For a long time I have been looking for an ideal pocket film camera, one that is as small and simple as possible but that can still produce nice sharp pictures. I don’t really want to rely on fickle batteries, screeching autowind and dodgy focussing. I have often carried a PN616 (basically a reloadable disposable camera) around with me, I like the results I get with it but a fixed shutter speed and f8 are a little more limited in practice.
Last year I bought a battered Olympus XA1 for 99p, loaded it with a Poundshop Agfa Vista colour 200 film, took a few shots and promptly forgot about it. I found it in a bag the other day so took it out with me over the weekend. It is certainly a step up from the PN919 with a selenium meter cell around the lens providing automatic exposure but it is still literally a point and shoot. The only user adjustment is setting either 100 or 400 film speed. The f4 lens is fixed focus (I guess the hyperfocal distance is about 15 feet or so) as long as you don’t try to shoot at less than about 5 feet, depth of field should keep most things sort of sharpish. The pics below are from that first test film developed in Ilford Ilfosol 3. I don’t think the images are really sharp enough so my search continues.