Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Olympus PEN.

In 1959, Olympus introduced a new vogue in camera models- the PEN series. The Olympus PENs were so fashionable due to their innovative 'half-frame' capabilities, i.e. double the amount of shots could be squeezed onto a reglar film because the camera formats the film at half the intended exposure. It also meant that the camera could be super skinny; the nouveau compact. So it's 1959 and Yoshihisa Maitani is designing the first half-frame camera to be produced in Japan; it was conveniently as portable as a pen. This is where Olympus got their name. The PEN. This website is useful if you're interested in thoroughly knowing the specifications of invididual PEN models. Basically, the PEN and the PEN-S were the originals, with simply a viewfinder and no manual settings. I guess they were supposed to let the camera's new half-frame concept do all the talking. Then we have the D-series, the EE-series and the EM-series, all launched in the early 1960s and with additional features to the original model. There's also the rare PEN-W which was only produced for a few years (the W stands for 'wide' as it boasts a wide-angle 25mm f/2.8 lens - equivalent to a 35mm in full format). And finally the PEN-F series of half-frame SLRs.

While the PENs were all film cameras, 2009 saw the release of the digital Olympus PEN EP-1.
The EP-1 runs to the Micro Four Thirds system, which provides a standard for different manufacturers to adhere to in order for their lenses to be interchangeable between brands. the Four Thirds system is intended for digital SLR cameras, and so, logically, the Micro version is for cameras that aren't quite SLR size. This means that the EP-1 and its Micro Four Thirds facility allows it the freedom of a Four Thirds camera body whilst retaining a compact figure. Even better is the EP-2 which was released at the start of 2010. The EP-2 has an extra port to attach external objects like a microphone, a couple of new art filters, and it comes in black rather than silver (yay!). You may have seen Kevin Spacey advertising this miniature photographic deity on the television. There are a lot of things I would do to own one of these babies, as they currently come in around £600 on, and sadly I appear to have a bit of a half-frame purse...

No comments:

Post a Comment