F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.

Pieces An on-line look at cameras etc. by Stephanie Marriott


Pen Series

Pen EF

Pen D

Pen for Agfa Rapid

Pen EES and Rapid EES

Pen EED and Rapid EED

Pen 8EE

Filter Sizes

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August 1999

Introduction. Olympus was founded in 1919. It was intended that the company should build microscopes, and their first microscope was brought to the market in 1920. It wasn't until 1936 that their first camera appeared, a folding camera with Zuiko lens and Compur shutter which takes 16 exposures on 120. This camera is now difficult to find. In 1942 the company changed its name from Takachiho Seisakusho to Takachiho Kogaku Kogyo Co., becoming the Olympus Optical Co. a few years later (in 1949).

Takachiho is the name of a large mountain, reputedly the earthly home of the Japanese gods, just as Olympus is the name of a high mountain which is supposed to be the earthly home of the Greek gods. The Mizuho Optical Institute was established in 1936 as an engineering laboratory; Mizuho was the name for the legendary "golden isle" from which would emanate the light of good fortune, or Zuiko - hence the name of the lenses.

Zuiko lenses are usually given a single letter designation as well as their specification e.g. Zuiko F f/1.9 32 mm. The letter indicates the number of elements in the lens and is a simple alpha/number substitution, where A = 1, B = 2 and so on. Thus, F = 6, so the f/1.9 32 mm. lens has six elements.

Due to tight import restrictions, many Olympus cameras never made it to the British market, and those that did never achieved the degree of recognition that the later cameras managed, especially the Olympus Trip (which was the subject of a truly inspired advertising campaign with David Bailey).

Other well-known and popular cameras made by Olympus include the Olympus XA cameras, the Olympus Pen half-frame cameras, and the Olympus OM series. Less well-known is a cine camera, which also carried the Pen name.

Pen Half-Frame series: There are too many Olympus Pen cameras - about 20, plus several single-lens reflex Pen F cameras - for me to detail all of them, so I've picked a few which are, for various reasons, interesting or significant. All of these cameras are half-frame i.e. they take 48 exposures on a 24 exposure 35 mm. cassette, or 72 exposures on a 36 exposure 35 mm. cassette. They all take portrait format pictures.

The range started in 1959, with the Pen, with Zuiko f/3.5 28 mm. lens and Copal X shutter. This camera appeared in the UK market in about 1962, when it cost £16 16s.

Pen EF. The final model to be introduced, as far as I can find out, was the Olympus Pen EF, which came out in about 1981. This Pen had a Zuiko f/3.5 28 mm. fixed-focus lens, a simple two-speed programmed shutter with a built-in CdS meter and a built-in pop-up flash. The Pen EF is less common than most Pen cameras, although not rare.

Pen D. One of the most popular Pen cameras now - and the one reputed to have the best lens - is the Pen D. Introduced in about 1962, the Pen D has a Zuiko f/1.9 32 mm. 6 element lens, Copal X shutter and uncoupled selenium meter which gives a reading using the EV scale. This camera appears in the UK in about 1964, when it cost £32 11s.(Picture). The Pen D2, which came out in about the same year (1964), was the same as the Pen D but it had a CdS meter. It was not imported into the UK for very long and I have not been able to find price information for this camera. In 1965 the D2 was superseded by the D3, which had a Zuiko f/1.7 lens. The metering cell on all three of these cameras is above the lens. In 1967 the D3 cost £39 7s. 10d.

Pen Rapid. Probably the rarest Pen cameras are the two which were made to accept Agfa Rapid cassettes. I have not been able to find any record of these cameras ever being offered for sale in the UK. The Rapid EES and Rapid EED both have standard Pen equivalents.

The Pen EES and the Rapid EES are fully automatic cameras with a fixed focus f/2.8 30 mm. zone-focusing lens. The EES was introduced in about 1962 and made for about 6 years, during which time it was a very popular camera. It appears in the UK in about 1964, when it cost £26 5s. The Rapid EES was introduced in about 1965 and discontinued the following year; like the 'Rapid' system itself, the camera did not catch the buying public's eye.

The Pen EED and Pen Rapid EED have an f/1.7 seven-element Zuiko lens and automatic metering. A low-light warning can be seen in the viewfinder. The Rapid model preceded the EED model to the market, coming out in about 1965. It was discontinued in 1966, after only a few months of production. The EED was introduced in 1967 and production lasted about 5 years, during which time it enjoyed steady sales. In 1968, the Pen EED cost £49 10s.

The Pen 8 EE is a Standard-8 cine camera with electric drive (16 f.p.s. only) and a 9 mm. to 27 mm. f/1.8 Zuiko zoom lens. It has a reflex viewfinder and automatic exposure, with built-in CdS meter. The zoom lens may be removed and the camera used with a fixed 13 mm. f/1.8 lens. This camera was introduced into the UK in about 1964, when it cost a little over £49. It disappears from the UK shortly after the introduction of Super-8 (1965).

Filter Sizes 


22.5 mm.


22.5 mm.


22.5 mm.


22.5 mm.


43 mm.


43 mm.


43 mm.


43 mm.


43 mm.


43 mm.


43.5 mm.


43.5 mm.

8EE 13 mm. f/1.8

22.5 mm.

8EE 9 mm. to 27 mm. f/1.8

52 mm.

EEE 9 mm. to 27 mm. f/1.8

52 mm.

Note: I like to give price information in both sterling and American dollars. However, this information is not always available to me, in which case I use whichever I can get. I do not convert from one currency to the other; market conditions vary and camera prices were often very different in the U.S.A. and Britain, so conversion would not give an accurate picture.

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