Pen-F “Pre” Review

Iksan, South Korea. Olympus Pen-F, 17mm F1.8 Olympus.

So, I’m gonna start by saying this is not a review. The review is still in progress. My thoughts about the Pen-F are actually pretty well concluded. I know how I feel about it in use. I know how I feel about it with the 17mm Olympus lens and I know how I feel about it with an adapter Leica Summilux. I would say I know how it does for video if I knew anything about video. I know how I feel about the art profiles (I didn’t use them). I know how I feel about the jpgs (f#$k raw).

Iksan, South Korea. Olympus Pen-F, 50mm Leica Summilux V2.

That said, most of the photos I’ve taken with this camera are photos of beer cups in my apartment. Sad, I know. It’s just with a complete house renovation ongoing I don’t really have much time for trips to Seoul and photo taking.

Olympus Pen-F, Leica 50mm Summilux V2. 

So, unfortunately, the proper review is waiting on this. Waiting on photos that aren’t of q-tips ha.

Maybe you’re wondering why I am making this post in light of all that. Well, quite honestly, I’m writing this to ask you what you want to see in the review. I don’t normally do this but I don’t normally have as much interest in a review as this one seems to have. Are their any features you want properly tested? Any topics you want covered? Any types of photos you want to see?

More Q-tips?

Written from a Starbucks, some in Iksan, South Korea.

February 2018.

Olympus Pen-F. Olympus 17mm f1.8.


  1. No technical stuff please, there’s already too much of that around!

    Give us your deepest feelings about the Pen F… and lots of photos!

    Looking forward to the review!

  2. I’m curious about the jpegs. I’v read most of your blog posts, and just like you, I hate post processing. I’m looking for a camera that can give me great bw’s with a touch of film in just one click, the shutter. You’ve used the x-Pro2 before. I am interested in how those 2 compare, especially how the two film simulations compare, acros vs whatever it is called on the pen f. And how about you old Ricoh GR Digital?
    (Or do you always use your pp-presets to achieve your consistant, gorgeous bw’s?)
    Thank you for your time!

    1. I actually plan on talking about the jpegs quite a bit since that is basically all I used. I have some basic presets I use for everything but the way cameras take them is for sure different. I shoot in a kind of unique way by shooting a couple of stops underexposed all the time and pushing back even on digital.

  3. I think the only thing I’d say is that if you show the pictures processed in the way you process them to maintain consistency, then the review is rather more about the ‘touch and feel’ and how it is for the kind of photography you do, and handling is such a personal thing. Using different lens combinations is something different again. What I think is interesting is how camera manufacturers have cottoned onto this idea of retro look, in this case the Leica III.

    1. Yeah, I plan on talking about your later point quite a bit. I am using this camera in conjunction with the OM-D EM-1 which I would consider to be more “modern” of a camera in the way it works (even though it has the retro faux prism) and I have some opinions on how they differ. That being said, I think Olympus is good at making a camera look good while maintaining modern feature sets. Either way, lots on that in the review I reckon 😉

      1. Haha, I don’t think it matters much. It’s a pretty digital camera. I think it’s about a pretty of a digital camera as I’ve seen. People often ask me if my M3 is a a Fuji. Doesn’t bother me much 😉

  4. I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on the different ways Olympus and Fuji have drawn from classic film cameras with their newer digital cameras. I think you have/had an X100 so hopefully you could speak a bit to their different philosophies. Also, what it’s like to shoot micro 4/3 format vs 35mm, regarding image dimension.

    1. I answered this a little in the previous question. I definitely think Fuji tries to stick to a more classic control approach, while Olympus just designs their cameras to appear retro. On the second, it is complicated depending on darkroom prints vs scanned negatives and all that but I plan on addressing it surely. Generally, I think M4/3s is about the best combination of depth of field and low light capability out there at the moment.

  5. I’ve had my Pen-F for a while now and simply love it. It will be interesting just to hear someone else’s view on it especially from a usability point of view.
    Also interested in your lens paring as that is one area where I have struggles, mainly due to the lack of vintage lenses wide enough to get a decent field of view.

      1. I’m mostly using the 38mm from the original Pen-F and that gives me a nice focal lens for the most part, recently bought the Rokinon 12mm for landscapes which I am getting used to.

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