Olympus PEN FT info on the web

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by carlos_borges, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. Hello to you all.
    If you know where I can find information for the Olympus PEN FT
    cameras, please leave the link on replies. Thanks. (Thank you Rick
    for the info on the OM-2n shutter speeds in OFF pos.)
  2. Do you have specific questions?
  3. I've got a list of links and 14 pieces of test reports and original literature here: http://www.skipwilliams.com/olympus/non_om.htm. Most of the links to worthwhile Pen FT sites are there.

  4. To D N. No, I do not have any specific question. Just want to know everything I can about those little cameras (thinking of buy a black one). But I apreciate anything you could say about them. Thanks.
  5. As an excellent book for collectors on all the Pen F cameras, lenses and accessories I highly recommend "OLYMPUS PEN SLR HALF-FRAME SYSTEM CAMERAS - A Definitive Guide for Collectors" by John Foster, see

  6. The black ones are pretty expensive, for what you get. Consider a nice chrome FT first with the 38/1.8 normal lens, which can be had for a reasonable price. The collectors bid up the black ones. If you get a black one, make sure it's a Pen FT, and not a Pen F, as all the black Pen F's were microscope models (and some black FT's were also scientific cameras). These scientific models have an ariel screen and can not be used for normal photography. The screens can not be switched, as it's cemented to the prism.

    The F's are brighter than the FT's, due to the meter taking some of the light in an FT. The F's are double-stroke and more often found jammed, but I like them, as they're brighter and cheaper. The FV's are an FT with no meter, but are very hard to find. The FT's metering system is one of those wacky, match up the numbers design. You look through the finder, see a number 0-9, and set the lens accordingly with a special aperture scale that is on the reverse of the normal f/stop's. (The FT's lenses have two scales on opposite sides.) I typically use FT's with a handheld meter. Also, FT's use mercury batteries and are often found with faulty meters.

    The new, definitive work on the Pen F, FT, FV line is by John Foster from the UK and will likely never be surpassed in it's comprehensiveness. See the link on my site.

  7. I have only experienced one weak spot in the Pen F/FT: the plastic viewfinder window frame. It's not the frame itself, as much as the fact that the camera has no flash shoe (despite offering the only 1/500 flash synch in a focal plane SLR), and olympus made a slip-on shoe that fit into the slot in the eyepiece frame. use of these accessories overstresses the plastic and they crack, and a terrible percentage of otherwise excellent F/FTs have broken eyepiece frames. Luckily, someone has recently made a mold for them and you can now buy new replacement frames at micro-tools.

    the meter in the Pen FT was okay but not exceptional for 1965, and it is very tedious to use today compared to other cameras that have come along since; but it does work, and you can get used to it.

    i have a few notes on the inside construction of the camera, and there's a website somewhere that discusses disassembling one for service. there was also an excellent article on it in Shutterbug many years ago, of which i think i've saved a copy... it went into great detail on the internal design and construction of the camera.

  8. I have a few of these. While I suppose they are "collectible" (isn't everything?) they're also great fun as user cameras!

    I got a couple of FTs before finding an FV in good shape. IMHO, the FV is nicer. It has no internal meter (like that was all that reliable even when new!) and so the viewfinder is brighter.
  9. I have a copy of the 5 or 6 part Shutterbug article if anyone wants one. Just email me offline at skipwilliams at pobox dot com.

    I also have a copy of a monograph on the Pen FT that has much of the same info as the Shutterbug article and is by the same author.

    Cost is what it costs me for the copies + shipping.


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