My 1970’s Olympus Pen

My 1970’s Olympus Pen

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Just got some images back from my test roll with my brand spanking new but actually very old Olympus Pen!

I bought this mint condition 70’s era camera on eBay after randomly stumbling upon the concept of half-frame film photography. The fact that I would be able to shoot twice as many photos on a standard roll was awesome. As a result it basically cuts the cost of shooting in half.

Ultimately, I have to say that I really liked the fact that I didn’t have to worry so much about what I was shooting cause I had a bit more wiggle room per roll. This camera is like the point-and-shoot of the 70s, its full automatic, no focusing and it has a built in light meter so your photos are decent in most cases.

Final Verdict

The photos I got from this camera are totally fun. As long as you’ve got the right lighting, and you’re not too close your subject (it has a 28 mm fixed lens), you’re going to get a cool, in focus shot. The way light was rendered was a bit of a surprise to me, because of the internal light meter, but I welcomed the variety. I think it’s going to take some trial and error to figure out the best conditions, but I can say that when shooting 200 speed film, bright sunlight would (sorta obviously) give you the most consistent results.

While you do get really cool photos, I would still choose my Canon AE-1 in most situations simply because I have more control over the results. Focus and aperture cannot be adjusted on the camera (without flash, in which case you can adjust the f-stop).

That doesn’t mean I won’t be carrying this camera around with me… on the contrary. I actually got this roll developed to figure out which of my film cameras I should take with me to Dominican Republic…

and I’ve officially chosen to bring both!


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