Friday, June 21, 2024


With the upcoming launch of the Pentax 17 half-frame camera I decided I would use my Olympus-Pen half-frame camera again. The Olympus-Pen was the first of a line of Olympus half-frame 35mm cameras. The camera was initially released in 1959. The version I have is the original Pen. 

Here are the basic specs of the all manual Olympus-Pen:
  • 35mm Olympus D.Zuiko f/2.8 lens
  • Aperture f/3.5 through f/22
  • Speed B, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200
  • Manual focus from a minimum of 2 ft to infinity
  • Range finder with bright half-frame lines in viewfinder
  • Film advance via a thumb wheel on the back of the top plate of the camera
  • Count down exposure dial (manually set to number of images on the roll at the beginning of the roll)
  • Flash sync plug
  • Cold shoe (accessory shoe)
Here is an online manual from

I shot a bulk rolled cartridge of Ilford HP5+ and home developed it with Kodak D-76 at 1+1 for 13 minutes. 

A few examples in downtown Indianapolis:

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Ferrania Orto 50 35mm Film


I've recently tested Ferrania's Orto 50 in 35mm for the first time. As with all new film stocks I was excited to give it a try. 

I shot a roll through my Nikon F4 and a roll through a Hasselblad X-Pan. Both rolls were used on different but very sunny days. Both rolls were home developed using stock Kodak D-76 for 7 minutes as recommended by Ferrania.  

Not going to lie I didn't like the results. The key word for this film based on how I shot and developed the film is CONTRAST.  This might be an understatement. Honestly, the images straight out of the scanner are unusable without significant editing. 

Examples from the XPan:

Examples from the Nikon F4:

I might be able to tone down the contrast and improve quality of the images by spot metering on the shadows. However, the Nikon was matrix metered and I didn't consider it with the XPan.

A few observations about the images without editing:
  • The shadows / midtones are so dark every dust spot shows up like a spotlight,
  • Highlights are surprisingly understated,
  • Grain is very fine / almost non-existing,
I did not shoot any of the images in overcast conditions, so this condition may be better for the film.

HOWEVER, there is detail in the shadows and because of the fine grain / moderate highlights there is lots of room to edit the images. 

I normally don't spend much time editing my film images, but for this film I did .... A LOT. All of the images were edited in both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. 

Here are some of the above photos that have been edited:


Bottomline, I don't like making negative comments about any film stock, but I don't think I'll be using this film again. I prefer less contrast even though I enjoy the fine grain. However, if you enjoy contrast or are shooting in more muted lighting the Orto 50 may be for you.