Olympus Pen EE

The other day I spotted a camera on a flea market that appeared to have been cared for more than the usual heap of cheap and dusty cameras you find at these places. I had a look, ‘Olympus Pen’ did ring a bell, and with a little Google magic from my mobile, I was reminded that this was one of these half-frame cameras I had seen photos of before. For €5 I didn’t care if it worked or not and picked it up.

I have now put a roll of Fomapan 100 through it and it was a week of hard work before the film was finished: I managed to get 81 frames on that roll! The camera works perfectly fine; the selenium meter around the lens, which gives the camera that retro look, still worked fine and seems to have been as accurate as can be expected setting the aperture resulting in most negatives getting exposed evenly: Just in very bright conditions, the negative looks a bit over-exposed. At several times I had the ‘red flare’ shown in the viewfinder indicating under-exposure or over-exposure, so in perfect working order for a camera dating back to 1961.

My Nikon Coolscan V ED scanner doesn’t know about half-frame negatives and scans them as regular 135 format negatives and which gives the opportunity to easily combine two photos into a single image, creating some unplanned surprises where the combination of two photos changes the meaning of the individual shots.

The inside of the camera has a sticker from the shop where the camera was bought: R de Ruyck, Grand Place 30; 7500 Tournai, Belgium, which unfortunately closed its doors earlier this year after having been run by 3 generations of the same family.