The 40mm f/2.8 lens consists of 4 elements in 3 groups, so it is probably a Tessar-type optic. Tessars have been in use for a century. Because of the limited number of glass-air surfaces, they are resistant to flare and are contrasty. And they have a characteristic that is sometimes called edge effect, where density builds up at abrupt feature edges on the negative. This gives the appearance of enhanced sharpness. Wide open, at f/2.8, the sides of a frame are not too sharp, but stopped down, the scene is uniformly crisp (examples below). The lens is not as well corrected as a 6- or 7-element Sonnar- or Summicron-type lens, but those are much more expensive and complicated designs.
- There are only two shutter speeds: 1/40 sec and 1/200 sec. The camera sets them for you based on the amount of light, but if you turn the aperture dial off "A" to one of the f-stops, the shutter is 1/40.
- The light meter, being a selenium cell, does not have low-light capacity. The selenium cell (behind the bubbly plastic) surrounds the lens. If you want a low-light camera, you need one with a battery-powered CDS or SBC cell.
- The viewfinder does not have a focus aide, so you need to estimate the distance. The lens has some symbols to help you, such as a mountain or a person. Really, it is not difficult. Millions of photographers in the 1970s and 1980s successfully used the little Rollei 35 cameras with their zone focus lenses.
- The filter size is a unique 43.5mm fine pitch. Why did Olympus do this? Filters are very hard to find, and they do not screw in easily.
- For some unknown reason, hoods are rare in the USA. I had to order one from a UK vendor, and it cost as much as the camera did.
|11th Street (Route 66), Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Route 66, Canute, Oklahoma|
|Gray Street (Route 66), McLean, Texas|
|Warehouse, Mississippi Basin Model, Jackson|
|Pump house, Mississippi Basin Model, Jackson|
|Country store, Hwy 457 east of Pattison, Mississippi.|
For more information, the 35MMC blog reviewed the Trip 35 as well as many other compact cameras of the 1970s and 1980s. A blog by Peter Vis has a description of a tear-down.
This is the tenth article in my irregular series on tools for photographing decay. Previous articles (click the links):
Decay with the Leica camera
Decay with the Rolleiflex TLR camera
The Leica IIIC camera
Kodak Panatomix-X film
Fomapan 100 Classic film
The 35mm Super Takumar lens
Decline of an industrial giant: Eastman Kodak
Ilford XP-2 film
Kodak Ektar 25 film