View Full Version : Help. scale focus

10-18-2009, 04:36
Hi guys,

After buying my first coupled RF I now have an Oly pen EED. I don't have it yet, but I will get it tommorow and walk with it. I found out that its a scale focus camera... Please give me some guidelines on how to use a scale focus camera? I already tried zone focus camera which is the konica c35 and i don't know what I am doing.. I just twist the focus ring and follow the drawings in it and don't have any idea if its focused.


if you know a website with guidlines regarding scale focus camera please do post it... It will be a great help..

10-18-2009, 04:47
Well, if you are pedantic, you might bring a Leica Disto (http://ptd.leica-geosystems.com/en/index.htm) along with the camera, measure the distance to subject with the former, and set it on the lens scale. Alternatively, you could go about it like everybody else and guesstimate, count your steps, use a tape ruler or set it to hyperfocal (in sunlight at f/16 it might 1.5m to infinity on a 38mm lens) and forget about it...


Roger Hicks
10-18-2009, 05:31
With any luck, http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20how%20zone%20focus.html will tell you most of what you need to know about zone focus, scale focus and pre-focus.



Al Kaplan
10-18-2009, 05:47
Some of the electric eye (auto exposure) Pens DON'T focus at all. it's fixed. On the other Pen cameras you guess the distance and set it on the scale. The 25 to 30mm lenses on them have loads of depth of field. It's hard to get out of focus pictures with them!

10-18-2009, 05:49
I already tried zone focus camera which is the konica c35 and i don't know what I am doing...

Isn't the C35 a rangefinder? Anyway, were your pictures in focus with it?

The Pen EED doesn't seem to have a depth of field scale, so you can't really use the hyperfocal method (i.e. at f/8 or better you get enough DOF that you can use it like a fix-focus). But the focus ring does have the usual color guide for zone focus. First red setting is for head and shoulder shot of a single person, second is for a group, use infinity for landscapes.

Practice estimating distances, it really isn't that hard. Could you lie down between where you're standing and your subject? That's about 6 feet then. Would your car fit in between? 15 feet. And so on. Try to pre-guess the distance even when you're out with your RF or SLR -- a good idea, anyway, to speed up your shooting.

Eventually you'll get good enough that you can actually use that f/1.7 aperture (nice!) for portraits. You could also fashion a camera strap that's the length of the minimum focus distance and measure with that. (In fact, that's what Olympus did on the scale focus XA series.)

10-18-2009, 05:59
The 25 to 30mm lenses on them have loads of depth of field. It's hard to get out of focus pictures with them!

Al, the Pen EED has a 32mm lens, which for a half-frame is actually just a tad on the long side. So I wouldn't just rely on DOF. But I agree that, being a consumer product in its day, it's probably easy to focus.

Just shoot a test roll and see how you're doing, multivitamins. Don't use it to shoot your best friend's wedding as the official photographer :)

Al Kaplan
10-18-2009, 06:20
You're right, and I think it had a fairly fast f/1.9 lens too. They made so many models of the Pen cameras. Your biggest problem will be finding a lab that's set up to print them. If you're shooting B&W and doing your own printing you should have no problem getting 11x14 prints from the negatives.

10-18-2009, 06:33
Here's what I do. It will take a bit, but you can do this in your spare time, in your house/apartment/condo and outdoors.

Bring your SLR or rangefinder, and focus on different objects. Read the distance.

Now, pick out something, guess the distance and check out close you are (or aren't) using your camera. Do this often, and you'll find that you're soon very good at guessing distances.

If you find that you're truly terrible at guessing distances, you can always buy one of those little rangefinders that slide into the accessory shoe. Just make sure the scale is the same as the camera: Feet or meters.