The Half Frame

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Old Ricoh User
Old Ricoh User Senior Member • Posts: 1,027
The Half Frame
8

The Olympus Pen series of cameras were introduced in 1959 and at the time were the smallest 35mm cassette cameras. The original Pen, Pen S, and Pen W had just a viewfinder, no meter and fully manual settings. By photographing in its vertical format you could fit 72 exposures on a normal 36 exposure roll of film. While definitely not for some I found it very useful since I prefer the vertical format of shooting most of the time. The camera is nearly silent with a barely audible "click" when pressing the shutter. I used the Pen S for a while but being already weighed down by a large project I passed it on to someone who is still using it four years later. While seen as an amateurish camera, whatever that means, there are a fair amount of well known photographers who have used the half frame format. Harold Feinstein who used the Pen W on the streets in Philadelphia and New York. Eugene Smith who used the larger Pen FT slr in Minamata. Also Daido Moriyama used the Pen W in New York City in 1971, he took 7200 photos in one month and published a thick brick of a book. The Pen W is the most sought after version and can cost as much as $1000 depending on condition. If you can find a Pen camera and still enjoy film I urge you to give it a try.

Harold Feinstein
https://www.haroldfeinstein.com/the-olympus-pen-camera/

Daido Moriyama 71-NY
https://nevillewakefield.com/daido-moriyama-71-ny/

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www.michaelpennphotography.com

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