase sharpness and contrast.

It’s lightweight – Weighing in at a measly 390g, the Trip 35 is ideal for travelling, it won’t weigh you down like most cameras.

It’s well built – Despite the weight and size of the Trip 35, it’s actually pretty sturdy. It has a metal chassis, which is much stronger than the plastic used in more modern designs.

It is solar powered – The entire camera only needs power for the meter – which is powered by the solar cells around the lens, so no batteries required! No more sticky situations when you’re in the middle of nowhere on holiday and your battery dies.

It’s very easy to use – Anyone can use this camera – even grandma. Set the ISO of your film, stick it on A, tell it where to focus, and fire away. It’s as simple as that.

It’s small – With holidays & travel in mind, Olympus made the Trip 35 compact enough to fit in your pocket.

The best bit.It’s cheap! We almost always have Trip 35’s in stock for just £35.00 (as of 09/12), including a thorough check-up, new light seals, and a free roll of film – be warned though, they go quick!

It’s idiot proof – When set to automatic, if the meter senses that the photo will come out under or over exposed then it won’t fire. It takes some getting used to, but it saves valuable exposures on film, so it is very useful in some situations. You can also adjust the aperture manually to override this setting.

Trip 35 Top

A few bad bits

It does have its limitations – Despite how much we rave about the Trip 35, it does have its limitations… Not being able to change the shutter speed yourself could irritate some people, as lots of people do like full control over your settings, if this is the case then the Trip 35 definitely isn’t for you. It’s bigger brother, the 35RC would be better for this.

It isn’t very ergonomic – The size of the Trip 35 also has its disadvantages, it can get quite uncomfortable holding it after a while, especially if you have fat hands like us. The aperture ring is also extremely close to the camera body, making it quite awkward sometimes to change the aperture.

It’s got a fixed lens – Not an enormous down side, as most compacts don’t feature interchangeable lenses, and the Zuiko optics more than make up for it.

There are no focusing aids No rangefinder, no focusing screen, nothing. Careful scale focusing and a little luck will get you through.

Trip 35 Back

The bottom line

Despite its shortcomings, this is possibly one of the best film compacts ever made. There’s a reason Olympus sold over ten million of them during the 70’s! It still has a strong cult following today. A proper camera!

West Yorkshire Cameras
Unit 19, Leeds Corn Exchange LeedsWest YorkshireLS1 7BR England 
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7 Responses to Review: Olympus Trip 35

  1. john hunter -

    September 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for the advice on the olympus trip. I,ll be in for one if you have one in stock. JH

    • Tom -

      September 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks John, we are hoping to get a few in soon so keep your eyes peeled.

  2. Lee Quinn -

    September 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Great review of the Trip35. Important step in buying one of these cameras is getting one that is serviced, these are old cameras. Having recently been for a look around this shop I would be confident in saying you would get a great Trip35 and the price they are asking is very reasonable for a trip35 and they throw in a film. I service cameras myself but would be very happy to buy from this shop and like I said I find the prices reasonable for a good condition camera.

    • Tom -

      September 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Cheers Lee, servicing them is a good shout, we’ve had a few done in the past and with the prices on them nowadays it’s worth doing. We also make sure that all our cameras are fully working so if you bought one off us you wouldn’t need it servicing :)

  3. thierry Boissard -

    September 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    This is a very informative review.
    I have just found a nice looking example in a charity shop for £ 4.99. It’s seems to be in a very good nick especially the inside, which looks pristine to me.
    Should I buy it ? what would I lose at this price anyway !

    • Tom -

      September 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I would definitely recommend getting it – give it a quick test in the shop:

      Put the aperture to “A” – Hold it up to your hand – Try shooting, and if the shutter fires then it’ll need a bit of a service as the meter is incorrect, the Trips are designed so that if the photo will be incredibly underexposed a little red dot will show in the finder and the shutter will be locked.

      Either way, £4.99 for a dead one that would make a lovely display piece is still good!

  4. thierry Boissard -

    October 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Tom, thank you for your reply. I thought I should let you known that I’m now the proud owner of an Olympus Trip 35 and this for the ridiculous price of £ 2.99. Yes I did manage to bring the price down even further (the fact that I volunteer in this charity shop did help). My next job is to find an instruction manual one way or another. With a bit of luck I should be able to dig one out via the Internet.

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