Featured Camera: The Olympus Trip 35

The Olympus Trip is a favourite for analogue photographers worldwide. Made famous by David Bailey, and being able to be customised easily, the Olympus Trip 35 has become a cult classic that has stood the test of time against many other cameras from the 1960s.

Illustration of person holding Olympus Trip camera

What is the Olympus Trip?

The Olympus Trip 35 was introduced in 1967, and discontinued in 1984, which is considered a long production run for a 35mm film camera. Over ten million Olympus Trip cameras were sold in this time. 

Many people wrongly call the Olympus Trip a rangefinder camera, however we would classify it more as a point and shoot with zone focusing.

Vintage Olympus Trip advert
Olympus Trip 35 35mm point and shoot film cameras in different colours

The Olympus Trip camera is a point and shoot film camera and was marketed towards amateur photographers. The camera was small enough to put in your pocket and take on trips around the world: this is why it is called the Olympus Trip.

It originally came with a black leatherette, but it looks incredible in different colours. Here are some of the ones we create and sell:

What features does the Olympus Trip 35 have?

The Olympus Trip is really easy to use, and has some cool features that set it apart from other point and shoot 35mm film cameras.

  • Zuiko coated 40mm f/2.8 lens: this lens is sharp, and the wide aperture makes it versatile in a lot of situations.
  • Automatic settings: the Olympus Trip has two shutter speeds and aperture from f/2.8 to f/22.
  • No batteries needed: the Olympus Trip is powered by the selenium meter around the lens. This is also what receives light and tells the camera which aperture is needed.
  • Red flag feature: when the camera does not have enough light to take a photograph, a red flag appears in the viewfinder.
  • Zone focusing: the Olympus Trip has four focus settings depending on how far away your subject is from the camera.

Using the Olympus Trip 35

We love to test all of the cameras we have in our store, so we took the Olympus Trip on a trip to Cornwall where we tried out all of its features. Scattered throughout this article are some of the images we took during this trip.

Baby blue olympus trip camera
View of the ocean taken with the Olympus Trip.
View of the ocean taken with the Olympus Trip

Views of the ocean taken with the Olympus Trip

I was really pleased with the images that I received back from the camera.

How does the lens perform?

One thing that surprised me with the quality of the photographs from the Olympus Trip was how sharp the images are across the entire frame. It is also not vignetted at all. Some point and shoot cameras lose their sharpness towards the edges and some have a vignette where the edges are darker. Vignette is not a problem with the Olympus Trip because of its high quality Zuiko lens.

Person walking across Bodmin Moor taken on the Olympus Trip

It is also a great focal length for capturing memories and things around you. I didn't struggle at all to get the right frame and composition I wanted.

Is the focus easy to use?

A short answer is yes.

The Olympus Trip has four focus settings. The viewfinder view does not change as you change the focus settings, so you need to know which setting is correct for how far away your subject is. Luckily, this is not hard.

The first setting has the symbol of one person. The first setting is used for close-up photographs, where the subject is less than 1 metre away.

The second setting is of two people, which is to be used for subjects from 1.5 to 3 metres away.

The third setting is a symbol of three people. This setting is used for subjects that are between 3 and 6 metres away. 

The final setting is a symbol of a mountain, which is used for anything beyond 6 metres away. 

If you ever forget these numbers, they are engraved on the underside of the lens (opposite to the symbols on the top). 

View of sandy beach taken with the Olympus Trip 35
View of sandy beach taken with the Olympus Trip 35

Views of the Cornish beach taken with Kodak Colorplus on the Olympus Trip

Is the Olympus Trip suitable for beginners?

The Olympus Trip was designed and advertised towards amateur photographers, for people to be able to capture their holiday memories easily. 

This means that the Olympus Trip has a number of features that make the camera easy to use.

It is highly recommended for people who are new to film and want to capture their own memories and enjoy the experience of shooting film. 

It is ideal for starting to get an understanding of how film works and how your images may look. It is a great beginner camera, however if you want to learn the skills of photography in more depth, something with more settings options would be a better option.

View of the beach taken on the Olympus Trip

If you are completely new to film photography and confused by some of the things we are talking about in this blog, we recommend reading these blog posts.

Using Kodak Colorplus in the Olympus Trip

A film stock that has forever been popular with people taking film photographs, we used Kodak Colorplus in the Olympus Trip for these images. 

Kodak Colorplus has long been considered a cheap film stock, and not used very often by professionals, but we loved using it and were really impressed by the colours we got back from the roll of film.

Person walking away from camera taken on the Olympus Trip
Road of trees taken on the Olympus Trip
Moss covered rocks taken on the Olympus Trip

Some samples of the images taken with Kodak Colorplus

Can you use the Olympus Trip in low-light?

Yes, you can. And in fact, we wrote an entire blog post all about it.

Final Thoughts on the Olympus Trip 35

I thoroughly enjoyed using the Olympus Trip, even more than I thought I would. It was easy to take with me everywhere and always ready to take a photograph quickly. 

I am really impressed with the exposure across the images and the quality of the lens throughout the different scenarios and subjects. 

This camera is a great addition to someone who is new to film photography and wants to capture their memories easily and in great quality.

You can explore our full range of Olympus Trip cameras here. All of our cameras come with a roll of film, film developing discount, a instruction guide to get started, and some Cameras By Max extras.

Baby blue Olympus Trip 35 35mm point and shoot film camera

Which cameras are similar to the Olympus Trip?

Like the Olympus Trip, but don't think it's the one for you? 

There are some cameras that are similar to the Olympus Trip that we also highly recommend. 

For example, the Olympus Pen EES-2 is pretty much the half-frame version of the Olympus Trip. You can read more about this camera here.

And you can explore our full range of Olympus Pen cameras here too:

Still stuck on which film camera to buy?

Try our film camera quiz. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and then you will get a list of personalised camera recommendations. 

Or send us a message on Instagram, send us an email, chat to us on our live website chat, or read some more of our blog posts!

If you like what we do, but can't buy a camera from us, please consider buying us a cup of coffee! It helps us to keep these resources free, consistent, and accessible. 

Max, owner of Cameras By Max

Article written by: Max

Max is the owner of Cameras By Max. They work full-time repairing and refurbishing all the 35mm film cameras you see on the website. Their favourite camera (at the moment) is the Olympus XA, and their favourite city in the world is Edinburgh.


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