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Half Frames / Subminiatures This forum is for all half frame 35mm cameras, including the very popular Olympus Pens and their SLR cousins, the Pen F and Pen FT, as well as all smaller than half frame subminiature film cameras.

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How usable is a 100mm f/3.5 on Pen FT
Old 01-24-2018   #1
Ricoh
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How usable is a 100mm f/3.5 on Pen FT

My only experience of the Pen FT is with the 40mm f1.4, and even with the comparatively faster lens the viewfinder is not the brightest - due in part to the light robbing properties of the optical path for the light meter.

How usable is the 100mm f/3.5 on the FT in terms of ability to focus critically?

Thanks.
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Old 01-24-2018   #2
Mr_Flibble
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I have not actually photographed with this combination, but I have mounted this lens on an FT body to check the focus before.
I don't recall the darker viewfinder of the FT impairing the ability to focus all that much with this lens.
(I believe I actually used the FT to recalibrate the focus of the lens).

But the focus throw of the lens does feel quite long.
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Old 01-24-2018   #3
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Thanks for that, helpful to know.

I’m looking at 2 on eBay, both from the online retailer. I phoned to enquire about condition and both have some oil visible on the aperture blades. This is normally a no-no as can lead to lazy blade operation.

I’d prefer the 70 f2 but they exchange hands for way more money as far as I can see, and mainly sourced from Japan.
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Old 01-24-2018   #4
Mr_Flibble
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The 100 f/3.5 lenses are indeed not that pricey, though Japanese sellers on Ebay tend to be overly positive when it comes to classifying the condition the PEN F/FT/FV lenses are in. ("Very good? Looks like it was dragged across the asphalt") .

I'll try the lens on my F and FT this evening and see if I can form a more refined opinion on it.
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Old 01-24-2018   #5
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That’s very good of you, thank you very much!
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Old 01-24-2018   #6
Fixcinater
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I have one, haven't put film behind it that has been developed yet as I find it a bit long for half frame use but I have taken it out and walked around with it. My Pen is an FV so it has a full mirror, didn't notice any issues with brightness...but I was in sunny California.

The oil is pretty easy to get at and clean out if you have basic camera tooling.
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Old 01-24-2018   #7
zuiko85
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Handy and compact lens. Uses the same 43mm filter size as your 40mm. Angle of view on 18x24 is about the same as 135mm on 24x36. I don't have any trouble focusing mine on my older Pen F with the plain matte screen. On my FV I ignore the micro-prism center and use the GG area around it to focus. I also have an OM system and use my 85mm f2 with an OM adapter on my Pens. Trouble with this idea is that the price of the Olympus OM to Pen F adapter can be well over $100, if you can even find them.
Depending on what other system camera mount you have it can be handy to buy or make an adapter for your Pen so you are not stuck with just trying to find Pen lenses.
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Old 01-24-2018   #8
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Another consideration. There are two versions of the 100mm lens. the early one only stops down to f16 and the later one (with the meter numbers) stops down to f22.
I have an early one and have had a later one, the later one was too pristine to use so I sold it for a profit and later bought a more beat up looking but still functioning early version. Nothing is more liberating than shooting with scruffy lenses.
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Old 01-24-2018   #9
Ricoh
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Thanks guys.
The OM to Pen F adapter sounds good, assuming the aperture on the OM lens automatically stops down.

I purchased the Pen FT complete with 40 f1.4 from Japan, and although the camera is almost in new condition there's some wobble on the focus barrel of the lens, so having confirmed all was well otherwise, the lens is now in the lens hospital, easily fixed I'm informed, just a matter of time - 6 to 8 weeks.

I'm missing not using the Pen already, hence the search for another lens. No point getting a FL too close, hence my thoughts turned to the 100. The 70 f2 would be my preference, but they're like hen's teeth.
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Old 01-24-2018   #10
Mr_Flibble
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Played around a bit with the combo this evening. In-door / low-light focusing is a bit more troublesome, but not impossible. If the subject has some high-contrast areas the micro-prism works well enough. In better light conditions using the GG is easier as Zuiko85 has stated above.
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Old 01-24-2018   #11
Ricoh
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Thanks Mr Flibble
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Old 01-25-2018   #12
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The OM to Pen F adapter is NOT auto aperture. None of the Pen F to other system mounts are. They are all manual. In the OM mount adapter there is a dummy pin that contacts the aperture lever of the OM mount lens and as you operate the aperture ring the lens is set at what ever aperture you set on the ring.

In practice this is not as much as an inconvenience as it sounds. When I'm using OM mount lenses on my Pen I open the lens to focus then close it down to shoot. Two or three extra seconds of time needed. When I need to refocus for the next shot I don't always open the lens back to full aperture, at f5.6 or more, in good light, I find it quite easy to focus accurately.

Try this; ignore the micro-prism central spot and try focusing on the ground glass area surrounding it. This is one reason I like my Pen F more than the later FT or FV, the plain all matte screen is just easier to focus, at least for me.

I also have a pieced together 75mm f3.5 lens for my Pen F. The result of picking up a 75mm f3.5 EL Omegar enlarging lens at a second hand store for $3. It is made up of that lens, part of an old 'T' mount, cheap M42 focusing helical from China and a M39 to M42 adapter ring. (Plus a little drilling and tapping for three 2-56 screws and a short M42 extension tube. It fills in the gap between my 38mm and 100mm Pen lenses and will focus from infinity down to 1:2.5
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Old 01-25-2018   #13
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Thanks Zuiko85.
I went to the shop to have a play with the 100mm f3.5, I'm thinking it's just a bit too long for my needs.
Thoughts of a second lens only occurred to me when I had to hand over my 40 f1.4 for repair. I'm not at all convinced a moderate wide angle would be the one, but maybe something inbetween to 40 and the 100mm, possibly the 70mm f2.

I've been looking for reports and sample images, but this appears to be a rare lens.
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Old 01-25-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Thanks Zuiko85.
I went to the shop to have a play with the 100mm f3.5, I'm thinking it's just a bit too long for my needs.
Thoughts of a second lens only occurred to me when I had to hand over my 40 f1.4 for repair. I'm not at all convinced a moderate wide angle would be the one, but maybe something inbetween to 40 and the 100mm, possibly the 70mm f2.

I've been looking for reports and sample images, but this appears to be a rare lens.
Pen lenses are getting thin on the ground. The 70 f2 was always a very desirable focal length and speed and is uncommon enough to command high prices in good condition.
You won't have any complaints about any of the Pen Zuikos, (as long as they haven't suffered physical damage sever enough to cause problems optically). They were all at least "very good" and some were "outstanding".
As far as Pen lenses go, the 50~90 f3.5 Zoom is surprisingly common and often not very expensive. I paid $35 for a 'user' condition one about 5 years ago.
The problem with it is that it is big and heavy and of course, f3.5 (but at least a constant aperture through it's range) that, and it uses 49mm filter size. If you can put up with the size and weight and maximum lens opening it will cover the short tele range you are looking at.
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Old 01-25-2018   #15
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Thanks Zuiko85, I've decided to purchase a nice 70 f2. Transaction complete and I expect to take delivery next week and resume picture making.

I'm late to the Pen F half frame party - I can't really explain why it has been off my radar for so long. Really enjoying the experience.
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Old 01-25-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Thanks Zuiko85, I've decided to purchase a nice 70 f2. Transaction complete and I expect to take delivery next week and resume picture making.

I'm late to the Pen F half frame party - I can't really explain why it has been off my radar for so long. Really enjoying the experience.
Ah yes, sometimes I forget I've been using half frame Pen cameras since the early 70's. I just realized, that's a really long time.
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Old 02-03-2018   #17
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The 70mm f2 turned up from Germany, but it's going back.

I specifically asked about the condition of the optics and the aperture blades for signs of oil. The reply stated optics in great condition and no internal dust, and no oil on the aperture blades and snappy in action.

The reality is the aperture blades were non operational as received, both on and off the camera, however after operating the 'preview' button several times I managed to get the blades moving. There are some tell tale black patches on them that could be oil, but I'm no expert.

As for the optical condition, the external surfaces are clean however internally there is a large amount of dust / debris.

Cost for a clean and sorting the aperture blades is estimated to be 100 + VAT.

The service cost plus what I paid for the lens makes the thing uneccenomical so I'm sending it back for a refund.

I'm more or less done with buying lenses off eBay. Too many people exaggerate the condition. Safer by far to purchase from a dealer and pay the extra.
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Old 02-05-2018   #18
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Sorry to hear about the 70 not being in good condition, especially if they wanted a premium price for it. Unfortunately a short tele for the Pen reflex is hard to come by, there were only two choices in primes, the 70 f2 and 60 f1.5 (even more rare and hard to come by). As far as sluggish or oily aperture and dust/foreign material in the lens, well I'd have to get a very good price to put up with the chance I could fix it myself. I came across a very good deal on a 25mm f4 Pen lens that way, it was really cheap because they said the aperture was stuck. When I received the lens it was very clean but as they said, the auto aperture didn't work. The problem in this case was simple to fix. I removed the mount and one of the two springs had come loose and jammed the mechanism, I reattached the spring and the auto aperture worked again. Took all of 10 minutes. I took a chance and was fortunate, not all such purchases work out as well. If you have your heart set on a 70 don't give up, they are out there. But they are all getting old so try not to be to restrictive on condition, a little dust in a lens will have no measureable effect on performance.
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Old 02-06-2018   #19
Ricoh
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Thanks Zuiko85. I'll keep looking, but buying remotely via eBay etc is always a risk. I'll be less conservative in future holding a sum back for the likely repairs or cleaning.
Maybe an OM to Pen converter is the way to go, but as someone mentioned these things are like hen's teeth!
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