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Film Camera Review, Olympus LT Zoom 105 35mm AF Compact Film Camera

Film Camera Review: Olympus LT Zoom 105
A weatherproof and compact retro-style 35mm autofocus film camera with a 38-105mm zoom lens.

The Olympus LT Zoom 105 Panorama QuartzDate (1997), a weatherproof autofocus 35mm film camera, was designed to be a very versatile and case-free fully automatic 35mm retro-look point-and-shoot compact with a zoom lens. Featured with a rich burgundy faux-leather skin with silver trim, the LT 195 Zoom was the last iteration of the LT (Leather Tech) launched by Olympus, which includes the LT-1 (1995), and LT-1 QD (1996).

The LT Zoom 105 is fitted with a 6-elements in 5-groups 38-105mm F4.5~8.9 zoom lens, programmed electronic shutter, 3-zone light metering with a spot-metering feature, real image zoom viewfinders with autofocus mark, close-up correction mark, and autofocus and flash indicators, accepts DX-coded film with a speed range from ISO 50 to 3200, 12-second self-timer delay, and has a focusing range from 0.6 meters to infinity.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 QD

The camera is also installed with an advanced built-in variable-power flash with various modes including Auto, Auto-S (red-eye), off, and fill with a night mode which is controlled by a button located by the LCD on the top of the camera. For those wearing glasses a diopter correction dial, which works rather well, is located beside the tiny viewfinder to help you to set the image you see in the viewfinder clearly.

    Oly35mm Review - LT Zoom 105

    Between the unbleached Ecru and the stylish mju-V designs came the LT 'leather tech' models LT-1, and LT Zoom 105. the LT Zoom 105 sported a 38-105mm lens and some nicer 'upmarket' features like date and panorama.
An additional feature of the LT Zoom 105 is the shutter release which can be fired remotely with the optional IR-based RC 200 remote control. The remote control has a shutter delay of approx 3 seconds and a maximum distance of 5m. Date modes carried by the camera include Off, Year-Month-Day, Month-Day-Year, Day-Month-Year, and Day-Hour-Minute, supported up to the year 2030.

Basic Camera Features

Way beyond the complexity of the external design of the Olympus XA series, the LT series, especially the LT Zoom 105, is still encapsulated as a total unit, but with more extrusion and extensions when the cameras are powered up and ready for use.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 QD, Front

On the front, with the camera switched on, the chrome-plated lens barrier cover will flip outward and down, the first section of the tubular zoom lens sections will pop out, and the camera will be ready for use.

Around the periphery of the lens housing mount, from the apex, looking counter-clockwise is the self-timer LED, a smallish viewfinder window, the light sensor, a power switch, and an autofocus window.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 QD, Front

On the top plane, on a panel occupying only about two-thirds of the back part of the top plane, from left to right (camera facing forward) is the flip-up flash unit, LCD info panel, self-timer/remote control button, flash mode button, shutter release button, and zoom rocker switch.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 QD, Back

On the camera back, again from left to right with the camera facing outward, the panorama lever, quartz-date set buttons, diopter adjustment dial, viewfinder eyepiece, the orange, and red LEDs.

The rest of the back is occupied by the non-interchangeable hinged film back, with a film indicator window, and a latch lock release located on the right shoulder of the camera body.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 QD, Bottom

On the bottom plate, the tripod socket and battery chamber cover.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 QD, Film box

The film box is a right-to-left design, opposite of what is normally seen on SLR cameras, with the film canister inserted upside down in the film canister chamber on the right of the film box, and the film end pulled to the take-up spool located on the left of the film box.

Film Loading and Rewind

The film wind is motor-driven and the film roll is automatically advanced to the first frame once the film back is closed. Rewind is also automatic once the end of the roll is reached.

Mid-roll rewind is possible with a button on the base of the camera. Rewinding is finished with a flashing "E" displayed on the LCD. Power is supplied by a CR123A battery.

Viewfinder Readout and LCD Panel Display

The LT 105 Zoom is fitted with a real image zoom viewfinder with autofocus mark, close-up correction marks, with autofocus and flash indicators located on the right of the viewfinder screen.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 Panorama QD Viewfinder Readout-LCD Panel

The top light is orange, it lights up when the flash is ready to fire and blinks while the flash is recharging. The bottom light is green, it lights up when the subject is in focus and blinks when the subject is not.

The LCD panel displays information for the Date/Time Indicator, Exposure Counter, Battery Check, Spot Metering Mode, Self-timer/Remote Control, and Flash Mode settings.

Focus Lock

For images with the main object placed off-center within the image frame, the LT 105 Zoom can be used in an autofocus lock mode activated by half-pressing the shutter button with the main subject framed within the autofocus mark of the viewfinder. Keep the pressure on the shutter button steady while the image is reframed and the shutter released fully.

Autoexposure Lock

The autoexposure lock on the LT 105 Zoom is activated by setting the exposure metering to Spot mode. Do this by pressing both the self-timer and flash buttons on the right of the LCP Panel simultaneously. Just like using the focus lock, exposure measurement is taken off a specific spot of the image frame by half-pressing the shutter button before the image is reframed and the shutter is released fully.


The self-timer on the LT 105 Zoom is activated by pressing the self-timer (upper) button located to the right of the LCD panel display. The timer delay is actuated by pressing the shutter button.

Flash Modes

The auto flash unit of the LT 105 Zoom can be set to operate in 5 different modes, set by pressing the flash mode (lower) button located to the right of the LCD panel display. Flash output intensity is variable and automatically controlled for optimum image exposure.

The selection set is cyclic and the options are:
  • Auto-Flash - Flash fires automatically in low- or back-lighted conditions.
  • Auto S - Sets the flash mode to red-eye-reduction.
  • Off - The flash is disabled.
  • Fill-In - Flash fires regardless of the lighting condition.
  • Night Mode - Illuminates the subject in the foreground within a night scene.


The LT 105 Zoom is powered by a single 3-volt CR123A Lithium battery.

Battery Strength Indicator

Battery strength is indicated by the battery strength indicator on the LCD panel display.

Camera Body Weight

The LT 105 Zoom has a body weight of 255 grams without a battery.

Early Images

These sample images were taken on a recent road trip, at a couple of R&R Rest Stops.

Olympus LT Zoom 105 Panorama QD, Early images 01
Olympus LT Zoom 105 Panorama QD, Early images 02
Olympus LT Zoom 105 Panorama QD, Early images 03
Olympus LT Zoom 105 Panorama QD, Early images 04
Olympus LT Zoom 105 Panorama QD, Early images 05

Thank you.

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