LC-A Big Book Chapter 73: As Compact as an SLR Can Be: the Olympus Pen

3

The Olympus Pen series used several tricks to avoid this problem. By using a complex series of internal prisms rather than a pentaprism and a half-frame format (meaning that you could take up to 72 shots on a roll of 35mm film) that also allowed the use of smaller lenses, the Pen was one of the smallest SLR-cameras ever and stands at the beginning of the success story of Olympus as a manufacturer of small innovative cameras.

One of the most inventive SLR-cameras was probably the 1963 Olympus Pen. Many companies tried to make SLRs as compact as the rangefinder-cameras that they were replacing, but didn’t succeed. The problem was always that the large and bulky pentaprism-mechanism that defined contemporary SLR-cameras simply couldn’t be made smaller. The Olympus Pen series used several tricks to avoid this problem. By using a complex series of internal prisms rather than a pentaprism and a half-frame format (meaning that you could take up to 72 shots on a roll of 35mm film) that also allowed the use of smaller lenses, the Pen was one of the smallest SLR-cameras ever and stands at the beginning of the success story of Olympus as a manufacturer of small innovative cameras. One model of the series, the Pen EM, is also known for being the first compact camera with an automatic built-in motor drive to advance and rewind the film in no time. Moreover, the Olympus Pen was designed by Mr Yoshihisa Maitani, who also conceived the influential Olympus XA a few decades later.

Have the full glory of the book here

written by ungrumpy on 2011-03-21 in #library #library #lomography #lc-a-big-book #excerpt

3 Comments

  1. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    WHy do they have viewfinders?

  2. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    @robotmonkey1996 The viewfinder is used to compose the photograph. Since the camera doesn't have a complex prism and mirror to see through the lens, the view finder is used to compose and the camera is more compact. Other viewfinder cameras come with a coupled rangefinder to assess correct distance from focal plane to,subject instead of guessing and zone-focusing. The trade off is sometimes parallax error, for those cameras without parallax correction and fixed lens.

  3. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    No shit. I'm asking that because it's being compared to an SLR which doesn't make sense.

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomopedia: Olympus Pen F

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-22 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Olympus Pen F

    Another landmark camera designed by the esteemed Maitani Yoshihisa, the fascinating Olympus Pen F was a half-frame SLR camera introduced in the early 1960s. Yes, you're reading it right! Find out more about this interesting half-frame snapper in this installment of Lomopedia!

    1
  • Playing Detective: An Interview with Derek Woods, the Man Behind the Controversial True Detective Photo (NSFW)

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-05-03 in #people #lifestyle
    Playing Detective: An Interview with Derek Woods, the Man Behind the Controversial True Detective Photo (NSFW)

    Derek Woods is an Los Angeles-based photographer who previously got involved in a controversy surrounding a photo that was used in the opening credits of the HBO TV series "True Detective." Coincidentally, Woods happens to be a member of the Lomo community, and it became vital to interview him regarding the issue. The interview was successful and was published in May last year. His current project, 365 of Lomography, will chronicle his day-to-day exploits with Lomography cameras. To jog your memory, and to re-acquaint you with Woods, we are republishing our interview with the controversial photographer. Please take note that some of the photos are NSFW.

    4
  • Large-scale Scarlet Camera Oscura Photgraphs by Motohiro Takeda

    written by cheeo on 2014-05-12 in #lifestyle
    Large-scale Scarlet Camera Oscura Photgraphs by Motohiro Takeda

    As if using a camera obscura isn’t cool enough, photographer Motohiro Takeda ups the ante by adding the human figure and other objects as photographic subjects in this series of fiery-red analogue photographs.

  • Shop News

    Petzval Buddies

    Petzval Buddies

    Petzval lens are designed for a Canon or Nikon SLR mounts and a selection of brass or black for each camera brand is available in our stores. And start shooting with images full of sharpness, crispness and bokeh effects!

  • Lomopedia: Yashica FX-1

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-09 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Yashica FX-1

    A 35mm SLR camera offered by Yashica in the mid-1970s, the FX-1 was considered as a transition camera for sharing some features with earlier models and the FR series launched later. Find out more about this simple yet dependable analogue snapper in this installment of Lomopedia!

    1
  • Berning Robot Star: Small but mighty

    written by dopa on 2014-05-18 in #reviews
    Berning Robot Star: Small but mighty

    It is a small, compact film camera from Germany that brings 55 square images (24x24mm) to 35mm film, since the years of the economic miracle. Thanks to its clockwork design, it shoots as fast as you can press the shutter button. Read on and get to know the Robot Star!

    1
  • Wide Angle Photography Tips: Photographing Architecture with the Lomo LC-Wide

    written by sirio174 on 2014-06-06 in #gear #tipster
    Wide Angle Photography Tips: Photographing Architecture with the Lomo LC-Wide

    In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the fantastic Lomo LC-A, and while waiting for the new Russar+ lens, I'll dedicate this article to an awesome super wide-angle camera: my Lomo LC-Wide that I like to use in architecture photography. Here you can read some simple tips I used to take a series of photos in the modern city of Latina in the center of Italy.

    2
  • Shop News

    Lomography Diana Mini Double Rainbow

    Lomography Diana Mini Double Rainbow

    An analogue camera inspired by Tara Mcpherson, A highly recommended gear for Lomography beginners and visual art lovers! With this edition see how Tara Mcpherson’s art joins the world of analogue cameras. Get it now for a special price!

  • A Day with the LC-A: From the Bus, Como (My Tribute to Robert Frank)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-06-06 in #lifestyle
    A Day with the LC-A: From the Bus, Como (My Tribute to Robert Frank)

    In 1958 the great photographer Robert Frank took a series of images of New York's street life with a Leica camera from a bus window, as in these series of photos that I took in my city Como with my trusty Lomo LC-A loaded with a Kodak Tri-X film. This is a tribute to a great camera and to a great photographer! Read more after the jump!

  • LomoGuru of the Week: alienmeatsack

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-09-28 in #lifestyle
    LomoGuru of the Week: alienmeatsack

    Behind the amusing username, alienmeatsack, is the avid lomographer Robn Kester. He takes on the analogue world with his radical film and camera experiments that serve as useful guides to his fellow film shooters. His dedication to be a better analogue photographer certainly knows no bounds and that's why we are crowning him as our LomoGuru of the Week!

    17
  • LomoAmigo Galleries: Asher Moss shoots with the Diana F+ (NSFW)

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-05-28 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Galleries: Asher Moss shoots with the Diana F+ (NSFW)

    Nostalgia, intimacy, and urgent yet understated sensuality – are elements that are evidently part of Asher Moss’ work. Moss’ “Models in the Morning” series caught the attention of many, including the folks here at Lomography. The resolution: let Moss try out a few Lomography cameras, and wait for the visual intimacy to begin. In this first segment of LomoAmigo Galleries featuring Asher Moss, we present to you the photographer’s shots using the Diana F+.

    1
  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • LC-A Goes To: Saint Petersburg, Russia

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-05 in #world #locations
    LC-A Goes To: Saint Petersburg, Russia

    As the iconic LC-A celebrates its 30th birthday this month, we think it's only timely that we look back to Lomography's roots and shine the spotlight on the camera's birthplace, Saint Petersburg. If you haven't been there yourself, or if you have and simply wanted to be reminded of the beauty of the place, we've compiled a few select lomographs taken using no less than the LC-A by our community members!

  • LomoKino: Life in Moving Pictures!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-21 in #reviews
    LomoKino: Life in Moving Pictures!

    I bought the LomoKino years ago, and since then I've been having great times with it. I will continue documenting my daily life with the LomoKino, which is Lomography in motion! You can see the movements and facial expressions of people - it’s priceless! Documenting life in moving pictures, the Lomokino can be used as a camera that not only shoots moving pictures but also works like the multi-frame wonder camera, Supersampler!

  • Ekeupratama is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-18 in #world #news
    Ekeupratama is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to ekeupratama for winning Home of the Day!

    2