Japan 1963 – Compact – 35 mm – Infrequent.
The Olympus Pen F was the world’s first half-frame reflex camera.
The origins of the Pen F trace back to a 1959 challenge posed by Olympus to one of its young engineers, Yoshihisa Maitani. Tasked with creating a compact reflex camera that could retail for under 6000 yen, a fraction of the cost of Olympus’s existing offerings which started at 23000 yen, Maitani delivered a stunning success with the Pen F. This camera marked a remarkable technical advancement on numerous fronts, notably introducing the concept of a half-frame format. These innovations resulted in the generation of approximately 50 new patents for Olympus.
The Olympus Pen F is a lightweight, precision-engineered, and exceedingly compact camera that continues to enjoy a devoted community of enthusiasts even today.