Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Olympus PEN EE2 in Cochin

If you’re interested in the camera’s history, read on. Otherwise, skip to the photos below. These are rescanned photos from hard copies taken in 1993.

My father bought this camera in 1977 when I was 3. He gave it to me when I was 10. It has served me well till now for 28 years and continues to generate outstanding photos albeit the good old analog way.

The PEN series was a breakthrough from Olympus. These were the first half frame cameras produced which became such a rage that they were copied later by all other manufacturers. A half frame camera utilizes only half the space on the film roll. As a result, a 36 frame roll will generate 72 snaps from these little devils. During their day, they were great value for money and their miniature size was a revolution as it fitted into anyone’s pocket.

Designed by Maitani Yoshihisa, the PEN was introduced in 1959 and was the smallest camera made then to utilize regular 35 mm film rolls. The name PEN was given as it was supposed to be as portable as a pen.

The PEN EE2 was made from 1968 to 1977 and was a real point and shoot with manual adjustable settings and had a 28mm f/3.5 lens. No batteries required. The EE series is easily recognizable by the selenium meter around the lens. The camera did not come with a built in flash but could still take photos in low light situations by adjusting the aperture settings.

This camera has traveled with me across India and the Gulf in some of the worst weather conditions from the 50+ degrees in the Rajasthan summers to the soggy humidity of Pondicherry and Kerala down to Kanyakumari. Below are a few precious photos taken in 1993 in Cochin giving me great memories to last this lifetime.

The scanner that was used to scan these hard copy photographs had an old lamp giving it the jaded retro look. The hard copies are otherwise very good.

Sunset at Kanyakumari – This was a heart warming photo that didn’t need any words. Standing at the tip of India, we could see the waters of the Arabian sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal all coming in from 3 sides and merging together at the tip. The sun was setting and this glorious once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was not to be missed. My roommate and I made a pact then that we would each bring our soulmates to this location again. He hasn’t kept his pact and I don’t think I will be able to either. So this photo goes out to the soulmates who can view this on their desktops.

Adirampalli Falls, Kerala

Malampuzha Park – This photo was taken from atop the dam


Suruli Falls – My roommate and I (tiny blobs) took a little while to get up there for the grand photo.

Cochin Harbour – A catamaran lazily drifts over the water. The fee to the island was Rs. 1 on a boat!

Malampuzha Dam and Park – Half an hour from Palghat, the picture captured a good scene. Cable cars, boat rides, clear water. This photo was taken from a rope bridge and for the life of me, I struggled to keep the camera steady and I was bobbing up and down. Behind me was the Malampuzha dam.

Sunset at Cochin – A clear sky and a warm breeze greeted us at Cochin. This photo was taken along the Marine Drive. I missed the sun but captured the streaks of orange.

Thekkadi, Kerala – I can’t believe how quiet the place was back then. I’ve heard is so commercial now that this photo is a forgotten reminder of how beautifully pristine the place was


Neeru's Corner said...

Superb pics and the description of the camera. My dad also has one cam which clicks black and white pics.

Have seen some of the best shots coming of it as well :) Great one!

Alanna said...

Very nice pictures. I picked this camera up recently and am about to develop my first roll. Looking forward to it!