Ever since i got into film photography, this little camera is something that i always wanted to buy and use all the time. It's small, light and look how sexy that damn thing looks! In this story, i explain how i got an Olympus XA2 for just £10.
Every time i go out, i love a good charity shop. I rummage around the boxes and ask at the back to see if they have anything i'm looking for. Something i always look for is film cameras. I want to try different makes and see what different features have to offer and a charity shop is one of the best places to find film cameras. However, this story doesn't start in a charity shop, it starts on a little app called 'Shpock'. This app is essentially an online boot sale, were it takes seconds for you to list up your junk and make some cash. And there, i saw a listing for an 'Olympus XA2 with case and flash' for £60
My heart dropped at the price, its cheaper than I've seen on ebay or any other place, but that still was very expensive for me and i only knew the basics of cameras. Being my cheeky-self, i put in a low, honest bid of £30. On ebay, broken ones go for this price so i thought if it doesn't work and i some how get it for this cheeky price, its okay. The lady responded back with a counter offer of £45 and said 'we can do this price'. I hesitated and thought, maybe i should go for it, make the leap and let fate take its course. NO! I stood my ground, another counter offer of £30 and replied 'i think £30 is very fair'. Whilst hitting send, i shat myself and thought I've blown it. A notification then popped up 2 mintues later saying 'offer accepted'. Perseverance wins!
After exchanging details, she sent her address and i said i'll be there in 15 mintues. Luckily, she lived in the same postcode, so my patient little arse didn't need to wait long. Arriving to her house, i looked up to see a huge house with a Porsche and Land Rover.I entered the rich area. Dum Dum Dummmmmm. Knocking on her 20ft door, in my doctor martens, yellow hoodie and bomber jacket with a dinner stain on it, she opened and let me into her house. Trying to stay cool, i could'nt help but gaze around thinking what she done for a living, but that's just the way i think.
She showed me the camera plus several other point and shoots, SLRs and camera bodies. I looked at it and finally thought yes! Inspecting the camera, i found several faults. The shutter was broken, the winder was stuck and the flash wasn't working. I said to her that i unfortunately will not be purchasing it as it is broken. Whilst saying that, i opened the back to expose a roll of film that probably had lots of pictures that are now ruined, well done Tommy! Rookie mistake. I closed it and put it down, carefully. It was unfortunate because, i was going to buy it, but i thought i'd rather have it working unless i couldn't sell it broken.
Coming back home, i was going through forums to see what to look for when buying these cameras, and someone said in the 'XA family' flickr group ''Batteries are needed in order for the shutter and winder to work'. What a silly billy i am! But that still doesn't mean that it will work. I thought i'd be honest and message her and ask to put some batteries in it. Whilst at her house when i was viewing the camera, i told her to maybe get it repaired and take her other cameras into evaluations as it could be worth it. She replied after i mention putting batteries in and said ' i don't think its worth the money with these cameras' and ' Thanks anyway for your interest'. This will not end here!
After much research and my knowledge, i was very confident that all the camera needed was batteries. I messaged her saying, ''if you really don't want to put money in the camera, i would happily take the cameras as i am studying photography and would use them''. I wasn't lying, i would really take care of them. So after a week of her telling me she would get back to me, i offered her £10 and said, ''i understand its broken, but i'd happily take this and repair it myself''. To my amazement, she said yes!
So back to hers i go, exchanging £10 for the Olympus XA2 and i left with a huge smile on my face. I was hoping so badly for this to work as i just wanted to put this in my pocket everywhere i go and take all the pictures i want with it. I headed to Tescos to buy batteries and i came back home, threw my bag and stormed up stairs.
And in the moment of me putting the batteries in and turning the camera, it came back to life. A little green light in the viewfinder shined brightly whilst the battery check sound fell into my ears. I never had such a huge smile since a long time.
The reason why i wanted to share this story was because if you're looking for something physically (like my camera) or metaphorically, all you need to keep doing is look around. Always persevere and keep going for what you want. This story helped me realise that the path i want to go down will take some time. But the more i keep going, the closer i will be to getting where i want to go.