I am a huge fan of half-frame cameras. I like to compose with the ‘portrait’ finder which is the default in all half-frame cameras except the Yashica Samurai family. It trains my eye to see in a different way for a while, which is good practice for a photographer.
I bought the Pen EED for two qualities: it’s good looking and it’s “risqee”… i.e. full-auto exposure. For me, it’s not common I use an auto-exposure camera because I’ve become accustomed to full control through my choice of other (older) cameras. In this case, I decided to go against my own convention.
After leaving the EED for a session with my “camera guy”, who cleaned the F. Zuiko 32mm f/1.7 lens’ shutter and aperture blades, I went out into the summer to see what the camera could handle – a bit of a gamble considering that the electric circuits are something like 50 years old.
The images are from an area of Sweden called Bergslagen which for 800 years was the richest mining district in Scandinavia. There’s a photo of snowshoes, a bust depicting the author Maria Lang, and 18th-century paintings on the walls of a rich farmer’s home. The stone tower is one of hundreds of remnants of iron mills in the region.
I wasn’t ready for the massive light leaks that occurred when the camera was out in the sun for any long period time. There were practically no original light seals, so I had to add them myself. Another leak is evident in the bright areas in the middle of several exposures. Light seeps through where the shutter blade tips meet. Lens cap on from now on!
The film is my favourite Fomapan 400 Action which I have no complaints about since it’s hard to overexpose and is easily developed in Caffenol (though not in this case). The kind people at PixelGrain in Berlin did the developing and scanning.
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This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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