A few weeks ago my husband and I had a few days off work and on one of the days we decided to have a walk around the lanes in Brighton with our dog.
I needed to pop to one of our local shops, Zoing Image in Sydney Street as I was after some Cinestill 800 film to practice some night time shots using my Pentax K1000 (blog to follow on this).
As well as the unusual film selection that Zoing Image stock, they also sell a selection of second hand cameras. Every time I visit, there are always a new selection of secondhand cameras to choose from so I love to browse.
Whilst my husband isn’t really into photography, he always takes a keen interest in any camera I buy and was extremely fascinated by my Olympus Pen FT half frame camera and the quality of images it produces.
I think this is what led him to noticing the Olympus Pen EE Camera in the cabinet for sale.
He told me he was instantly drawn to the size and grey colour of the camera. Once I explained to him it was an automatic half frame camera he wanted to have a look at it in more detail. He absolutely loved the tiny viewfinder window and the feel of it in his hands so we bought it along with some Kodak Colour Plus 200 35mm film and loaded it in the shop there and then so we could take some photos of our day around Brighton.
In some ways, this camera is similar to the Olympus Trip where a red flasher will pop up in the viewfinder if the image is too bright or dull and won’t expose correctly. This took some getting use to for my husband as he tried to take several shots where this happened.
The film number counts back from 72 to 0. The lens is a D Zuiko f/3.5 (4 element) with a focal length of 28mm.
I already knew the lens would be of good quality from my experience of using Zuiko lenses on my Olympus Pen FT.
A great edition to this camera in the shop was the fact it also came with a UV lens which screwed into the middle of the camera:
The shutter was quite small so could be hard find by feel when taking a picture:
I solved this problem when I got home by adding a metal shutter button which definitely made taking pictures easier:
The camera also came with an Olympus lens cap although I don’t think it’s the original as I think they have EE written on them.
The camera unfortunately didn’t come with the original case or wrist strap but the shop were kind enough to provide me with a small black case which was in great condition. Also I know that the original olympus cases for this camera can deteriorate over time as the plastic outer coating of the case tends to flake off. Thankfully I had a grey wrist strap at home which had originally been for my Panasonic TZ70 digital camera which I’d never used as I prefer to use a leather neck strap with that particular camera. Personally, I would never use a neck strap with the Olympus Pen EE due to it being so lightweight (12.5 ounces).
I’ve also since purchased a skylight filter for the camera which I picked up for a couple of pounds on eBay.
I was surprised how quickly my husband and I were able to get through 72 frames over two days but with a point and shoot style camera I don’t really think so much about the image since it’s automatically focused (unlike my Olympus Pen FT where I spend much more time thinking about the image I’m taking and what lens to use etc).
Here is a little selection of pictures we took:
I got the film developed at Moorfields Photographic in Liverpool as they have the half frame developing equipment which means that each image is exposed correctly rather than a compromise of exposure between two images as would occur at a normal lab with standard 35mm equipment.
Overall I was happy with the quality of the images and was what I expected from the Zuiko lens. I also liked the vintage feel of the photos. The sharpness was a little hit and miss at times since it’s automatic with only one lens type.
I will always prefer my Olympus Pen FT because of the gorgeous crispness I get with that camera along with the variety of lenses I can use for a particular shot.
However, if out and about in a rush and if I’ve only got a little handbag on me during the daytime then I would happily put this little camera in my bag and use it for the day.
It’s also handy for my husband to use when we’re out and about as he’s not so keen on all the time that can be spent perfecting a shot using a heavier SLR Camera 📷