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Lomopedia: Olympus Pen

One of the most successful and best known cameras produced by Olympus, the original Pen was a half-frame camera launched in 1959. It was succeeded by other models and progressed into the Pen Series. Find out more about the camera that popularized the 35mm half-frame format in this installment of Lomopedia.

Photo via Wikipedia

The first-generation Olympus Pen was a half-frame 35mm film camera designed by Maitani Yoshihisa and was introduced in Japan in October 1959. It was the camera that popularized half-frame photography during the 1960s and became an instant hit in Japan.

One of the key considerations that propelled Maitani’s design was the projected price of ¥6,000 per camera. The Pen boasted of a compact size — thought to be as handy as a pen, hence the name — and superb performance of its 28mm f/3.5 D-Zuiko Lens. It had fully manual settings and no light meter, with shutter speeds of 25, 50, 100, 200, and bulb, and aperture range of f/3.5 to f/22.

The Olympus Pen was succeeded by an almost similar model called Pen S, which had shutter speeds of 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, and B, and came with either a 30mm f/2.8 lens or an 28mm f/3.5 lens. Many other models with improved features were introduced until the early 1980s, and the family of these half-frame cameras came to be known as the Olympus Pen Series.

All information for this article were sourced from Olympus Global Official Website, Olympus Pen on Wikipedia, and Olympus Pen on Camerapedia.

written by plasticpopsicle


  1. aldana


    I have this olympus, it's awesome !

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. aldana


    I have this olympus, it's awesome !

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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