I have had a second roll of film back from the Olympus XA2 that is underexposed by a stop or two for many of the photos. My recent post Ocean’s Edge was the previous roll from this camera which at the time I thought was poorly scanned and that explained the exposure, perhaps combined with the camera not working well at 800 ISO. I also thought it might be related to the Lomography Colour 800 that I was shooting, a film I am not very familiar with yet. But, with this second mostly under-exposed roll, made with Fuji Superia X-Tra 400, I see that the fault must lie with the camera. So far I have been pretty lucky with the camera timing its choice for under-exposure as the Ocean’s Edge shots are much better for it, and many of the snow shots on this roll also benefit.
The question now is what is going on. The XA2 is a favourite camera and I would be sad if the light meter were giving out as I doubt that could be repaired. Light meter failure is one possible cause, but I think another might be temperature, as both rolls were shot in somewhat cold weather (around freezing or a bit colder). It is quite possible that the shutter gets a bit sticky when cold. But perhaps the most likely reason is the batteries – this I am hoping is the answer, for obvious reasons. They are two A76 Energizer alkaline batteries and they have been in the camera since I got it in the summer of 2014. Since then I have shot 20 rolls of film with this camera. My guess is that age + cold + alkaline = lower voltage and poor exposures. If I had a multimeter it would be easy enough to check. However, I could replace the A76s with another kind of more cold tolerant battery, and run another roll of film to test it out. Any excuse to shoot a roll of film!
Which leads back to the subject at hand, here is my roll 49 for 2016, shot last week. It seems that somehow I have pulled my feet from the fire and got back on track to complete the project for 2016. Just three more rolls, two of which are in cameras right now. Do-able!
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2016-49: Olympus XA2, Fuji Superia X-Tra 400, commercially developed and scanned.