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olympus pen ee2

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by johnnopc, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. johnnopc

    johnnopc Well-Known Member

    hi everyone,
    i have just bought an olympus pen ee2. a half frame fixed focus camera.
    i was wondering if anyone had an idea at what distance the (fixed) focus was set to?
    thanks ian.
  2. johnnopc

    johnnopc Well-Known Member

    hi everyone, i thought i would expand the reasoning behind my question as i haven't yet been overwhelmed with replies yet!
    with a simple plastic fixed focus camera the aperature is set and so is the depth of field, but with my pen the aperature is variable and opens up to f/3.5. at which value i imagine the depth of field is small, esp. as the lens is the equivalent of 40mm so the focus point would be nice to know.
    so if anyone still uses a pen please reply.
    thanks ian.
    ps i didn't know if my little old camera is a classic or not but as its 30 years old and lots of people use them on flickr i guess it must be...
  3. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    According to this PDF (3Mb) the lens is fixed focus from 1.5m to infinity. Based on a few DoF calcuations I'd suspect the actual point of focus to be somewhere around 6-10 feet - about the distance most snappers use for pictures of the family on holiday...

    The camera relies on increasing the depth of field via smaller apertures to achieve (at enprint sizes anyway) a satisfactory degree of apparent sharpness with increasing subject distance. I wouldn't try to use the camera for anything that's focus critical if I were you........
  4. johnnopc

    johnnopc Well-Known Member

    thank you for your reply. i think i will need to match the
    subject (or distance!) to the limitations of the camera.
    thanks again
  5. Staropramen

    Staropramen Well-Known Member

    The earlier Olympus Trip thread may give some clues about the EE system generally - here's the linked webpage .

    I have in my hand a brand new Pen-EE3 which was the last iteration of the Pen-E series. I'm not sure if it uses precisely the same approach to the Trip, but the shutter speeds on the two series are the same (1/40 & 1/200), so it's most probable that it does.

    The choice of focus distance is interesting. The User Instructions recommend that: the nearest distance at which a subject will be acceptably sharp in a 6x4" print is 1.5 (in good light) - and for a 10x12" print the minimum working distance should be 2.1m.

    Working through the options available it seems therefore that the lens is pre-focussed at around 5.5m - possibly a tad closer. Even at f3.5 (i.e. and EV of 9) this would retain a reasonable degree of sharpness at infinity (in small prints) but subjects closer than 3m might start to appear soft, especially in larger prints.

    The designers could have allowed infinity sharpness to be sacrificed in poorer light (and wider apertures) and to give a little more sharpness to closer subjects by pre-focussing at c.4.6m. This hypothesis can be tested by fiddling various parameters in a d-o-f calculation, but it's easy to arrive at any figures you want by doing that!

    However, the proof is in the pudding , er, photos. My EE3 is literally brand new - I've only ever opened the box twice - Mebbe it's time to run a film through it . . . . .
  6. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I can remember my brother getting one of the original Pen EE cameras when they were first introduced. (~ 1961) At that time I was doing my own developing and enlarging etc., and can remember how sharp the results appeared. This was in comparison to my (full-frame) 35mm cameras at the time, which were a Contaflex 1 and a Vito II. (Possibly simply due to better coating and a higher contrast negative.)
  7. johnnopc

    johnnopc Well-Known Member

    thank you. i now have a contact print for my first film and all appear sharp but given their extremely small size i guess they would. will try some enlargements next...
    it certainly is a nicely made camera but if you have one check out the light sealing foam - mine had turned into a lovely black tar! i suspect only the sealing by the hinge is needed to stop any light leaks the remaining thin strips round the edges are to hold the back in a correct position.
    thanks again for all the work you have clearly put into answering my question .

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