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Olympus Pen F Camera Nostalgia

From: "R.C.Hamilton" <rch6@postoffice2.mail.cornell.edu>
To: faveclassics@hotmail.com
Subject: Pen F camera nostalgia
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 17:10:15 -0700

I had the pleasure of representing the American Importer (Henry Froehlich)
of both the Konica and Pen F cameras in 1960. Originally, Henry was located
in Philadelphia, Pa. and I met him at a photo show at Convention Hall, must
have been about about 1958 or '59. At that time I was a staff photographer
for the Evening Bulletin and a leading exponent of the 35mm cameras in what
was then a 4X5 Speed Graphic era. Henry loaned me the first Konica
pentaprism reflex camera brought to the U.S. Since I was the Director of
Education for Region 3, of the NPPA, I was anxious to see what that camera
could do. (Their slogan was, "The lens alone is worth the price") I still
have some photos left from those days, some 16 X 20 blow-ups as well as
several 8 X 10s. Henry relocated in NYC, around 1959, and after that, I
heard little about him or Konica and was surprised one day, to come home
and find a complete Pen F outfit with a full assortment of lenses had been
delivered to my home. With this came an urgent request asking if I would
give the Pen F a complete run using all lenses... and if possible, come to
NYC to demonstrate the camera at a press conference for the pen F.

It is one of my favorite memories to recall that day when I presented that
camera and showed a collection of 16 X 20 blow-ups that could rival
anything ever done with a double frame camera. These were remarkable photos
and considering these were all made from single frame negatives, it was a
tour de force for Olympic. Highpoint came when Popular Photography's critic
and editor pulled out a magnifying glass and closely inspected the full 16"
X 20" blow ups which I had mounted on boards. The performance of those
Olympus lenses was outstanding. I had used ADOX KB14 film souped in Ethol
Blue and also other compensating developers including Rodinol 1:100. After
the show, the president of Olympus, who had come over from Japan (spoke no
English) invited me to join him and his family (with Henry too) to dine at
Siatos in NYS.

Great memories... thanks for stirring them up.

Russell Hamilton (Photojournalist retired)

Read "In-Plant Test KONI-OMEGA RAPID" article by Russel C. Hamilton