0other Olympus cameras in my collection

 

JapanOlympus Trip 35 [1967 - 1984]

 

Overview

The Olympus Trip 35 was introduced in 1967 and discontinued, after a lengthy production run, in 1984. The Trip name was a reference to its intended market - people who wanted a compact, functional camera for holidays. The use of a selenium photocell to select the shutter speed and aperture lets novices use the camera as a point & shoot, with good results obtained most of the time. In addition, no battery was needed to power the camera: an important consideration when travelling where batteries might not be available (in the late 60s).

The meter has an ISO range of 25 to 400 ASA, as films faster than 400 were uncommon at the time. Earlier models, from the first few years of production, had a maximum ASA speed of 200.

Olympus Trip exposure programThe Trip 35 has just two shutter speeds - 1/40th sec and 1/200th sec - and a range of aperture settings from f/2.8 to f/22.

In A mode, the camera operates as a program automatic, choosing both a shutter speed and a suitable aperture setting. If exposure goes below 1/40th at f/2.8, the shutter locks and a red transparent flag rises from the bottom of the Albada viewfinder.

When the aperture is set manually (primarily for flash photography), the shutter speed defaults to 1/40th of a second. However, the meter is still active even in this manual mode, and setting the aperture manually merely sets the widest permissible aperture. The auto-exposure mechanism may still choose to set a smaller aperture than this if it sees fit.

Its lens is a coated Zuiko 40mm with four elements in three groups. Apart from a simple four-position zone focus system, the camera had no other photographic controls.

Until June 1978, the shutter button was silver-coloured metal. After that date, all Trips had a black plastic button.

In 1979, the Olympus Trip 35 sold for around £50, when the average UK wage was about £120 per week. In 1971, it cost £32.50, or £35.50 for a black one.

 

 

Specifications

Viewfinder: Standard Albada, with parallax marks. There is a red indication flag and shutter lock for too little light. A viewfinder Judas window shows exposure and focus settings on the lens.

Focus: Manual by scale, visible through viewfinder, shows the icons: headshot (1m/3'), two shot (1.5m/5'), group shot (3m/10') and infinity. A second scale on the underside if lens is calibrated in meters and feet.

Lens: 40mm f/2.8 Olympus D Zuiko, 4 elements, three groups. Appears to be a front-element focusing Tessar type.

Close Focus: 2.9' (0.9m).

Diaphragm: Two bladed, diamond-shaped, stopping down to about f/22.

Shutter: 1/40th or 1/200th, automatically selected. No Bulb setting.

Cable Release: Standard socket in shutter release button.

Meter: Selenium cell around lens (automatically incorporates any filter factors).

Exposure: Program automatic (A) with limited manual override. If exposure would go below 1/40th at f/2.8, the shutter locks and a red transparent flag rises from the bottom of the finder in A setting.

Exposure range: EV 8-1/3 (1/40 at f/2.8) to EV 17-1/6 (1/200 at f/22).

Film Speed: Third stops from ASA 25 - 400, except ASA 32.

Filter Size: 43.5mm screw in.

Flash: Hot shoe and PC terminal.

Film Advance: Thumb wheel.

Frame Counter: Count-up with automatic reset and advance.

Rewind: Via crank and bottom release button.

Back Opening: Via a catch at the bottom left.

Size: 124.8mm W x 72.7mm H x 57.6mm D.

Weight: 390.5g.

 

 

My Camera

I paid £1.04 for this camera in May 2013. It was the first camera of my collection.

The date of manufacture of an Olympus Trip 35 can be found via the serial number under the film pressure plate. There are 3 characters.

1st characterA letter (or Japanese character) indicating the plant it was manufactured in.
2nd characterThe last digit of the year of assembly (so 4 = 1974, 9 = 1979, 0 = 1980, etc.).
3rd characterThe month of assembly (1 - 9 signifies Jan - Sept. Then X, Y, Z is for Oct - Dec).

82 could either be Feb 1968 or Feb 1978. Usually the way to find out what decade the camera belongs to is by looking at the shutter button (Pre-June 1978 = silver-coloured metal).

My camera is N82, with a chrome shutter button, and 400 ASA option, indicating manufacture in February 1978. It's in full working order, good condition, and (you guessed it) has been treated to new light seals. Trips are easy to check. A hand placed over the light cell should raise the red flag/lock the shutter, when the shutter release is pressed. Setting an aperture value and a half press on the shutter release will allow you to see the aperture blades forming different opening sizes.

The Trip is a camera I almost once owned from new in the late seventies, but the guy in Dixons talked me into a Vivitar 35EE (represented in my collection by the GAF Memo 35). The Trip is quite a humble camera, but when you consider it closely, it proves to be a fantastic bit if kit for point and shoot photography.

 

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↑ The louvered panel next to the viewfinder window is an odd feature. It's purely decorative, and makes little sense. Some say it's a mock rangefinder window, but clearly it isn't (it's in the wrong place, the wrong size, and has the wrong look, etc.). I think it's a fake bright-frame illumination window (although I don't understand why anyone would want to fake that?).

• If you want to pimp your Trip, here's a good website - www.tripman.co.uk.

Olympus Trip 35 Illustrated Repair Instructions.

• If you want your Trip to be stripped down, cleaned, lubricated and adjusted this Ebay seller offers such a service.

• If you would like to know how to modify a Trip to take advantage of the 1/200th shutter speed, read Kip Praslowicz's article.