Singapore with the Olympus Trip: A Gallery by Daisy

I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks out in Singapore this summer on a work trip. I’m usually an SLR gal, but knowing I would likely be tired and time-poor, I thought I would switch it up. 


I wanted a camera that was simple, compact and versatile - a few weeks before my departure, I purchased an Olympus Trip and figured this would be the perfect place to test it out.

Daisy with the Olympus Trip 35 35mm film camera

Before travelling anywhere, I love to take a look at the camera stores and labs in the location. Aside from setting out knowing where I can restock film if needed, it’s my favourite way to connect with other analogue photographers and get tips for anything, from good photography locations, to where I should get my dinner. 

Singapore is certainly a paradise for shooting 35mm. I found plenty of stores to stock up on film. I packed only ISO 100 and 200 films on my way out, as I’m always a little worried my request for a hand check at airport security will be denied and it’ll go through the dreaded baggage scanners.

Selection of 35mm film cameras in camera store in Singapore
Camera store in Singapore

First up, I picked up some Kodak Ultramax in my first couple of days and loaded this up in the Olympus Trip to start me off. It may be a little boring to say, but I would consider Ultramax to be my favourite for affordable, lower cost film stock (when you can get it) and I find it gives my most consistent results and a gorgeous profile of blues and greens especially. I’m also a big fan of how it picks up neon lights, having been impressed by shooting some neon signage on previous holidays.

Ultramax film in the Olympus Trip 35
Singapore on Kodak Ultramax
Ultramax film in the Olympus Trip 35

Having irregular and limited time off, the majority of my exploring Singapore had to be in my evenings. I found quickly that the weight and size of the Olympus Trip was a wonder for someone who normally shoots on a beloved but bulky Canon EOS. 

As someone who learnt on a Zorki 4K, and shoots almost exclusively on SLRs these days I’m definitely guilty of struggling to take point and shoots seriously, but the ease of only having to think about focusing, when tired and shooting in crowded locations was freeing.

Kodak Ultramax in the Olympus Trip
Singapore on Kodak Ultramax
Kodak Ultramax in the Olympus Trip

My absolute favourite feature of the Olympus Trip though, is the red flag system. Taking my lens cap on and off, and the camera in and out of my bag, I know without it I would have certainly wasted a tonne of exposures. I know I’m bad for it on my rangefinder, and I found the shots I was setting up weren’t ever really the cause of the red flag - it would always be because of a forgotten lens cap. 

With Portra 400 loaded up next, it feels especially important not to waste those precious (and far more expensive!) exposures.

Kodak Portra 400 in Olympus Trip
Kodak Portra 400 in Olympus Trip
Kodak Portra 400 in Olympus Trip
Singapore on Kodak Portra 400
Kodak Portra 400 in Olympus Trip

I’m usually very hesitant about loading up with low ISO film; it feels a precarious decision in the UK with often dark weather and rare sunshine. I saved my roll of ProImage 100 for a full day off, as I was finding the sun wasn’t quite strong enough for long enough in my evenings to make it a practical choice before.

When a rest day rolled round and with glorious sunshine, ProImage 100 and a trip round the Botanical Gardens felt like a surefire combination and performed great. This was my first time shooting ProImage, and I love the saturation. The greens and blues also reproduce really nicely, which I’ve found to be an issue with Kodak Gold which tends to be my other usual pick for low speed film.

Proimage on the Olympus Trip
Proimage on the Olympus Trip
Proimage on the Olympus Trip
Proimage on the Olympus Trip

Even though I’d researched and identified a few labs, compared prices and what films they generally tended to carry, I was still shocked by the turnarounds. It was pretty much standard for development and scanning to come back the next business day, at no extra cost - ‘fast track’ for Singapore labs seems to be ‘we’ll have your scans in two hours’ - and there were no shortage of them dotted around the city. 

I had set out with the intention to get all my film developed before travelling back to the UK to prevent the risk of any accidental exposure or damage. However, the speed and accessibility of the labs in Singapore meant I ended up taking film in consistently throughout my time there, reiterating some shots on each roll of film for my own curiosity. 

It was a benefit of being in the same location for several weeks, with consistent weather and conditions, and something I’ve never been able to do before. 

Here are the three different film stocks I used alongside each other. Annoyingly, my favourite (Ultramax) has a big old light leak, having been the first shot of the roll. I love being able to compare the profile of the films and how the colours show up.

Portra 400 image with the Olympus Trip 35
ProImage on the Olympus Trip 35
Ultramax in the Olympus Trip 35

In order: Portra 400, ProImage, Ultramax

It’s safe to say, the  Olympus Trip has totally won me over. I’m glad I took this as an opportunity to step back from manual shooting for a little, and focus on what felt good, what looked appealing and focus on simply enjoying street photography. 

A simple point and shoot - while amazing for beginners - is still a powerful little piece of kit and allowed me to get out and enjoy my hobby with an energy level I’m not sure would have been high enough for my SLR. The whole experience reminded me what strong motivation photography can be to get me out and about in new places, and I’m going to be raving about Trips to anyone who will listen for the foreseeable future!


Article written by: Daisy

Daisy is an artist, turned analogue photographer. She works as an engineer and she enjoys photographing her travels and adventures. She posts her work on her Instagram: @whisquila.shots

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