Olympus Pen EES-2 - Staff Review


This classic, compact half-frame camera is considered as the masterpiece of the affordable Olympus Pen EES Series, designed to make up for the imperfections of earlier models.

The EES series hails from the popular Pen family of Olympus half-frame cameras. In 1959, the Pen was the very first half-frame camera in Japan, specially designed by its popular chief designer, Yoshihisa Maitani. The small and portable camera was such a hit that it influenced other Japanese companies to use the same idea.

Two years later, the Pen EE was introduced – it had a 28mm f/3.5 lens, fixed focus and automatic exposure, making it a very convenient point-and-shoot camera. The EES appeared a year later, boasting a 30mm f/2.8 lens and a focusing ring. It had a shutter speed that adjusts automatically according to the light level, which helps in nailing the precise exposure range.

It was in 1968 when the EES-2 emerged – it’s basically the same as the EES, but a flash hotshoe was made available. Also, while the EES had a film speed of 10-200, the EES-2 had 25-400. Along with the rest of the Pen family, the EES-2’s charm lies in its convenient controls and the D-Zuiko lens that offers superior quality.

Dux.x shares his personal review, plus tips & tricks:

This little thing is capable of taking more than 80 pics with a single 36 frames roll. Yeah, it´s the perfect camera to take to places where you can´t find films to buy. A perfect camera for these days, when it´s very hard to find that finest film of your dream. Because of its format (35mm half-frame) when the others take 36, you can shot over 80! The camera doesn´t need batteries, just need sun light to activate the solar powered selenium light meter. Perfect ecological masterpiece. Besides the economical aspect, the little Pen had that great D. Zuiko lens with professional quality, reliable mechanics, small size and the cute vertical format for your pictures that you’re gonna love. The EES-2 version had a zone focus (other versions had a fixed focus) giving you more power to play with the camera. It´s a aperture priority camera with the shutter fixed on 1/200sec on A (auto) mode or you can choose the aperture (to use flash or be creative) with the shutter on 1/40sec.

Tips & Tricks:

  • With this camera you can play with the half-frame thing, creating images that completes a scene, like a panorama, for example. Create couple images with relation between each other too.
  • It´s great to be the second camera on your bag, with black and white film, to do the makin-of, every time you go out to shot with your main camera (or at work). With a single roll you can shot over 80 images.
  • You can do more with a single roll, more images with that very rare and expensive roll that you find at your grandma´s house.
  • Find a good red filter and do some black and white street shots with. You will love the results!


Photos 1-4 by: dux.x

written by shhquiet on 2008-06-11 in #reviews #35mm #half-frame #staff #review #olympus


  1. brendend
    brendend ·

    "The camera doesn´t need batteries, just need sun light to activate the solar powered selenium light meter. Perfect ecological masterpiece"

    Wow, that's absolutely incredible - what a great idea!

  2. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    I got the PenEES, really great quality cameras. I had one album made with this camera named "for the love of PEN-EEs"

  3. trabantdeluxe
    trabantdeluxe ·

    The body and solar powered meter look to be basically the same as on my Olympus Trip 35. I considered the Pen when I wanted to get a half-frame camera, but went with a nice near mint Chaika-2. A very fun camera......half-frames really make film last longer. :-)

  4. swieconek
    swieconek ·

    Join Penography at Flickr :


    swieconek aka ishoothorizon

  5. cheeso
    cheeso ·

    A friend of mine found an Olympus Pen S in the streets and gave it to me. I just loaded it up with film and I'm about to get busy!!! Yay!

  6. cheeso
    cheeso ·

    Well, my poor little Pen S must be broken, only 25 percent of the pictures I took worked, and there were massive light leaks everywhere...though I love the light leaks! I want to get the camera fixed, I hope its not completely dead. Here are some pics.

  7. cheeso
    cheeso ·

    Well I thought I could upload images to this entry but I guess not

  8. slithy-toves
    slithy-toves ·

    Although the concept of a battery-free selenium cell is fab, unfortunately many of them no longer work, so make sure yours is in good working order before purchasing an old Pen EE. I learned this lesson too late, and have been forced to shoot at one exposure as a result. Still a fun camera, however. I recommend doing some doubles with it! Shoot a roll through a regular camera, then rewind and reshoot through the Pen EE.

  9. dogma
    dogma ·

    second picture is amazing!

  10. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    how is the focusing on this camera? I just bought it yesterday.. thanks

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