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Olympus Pen EES-2 repair

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This is an Olympus Pen EE-S2 which I believe was introduced around

1968. This particular sample was acquired on eBay for $17 plus

shipping. It exhibited the one problem that I have found to be most

common in the Pen E series, the aperture did not function.


Features of this camera are selenium cell auto exposure and flash

settings where you select the aperture. Two shutter speeds, 1/40 and

1/200. Zone focus. Half frame 18 x 24 mm format. When the camera

is functioning normally, you will observe that the aperture opens to

its appropriate setting as you press the shutter release button. In

the automatic setting, if there is not enough light, a red flag

should rise in the viewfinder and the shutter release should lock.

If you do not observe this behavior, don?t assume that the meter is

dead. The flaw is usually mechanical in nature.


Remove the top cover and you can observe the meters needle (red

circle) move as you point the selenium cell toward a light source.

As you press the shutter release, the needle is trapped between a

static plate and two moving jaws or pinchers. I?ve hear this being

referred to as ?trap-needle metering?. If you see the needle move,

your selenium cell is good.<div>00CqUJ-24618884.jpg.7ca0d9df8d7aa4f5e15bbfdb80565b9d.jpg</div>

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The front lens element unscrews and lifts off. Again, be careful to observe its position and screw all the way in to see where it seats before removing. (This is front element focusing just like some of the old triple element lenses in Kodak, Zeiss, etc., folders.)


Remove three more screws and the selenium cell comes away.


Here is the pin that moves the aperture blades (red circle). Try to move it and it feels very stiff. Apply a little rosonol on a Q-tip to loosen it up. Caution: too much rosonol will wick up into the lens assembly so be careful. Note the aperture fully closed below.<div>00CqUg-24620084.jpg.4266e6d13212aa2f125ab3d44d4bbff2.jpg</div>

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This is an old thread but it appears prominently in Google, so I think it is worth adding some info on how to set focus. First of all, advice to anyone disassembling the lens of cameras such as this one and the Olympus Trip 35, expanding upon some messages earlier in this thread: the ring around the inner portion of the lens, which rotates as you rotate the focus grip, is two-part. The shiny outer part with lens specifications engraved in it is a collar with a tab that you can't see protruding backwards to engage with the focus ring grip, and the inner blackened cone is a separate part; they are fastened together via three tiny set screws in the outside rim of the collar, and their position relative to each other determines focus calibration. Before you loosen these screws, make a way to ensure you can exactly realign the two parts when reassembling. I like to use a dental tool to make a very very small scratch in the paint of the black cone, aligned with the "f=" marking. The only way this works, by the way, is if you also mark the lens's orientation where the helicoid threads disengage when you unscrew it, because there are three threads and you have to get the right ones back together or you'll be at the wrong distance when rotated to the right orientation.

Now, as to calibrating focus when you have lost it... based on my measurements, when focused to infinity, the engraved collar is recessed 0.5mm deeper than the outermost filter threads. In other words, if you lay a straightedge across the filter threads and focus to infinity, there will be a 0.5mm gap to the front of that ring. I don't think this is a super accurate way to calibrate focus, but it'll be better than nothing. I did measure this with a high quality Vernier caliper for what it's worth.

A more accurate way would be to hold the shutter and aperture wide open and use a collimator with a focus screen against the film gate. I'm not aware of how to lock the shutter and aperture open on this particular camera. There's probably a way, since they likely did that at the factory, but it's not documented AFAIK.

In the absence of that, likely the most reliable way for most people to calibrate without special equipment will be to take a series of shots in dim light to open the aperture wide for shallower depth of field, noting the focus distance to which the focus ring is set and including a big sheet of paper in the photo with that information written large in thick marker. You can then develop the film and examine where focus truly lies. For example if you can see in the negative that focus is at 10m but the sign in the photo says you had the focus ring rotated to 5m, now you can mark the rotation positions on the lens and shift the alignment between the engraved collar and the inner black cone by that much. Taking a series of shots at different distances will increase the chance that you have at least one negative with a clear point of focus to reference.

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