The Olympus Trip was an impulse buy at a car boot sale about twenty years ago. I knew that the auto function didn’t work but I thought I could operate it manually using the aperture settings marked on the ring around the lens.Sadly, I soon discovered that I couldn’t figure out the flash shutter speed (I have since found out it is 1/40 second) which would allow me to make reasonable exposure calculations. So, my bargain buy was relegated to a cupboard alongside a handful of other less than useful impulse buys and was forgotten about until recently, when I found myself locked down with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forced into having a bit of a clear out, I was pleased to rediscover the little Olympus where I had abandoned it all those years ago. Taking courage in both hands, and with the help of a couple of small screwdrivers from Amazon, I set about trying to repair the non-functioning meter.
The repair turned out to be quite straight forward and satisfying. Having removed the top plate, I could see that the needle from the selenium powered meter had gotten itself jammed and it was a simple task to free it up with the aid of a cocktail stick. After sprucing everything up and fitting new light seals and a nice red strap, I was ready to try it out with a roll of film.
I chose ILFORD XP2 Super simply because this was a film I had often used in the past when it was quite easy to have it C-41 processed at Boots the Chemist. I knew from experience that the exposure latitude with this film is very good and I set the ASA rating to 200. With the film counter set to zero I set off on my daily lockdown walk around the village in search of both exercise and interesting images.
The five exposures you see here are from that reel of film, the first I have shot in over 20 years. I sent my film off to be processed by SilverPan Film Lab in Bristol who provided an excellent service. The scanned images were delivered in good time via Dropbox followed shortly by the negatives arriving through my letterbox.
The excitement and anticipation of waiting for the results was something I was not used to after the convenience of digital and, upon seeing the high resolution images on my computer screen, the allure of film grain at once transported me back to 1997. I take pleasure shooting analogue most of the time now with just a little digital when I must have instant results.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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