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.

19 thoughts on “Olympus Pen EED

      1. 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


  1. 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.


      1. This hobby puts me in trouble too. I spent more than I should. I will sell them. I have now almost sold all my Nikon stuff. Thanks for your comments.


      2. Hi Windswept!
        Just wanted to say I love your blog. So many reviews of old cameras are by fanboys who say everything is great, but yours are more balanced. Some cameras you like some you don’t. Much more useful…


    1. Thanks for all the comments. I am glad it wasn’t just me then. I love the trip and I have the Pen EE2 which I found much more reliable. I like the trip more than any of the EEs. I haven’t seen a D yet, but might invest in one later after your recommendation.


      1. No sorry, I don’t have Instagram. I am on Flickr, but didn’t post many last year(s). I did shoot many photos but still on my desk! Or in my digital archive. I shoot film, mostly Olympus and Minolta, some Fuji and I use Olympus OMD-EM1 and OMD10new and sometimes Panasonic LF1. I have over a hundred analogue cameras and lenses and most of the micro 4/3rd lenses.
        flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/125262442@N08/albums


        Liked by 1 person

  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,


  3. 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,

    Liked by 1 person

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