Thursday, February 24, 2011

every camera I own: the olympus pen f

This is the second Olympus Pen F I've owned, the first one having literally fallen apart after moderate use. Olympus resurrected the Pen series in name and compact spirit for their EP line of Digital SLRs, but the quasi-retro design of those new cameras, while not unappealing, pale in comparison to the keen contours of their inspiration.

The original Pen F series  were half-frame SLRs that made two photos - in portrait orientation - on one frame of 35mm film.(Pen EE and other models were less expensive, fixed-lens cameras.) More than a dozen lenses were produced in this particular mount, which is not compatible with the standard OM mount (though an adapter was available). The most sought after of these Pen-mount lenses is the 38mm f2.8  "pancake lens", named not for syrup and blueberries but for its even more compact design. You could buy a lot of short-stacks for what these lenses go for. The only lens I have for this camera is the 40mm f 1.4 pictured - but it's a sweet fast lens.

The double-capacity of the half-frame camera was used to sell this series as a means to conserve film, but I like it for the possible juxtapositions.


furcafe said...

The Pen F was a neat system, designed by the late, great Yoshihisa Maitani (who also designed the OM series, as well as the clamshell XA cameras). Obit:

Article about the Pen F system:

pat said...

Thanks for the info Chris - I have an OM-1 and an XA as well, and didn't realize they were from the same designer.