olympus pen ft

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adrian_freire

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Few weeks ago I find in a web page a article about a strange and wonderful camera designed by YOSHIHISA MAITANI (the same designer than the OM1 and the XA) and I want to know more about it. Do you have one of those marvels? Do you enjoy it? Is it robust? Is it easy to use? Is it silent? Is it hard to repair or to find parts? Is it cheap and easy to find in the second hand market?
 

Paul Howell

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Olympus F and FT were full system 1/2 frames that were well made with a wide range of lens, bellows and microscope adaptors. I have an F. No meter, a little dim, but very light weight, I shot Pan X and Plus X and was able to get a fine 8X10. I have not used my Pen in many many years and no longer have a 1/2 frame negative carrier. I think their are many pen fans and I see bodies and lens on the auction sites.

Good luck,

Paul
 

elekm

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The Olympus Pen FT was and is a sweet camera. Viewfinder is slightly dim though very usable. The body is rather long and squat, but because it doesn't have a pentaprism, you expect a rangefinder or some other type -- surely this can't be an SLR.

The price seems to be all over the map: from $130 to $200. I paid just over $200, but it's in excellent condition. Not a mark on the body, and it was very clean.

The film advance is a bit different because the lever is slightly longer than normal. The focusing screen is ground glass with a central spot but no split image. The shutter is a bit louder than average, but the release is very nice and requires a light touch.

If you have the accessory shoe mounted on the eyepiece, you must remove it to rewind the film.

ASA range runs from 25-400, so if you tend to push your film to 800 or beyond, you'll need to do some mental calculations.

From what I understand, the Japanese are big collectors of these, though the prices on eBay would suggest otherwise. When prices are unreasonably high, it's usually because the camera has moved into the realm of collectors (the Nikon S rangefinders is an example of this).

Very nice cameras, and if you get one in good condition, you won't be disappointed. Now, that's the thing with eBay, isn't it: Finding a camera in good condition.
 

Mike H

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Pen FT - classic and usable!

The above posts hit all the right highlights. I've returned to shooting with my Pen and other half frames because I want the 'shoot without cost' feeling of digital, but the 'look' of film. Granted, it's not completely cost-free, but 72 exposures per roll gives you added freedom, and the extra grain that comes from enlarging a smaller negative is not entirely unwelcome. If you want to see an art book of photos shot with a Pen, look at Daido Moriyama's recently issued "1971" (samples on Photoeye or Amazon). Not sure if he had an SLR or a viewfinder. The SLR shutter is indeed loud but very firm - like the metallic 'thunk' of 60s/70s metal SLRs. It's OK if you don't mind your subjects noticing you're shooting them. Otherwise, go for a quiet Pen D or EE viewfinder model.
 

John Koehrer

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Another neat thing is it synchs with electroinc flash AT ALL SPEEDS. Makes it easy to use filll flash.
 

Brac

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elekm said:
Very nice cameras, and if you get one in good condition, you won't be disappointed. Now, that's the thing with eBay, isn't it: Finding a camera in good condition.

You hit the nail on the head there because unfortunately quite a lot of people use ebay to dispose of clapped out and heavily worn cameras which are in worse condition than described. A warning sign is often the words "I know nothing about cameras/haven't got a film/selling it for a friend so haven't been able to test it". The fuzzy dark photos which frequently accompany these items and which make it impossible to really judge the item are also a danger sign. But having said all that there are some genuine sellers and bargains there but you just have to be oh so careful!

Somewhere stored in a cupboard I've got a nice Pen FT which I aim to offer on ebay in the next few weeks but I will be supplying decent photos!
 

David Brown

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Mike H said:
...The SLR shutter is indeed loud but very firm - like the metallic 'thunk' of 60s/70s metal SLRs. It's OK if you don't mind your subjects noticing you're shooting them. Otherwise, go for a quiet Pen D or EE viewfinder model.

I just scored an EE for $20. It all seems to work, but I am unsure how to set the film speed. The ring around the lens has both an aperture scale and an "ASA" scale. If I set an aperture, the shutter works and the diaphram looks good through the lens. If I turn to the speed settings, nothing happens. And, of course, since the film speeds and the f stops are on opposite sides of the same ring, you can't have both.

Any hints?

David
 

David Brown

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David Brown said:
I just scored an EE for $20. etc....

Never mind. I found a scanned manual on the internet. Shoulda looked there first - duh!:confused:
 

Mike H

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Good luck with the EE! I've got an EE3 and it's still going strong. Great pocket camera.
 
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