Olympus XA2 Underexposure



I have had a second roll of film back from the Olympus XA2 that is underexposed by a stop or two for many of the photos. My recent post Ocean’s Edge was the previous roll from this camera which at the time I thought was poorly scanned and that explained the exposure, perhaps combined with the camera not working well at 800 ISO. I also thought it might be related to the Lomography Colour 800 that I was shooting, a film I am not very familiar with yet. But, with this second mostly under-exposed roll, made with Fuji Superia X-Tra 400, I see that the fault must lie with the camera. So far I have been pretty lucky with the camera timing its choice for under-exposure as the Ocean’s Edge shots are much better for it, and many of the snow shots on this roll also benefit.

The question now is what is going on. The XA2 is a favourite camera and I would be sad if the light meter were giving out as I doubt that could be repaired. Light meter failure is one possible cause, but I think another might be temperature, as both rolls were shot in somewhat cold weather (around freezing or a bit colder). It is quite possible that the shutter gets a bit sticky when cold. But perhaps the most likely reason is the batteries – this I am hoping is the answer, for obvious reasons. They are two A76 Energizer alkaline batteries and they have been in the camera since I got it in the summer of 2014. Since then I have shot 20 rolls of film with this camera. My guess is that age + cold + alkaline = lower voltage and poor exposures. If I had a multimeter it would be easy enough to check. However, I could replace the A76s with another kind of more cold tolerant battery, and run another roll of film to test it out. Any excuse to shoot a roll of film!

Which leads back to the subject at hand, here is my roll 49 for 2016, shot last week. It seems that somehow I have pulled my feet from the fire and got back on track to complete the project for 2016. Just three more rolls, two of which are in cameras right now. Do-able!




Click on any image below to launch larger versions in the gallery view, navigate with the arrows once in the gallery.

2016-49: Olympus XA2, Fuji Superia X-Tra 400, commercially developed and scanned.



5 thoughts on “Olympus XA2 Underexposure

  1. Pingback: Drain Sunrise II | burnt embers

  2. These images are great. Very sharp. I gave my XA as a gift in Emulsive Secret Santa. Have been using Yashica T4, a great little camera. The XA gave me fits with the tricky shutter button. With the Yashica the nit is the auto flash, having to turn it off all the time. Both are great little cameras.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lou. This XA2 has a tricky shutter button in that you have to push it strait down or it won’t fire. But the slightest vertical touch can fire it. Another XA2 I recently bought, which needs seals so I have not used it, seems to have an easier to use shutter release. I have an XA and it has a hair trigger shutter from nearly any angle of touch. I quite like that, after getting used to it. I would say that you might find another example of the XA or XA2 with a shutter button you could live with. If only you could try it out first.

      What I don’t like about my XA is that the focus lever is quite loose and I can never be sure it has stayed in focus from when I set it if I move the camera, or wind the film, etc. I need to add a bit of friction to it to make me happy with using it. And replace it’s seals too.

      Both have very sharp lenses and such superb design that they are a genuine pleasure to use. The XA has more control (focus anywhere vs zone focus, choice of aperture vs totally automatic, backlit compensation vs none, 10 sec min shutter speed vs 2 sec) a faster lens (f2.8 vs 3.5). Even so, I think I prefer shooting the XA2 – simpler, quicker, and images just as good in nearly all conditions. Excellent cameras in every respect.


  3. Reblogged this on burnt embers and commented:

    I forgot to reblog my roll 49 from a few days ago over at 52Rolls.net. Better late than never. Quite a lot of the roll is underexposed, but some of that is OK because of the subject matter. I am thinking the Olympus XA2 probably needs new or different kind of batteries. Most of the roll is in the gallery at 52 Rolls, so check it out at this link: http://wp.me/p2ZmXf-fJK


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