May 15 2021

Olympus Pen FT

For a few years now I’ve had an affinity for all things half frame. From the quirky Lomo Tim to the 1980’s esthetic of the Yashica Samurai and of course the fun little Ricoh Auto half but it wasn’t until I decided to part with my Nishika N8000 quad lens camera that one of the Olympus Pen F series SLR’s came my way. I ended up trading one for the other. I do want to start with the weak spots for the Pen FT before I get to effusive about the things that I do like. The view in the viewfinder is quite small and dim some of this might be due to age and the need for internal cleaning but even at its best it would leave much to be desired. However the camera is an SLR so you do get a very good sense of what your composition will look like despite its dimness. The second issue is the exposure meter, its strange and not like most others. It works on a scale of 0 to 7 on the bottom of the lens. If you set the shutter speed first say to 1/30 and the meter lands on the number 4 then you set the lens to the number 4 which corresponds to an aperture of F8….okay why not just have the meter show f8 you ask and I say “I don’t know” What if we set the aperture to f5.6 what shutter speed do we choose? Well then we would look in the viewfinder and see what number the needle points to if it isn’t 3 which is what correlates to the f5.6 aperture then we alter the shutter speed until the needle does point to 3, and there you have it. Simple right? No me either that is why I ignore the meter and just select the aperture and shutter speed manually. Although its probably good for your brain to figure all that other stuff out in the same way as doing Soduko and eating healthy is. Some of the things that I love about this camera without caveats though are the portrait orientation of the image, due to the half frame nature and just the overall look and esthetic of the camera. It is a classic and it looks cool. As with other half frames I posses I’ve made efforts to make some image pairs that go together.