Olympus Trip 35

Earlier model of the Olympus Trip 35 with the chrome shutter button (left) and later model made after June 1978 with the black button (right)

The Olympus Trip 35 was an extremely popular camera. Over 10 million units were sold from 1967 to 1984. It is a fully automatic 35mm camera and simple to use but ingenious design. With the aperture ring set to “A”, the camera operates as a programmed automatic. There are only two shutter speeds, 1/40 and 1/200 of a second. The combination of aperture and shutter speed that the exposure mechanism chooses depends on the amount of light available – 1/40 in low light situations and 1/200 when there is bright light. The camera will refuse to fire if the light is too low even for a 1/40 sec, f2.8 exposure. A red plastic flag will also appear simultaneously in the viewfinder in those situations. Its simplicity made it popular with the masses of people who just wanted to point the camera and shoot without worrying about exposure settings.

The 40mm f/2.8 Zuiko lens that the Trip packs has a reputation for being extremely sharp, even in the corners. Coupled with its small, light weight, inconspicuous design, makes the Olympus Trip 35 an excellent street photography camera.

Over the years, I’ve acquired several Olympus Trips of varying conditions often bundled with other old cameras that I wanted to buy. The chrome version of the Olympus Trip 35 are more readily attainable and can generally be acquired for cheap. The black Olympus Trip 35’s are rarer, making these more desirable among collectors.

A couple of mine had been neglected and suffered from minor corrosion and deterioration. The grey-black plastic covering of the Trip is fairly durable and protects the main body from further damage however suffers from wear as a result. They are also easily removed and replaced. These can then be used as templates for new “skins” for the Olympus Trip. If you are not good with your hands, Aki-Asahi Camera Coverings offer reasonably priced coverings for the Olympus Trip 35 as well as other camera makes. As these already have adhesive backing, you don’t have to mess around with adhesives/glue and can easily just put them on. I replaced mine with Aki-Asahi coverings and they now have a new lease of life!

Red and yellow lizard embossed (cowhide) leatherettes from Aki-Asahi Camera Coverings