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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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A Small Wonder
Old 04-29-2007   #1
shadowfox
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A Small Wonder

I have long awaited for this camera to come back from CLA by Photosphere. I finally got to run a test roll on the Pen D2. Yay!!

First off, here's the camera:



pretty sharp looking, eh?

For the nitty-gritty details, the bartender's page has it in abundance, just go over and read it there.

Now, my personal experience with this camera is as follows: I am smitten by its looks and how it handles. The meter is great, basically, it turns this camera into a small albeit rather heavy CdS light meter.

I like to have total control of the aperture and shutter speed manually. Just need to match (or compensate) the EV number indicated by the meter display to the small opening on the lens barrel where you can see the current EV setting. In this regard, this camera is precisely a mini Olympus 35 SP in manual mode

The lens is definitely sharp and contrasty, as it can be expected from a 6-element Zuiko. It is more prone to flare, though, resulting in pale pictures. I suspect my choice of the film for the test roll also affects the image quality. Looking back, I probably shouldn't use the super cheap, expired dollar general 200ASA film

Battery wise, it's the same 625 format mercury, which I substitute it with the criscam adapter. I like the battery chamber which is hidden inside the cavity of the camera, AND the lack of that stupid nickel-only slot cover that I always manage to marr and scratch.

Construction-wise, everything about this camera screams high quality, unlike the cheaper Pen EE series, this one actually looks and handles like an expensive camera. Especially when I look at the lens, it looks very intricate. I also like the absence of flash hotshoe that in my opinion mess up a camera's look.

Now the not so hot: I hate the feel when I advance the film, it feels like I broke something everytime it actually resets the shutter.

Next time, I'll run an 400ASA Ilford XP2 and use it in indoor people shots, to see how capable this 1.9 lens is in low available light.

Meanwhile, here's some sample from the test roll. If you want to see more, head to this flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mastaka...7600158500687/





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Old 04-29-2007   #2
JonR
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Nice shots and nice camera - I have never seen it before, cannot be that common (but then I am a Nikon fan of course...)
/j
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Old 04-30-2007   #3
payasam
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In the brief heyday of half frame cameras, the PENs from Olympus were overshadowed at least in numbers by the Demis and Dials from Canon. Cute cameras, but not much good for what photographers call serious work. The "full frame 35 mm" standard is sticky. Attempts by Japanese manufacturers, and by at least one European camera maker, to use a longer negative dimension less than 36 mm did not work, and it is only recently that the 4:3 aspect ratio has been revived in almost all digicams.
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Old 04-30-2007   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonR
Nice shots and nice camera - I have never seen it before, cannot be that common (but then I am a Nikon fan of course...)
/j
Thanks, JonR

No, it's not common today, just like a good mechanical watch, this camera looks and feels like a piece of jewelry. I'm an Olympus collector and I'm just thrilled that this camera still works despite being about 43-years old
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Old 04-30-2007   #5
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Wow, nice one, S-Fox! I've been on the hunt for one of those for a bit now. I was going to ask about the size comparison between the D2 and the other Pens, but then i found this page, and my questions were answered.. it's tiny! Maitani was truly a genius....

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Old 05-01-2007   #6
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Thanks, Cale! it is tiny, it's fun to see it alongside the Rollei 35 S and the XA, they are all designed to be just big enough to accomodate a roll of film in them, not much more.
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Old 05-01-2007   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox
I hate the feel when I advance the film, it feels like I broke something everytime it actually resets the shutter.
This makes me wonder what design changes occured after the Pen series.. my 35RC is an incredible improvement in that dept. (and ratcheted, no less, which is extra cool!) and has just about the smoothest film advance of any camera i own. Wish they were all like that!

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