Beautiful unknown Pen F

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Wigelii Forum Member • Posts: 90
Beautiful unknown Pen F
23

I experienced once more some excited reactions to the Pen F, last Sunday.

It is not the first time that this happens but this time it was extreme.

I was a whole day making pictures at a classical music event in a big and very busy cultural centre in Antwerp, using an em1 II and 2 PenF (1 silver, 1 black) and during the day a lot of people approached me to ask questions about the Pen F.

Some thought it was analog, a lot of them thought that it was something from Fujifilm, but everybody was raving about how beautiful the Pen Fs are.

When I told them that it were Olympus camera's, as always, they were all surprised and/or only vaguely knew Olympus.

This shows 2 things:

1. Fujifilm does a great job branding their camera's. When I first saw the Pen F, it was clear to me that this should be heavily marketed as a "must have" luxury item. Unfortunately Olympus never did.

2. Olympus shouldn't abandon the Pen F but reintroduce an updated, even more beautiful and design oriented, version

By the way, I use the Pen Fs very intensely (together with 2 em1s and a em10) because I do lots of theatre, classical music and wedding photography, and they are very reliable work horses, something you would not expect from such beauties.

Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F
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VideoPic
VideoPic Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
2

Wigelii wrote:

I experienced once more some excited reactions to the Pen F, last Sunday.

It is not the first time that this happens but this time it was extreme.

I was a whole day making pictures at a classical music event in a big and very busy cultural centre in Antwerp, using an em1 II and 2 PenF (1 silver, 1 black) and during the day a lot of people approached me to ask questions about the Pen F.

Some thought it was analog, a lot of them thought that it was something from Fujifilm, but everybody was raving about how beautiful the Pen Fs are.

When I told them that it were Olympus camera's, as always, they were all surprised and/or only vaguely knew Olympus.

This shows 2 things:

1. Fujifilm does a great job branding their camera's. When I first saw the Pen F, it was clear to me that this should be heavily marketed as a "must have" luxury item. Unfortunately Olympus never did.

2. Olympus shouldn't abandon the Pen F but reintroduce an updated, even more beautiful and design oriented, version

By the way, I use the Pen Fs very intensely (together with 2 em1s and a em10) because I do lots of theatre, classical music and wedding photography, and they are very reliable work horses, something you would not expect from such beauties.

Hi, interesting read and great feedback on the Pen-F. Unfortunately many "experts" will reply to your feedback with only negative and depressing comments - guest that is the culture of this forum....

That said I do believe the Pen-F is one of the milestone markers for Olympus. The Pen-F moved away from the old film camera style photography (focus, exposure, framing, take the image) closer to a modern "digitally manipulated image" seen all over social network platforms.

Combined that with Olympus new editing software Workspace which allows the photographer to create color profiles which one can then apply in the Pen-F. The option to share profiles were even made possible.

All fell basically flat because as you rightly said - the product was not promoted and the added unique functionality not. I tried Fuji as I were interested to see why people rave about Fuji "ART" filters. No adjustments possible, monotone, all look the same results. Great filters & results but not a close match to the Pen-F. In contrast the Pen-F offer thousands of possible color variations when developing profiles.

We trust Olympus will continue with this exciting trend or development and hope to see a Pen F II. There are many photographers who moved on from the old style film photography and who are ready for this trend....

See this article I wrote about this subject

Best

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See my Blog for general articles on the Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and other cameras.
https://myolympusomd.blogspot.com/
https://www.instagram.com/olympus_enthusiast/

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addlightness Senior Member • Posts: 3,138
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

+1

My silver PEN-F + 25/1.8 and orange GM1 + 15/1.7 are my best to date, both in design, function and form.

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Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 8,242
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
2

Olympus marketing is so poor that I am not wondering how I stumbled onto them in the first place. However, I am glad I did.

I think the silver Pen F is one of the best looking cameras ever made. However, I would never buy one for myself for a few reasons. 1) I use bigger lenses so I strongly prefer a bigger body with a grip - EM1 is perfect for my hands. 2) I prefer a bigger EVF - I almost never use an LCD to compose and shoot. 3) I am left eyed and having a rangefinder style camera with an EVF on the left sort of defeats the purpose. Right eyed people can use their left eye to see what is coming into the frame and left eyed people just get their nose in the way πŸ˜ƒ

Anyway, IMO Olympus features some of the best looking cameras as a whole. Pen F is the prettiest, EM1.2 is the most utilitarian. The problem is few people know this, and many that do just refer to it, (m43 in general) as some small sensored, over priced, camera 😐

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BruceRH Senior Member • Posts: 1,997
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
1

I get the same comments when I am out as well, one guy even thought it was a Leica! Yes, Olympus is not very good at marketing, most don’t have much brand awareness or they say β€œI had one years ago.” I have personally sold quite a few Olympus cameras for them after people see the small size/quality and then the images that result. Another comment I get a lot is β€œyou took that with that?!” Walk into an electronics dealer and all you see is Canon/Nikon/Sony. Even dedicated camera shops will steer you towards something else. A shame really but Olympus is going to do what it wants to do. Maybe they are content with their niche.

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Doug Janis Regular Member • Posts: 487
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
1

Wigelii wrote:

I experienced once more some excited reactions to the Pen F, last Sunday.

It is not the first time that this happens but this time it was extreme.

I was a whole day making pictures at a classical music event in a big and very busy cultural centre in Antwerp, using an em1 II and 2 PenF (1 silver, 1 black) and during the day a lot of people approached me to ask questions about the Pen F.

Some thought it was analog, a lot of them thought that it was something from Fujifilm, but everybody was raving about how beautiful the Pen Fs are.

When I told them that it were Olympus camera's, as always, they were all surprised and/or only vaguely knew Olympus.

This shows 2 things:

1. Fujifilm does a great job branding their camera's. When I first saw the Pen F, it was clear to me that this should be heavily marketed as a "must have" luxury item. Unfortunately Olympus never did.

2. Olympus shouldn't abandon the Pen F but reintroduce an updated, even more beautiful and design oriented, version

By the way, I use the Pen Fs very intensely (together with 2 em1s and a em10) because I do lots of theatre, classical music and wedding photography, and they are very reliable work horses, something you would not expect from such beauties.

The PEN-F was heavily reviewed. It's design piqued a LOT of interest from photography media.

It had 2 knocks against it:

1) The price was too high for the specs. The trendy, hipster (see the video ad and the packaging with its own Dolce & Gabbanna model printed on the box) marketing didn't help. It didn't look like a step up from the EPL/M-series and didn't look like a rangefinder alternative to the OM series entirely. The grip helped with the Pro/2.8 glass...they got that part right, but the lack of any grip made it not so comfortable to hold for the price. And no weather sealing and a lacklustre EVF. Not a real value camera.

2) The JPEG-centric color dial and Art and Scn filters came across as a feeble attempt to replace post-processing on third party devices. In doing so it alienated the same buyers at a price point who are RAW shooters almost exclusively. The overall design screamed "traditional rangefinder" or "street", while the software and color wheel yelled back "consumer grade".

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Peter Del Veteran Member • Posts: 5,903
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
9

I bought an E-M5 mark 1 when they were first introduced, it was so clever. The user could go into the menu and select any one of four preset parameters (MySets).

Then along came the brilliant PEN F, where they were now on the top plate (C1-C4) and a fifth (Mono 2) on the front dial - hurrah, no more menu diving.

Yesterday evening, I attended a presentation, by Olympus, of their cameras and lenses. I was so disappointed with their new E-M5 mark3, which requires menu diving, that I have just ordered another PEN F.

Peter Del

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Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 8,242
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
1

Peter Del wrote:

I bought an E-M5 mark 1 when they were first introduced, it was so clever. The user could go into the menu and select any one of four preset parameters (MySets).

Then along came the brilliant PEN F, where they were now on the top plate (C1-C4) and a fifth (Mono 2) on the front dial - hurrah, no more menu diving.

Yesterday evening, I attended a presentation, by Olympus, of their cameras and lenses. I was so disappointed with their new E-M5 mark3, which requires menu diving, that I have just ordered another PEN F.

Peter Del

What about using the Super Control Panel - SCP?

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Peter Del Veteran Member • Posts: 5,903
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
1

The SCP is very useful but does not replace C1-C4. For instance, I have one setting where the lens is at its maximum aperture, in another flash sync speed and optimum aperture (for me) is set.

Peter Del

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UppercanadianAcadian Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

Wigelii wrote:

I experienced once more some excited reactions to the Pen F, last Sunday.

It is not the first time that this happens but this time it was extreme.

I was a whole day making pictures at a classical music event in a big and very busy cultural centre in Antwerp, using an em1 II and 2 PenF (1 silver, 1 black) and during the day a lot of people approached me to ask questions about the Pen F.

Some thought it was analog, a lot of them thought that it was something from Fujifilm, but everybody was raving about how beautiful the Pen Fs are.

When I told them that it were Olympus camera's, as always, they were all surprised and/or only vaguely knew Olympus.

This shows 2 things:

1. Fujifilm does a great job branding their camera's. When I first saw the Pen F, it was clear to me that this should be heavily marketed as a "must have" luxury item. Unfortunately Olympus never did.

2. Olympus shouldn't abandon the Pen F but reintroduce an updated, even more beautiful and design oriented, version

By the way, I use the Pen Fs very intensely (together with 2 em1s and a em10) because I do lots of theatre, classical music and wedding photography, and they are very reliable work horses, something you would not expect from such beauties.

I would love to buy a new pen-f to replace my pen ep-5 (the dials will fail some day I am sure), but in Canada (generally) they are selling for full price $1500 (Hahahahha!!!!!), and that is IF they are actually in stock!

olympus now has a few cameras with slightly better 20mp sensors that have better iso performance, but I could certainly live with the pen-f and I just prefer the handling and look of that rangefinder style over the weird faux film camera look of the OM-D lines.

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Olympus PEN E-P5
acfo Regular Member • Posts: 457
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
5

Doug Janis wrote:

It had 2 knocks against it:

Interesting, those are positives for me.

1) The price was too high for the specs. The trendy, hipster (see the video ad and the packaging with its own Dolce & Gabbanna model printed on the box) marketing didn't help.

Oozes style and money. Must have if you have to work in an arty environment.

It didn't look like a step up from the EPL/M-series and didn't look like a rangefinder alternative to the OM series entirely.

At the time it had better specs and more features than the em5 if you didn't need weatherproofing (hipsters don't get wet). It was an easy decision to buy the Pen-Fs instead of the em5 although the Pen-F was slightly more expensive at the time.

2) The JPEG-centric color dial and Art and Scn filters came across as a feeble attempt to replace post-processing on third party devices. In doing so it alienated the same buyers at a price point who are RAW shooters almost exclusively. The overall design screamed "traditional rangefinder" or "street", while the software and color wheel yelled back "consumer grade".

Monochrome on the art dial, genious . The entrance fee of over 1000 Euros keeps the riff-raff out.

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UppercanadianAcadian Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

Peter Del wrote:

I bought an E-M5 mark 1 when they were first introduced, it was so clever. The user could go into the menu and select any one of four preset parameters (MySets).

Then along came the brilliant PEN F, where they were now on the top plate (C1-C4) and a fifth (Mono 2) on the front dial - hurrah, no more menu diving.

Yesterday evening, I attended a presentation, by Olympus, of their cameras and lenses. I was so disappointed with their new E-M5 mark3, which requires menu diving, that I have just ordered another PEN F.

Peter Del

If you don’t mind me asking how much did you pay?

 UppercanadianAcadian's gear list:UppercanadianAcadian's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P5
UppercanadianAcadian Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
3

Doug Janis wrote:

Wigelii wrote:

I experienced once more some excited reactions to the Pen F, last Sunday.

It is not the first time that this happens but this time it was extreme.

I was a whole day making pictures at a classical music event in a big and very busy cultural centre in Antwerp, using an em1 II and 2 PenF (1 silver, 1 black) and during the day a lot of people approached me to ask questions about the Pen F.

Some thought it was analog, a lot of them thought that it was something from Fujifilm, but everybody was raving about how beautiful the Pen Fs are.

When I told them that it were Olympus camera's, as always, they were all surprised and/or only vaguely knew Olympus.

This shows 2 things:

1. Fujifilm does a great job branding their camera's. When I first saw the Pen F, it was clear to me that this should be heavily marketed as a "must have" luxury item. Unfortunately Olympus never did.

2. Olympus shouldn't abandon the Pen F but reintroduce an updated, even more beautiful and design oriented, version

By the way, I use the Pen Fs very intensely (together with 2 em1s and a em10) because I do lots of theatre, classical music and wedding photography, and they are very reliable work horses, something you would not expect from such beauties.

The PEN-F was heavily reviewed. It's design piqued a LOT of interest from photography media.

It had 2 knocks against it:

1) The price was too high for the specs. The trendy, hipster (see the video ad and the packaging with its own Dolce & Gabbanna model printed on the box) marketing didn't help. It didn't look like a step up from the EPL/M-series and didn't look like a rangefinder alternative to the OM series entirely. The grip helped with the Pro/2.8 glass...they got that part right, but the lack of any grip made it not so comfortable to hold for the price. And no weather sealing and a lacklustre EVF. Not a real value camera.

2) The JPEG-centric color dial and Art and Scn filters came across as a feeble attempt to replace post-processing on third party devices. In doing so it alienated the same buyers at a price point who are RAW shooters almost exclusively. The overall design screamed "traditional rangefinder" or "street", while the software and color wheel yelled back "consumer grade".

Once again, I must admit I completely do not understand this anti art filter and anti colour dial mentality.
When the pen-f came out, there were so many people making negative comments (of varying intensity) regarding these things, that I actually thought:

‘good lord. Did Olympus disable the ability to shoot in raw if you use the front colour dial of the pen-f??????’

I actually asked that question on these forums, and was obviously told that of course you can shoot raw AND jpeg/art filter/colour dial.

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Olympus PEN E-P5
Felice62 Senior Member • Posts: 2,476
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
8

The PEN-F is, without any sort of doubt, the most beautiful piece of camera built in decades.

And it also takes pictures, which is a big plus!

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superflyguy
superflyguy Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
2

BruceRH wrote:

I get the same comments when I am out as well, one guy even thought it was a Leica!

Despite Olympus alluding to it being based on one of their earlier Pen film models, it is definetly paying homage to a 1930's Leica III .

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Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind
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superflyguy
superflyguy Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F
1

We trust Olympus will continue with this exciting trend or development and hope to see a Pen F II. There are many photographers who moved on from the old style film photography and who are ready for this trend....

See this article I wrote about this subject

Best

That page has been bookmarked, what a trove of information for Pen F users - thank you!

-- hide signature --

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind
George Orwell

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Peter Del Veteran Member • Posts: 5,903
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

UppercanadianAcadian wrote:

Peter Del wrote:

I bought an E-M5 mark 1 when they were first introduced, it was so clever. The user could go into the menu and select any one of four preset parameters (MySets).

Then along came the brilliant PEN F, where they were now on the top plate (C1-C4) and a fifth (Mono 2) on the front dial - hurrah, no more menu diving.

Yesterday evening, I attended a presentation, by Olympus, of their cameras and lenses. I was so disappointed with their new E-M5 mark3, which requires menu diving, that I have just ordered another PEN F.

Peter Del

If you don’t mind me asking how much did you pay?

£589 grey market

https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/olympus-pen-f-body-silver-10813-p.asp

Peter Del

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Felice62 Senior Member • Posts: 2,476
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

superflyguy wrote:

BruceRH wrote:

I get the same comments when I am out as well, one guy even thought it was a Leica!

Despite Olympus alluding to it being based on one of their earlier Pen film models, it is definetly paying homage to a 1930's Leica III .

which confirms it is at least 9 decades no such a beautiful camera was built...

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UppercanadianAcadian Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Beautiful unknown Pen F

Peter Del wrote:

UppercanadianAcadian wrote:

Peter Del wrote:

I bought an E-M5 mark 1 when they were first introduced, it was so clever. The user could go into the menu and select any one of four preset parameters (MySets).

Then along came the brilliant PEN F, where they were now on the top plate (C1-C4) and a fifth (Mono 2) on the front dial - hurrah, no more menu diving.

Yesterday evening, I attended a presentation, by Olympus, of their cameras and lenses. I was so disappointed with their new E-M5 mark3, which requires menu diving, that I have just ordered another PEN F.

Peter Del

If you don’t mind me asking how much did you pay?

£589 grey market

https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/olympus-pen-f-body-silver-10813-p.asp

Peter Del

Ok thanks for the info. That’s just under $1000 Canadian. Pretty good deal

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VideoPic
VideoPic Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Well the good news is the Pen F line is NOT dead.....
2

When I started my blog one of the things I decided was not to do product reviews, there are enough review sites & videos on the web. That said with the EM5 MKIII and the positive reactions, critical reactions and then pure crap we saw in subsequent discussions I decided to do something on Olympus, their 100 year anniversary, Imaging department priorities and to link that to the new EM5 III.....

I started with basic research and as always were astonished to see how easy and quickly one debunk 95% of ALL the negative claims we see a few times a week on this forum.

One of those "popular negative" subjects (can't say comments as it's many) is the Pen-F and its generally claimed that the Pen-F is dead and has been discontinued.... One of the more ridiculous claims are Olympus are battling to get rid of their excess Pen-F stock??

Thing is one need to take the time and study the Olympus Imaging Dept product strategy, match that with statements Olympus make during interviews to create their product line future "picture"...

In some interviews Olympus directly states that the Pen F product line will continue, in other statements one read the existing product lines will continue. Nowhere did I find any direct mention by Olympus that they plan to stop or cancel the Pen F line....

What's also interesting is Olympus used the EPL8 and the EPL9 to target female photographers hoping to grow their base. This was not as successful as they hoped it to be. I guess our local doom prophets found parts of these reports and immediately declared the complete Pen range a disaster, then started spreading rumors that Olympus stopping the Pen range and battling to sell stock....one does not always know what trigger these crazed doom prophets....

But the good news is for now the Pen-F will continue.....

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See my Blog for general articles on the Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and other cameras.
https://myolympusomd.blogspot.com/
https://www.instagram.com/olympus_enthusiast/

 VideoPic's gear list:VideoPic's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8 +4 more
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