With the steady popularity of retro-styled digital cameras, we can assume that camera companies will continue to draw inspiration from classic designs and iconic models. However, it’s also reasonable to expect that these modern takes on the classics can only go as far. So, if you have a specific vintage camera that you hope would see a digital version, your best bet is often a third-party digital back (although it will most likely look a little unwieldy and clunky). Unless, you have the guts, patience, and talent for tinkering and making your own — or you’re an Olympus fan and would be willing to settle for a vintage Olympus Pen F combined with a digital PEN E-PM1!
If the digital PEN-F isn’t retro enough for you, this curious-looking Olympus camera is listed on ebay by good-vintage-japan is as retro as it gets. No other information is provided about who made this interesting camera. As we can see in the photos, it has the body of a chrome vintage Pen F and the guts of a modern PEN E-PM1 mirrorless camera. If you’re interested in owning this most likely one-of-a-kind Olympus, it’s all yours for $577.48, free shipping!
If anyone out there has any leads about the maker of this camera, please, we’d love to know. We have questions! For starters, we want to know what shooting with it is like, and what the sample photos look like, and what it was like putting the old and the new Pen cameras together.
The Olympus Pen F, of course, was a landmark camera in its own right. Introduced in 1963, it was a half-frame 35mm SLR camera designed by the renowned Yoshihisa Maitani, the chief designer for Olympus who was integral to the development of many of the company’s legendary cameras. As the name suggests, the Pen F followed the compact, half-frame Olympus Pen, which Maitani’s first successful design. According to Camerapedia, the Pen F doesn’t have the traditional SLR prism bulge since the reflex mirror flips sideways. This made it possible to have a compact porro prism viewfinder arrangement. It also had a two-stroke winding mechanism, the first stroke for advancing the film and the second for cocking the shutter. The Pen F was bundled with a 38mm f1.8 lens, and was compatible with a wide range of lenses and accessories, including an accessory meter powered by PX625 battery.
If you want the original vintage instead, you can grab this Olympus Pen F with 38mm f1.8 lens in excellent condition off eBay for $229, or even this CLA-d matte olive repainted Olympus Pen F (body only) for $475.
Photos from the eBay listing by good-vintage-japan