Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Since I acquired my Pentax K1000 I have been pushed to learn even more about film photography than I had when I bought my Olympus Pen F, namely because they are such different cameras. I didn't actually realize just how different they were until I sat down and read-up on both of them... and of course in true teacher fashion, created a chart to compare and contrast (just be happy I stopped short of actually making a Venn Diagram). So here is what I learned today (seriously, my brain is full!)

Olympus Pen FV

Pentax K1000

The Olympus Pen FV produced by Olympus of Japan between 1967-1970.
The Half frame format meant that the camera used a 18×24 mm vertical (portrait) format, producing twice the pictures on a roll of 135 film as the regular 36×24 mm format. The smaller image format also allowed for a smaller camera and lenses, making the Pen F system one of the smallest SLR systems ever made
Manufactured by Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. from 1976 to 1997, originally in Japan. 
The K1000's extraordinary longevity makes it a historically significant camera, despite its very ordinary design. The K1000 inexpensive simplicity was a great virtue and earned it an unrivaled popularity as a basic but sturdy workhorse, particularly suited to educating inexperienced photographers. The Pentax K1000 eventually sold over three million units.
Film Size


A single-lens reflex (SLR) camera is a camera that typically uses a semi-automatic moving mirror system that permits the photographer to see exactly what will be captured by the film or digital imaging system (after a very small delay), as opposed to pre-SLR cameras where the view through the viewfinder could be significantly different from what was captured on film.
Shutter Type

Rotary disc shutter
Focal-plane shutter
While the vast majority of rotary shutters are naturally used on motion-picture cameras (as well as projectors), there were some still cameras that employed this type of shutter, notably the Univex Mercury and the Olympus Pen F SLR.
Rotary discs are semicircular mirrors which rotate in front of the film gate, and thus expose the film.
The rotary shutter proved to be very simple to construct, accurate and reliable in these cameras.

* Since Rotary Disc Shutters aren’t very common in still cameras, I had a hard time finding advantages or disadvantages of this type of shutter. If anyone has anymore information, please feel free to share.
The traditional type of focal-plane shutter in 35 mm cameras, uses two shutter curtains, made of opaque rubberized fabric, that run horizontally across the film plane.
One of the advantages of focal-plane shutters is that the shutter can be built into the body of a camera which accepts interchangeable lenses, eliminating the need for each lens to have a central shutter built into it.
Another advantage of the focal-plane shutter is that their fastest speeds are quite high.
The main disadvantage of the focal-plane shutter is that a durable and reliable one is a complex (and often expensive) device.
In addition, the typical focal-plane shutter has flash synchronization speeds that are slower. In other words, the very narrow slits of fast speeds will not be properly flash exposed.
Focal-plane shutters may also produce image distortion of very fast moving objects or when panned rapidly.

1:2,8 –  38mm
Fixed Focal Length (or Prime)
1:4 – 125mm
Zoom Lens
A prime lens of a given focal length is less versatile than a zoom whose range includes that focal length, but is often of superior optical quality, lighter weight, smaller bulk and lower cost.
Prime lenses usually have a larger maximum aperture than zoom lenses. This allows photography in lower light and a shallower depth of field.
A true zoom lens, also called a parfocal lens, is one that maintains focus when its focal length changes.
Zoom lenses are often described by the ratio of their longest to shortest focal lengths. For example, a zoom lens with focal lengths ranging from 100 mm to 400 mm may be described as a 4:1 or "4×" zoom. 

*All information taken from Wikipedia (you know that place on the internet that I keep telling my students not to use for research cause it isn't credible? Yeah, that place)
P.S. Sorry about the formating, I am done fighting with it for today


  1. Ha, love the chart!

    Interesting to see all the info laid out like that. I didn't realize the Olympus Pen was so small. Are all of your Olympus photos taken using half-frame or is that simply an option? What do you think about the half-frame results? My Diana Mini can do that, but I haven't tried yet.

    I'm all about my prime 50 mm / 45 mm lens on my cameras. I would be totally lost if I couldn't set my aperture wider than 4. :)

  2. what?
    no photo credit for me?

  3. Dottie - My Olympus only does half frame. Since I don't have a scanner and get all my photos direct to cd, the half-frame really just allows me to have double the pictures for the same price. Once I put them on my computer, I just cut them in half and save each image as a separate file. One day I will actually get them developed and see how they turn out.
    One thing I do really like is how the smaller half-frame allows tighter framing. I am still getting used to the full frame with my Pentax and often have a hard time looking at the "bigger picture"

  4. Sorry Jeffrey! Both photos in this post were taken by my wonderful fiancé on his Pentax K1000 (the one that inspired me to pick up my Olympus at that garage sale).