By • Mar 22nd, 2010 • Category: Fun with film

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The good ol’ Olympus XA4 has always been one of my favourite camera for street shooting. The wide lens plus the boring black look (yawn!) makes things a lot more fun, especially when I love to shoot from the (fat) hip. Well I don’t actually shoot from the hip but I hold it closer to me chest instead.

After some rest in the cabinet, I took it out a couple of weeks ago … and loaded it with a roll of Solaris 400 film. I remember most of these shots were taken around Orchard Rd when I was out with Fitzand one late morning. It is also easier to go upclose to the ‘action’ with a kid in arm because people tend to not notice the camera (that much). I usually set the focusing distance to 1.5m and fire away like there’s no tomorrow. Then I’ll go home, pray hard (that I’ve captured some decent shots) … and then pray again on the way to the lab.

This is the 2nd XA4 I bought. I sold off the first one long ago but later regretted and managed to find a good condition one again. Phew! Ain’t too interested in the ‘macro’ capability it has though.

These 3 above are taken at the market opposite my block. I had to try finish the roll, so risking my butt … I tried snapping some of the ‘actions’ near the market. These folks are usually not so friendly when you point cameras at them (maybe because I don’t look friendly eh??!!) but I made it back in one piece.

I’ve always loved street shooting but due to my busy busy busy life, I’ve hardly time to really do much of it. I hate hiding from far with a long lens and try capture some street actions, so it is usually the XA4 or the Klasse W end up my pick for such photography. A little risky I know … being too close to the subjects but the thrill some how makes it all worthwhile. People are a little paranoid nowdays when they see you taking photos of them … so it is always good to be cautious and be prepared to run or ermmm … kick some butts if you get in trouble. 😛 Don’t quote me on that though.

These two below are some ‘fillers’ on that roll but I ended up liking them pretty much …

I always love seeing street photos in black & white but somehow I always end up shooting them in color. Duh! Maybe the next time … I’ll load a roll of b&w film for more fun on the streets. Hmm … maybe I should try picking up a rangefinder for street shooting? That’s what those rangefinder fans tell me … that those are good for street photography. Hmm. Nevermind.


  1. Olympus XA4!!!! Ahhhh…that is always what I wanted….I really love the sharpness of the XAs

  2. @Jer : Oh yeah … that’s one sweet little wide camera!

  3. i sold mine long ago.. maybe i should get it back 🙂

  4. @Mijonju : Yeah. Get it back! Hahaha!

  5. I’ve always wanted to snap strangers but i’m always scared of doing it.
    I don’t wanna my camera to be snatched and smashed. 😐

  6. @Bone : That’s true. That’s also the reason we either ask for permission (usually answer is ‘NO!’) or do it secretly without getting caught. Muwahaha! The thrill is amazing! You can check out mijonju’s latest video about shooting people. Very interesting vid. As for cams getting smashed … let me tell u a bit of history. Many many many years ago, when I was still working in Malaysia … I came visit a relative here in Singapore. While waiting for someone at a coffee shop … late at night … suddenly an uncle from a nearby table (with many uncle friends, drinking beer) suddenly stood up and trashed a freakin camera! He smashed it on the ground, stepped on it and cursed and all that shit! OMG! We saw a guy leaving that scene in a hurry. So until today, we do not know if he was one of them and got his cam smashed or was he just someone like us trying to take a shot of the uncles having some beer. Scary. LOL! I sure hope that ain’t no expensive cam because at that time … I wasn’t into photography and didn’t know shit about cams. 😀

  7. HAHH!
    Yeah, to be brutally honest.. locals aren’t exactly what you call, friendly.
    Anyway, that’s a rather cool story. It’s pretty scary though.. Just imagine if it’s a Camera porn instead of a point and shoot.

    Yeah, i’ve just watched Mijonju show.. Skorj is really interesting.

  8. @Bone : Hahahaha! Don’t we all ‘hate’ Mijonju’s ultra poisonous videos? He’ll kill me if he sees this. :X

  9. The black clam shell is not boring at all!!! Very classic n retro. Anyway, is xa4 like xa1? I only own the latter.

  10. @cyanwater : I don’t own the XA1 but I think the difference is the wide lens on the XA4 (28mm) and also the closeup capability (12 inches). The XA1 runs on selenium meter right? The XA4 uses the common LR44. Anyway, more info about the XA family can be found … XA4 is the only one I own now after selling off the XA and XA2. 😀

  11. @cyanwater : One thing I don’t like about the XA series is the feather touch shutter button. Somehow I still like those like the ones in the LCAs.

  12. Huh! You sold your XA2? The gorgeous red XA2?

  13. @Jer : Yes I did. Sold to someone who needed it to complete his collection of the XAs. Come to think of it … it was sold last night over some beer. 😀

  14. Oh sorry, mine is the XA. :p

  15. @cyanwater : oh the rangefinder! I used it for a while in the past. Too darn hard to focus with that little viewfinder (and my old fuzzy eyeballs).

  16. Ya, that’s why mine has never really see the world. Anyway, I always don’t get why people says rangefinders are good for street photography. You care to enlighten me? Hehe

  17. @cyanwater : It puzzles me as well. The only way I could do (at least a little) decent street shooting with it was to use range focusing. By the time I focus using the patch, the people are either long gone or already landed their fist on my face. Maybe you should arrange a session a Canopy with Doublechin to let him explain to you the wonders of a rangefinder. 😀

  18. the second fillers pic is it from orchard central lift? hhahahahah

  19. @noreen : Oh yeah! Hahaha! Good memory eh? I took that one afternoon when I brought Fitzand there to slack and eat udon. He fell asleep when I was on the way and I had to let him sleep in the car while I waited … for 1 hour. LOL!

  20. OH MAN……:S I missed the RED deal! Sighhhh….

  21. @Jer : There is someone selling a red one with a matching red flash in the CS buy/sell section. 😀

  22. Hmmm…I have no idea why I cannot log in to CS recently…

  23. @Jer : They ban members who haven’t bought anything in the buy/sell section for some time. Hahaha! Nah. I heard that their server is down. HDD kaput perhaps.

  24. This XA4 looks like a good camera for getting up close without being spotted

  25. @Adrian : Yes it sure is. Being wide, small, simple and light … it is a great tool for ‘blending in’ when doing street photography.

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