You may have looked at my first post about my 1964 Olympus Pen EE – What's in the box. This post is all about what I captured using this point and shoot camera and my feelings about using it, etc. You can read more about this camera at My New Olympus Pen EE, 1964 – What’s in the Box?
On This Page
This The Olympus Pen EE is a 35mm (aff) half-frame camera made by Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. between the years of 1962 and 1966. As with all cameras from Olympus’s Pen (film) series, these are compact half-frame cameras that shoot 18x24mm images on normal 35mm (aff) film. The EE series incorporated an exposure meter and automatic exposure, making it one of the first true ‘point and shoot’ amateur cameras.
Thoughts and Feelings
This camera definitely feels like it is from the 1960s – in a good way. It is modernist, functional, small and lovely to use. It reminds me of a classic 1960s car. It took me a while to get used to the framing – with a half-frame camera you are in portrait mode and you need to turn the camera for landscape. But as I loaded a 36 exp film I had 72 shots to help me get used to it.
Not needing to focus or set the aperture on what feels like a manual camera is also quite strange but also quite easy to get used too. The only thing that you will need to look for is a red ‘flag' in the viewfinder that locks the shutter if it is likely that results would be over or underexposed.
It certainly felt like a film camera. I wanted to search out 1960s cars and building and maybe grow my hair a little. I can easily see why this camera sold so well and how similar it is to the modern range of Olympus Pen Cameras.
The camera is surprisingly heavy due to its all-metal construction with the main body being cast from aluminium alloy I believe. Although heavy it is small enough to use entirely one-handed and therefore ideal for street photography. The shutter release and wind-on wheel are easy to find and use. The wrist strap helps too. Being a one-handed camera, turning the camera for landscape is easy. This is strictly a point and shoot camera so it's easy to take it out of your pocket or bag and get shooting.
Processing and Scanning
I decided to get the film processed and scanned with no prints as I expected that some post-editing would help. In particular, I thought that I would need to change the exposure on some shots. I used a guy advertising on Etsy that was happy to process a half-frame film. It all went quite well but there was some marks on some parts of the negative – not the same place on every frame. I was able to edit these out with Lightroom.
Album – Olympus Pen EE
I am pleased with the results – click on an image to change to Gallery mode.
What will I do with the Images?
Well, first things first, I did very much enjoy using the Pen EE and I am please with the results. So the first objective for buying the camera has been met. In addition to adding the photos to this website, I have also uploaded a digital copy to my Etsy Shop so Safe in the Forest and Poodle over Stream our both for sale as instant downloads. I also hope to publish more of them in a zine together with information about the Olympus Pen EE.
More about the zine featuring the Pen EE