March 13, 2011

How to avoid red flags on the Olympus XA1 at f4

Ever wish you could use higher speed film in your Olympus XA1?

Yes, that camera with the selenium meter, fixed focus (who knows exactly where it's focused - it may be at 12 feet? - universal focus, indeed) two speeds and only two ISO settings - 100 and 400 ASA... yes, that XA1 with all its gloriously odd specifications.

You can set the camera to shoot always at 1/30 at f4 by using a pin to push the locking pin up, as shown on the right.

Then flip the flash lever under the lens to the "flash" setting. This will circumvent the red flag that prevents exposure under low light.

The camera will stay on this setting even if you close the clamshell.

Now you can try 800, 1600, or 3200 speed films with all the Zuiko goodness at a fixed focus at an aperture of f4. NOTE:  The aperture will adjust based on the selenium meter even in flash mode!

If only we new at what distance the lens is focused on!

I would bet the sweet spot is somewhere between 7 feet and 14 feet.

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