Olympus Trip 35

Yet another Olympus Trip 35 Review

Okay I suspect the dog and his dinner has blogged about the Trip 35 but it feels like a right of passage for a camera blog and what the heck I love it.

This little design classic arrived in the Mid 60’s and set the standard for Point & Shoot (P&S) camera right into the 80s. The classic styling is married to an excellent sharp  Zuiko lens and a simple but effective metering system. That meter is driven by the selenium array (the glass bubbly bit) around the lens. This means no batteries ever required.


  • Lens:  40mm 1:2.8
  • Focus: Zone (4)
  • Shutter: 1/40 or 1/200 sec
  • Aperture: f/2.8 – f/22
  • Exposure: Auto
  • EV (100asa) :  8-17
  • ASA:  25-400ASA
  • Filter-Thread: 43.5mm
Olympus Trip 35 detail
Olympus Trip 35 lens control details

Usage is simplicity itself. In the most part you’ll set the camera to  A (automatic) on the aperture ring and then select one of the 4 focus zones (0.8, 1.5 , 3m and infinity) and shoot.

You can even see and adjust these focus zones from the view finder by means of a small window nicknamed a “judas” window.

Sunbeam in the rain. Trip 35, 2014
Carlisle, June 2014. Olympus Trip 35 with Boots Universal expired 2006 (400ASA) shot at 200ASA. C41 Processed and scanned at ASDA. Click on Image for original on Flickr

The exposure system is simple but accurate. It has just 2 shutter speeds. Above 13EV it shoots at 1/200 sec and below 1/40sec. This sensibly means a smaller aperture is always used except in really low light.

This a EV17 camera (1/200 and f/22) allowing you to shoot 400asa film in even bright sunlight. And if the light level falls below EV8 then a red flag pops up in the viewfinder locking the shutter.

Victorian Light. Trip 35, 2014
Carlisle, 2014 on Olympus Trip 35 with Kodak BW400CN. Click on Image for original on Flickr

The aperture setting are designed for flash but you can sneakily use to allow you to shoot below EV8 by turning the setting to f/2.8.  The camera  will shoot at 1/40 and as most film tolerates a bit of underexposing you might get away with it.

The flash aperture setting aren’t a full manual mode. Be aware that you can only set the maximum aperture, the light sensor system still kicks in and won’t allow you to over expose.

In Thoughts Of You. Olympus Trip 35, 2013
Olympus Trip 35 with Agfa Vista 400 2013, Click on image for original on Flickr.

It is threaded for cable release and has both modern hotshoe & PC sync flash connectors.

In use it is simply superb and probably the sharpest most accurate P&S I have. Want Lomo dreamy blurry slightly off colour shots ?  look elsewhere, this is all about crisp, well exposed shots that rival dSLRs.  Don’t believe me  ? Have a look at Ken Rockwell’s views on it.

I love shooting with it . It is intuitive and gives good results

Crane. Taken on Olympus Trip 35
West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven, 2013. Olympus Trip 35 with Agfaphoto Vista 200.

Sourcing and Issues

Nowadays, you can find them pretty widely due to the numbers made and they are fairly robust. Rightly they tend to command a little more than some rivals. But they’re worth it and cost a lot less than a second-hand lomo LC-A. Make sure metering working (blades open more or less depending on light condition, red flagging with lens cap on etc). Aperture blades can become sticky overtime (repairable but takes time or money).

Don’t panic about the light seals. These will probably be knackered unless someone has replaced them and are easy to replace with a kit for a few quid. The selenium metering in theory can fail if exposed to heat and light so a lens cap is a good idea. Famously the all black version and earlier ones with metal shutter buttons command a premium

Xmas Lights II. 2013
Olympus Trip 35 Kodak BW400CN. Carlisle 2013

Classic it may be but there are some minor issues. There is no real manual mode and no B setting. The shutter speed options seem rudimentary compared to cameras a few years later. But they do deliver.  Perhaps the biggest issue is the relatively rare 43.5mm thread for filters. That said, you can find on eBay and trip man has a good range at a reasonable price.

The nice thing is the camera’s metering will automatically compensate for most filters you use.

A Shoe in
A Shoe in



Helpful links


16 thoughts on “Yet another Olympus Trip 35 Review”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.