in Cameras, Photography

Olympus Pen FV – some pics

Just a few random samples from the Olympus Pen FV that I wrote about previously. These are on a mix of Kentmere 400 and Agfa Vista Plus 200.

thoughts while shooting and scanning

  • The lens is pretty sharp, even at f2, though it’s best at f4 or f5.6. I was surprised at the detail on some of the shots, even on the Kentmere, which is kinda grainy.
  • The lack of a split prism and smallish finder makes it quite hard to focus in bad light, which is when you really need it. I almost never miss manual focus on 35mm cameras with a split prism, whereas here I did a few times (I’ve not posted the mis-focussed ones… they’re not awful but definitely out.) So if you are shooting in bad light, make sure that if you miss focus the shot is not going to be ruined e.g. have potential subjects at various distances.
  • Even outdoors with 400-speed film, in London you may need to shoot at f2.8 to get a 1/125 shutter speed.
  • It’s weird, but even though you’re just as obvious, shooting with a small camera draws less attention. Maybe people see me, see my silly camera, and dismiss me as just some weirdo not worth worrying about.

Now I want to go back and re-try my Olympus Pen (the first, full-manual compact one, not the Pen EE) to compare. I remember some of the shots from that being surprisingly good.