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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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Olympus Pen S
Old 01-28-2008   #1
Herman Abdullah
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Olympus Pen S

Hi.
Ive got an opportunity to get a Pen S F2.8. Should or should not I go for it?
Any advise regarding the half frame camera?

Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2008   #2
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nice camera, but will you use it? mine sits on the shelf looking pretty.
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Old 01-28-2008   #3
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price vs condition Do you want to experiment with the camera?
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Old 01-28-2008   #4
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well, maybe i will use it,
1stly because it gives me more frame to shoot with.
But i dont know how it will be functioning, in term of photo quality, lens quality and the overall performance of the camera to compare with normal for example an RC?

will i use it, it depends on the functionality...or anymore advise?
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Old 01-29-2008   #5
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IMO the price of Oly half-frames certainly seem to be rising so someone out there is buying. If the price is relatively 'peanuts' I can't see what you have to lose.

The camera is quite different to the RC and you won't get the same results but having said that its an Oly and the lens will give something very acceptable if you are not expecting large enlargements or using it in low light situations. Its much lighter, but a quiet shutter and very pocketable.
The Pen S hasn't a meter and no rangefinder so it provides a more basic photographic experience. It was supplied in the usual 'leather'pouch which is a bit fiddly due to the zip.

What are the seals like on the one on offer?
You will probably have to replace them but that isn't difficult - just a bit tedious!
It might be an idea to check up on your processing options. Are you prepared to do your own printing?

I think if you haven't experienced a 'half-framer' before go for it if its a reasonable price (£10 here in GB for a good worker).
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Old 01-29-2008   #6
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I see.

The one on offer is without leather pouch, with 50 quids (GB) on the price tag(MR300). expensive eh?

Anyway, apart from it size, frames, fun,vintage, stealthy... what is the main purpose of this type of camera? It is intresting and I am curios.:-)


Now, in case I buy it, I have to think about scanning the films, as I dont think the lab will like it (to handle this type of film). Or if they do, they will charge more..emm..
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Old 01-29-2008   #7
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Herman, if you want to shoot half-frame format, you'll be much happier with a Pen-F family. The lenses are beyond good and they are interchangeable. Plus the camera is one of the most beautiful/handsome.

The original Pen series was designed to be used as snapshot cameras (intended for women who would like a smaller/lighter camera to bring in their purses). The lens on the Pen S won't blow you away (after you see what a 35 RC can produce).

But as I mentioned above, the lenses on the Pen-F are *professional* grade and will knock your socks off (I know it did me the first time I printed one of the shots at 8x10).

As far as scanning, you are right, in the long run, investing in a good film scanner pays off easily the more you shoot film.

I told my lab to only develop the roll, they don't need to care whether the pictures are half-frame or not, so they don't complain.
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Old 01-29-2008   #8
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ohh..i see..i see, thanks Will ! Curiosity sometimes kills...perhaps i'll go for RD instead to pile up my Oly collection..:-)
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Old 01-29-2008   #9
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Herman - hope things are getting a bit clearer for you. £50 equivalent is not a realistic price for a Pen S - forget that comera - there are others around.

shadowfox has a point about the Pen F series.
Its a splendid design and concept.
However I would advise you to handle one before you buy, and if possibly buy the one you handle and like.
My Pen F wasn't very satisfactory - in fact after the first film through I was disappointed. The standard lens developed back-lash and I was never convinced that it ever focussed properly. But that is many years ago.
But again the Pen F series was made many years ago. The seals tend to disintegrate very suddenly and the bits easily get into the workings and jam the film wind mechanism. There has been discussion on the web about the shutter activation levers on the back of the interchangeable lenses being sleepy and not operating smoothly.
So those are the reasons why I suggest you buy one you have examined or handled. Some very specific questions to ebay sellers might get you the information you want about how the camera works. Some assurance that you can return the camera if it isn't as described would seem to me to be essential.
When these cameras work they are superb and the Olympus lenses are generally excellent.
As far as cost is concerned in GB I would imagine that I would be expecting to pay £75+ for a PenF with a standard lens - case included. The PenFT will cost more.
I'm not sure what you will really gain from buying a Pen F series camera. The Olympus OM1 isn't all that bigger, is easier to work on, is much cheaper and has a good range of excellent lenses. I would imagine that image quality would be much better too. Does that confuse matters?
After getting an Olympus OM1 I never used my Pen F again. In fact with little regret I gave it away to a RFF menber. I sometimes wonder if he got it working again. I do have an Olymous 35RC like you - but, I'm not looking to add an Olympus Pen series camera to my little accumulation of Olympus bits and pieces.

Hope this all helps!

jesse
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Old 01-29-2008   #10
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Herman

Just seen your reply to Will - shadowfox!

Do some reseach on the Oly 35RD - you do know about the shutter blade issue don't you? How about 35SP instead?
At present i'm 'in love' with a 35ECR.

jesse
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Old 01-30-2008   #11
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the RD just come across my mind...but the syndrome is not too serious. :-)

Jesse, ive already get my 35SP fixed, im so lucky that it survived the recent 'stucked focusing lever problem', and after the services, it looks like new. gonna handle it with extra - extra care now...

Your opinion about the Pen and OM1 is very helpfull, but it is not a rangefinder, neither nor Pen.(full vs half frame). So its gonna be a different case all together.

BTW i really appreciate your insight comment and experience about those cameras..it gives me some clear input about the value for money part.

oh yeah, now ive been offered a Pen FT instead of Pen F..with one lens. Im still waiting for the lens type. The price is about 130 (GB) not yet bargain..i think the seller try to cheat me...

the truth is, im really curious about this half frames thingy..that makes me want to own one..but if it doesnt pay, i better scrap the idea..save some money, go extra mile to get a good scanner (as per Will's suggestion). :-)

oh mine...the Oly acquisition syndrome ...
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Old 01-30-2008   #12
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Hi Herman

I think you have cracked it!
Scanner as No 1 priority!

Pen camera can wait.
Incidentally I have a Pen D which has a super lens - a more versatile camera than the Pen S.
The Pen FT you have offered is far too expensive - IMO!

jesse
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Old 01-30-2008   #13
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Herman, GAS warning...


















I've warned you
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Old 01-30-2008   #14
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Will .... STOP IT, just STOP IT!!!
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Old 01-30-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trius
Will .... STOP IT, just STOP IT!!!
You think that's heart-breaking, there's another, better, picture and the full story on another forum!
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Old 01-30-2008   #16
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Buy an Olympus Pen! They're good and fun! The first picture is the full el-cheapo drug store scan, the second is the cropped and b&w converted version. The camera is an Olympus Pen S 3.5 and the film Fuji 1600. Exposure was probably 1/250 and f/5.6; just about ideal for image quality.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DaveFrankBill.jpg (78.4 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg DigitalDave.jpg (121.4 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg OlyPenS3.5.jpg (81.2 KB, 65 views)

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Old 01-30-2008   #17
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I have the Pen S and the Pen FT. In my opinion, half-frame cameras can give you interesting looking images with either very fine grain film for excellent prints that do not reveal the use of a half-frame camera, or with a grainy high speed film. The grain will be even larger looking than with 135mm film.

As for the "look" of such Pen cameras, it is beautiful.
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Old 01-30-2008   #18
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Yes, Victor, but it's not fair. You have the cute little hood AND the adorable tiny French rangefinder unit.
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Old 01-30-2008   #19
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you guys are funny..ha ha :-))) i have the antidote..dont worry.
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Old 03-08-2019   #20
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Adding to this thread because its the only one I could find about the PEN S. All the other Oly half frame threads are about the PEN W or the SLRs. I have a couple PEN Ss and really enjoy these cameras. Here are a couple recent shots from my 3cm f2.8 version


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Old 03-08-2019   #21
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I used the Pen-S causing me to become a professional ..
It is fun, the image size is exactly half full frame.
I made 8x10 prints, it fits paper perfectly!
You easily shoot verticals , the format of most published media..
A few were 16x20 some grain on original Tri-X.
I had both versions of brand new Pen-f, FT and both developed shutter problems.
Until last year a donated Olympus digital made me change mind about Olympus..
I think price high..
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Old 08-26-2019   #22
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The Pen S, mightier than the sword!

First roll through a new to me Pen S. A bit overexposed in camera, but managed to sort it out in post processing. Not sure if elevation played any role in the overexposure, but I probably could have stopped down a bit more.

Olympus Pen S, Arista Premium 400, expired 2014, developed in LegacyPro L110 at 1:31 for 6.5 minutes.


2019.07.20 Roll #212-03751-positive-Pano.jpg
by dourbalistar, on Flickr
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Old 08-27-2019   #23
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Fantastic example of how a half-frame can be used creatively!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dourbalistar View Post
Olympus Pen S, Arista Premium 400, expired 2014, developed in LegacyPro L110 at 1:31 for 6.5 minutes.


2019.07.20 Roll #212-03751-positive-Pano.jpg
by dourbalistar, on Flickr
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Old 08-27-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
Fantastic example of how a half-frame can be used creatively!
Thanks, Nick! It's not an original idea, but after I saw other examples, I wanted to try it for myself. It's a lightweight solution to getting backcountry panoramas. Or as some people call them, Pen-o-ramas.
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Old 08-27-2019   #25
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Pen, Pen S, Pen W are all great cameras. I always have one model on me.
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Old 08-27-2019   #26
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Great camera, and can't be compared to a full frame. The proportion is different, like 6X4.5. It shoots a vertcal frame when holding the camera horizontally. There will be grain. Iused to use alot of Agfapan 100 in my Pen S and Pen W. With good light and development, you could make fairly large prints and the grain becomes a very nice look. Eugene Smith used one in Minamata, Robert Frank used one in the Americans. It's really quite a magical camera if you can find your way in.
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Old 08-27-2019   #27
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For half-frame, this camera has a surprisingly sharp lens.

Olympus Pen S, Arista Premium 400, expired 2014, developed in LegacyPro L110 at 1:31 for 6.5 minutes.


2019.07.20 Roll #212-03736-positive.jpg
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Old 08-27-2019   #28
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I like the original Pen vf type. I have have found that the 1/25-1/200 + B Copal shutter is not too limiting in actual use and more often found working than the 5 blade Copal’s as found on the Pen S models.
A Pen D is nice to, although the 32mm f1.9 is more touchy to scale focus wide open and close up. That lens at 5.6 is excellent.
At best crop to 8X10 a half frame is only a 1.33x factor over full frame.
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Old 08-31-2019   #29
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Thankfully, the Copal-X shutter seems to be working ok on mine.

Olympus Pen S, Arista Premium 400, expired 2014, developed in LegacyPro L110 at 1:31 for 6.5 minutes.


2019.07.20 Roll #212-03749-positive.jpg
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Old 09-03-2019   #30
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Olympus Pen S, Arista Premium 400, expired 2014, developed in LegacyPro L110 at 1:31 for 6.5 minutes.


2019.07.20 Roll #212-03741-positive-Pano.jpg
by dourbalistar, on Flickr
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Old 09-04-2019   #31
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^^^^^ nice job, as was your other pen-o-rama.
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Old 09-04-2019   #32
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^^^^^ nice job, as was your other pen-o-rama.
Thank you, Larry! It was my first time using the new-to-me camera, and my first try with pen-o-ramas, so I was very pleased with the results. I overexposed slightly, but thankfully with the film's latitude, I was able to recover some good images in post.

Not sure if the overexposure was due to full sun at higher altitude, or just sloppy metering on the trail. Regardless, I think this camera will be a frequent companion on future backpacking trips. I may even try some star trails on a mini tripod.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #33
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My first two shots using the Pen S.

Olympus Pen S, Arista Premium 400, expired 2014, developed in LegacyPro L110 at 1:31 for 6.5 minutes.


2019.07.20 Roll #212-03730-positive.jpg
by dourbalistar, on Flickr
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #34
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Olympus Pen S, Arista Premium 400, expired 2014, developed in LegacyPro L110 at 1:31 for 6.5 minutes.


2019.07.20 Roll #212-03731-positive-Pano.jpg
by dourbalistar, on Flickr
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