Olympus Pen EED


This camera caused me a little trouble as you will see later. It is a half frame camera from the Olympus EE series. This version was first introduced in 1967 and has an f1.7 lens and was the first of the series to have a self timer.

To find a good one, with the Cds meter working can be very expensive. To find one in a junk bin is almost impossible. It also needs the banned mercury cell battery. So after putting in an alternative I also loaded an expired film.

The camera is zone focused and the exposure settings are automatic. So just judge the distance then point and shoot.

Ok some are great, some are weird – the negatives looked either over exposed or badly processed. So I tried another, fresher film.

Same issues. Hmm so I thought I would try a back and white film so I could process it myself.

Ok, better but there are still over exposed shots. There were some shots that were blurred too that I didn’t post. So the camera worked a little, but it is not perfect. It looks in great condition, no fungus or haze…but something is not right. There is something about this camera that I just don’t like. I am not overawed by how it looks either. Usually I would love a camera just because of the f1.7, but I think the lack of control or information makes me feel uncomfortable. There is literally no scales or needles to let you know what the camera is choosing to shoot at.

Keep or Sell – not keeping, but not sure I feel comfortable selling. I might put it on ebay for a minimum price, postage only.

Categories: Junk Camera Finds, UncategorizedTags: , , , , , , ,

23 comments

  1. I have had a little the same experience with this camera. I think the exposure meter is unreliable. Sometimes I had good results, many times overexposure, even when taking two shots of the same with the same setting in a row, one would be fine, the other bad. I too had bigger expectations of this lens since I have really good experience with any older EE, EE2, EES, EES2 and PEN-D (last has one a similar f1.7 lens).
    Also the last model (but not last made) plastic EF with only f3.5 (and build-in flash) gave overwhelming results.
    I prefer the PEN-D which has nothing automated, doesn’t need a battery and has only a readable exposure meter which tells you what to set, therefore you can adjust for any deviation from a separate exposure meter or your digital camera and even let it take higher iso film (just set a stop further).
    The only challenges than are being fast enough to set for the next shot and estimating the distance right, but it is a joy especially with black and white film and I don’t mind out of focus wrongly exposed B&W, it is art!
    So my EED is still in my shelf, no wonder it looks neat, nobody likes to use this automated camera, which to my opinion is also much weaker build than the very strong and easy to repair earlier EE series.
    The D is also immensely strong build.

    Kind regards,
    Arnoud

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  2. By the way, I did use the right mercury battery with 1.35 volt (I was lucky to get some old originals) in the EED with the bad results, it is just inconsistent and more often wrong than right.
    A stronger battery like a 1.4 volt hearing aid or a normal 1.5 volt never give a lot of problems with other cameras (like Minolta SRT 101 for example), you just learn to adjust, but mostly, if any deviation, it is solved by the film which give plenty of room for the developer to adjust to the right exposure!
    Weincells zinc air are also good, but relative expensive, also because they don’t last very long.
    A true mercury cell in my Minolta SRT would last easily for 5 years or so! A Weincell only maximum of half a year.
    Hearing aid with an adapter for the SRT are cheap but it also runs very well on a LR44 and SR44 which last longer and are cheaper.

    Have fun,
    Arnoud

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    • I guess wrong battery could a problem of weird exposure in this case.

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      • This camera post was a while ago, but I don’t think it was the battery. I think this particular example was in the junk bin for the reason that it just didn’t work properly. I think if I tried it again now I would like it or have given it another chance. But back then I had so many cameras to choose from.

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      • With mine it was 2 things:
        1. I had sticky aperture blades, once cleaned (splash and dash), all seemed to work fine.
        2. when I used a “wrong” battery, I tested with a used LR44 1,5 volt battery. Before shooting, I could see the camera opening the aperture completely when set on f1.7 flash mode (backdoor open, looking through the lens from the inside). After I shot my roll of film, I checked again. Now they wouldn’t open completely, but only half way on 1.7. I thought the blades were sticky again, but no….I changed the battery for a new LR44 1,5 volt and all worked fine again. Sometimes I forget that the voltage of the LR44 and SR44 batteries go down quickly. That is why the manufacturers always used the mercury batteries, because they stay a long time on the same voltage of 1,35 volt.

        but I am selling one of the two I own. Still all the automation does no good for a nice f/1.7 lens. I don’t understand why they were always so concerned with the flash modes, I seldom use flash. I don’t get it why with flash you can set all apertures manually, but not when shooting without flash (yes, using the flash modes in manual without a flash results in the slow shutter speed for flash 1/15 sec.). Also I find it very difficult with this camera to get the right focus distance when shooting close up from 0,8 to 1,2 meters. Zone focusing gives good results when left at 3 meters and just “point and shoot” on most cameras.

        I still like the PEN D and the old PEN S (older ones) and the EF

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      • Now you are making me dislike this camera again 🙂
        I am not keen on half frames. I have a couple I like, but it is rare I use them.

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  3. I wish I could leave some example photos I took with my EED.

    Grz Arnoud

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  4. I buy them (often cheap), test them and sell them, but the selling gets slower than the buying 🙂 and I have a hard time to loose the nice ones. It is a sickness but I will get over it this decade or so…
    Maybe soon I will restart doing something at my WordPress website: http://photosandcameras.nl/
    Always planned to do what you are doing. Yes, you do all better than me.

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  5. Hi Arnoud,
    I loved the shots you took with the Pen D on Flickr. Are you still repairing and selling them?
    Richard

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    • Hi Richard,
      At the moment I have no time for photography but I still owe many camera’s and stuff.
      Are you looking for something?
      Kind Regards,
      Arnoud

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      • Hi Arnoud,
        I keep thinking about getting a film camera and going back to film photography, but like you I don’t have enough time!
        The shots you took with the Pen D are fantastic, and I agree with the comments you made about how much better it is when a camera is simple and well built, rather than automated functions and needing batteries etc!! If I do go back to film I think a Pen D would be tempting…
        Best Regards
        Richard

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  6. By the way, still a very nice blog you have here!

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