Olympus µ[mju:]-II Snapsh!ts

I’ve added Snapsh!ts as a new category so I can post random quick photos that aren’t particularly good, but will hopefully mean that I start posting more regularly.


A few months ago I decided to get a small 35mm camera that I could leave in my jacket pocket & have with me at all times. Whilst I’m still firmly in my rangefinder fad, I have to make the conscious decision to take one when I go out, as they’re all too big for any of my pockets.

I wanted an Olympus XA, a tiny clam-shell camera that somehow crams in a true rangefinder mechanism, but they sell for a lot secondhand so after some research I settled for an Olympus µ[mju:]-II instead.

The mju series was essentially the successor to the XA series & whilst some of them have soft slow zoom lenses, the basic mju II has a fast & sharp 35mm f2.8. The clam-shell design (the front slides open/close) is just what I wanted as you don’t have to worry about a lens cap coming off when the camera is bouncing around in your pocket & it also makes the camera sleeker & easier to slide in & out of a pocket. It has some other nice features like weather sealing, spot metering & plenty of control over the flash.

Due to a mix up with the post I ended up getting two; a black one in fair condition & a ‘champagne’ one in near mint condition. All of these photos were taken on the black one, but then I dropped it (!) & although everything seems to still work the sliding cover barely hangs on now so I don’t want to use it again until I can fix it – if the cover comes off in my pocket the tiny ball-bearing will go missing. Good thing I’ve got two!

The black one seems to have some sort of issue on the right side of some frames. Initially I thought it was a sticky shutter, but I don’t know whether the mju’s shutter actually moves horizontally or whether it’s a leaf job – a mark like this could only be due to the shutter if it does actually move horizontally. If I was a hipsterish lomographer I would argue that it makes the photos better…

I’ve taken photos of this alleyway umpteen times but they never look any good. One day I’ll actually stop to think long enough about composition & get a decent exposure.

All of these were shot on expired cheap colour negative (think Kodak Gold & the free AGFA that Jessops used to give out when you paid for D&P) so a lot of the colours are off, but I think it actually looks good in some of them, like this one where the blues are far more saturated than they should be. Maybe I do have closet lomographer tendencies…

Again with the light leak/stuck shutter/whatever.

And again. I put five rolls through the black one during the last fortnight of my 4th year at St Andrews, so most of them have my friends in – if you know me/them then you can find most of them on facebook.

Went to St Andrews castle for the first time in my 4 years living in the town…

A different sort of light leak on the right this time! Variety!

The f2.8 lens actually handles indoor shots quite well, but the focus sometimes has to be coaxed to the bit you actually want sharp.

The light leak is cunningly disguised as a cloud here.

These were all scanned on my Epson Perfection V200, so they’re not the best, but for snapsh!ts it’s fine. If I start shooting (a lot) more film I might upgrade to a better scanner at some point.