This 1960's camera is powered by light and completely automatic

Technology Connections
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Amazing what you can do with a few photons here and there.

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26 Eyl 2022




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Technology Connections
One note about selenium light cells: they wear out with use and time. There are plenty of these cameras out there where the cell isn't as sensitive so it over-exposes everything, or sometimes the cell is completely dead and the camera won't let you take a picture. That said... I'm not entirely convinced this is so common as to be expected. You might have noticed there are... more than three of these cameras littered about. I have purchased several cameras listed as non-functioning or "for parts" or whatever and I personally have only encountered one which had a worn cell (it's actually the cell you see disembodied in this video). I suppose I could just be quite lucky, but one of those parts cameras was absolutely trashed - rusty, moldy, and seized up - but the needle was just as perky as the rest! Specifically with this design, if the aperture blades cannot open, the shutter interlock / red flag does not work. That makes a lot of people presume that the camera is dead. But! If the shutter still fires, you can usually test the meter's integrity by shining a bright light into the lens and listening for that faster shutter speed. If it's changing speeds on its own, the light cell and meter are working - but the stuck aperture mechanism might fool you into thinking it's not.
V8Snail 18 gün önce
@TechnocratiK It is an acronym. Geneva's International Organisation for Standardisation.
Aleks L
Aleks L 20 gün önce
i dont understand any of this
ghw7192 Aylar önce
I managed a camera store for 16 years and we found that sometimes a dead or lazy selenium meter could be "shocked" back to life be exposing them to direct sunlight for a period of time. I have a few Gossen and Sekonik meters where this has worked. I also have a Petri 7S from the mid 60's that has a working around the lens that still has a working selenium meter, but I also have dead ones.
Carlos Lindarte
Carlos Lindarte Aylar önce
Wow! You always deliver great content, but it’s been a while since you brought us the beautiful engineering behind the mechanical components of consumer “electronics” of mid 20th century. I haven’t been this happy since your episode going over the mechanics of the jukebox! Thank you!
samuel Woodouse
samuel Woodouse Aylar önce
What's the camera model
Paul Serdiuk
Paul Serdiuk 2 aylar önce
The scene where you mentioned buying two of them and I noticed there are FOUR of the things in the frame and the light sensor of a fifth was absolutely hilarious. That's dedication.
UK CardCast
UK CardCast 9 gün önce
@Captain Jack I definitely counted 6 at one point - in one shot, you can just see the bottom on one above his head.
stella mcwick
stella mcwick Aylar önce
@Lizlodude , I think there’s only four. In the wide shot, there is one on the shelf above him but only one on the desk with him at the time
Captain Jack
Captain Jack Aylar önce
😂Ok so I'm not the only one that notice he had ➡6 cameras⬅. 😊I agree with him that he is a little obsessed with these cameras.
Mixer Fistit
Mixer Fistit Aylar önce
@todd richards scrolled looking for FOUR LIGHTS comments lol close enough
LurochDelkar Aylar önce
When the video started I saw the one by his right shoulder and was waiting for him to grab it for the magic of buying two of them. As soon as he reached for a lens and grabbed a different one instead I was shocked.
yomi001 2 aylar önce
Hey Alec. I'm astonished that you took apart these cameras, filmed close-ups of their intricate mechanisms, learned how they work, and explained it all so clearly. Fantastic work! I really appreciate the efforts that went into producing this video.
ghost man scores
ghost man scores Aylar önce
he does his homework
J Shoe
J Shoe Aylar önce
@Oxy Bright Dark Totally agree. This was a really nice video. Educational and enjoyable.
theAstarrr Aylar önce
He does this kind of stuff a lot! He breaks things apart or at least tries to get a look inside them. Enjoy his backlog of videos
Another Duck
Another Duck 2 aylar önce
I'm pretty good at the first part.
Oxy Bright Dark
Oxy Bright Dark 2 aylar önce
If you're new here, you might like some other stuff- Alec is really good at doing this!
youtuuba 2 aylar önce
When I was 5 years old, my father got a state department job in Japan, so our young family packed up and moved there to live for several years. My folks has little expendable income, by my mother insisted on buying a new Japanese camera for herself to use for all the family & touristy things she envisioned. Being frugal, she wanted to conserve on film costs, and selected the Olympus Pen (this would have been around 1963) as it did the half frame exposure and also was simple and nearly foolproof to use, and reliable. Later, we moved to Europe and lived in three different places for many years, and she hauled the Pen camera all over, taking lots of photos. Recently, I spent a few months scanning all the old family slides, and found a few thousand of the half frame slides (my mother never seemed to have a problem with the photo labs being able to detect, appropriately process, and correctly frame the smaller slides). There was not even a single poor exposure in the lot, and they were all in focus. She still owns the camera, but has not used it in many decades.
youtuuba 12 gün önce
@PT , I don't know. He never talked about it. I know he had a secondary duty to make certain announcements on the Armed Forces radio network (Pacific), but that was not his main reason for being there. He had previously had a couple of duties at Cape Canaveral related to the early Air Force missile program, so I thought he might have been given some related duty in the Pacific region.
PT 12 gün önce
Hi. What was your father's state job in Japan if i may ask?
🆆𝒉𝒂𝒕𝒔𝒂𝒑𝒑'me+¹(³⁰⁵)⁹⁴³-⁴⁸⁹⁰ Enes Yilmazer
Thanks for watching ⬆️⬆️ Reach out with the number above let's chat.
Travis Johnson
Travis Johnson 2 aylar önce
I'll never get sick of the magic of buying two Edit: I'm blown away! Next level magic in this episode, could have never seen this coming!
Melody 20 saatler önce
Also the needle depth sampling is almost exactly how a minute repeater mechanical watch samples the time in order to ring it out to you.
fluffy 2 aylar önce
It's funny how back in the day nobody wanted to hold their camera vertically to get a landscape shot, and today nobody wants to hold their phone horizontally to get a landscape video. Also, wow, this camera has so many clever bits in it.
Sine Nomine
Sine Nomine Gün önce
@p be but cameras were limited by their design in the past. There's no reason every digital camera shouldn't let you take photos in any dimension in the most comfortable orientation. It might mean being forced to use a lower resolution, but why not let people have the choice? Nobody needs 32 MP really...
Vinemaple 10 gün önce
You made my night with that observation
Bill Keith Channel
Bill Keith Channel 20 gün önce
If a cell phone was designed to be landscape as the default this might not be the case. Putting buttons in the same area as a physical camera would make that feel instinctive.
Don Best
Don Best Aylar önce
@Tom Servo In the 80s,90s when I made videos I always used sp speed recording to video and never zoomed in to much on subject and also recorded stuff close to center of screen as much as possible because I knew 6×9 displays would be coming in future,so when I converted videos to digital I could crop top and bottom and won't lose anything.I have old family videos from the 80s and 90s converted to 6×9,looks great.
Topher The11th
Topher The11th Aylar önce
@the commenter Yes, totally agreed that would be good, BUT ONLY if the user can disable it. The user has the right to create the effect of a world cranking over clockwise, on an axis through the camera, by changing his camera's horizontal level in a counter-clockwise direction. I didn't move over all my software from an older computer, and now I have nothing that disregards EXIF. So I have no idea, until a few people who are still using software (old browsers and such) to view photos write back to me and TELL me "this photo is turned 90 degrees". Even the latest version of MS-Paint won't ignore EXIF. I DO have an OLD version of MS-Paint, and it DOES ignore EXIF. But the JPG file-format is lossy, so there is always going to be some degradation when I open a JPG in Old Paint, save as ".bmp" (which will lose the EXIF business), close it, open it again, turn it sideways, and save it as JPG so that no matter who is using what software to look at that image, it's not turned the wrong way. Another fun effect in a photo has been done retroactively with videos of rock-bands in the 1960s. The video is edited so that it looks as if the original cinematographer was either swaying or jumping in time with the music, or flicking the zoom knob in and out in time with the music, or both. A user should be able to impart a rhythmic effect like that at the time of filming, perhaps not up-and-down or in-and-out but swiveling. A sensor that preserves horizontal orientation would prevent a users' doing that.
L̴i̴n̴a̴ C̴h̴a̴tT ̴ -m̴e̴- 👉t@p
For the background of the design choices for this camera, look up the designer: Yoshihisa Maitani. He was a passionate photographer and felt that the half frame format let him take twice as many pictures for the same cost. He also designed other influential Olympus cameras including the OM1 and the XA series.
Jartrain Gün önce
I have an Olympus Trip 35, the rare black version and it works perfectly, full 35mm frames though, terrific for street photography due to the ultra silent leaf shutter!
Steven Don
Steven Don 2 aylar önce
Ooh, as a kid I had a Trip 35, which used to be my mum's. The light sensor was such a distinctive feature with its honeycomb structure. Always wondered about how that worked. And now, almost 35 years later, I learned :)
Denny Rulos
Denny Rulos 5 gün önce
I am rocking a Trip 35 right now! It used to be my great grandfathers and still works like a charm.
Tom Forsyth
Tom Forsyth Aylar önce
As a kid, I also had a Trip 35, which was my grandma's, and then handed down to me. And yup - it was incredibly kid-proof. A genius bit of design. I wish I'd known about the EES though - double the shots would have been very useful!
Maikeru Go
Maikeru Go 2 aylar önce
Sort of tangential, but I've thought about the reason why the current era has returned to taking photos vertically on their phones (and has started taking vertical videos) is a matter of general ergonomics and the push for thinner devices with larger displays. So while nearly every smartphone prior to the iPhone 6 was a lot easier to hold one-handed, in either orientation, the iPhone 6 was the first phone to really be hazardous to hold in landscape orientation due to it coming in a fairly large size, having a rounded bezel, and being made of slippery, expensive materials that happen to take dropping kind of poorly.
Mike P
Mike P 2 aylar önce
For the background of the design choices for this camera, look up the designer: Yoshihisa Maitani. He was a passionate photographer and felt that the half frame format let him take twice as many pictures for the same cost. He also designed other influential Olympus cameras including the OM1 and the XA series.
Bart Van Leeuwen
Bart Van Leeuwen 2 aylar önce
@Peter Meehan the XA is a brilliant little gem.
Peter Meehan
Peter Meehan 2 aylar önce
While I love the OM series, the ingeniousness of the XA (such as their having to use a "reverse retrofocus" lens design to be able to fit it under the sliding cover, and the sheer audacity of implementing a rangefinder mechanism AND aperture control in a camera THAT small) along with its utterly unique look (with its iconic Big Red Button), make it one of my favourite examples of industrial design of all time.
Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
It's always nice to see someone create a product because they themselves would like to use it.
Bart Van Leeuwen
Bart Van Leeuwen 2 aylar önce
Yes, Maitani was a passionate photographer, and that shows in many of his designs, and design choices. It is part of why even the 'point and shoot' PEN models have those excellent optics. I own many of the cameras he designed, including a fully working OM1 and a PEN FT (which sadly is defective now, suffering from a jammed mechanism which is a real pain to repair).
jrevillug 2 aylar önce
And, of course, the XA-1 has the same selenium light sensor and metering setup, complete with the red flag.
Your videos are so solid, they could be a PBS Saturday afternoon kids' science show from the 1980s. Seriously. They could be popped right into that kind of situation. Most of these TC productions could be easily edited into a typical half-hour slot (as on my local PBS stations in the 80s, the "filler" to take up any airtime slack would be AUBREY cartoons) 🤖👽🤖👽🤖👽👺
Vinemaple 10 gün önce
He's even got the look--I do appreciate that I know a video is his because the thumbnail always has his backdrop in it
Aaron Brandenburg
Aaron Brandenburg 2 aylar önce
Yes agree about his videos I'd rather watch this any day over just about anything else well besides other videos about content that would be beneficial to my own knowledge but there is so much crap on TRvid that's not even worth watching so this is one channel that when you realize something's crap just switch to this or something else that's a lot more solid and of more entertainment and knowledge which is kind of one in the same for me just because of my interest and how much I'm into things honestly I'd rather watch video and actually learn something instead of the crap out there for certain. Who says you can't learn anything on the Internet or on TRvid honestly
Greg Blake
Greg Blake 2 aylar önce
It's really interesting how engineering hasn't changed at it's core much despite wrapping many more layers of abstraction around it through high tech. Clever ways of implementing feedback using minimal complexity has a certain sense of purity to it.
Hubert Den Draak
Hubert Den Draak Aylar önce
Wow, that brought back memories... Even the sound of that camera's shutter. My mom had this camera in the late '60s. It was indestructible, and my first introduction to photography and much later going pro. Always wondered how it worked, and now I know. Respect.
Pinko Productions
Pinko Productions 2 aylar önce
I've got a trip 35 and I've always wondered about that light meter! Thank you for this, and every video you've made here. Constantly filling me with the awe and wonder that I know fuels this channel. Absolutely wonderful
Jon Freilich
Jon Freilich 2 aylar önce
Half-frame 35mm is larger and better resolution than Kodak Disc, so I don't think its failure to catch on was a quality issue. And composing pictures in a vertical format doesn't seem to be an issue for most people (smartphones have shown that, for better or worse). So it's surprising that this was a niche format, you would think less fumbling with loading film would have been a big selling point.
Natively Born American
I had a disc camera. I really HATED the print quality.
hommebase 2 aylar önce
In the 80s my mom had a modern version of a split-frame camera. It was extremely convenient for travelling and taking a lot of pictures (which was part of her job doing research). The limitation was developing - not every film place would do it, and sometimes they'd be done really badly (like just half-sized photos). Was always a bit hit and miss. And the quality wasn't great using 400 film (which was the most widely available). It just wasn't as forgiving as a more robust 35MM point and shoot.
Blau 2 aylar önce
@raytrevor1 They (smartphones) ARE designed to have as little grip as possible. So that people drop and break them more easily, and then replace them. Also in order to sell more cases.
Mike Mouradian
Mike Mouradian 2 aylar önce
School film strip projectors were half frame. I made many film strips for my classes while teaching science and photography.
kFY 2 aylar önce
@Dribbleondo Google's requirements for Android (or actually should I say, Google Mobile Services) licensing actually state that any cameras a smartphone has, MUST have the same orientation (i.e. portrait vs. landscape) as the screen, and therefore the phone's body. I guess they know what they're doing - this PEN doesn't follow this convention, which probably tipped people off. Come to think of it... Maybe this precise requirement is the reason for the awkward aspect ratios of Android foldables? I mean, if they opened from portrait into landscape, the cameras couldn't stay in the right orientation for both screens. So they make them so skinny so that they could stay in the same orientation when opened. Maybe.
Ultrahest 2 aylar önce
There's something magical about these old mechanical solutions to seemingly impossible problems. Absolutely incredible!
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LethalogicaX 2 aylar önce
Absolutely fascinating video! I was immediately perplexed by this system and the order in which you presented its components was amazing! Left me guessing right up until the very end when it left me literally screaming "holy **** that's so cool" at my computer screen :P Even to someone who knows nothing about cameras and photos, such as myself, you managed to break this down into something that was incredibly easy to digest and fully understand, truly great job on the video! Also, I'm kind of sad that I forgot to watch with subtitles on, at least up until the very end bloops when I remembered, and I'm sooo glad I did! The post bloop subtitles are one of the best things about your videos, and even as someone who's ears work perfectly fine, I reeeeally appreciate the effort that goes into your manual subtitles :D
h8GWBî Aylar önce
I absolutely hate it when I stumble upon a video that doesn't even have automatic subtitles. Like how much lazier can you get as a TRvidr? Sometimes I'm not sure if I heard something correctly -especially when playing at 2x speed- and I like to check the auto sub's interpretation for a second opinion.
Gzalo 2 aylar önce
Wow! Really interesting mechanism. I just had the realization that the mechanisms that traps the light meter needle is a mechanical equivalent to the "sample and hold" circuit, that's how they buffer and sample the low power/force "signal" from the needle
zinckensteel Aylar önce
I was hoping he'd get into explaining each of the steps on the second "sensor plate" where each ledge/step is the same width as the galvanometer needle - it certainly looks like it is meant for a finer resolution beyond just high range or low range.
PSPbrtag 2 aylar önce
I got one cheap from someone who was selling it years ago and I was super impressed with how well it worked and calibrated light analogically for something from the 60's. I'm even more impressed now, to think all the little moving parts still do their job 50 years after.
Clinton R
Clinton R 2 aylar önce
In my decades as an Olympus tech, I worked on literally 1000's of these -- they were actually quite popular. All in all, a remarkably well presented program. One minor point -- what you call "feelers" are typically referred to as "step cams". And I could provide some tricks for setting focus.
Bart Van Leeuwen
Bart Van Leeuwen Aylar önce
@AplaTaSpaw if the film transport is stuck, and that isn't a simple case of it already having been wound and ready for the next shot... you need someone with good mechanical skills to look at the camera. Check Olympus for the service manual if you are that person yourself, it has the details you need for doing a repair. A common cause however is debris from light seals ending up in the mechanism. If that is what has happened to yours, it might still be fixable, but that often is a very involved repair, requiring complete dismanteling and rebuilding of the winding and shutter mechanism.
AplaTaSpaw Aylar önce
Oh no my film is stuck help step cam
Cole Langford
Cole Langford Aylar önce
@Figment how are they better if you have glasses? I, as a glasses wielding fellow, would like to know.
Terence Jay
Terence Jay 2 aylar önce
I had a photo business with a busy used-camera section. I had one of these myself, and they never stayed on the shelf for long. Often people would bring in Grandads 'old cameras'. Trips were popular and it was a treat to find a half-frame. ( And the odd Leica.. )
Bart Van Leeuwen
Bart Van Leeuwen 2 aylar önce
@Kaitlyn L There are 2 problems actually. - Getting the display/focus screen in focus (ideally with your eyes focusing for infinity). This is easier with an EVF, and much helped with a diopter adjustment. - Being able to see the entire frame. This can still be an issue with modern EVFs. The problem is this is always a compromise. Too long eye relief causes problems for people without glasses (eye strain, difficulty centering the frame, light leakage), too short means unusable with glasses. With many classic SLRs, you get a protective rubberized ring of sorts around the viewfinder (and its usable with just that), and have a variety of optional eye cups, the ones you typically want for use with glasses are both flatter (to get closer to the viewfinder), and wider, so to keep stray light out of your eye. I have a Hasselblad 500 around with a 45 degree angle finder... Of course Hasselblad doesn't care about how big things get, so they just solved this by providing very generous eye relief and a giant replacable eye cup, which is really adaptable to whatever needs you happen to have (including correction lenses and such)
Jesse Lim Jia Nian
Simple but magical mechanism
To The GAMES 2 aylar önce
This is one of my most favorite and generally underrated cameras. Had the same aperture blade issue too. And also fixed it the same way :) Its actually very common on the old analog camera's.
Earthling 2 aylar önce
I'm not even interested in cameras but I'm here for appreciating the ingenious and creative engineering behind such amazing innovations. Marvelous work Alec 👏
alida flus
alida flus 2 aylar önce
hand. Coupled with on-camera flash guns, we could shoot rapidly all night long.
Rabbit Enjoyer
Rabbit Enjoyer 2 aylar önce
As a mechanical engineer who has designed precision tools and fixtures, I must commend you on your explanation of the feeler mechanism. Excellent work!!
cdl0 2 aylar önce
*Good video and an excellent explanation.* Some cameras, such as the Konica EE-matic Deluxe (c. 1964) had an even more complicated mechanism, based on similar, trapped needle metering principles, that varied both the shutter speed and aperture simultaneously, according to a kind of mechanical 'program'. For the Konica, the shutter speed is displayed in the viewfinder. It also included rangefinder focusing. See also my reply on selenium cells to TC's pinned comment.
tsbrownie 2 aylar önce
Really excellent tear-down/explanation. I remember those Pens. They had a big amateur following. I had a different model that had a solar cells around the lens. Got it free because it had quit working and cost too much to repair. Later Nikon blew minds when they came out with their add on prism with the built in exposure meter. Ah yes, the "good old days" are only good for those not there.
kpxoda1 13 saatler önce
Awesome video!
InfinitiveZ Aylar önce
wow, this brings back memories. I remember my grandmother had one of these and she used to take her reels to a kodak booth that later closed down. And after awhile, the film became almost impossible to get developed correctly at walgreens. She also had this compact beige rectangle sort of camera that you'd push one end and the lense would pop up from the other. To this day I wish I knew what it was called / who made it. As a kid, I always thought it was a transformer as it had so many moving parts.
Dane M
Dane M Gün önce
Your argument that, because half-frame stills are the same size as what gets projected for motion pictures the quality is similar - is flawed. Resolution isn't as critical for video as it is for still imagery. Consider that 4K video is less than 9 megapixels. Can you still get perfectly fine prints? Sure, just at smaller sizes. Less surface area = less resolving power.
Kaitlyn L
Kaitlyn L 2 aylar önce
Oh hey, I correctly guessed how all of the mechanism worked! I didn’t guess the _layout,_ but still. Quite pleased with that. Admittedly I already knew how those light-meters worked, and indeed they are the same as a thermocouple-based electronic thermometer, just with light instead of heat. So I had a head-start, and didn’t have to guess anything about the first half. Still, definitely pleased with guessing that they used the needle, and some mechanism to interrupt the aperture plates based on the needle’s position :)
CheeseParis 2 aylar önce
This will be one of my favorite video of yours, congratulations! This camera is so smart for its time and you show it in the smartest way!
Leon Close
Leon Close 2 aylar önce
My grandfather gave me a Trip 35 probably 25 years ago, and remember being fascinated by this system as a kid. I got that it was solar powered, but that was as far as my understanding went. I love the little window in the viewfinder that lets you see the pictograms that indicate focal length.
Michael Steeves
Michael Steeves 2 aylar önce
As an electrical engineer, I just love these intricate mechanical movements! I learned photography in the early 1980's, so I saw the transition between fully mechanical and electronically controlled cameras.
zachary carlson
zachary carlson Aylar önce
@blurglide Wow kinda a big reaction the vgamesx1... i get that his answer was obvious and even i knew what you meant, but you did incorrectly say "no electronics available" instead of small enough and advanced enough electronics. Before getting offended and firing off vitriol at him maybe take stock of what you said when you said "context matters". people will take things literally. Though you are correct, taking the whole electronics did exist argument and tossing it out the window, the electronics needed to perform the function of deciding aperature size and shutter speed automatically in this form, they didn't exist, i mean transistors had just barely been created at the time and they werent cheap, nor efficient, if they had somehow succeeded this camera would have been almost twice the size and needed some real battery to be able to run, still would have been impressive, but this solving it mechanically thing is much more impressive.
zachary carlson
zachary carlson Aylar önce
@OvertravelX oh my yes, i got started with the mechanical setups of older elevators from schindler like the wheel the otis carrier train and selector tape, and caught some videos of older telephone switching mechanisms and its just flabbergasting, especially since at least with the elevator controllers they still tend to work, i know a lot have gone to scrap, but theres still some floating around... shame that ion todays world people think its just better to retro fit the systems with basic crappy logic, that doesnt make the elevator better or more efficient it just makes it slightly more reliable with no more 40 year old components and slightly easier to repair when all you have to do is watch a log and see why the elevator safety braked, much easier to just see a log that says door interlock trip, instead of having to go through all the relays, reset the entire controller and see if the fault can be replicated. still sad though, always fun watching the relays go click and clack as the elevator picked up calls.
Gaming On The Spectrum
And now you are seeing the transition to fully electronic mirrorless cameras and smartphones
Sam Chaney
Sam Chaney 2 aylar önce
It's funny, I just made almost the exact same comment as you before I saw yours, but from the perspective of a mechanical engineer.
Unbiased 2 aylar önce
That transitional period had the best of all worlds. I'm still amazed at 80's and 90's tech with highly intricate mechanics paired with the highly advanced electronics of that era, intertwined with digital. Not to mention there was always a real electrical transformer inside. Awesome!
Drew 2 aylar önce
I’ve got a PenD2 that I love. But this thing is brilliant. Midcentury analog engineering has fascinated me as long as I can remember. Great video, as always!
Alex D
Alex D Aylar önce
I have one of these at home and it’s so much fun! I always wondered how it worked and now I love it even more
Info Disco
Info Disco 2 aylar önce
Another incredible video, thanks so much! As much as I love the digital age and the power computers represent to us, I can't help but feel that we're loosing something meaningful regarding the *relative* simplicity as well as reliability of both mechanical and analog technology.
Justin Kelley
Justin Kelley 2 aylar önce
That needle and feeler system is very interesting, thanks for doing what you do!
Yet Another Michael
Yet Another Michael 2 aylar önce
You’re coming dangerously close to getting me into analog photography
Jordan Toth
Jordan Toth 2 aylar önce
It’s so satisfying to use film, it’s a sensation of using physical means (including yourself) to Mac a photograph… not just an unacceptable string of 1s and 0s.
Bond, Gabe Bond
Bond, Gabe Bond 2 aylar önce
@Marc Kyle Where? They don't exist where I live. Film will die out as fast as the vinyl. The only way I can do this is strictly through mail order or driving 60 miles to a camera store, if they offer the service. While station in the Philippines in the early 70s, we had a photo hobby shop where we could develop black and while, print black and white and develop color Ektachrome slides. That was fun and convenient. Now I do it all home with my computers and color printers. If I was a pro and did portrait photography I would get back my Mamiya RB67. Maybe even play with a 5x7 and 8x10 view cameras. But my game in the military was news style photography. Being overseas a number of times and in different states offered lots of opportunities for great photography, mostly for memories and people I met. Now I am into grandkids and family stuff. I would say the best time I had was doing news style photos. Nothing is ever the same, you meet new people all the time, and find yourself immersed in activities like young airmen working on fighter jets, etc. Might even find yourself at the DMZ between North and South Korea or tripping to Mt. Fuji. That was my life.
Marc Kyle
Marc Kyle 2 aylar önce
@Bond, Gabe Bond And you could drive up to one like you're making a burger run and pick up your developed roll and prints a few days later. Or buy film and flashbulbs and camera batteries there too. Or disposable cameras. I miss them.
Bond, Gabe Bond
Bond, Gabe Bond 2 aylar önce
Would be nice if stores started carrying film and there were labs here and there to process the film. I enjoyed film cameras for many years, but now days, I am so used to digital cameras I find it hard to move back to film. Once I started using my Sony A7R3 in manual mode, I became content and comfortable with digital cameras. Plus I like the ability to do shoot in video mode with the same body.
MetalTrabant 2 aylar önce
Just take the plunge already, but don't spend too much on your 1st gear. That way you can always change your mind, and can say you had the experience. I've restarted analog photography last year with a 3 dollar Soviet Smena Symbol camera, and a 4 dollar Leningrad lightmeter (though I've also used a phone app). And it was producing decent enough pictures to keep me going, and also got me understanding the basics of exposure. Now I'm using a Nikon F55 that my grandpa gave me, and worth like 40 bucks, but a bit too automatized for me, I loved the full manual control of older cameras. Though this makes better images, and can be used in manual mode for fun.
Alex 2 aylar önce
Absolutely loved this. Really insightful video into a really clever mechanism. Excellent video 🙂
gyu 2 aylar önce
This is the third time in a row I've randomly decided to check this channel and discovered a new video was uploaded in the previous 24 hours. Weird how this keeps happening. Thanks for the effort/hard work, it's appreciated.
Облако 2 aylar önce
Incredible technology as always. Thanks for showing us these awesome pieces of engineering!
Em Wintle
Em Wintle Aylar önce
Fantastic! I’m amazed at how they found mechanical ways to do these things! The elegance of the design is thrilling. I wish we could interview the engineers/wizards that made these things possible. Thank you for showing us these gorgeous artifacts in your always perfectly paced and clear style. I love this channel.
Evan Ramsey
Evan Ramsey 4 gün önce
The closing line was just amazing. Thank you for all you do!
Hello Kitty Fan Man
Wow, this camera has quite a clever design from a time when I would've figured that we had no such technology!
Chris Scholz
Chris Scholz 2 aylar önce
Thank you Alec for this wonderful video. My first camera was an Olympus OM 35SP, a rangefinder camera with switchable spot meter! The camera had an automatic exposure setting that appears to be very similar to the one on the Olympus Pen. I always wondered how it worked, now I know. Thank you!
bilinas mini
bilinas mini 2 aylar önce
I am loving your content. Interesting subjects, beautifully explained and great captions to help me follow along. It’s brilliant!
Internet Person
Internet Person 2 aylar önce
That feeler mechanism is brilliant. I could not imagine how that tiny needle with almost no strength to it could affect the aperture in any appreciable way. Well done, 1960s engineers!
zachary carlson
zachary carlson Aylar önce
Its genius because the needle doesnt need any strength... the first lever holds it in place to stop it jiggling if the camera is being handheld, the second lever selects the appropriate position by just just touching it, i imagine the mechanism uses levers and springs to translate the larger amount of force needed to move the aperature blades to the ever so tiny amount of pressure needed for the selector to stop when it touches the needle ever so slightly, the fact this is 1960s tech, all mechanical and robust enough to be in a camera that will get held in a hand while moving, slung in a camera bag or around someones neck while at the beach or something is quite impressive, especially since outside of some gunk after 40 years and the off chance that the selenium cell may wear out and cause the mechanism to stop working. these cameras just, work. Quite impressive.
kgb gb
kgb gb Aylar önce
@Emily Adams I sometimes find it easier to get people to remember which way around the its/it's distinction goes by showing them that it fits in with a general pattern: Possessive adjectives don't have apostrophes: my, your, his/her/its, our, your, their. Nor do possessive pronouns: mine, yours, his/hers/its, ours, yours, theirs. But contractions of the verb 'to be' do have apostrophes, to indicate the missing letters: I'm, you're, he's/she's/it's, we're, you're, they're. So do contractions of 'to have': I've, you've, he's/she's/it's, we've, you've, they've. Once they've seen that, they're less likely to see the its/it's distinction as an arbitrary decision that someone has made and is trying to force them to follow. (It also brings in the distinction in spelling of their and they're, which for many people - though not me, as it happens - are homophones. And your and you're, for that matter.)
kgb gb
kgb gb Aylar önce
@Cameron Webster There used to be a usenet group for English Language nerds called alt.possessive.its.has.no.apostrophe. Since you aren't allowed to have apostrophes in usenet group names, that lets you work it out. If it were the other way around, they'd have had to call it alt.possessive.it's.has.an.apostrophe, which would be illegal!
Emily Adams
Emily Adams 2 aylar önce
@Cameron Webster Possessive = its = Belonging to something. Example: The car stopped cos its engine exploded. It's = contraction of "it is". Switching the two is like saying "The car stopped cos it is engine exploded." I don't even know what "Its an expensive repair" would mean, if read literally.
Cameron Webster
Cameron Webster 2 aylar önce
@Emily Adams I can never remember which one is the plural and which one is the possessive for "it".
Mr Sansen
Mr Sansen 2 aylar önce
I inherited an old automatic Ricoh that had the "honeycomb sensor" and I kinda wondered how it worked but never delved into it. Your explanation made excellent sense. Very enjoyable!
Ionro 2 aylar önce
I've got the Olympus Trip35, the full frame camera of these PENs. Lovely camera, easy to use, beautiful mechanics, and now I know how it really works! Lovely video!
fMix Things
fMix Things 2 aylar önce
Have you done a video on how wind up timers work? My wife sometimes unplugs the toaster oven to use the socket and I attempt to heat something up. I think it is working because the mechanical timer is clicking away and dings when it finishes, yet my food is still cold. Might be an interesting technology topic.
ルモーリンjp 2 aylar önce
I used a pen D3 when I was a kid (1970s). Thank you for your detailed and detailed explanation of the pen.
Ok Ok
Ok Ok 2 aylar önce
Thank you, Alec. There's nothing quite like watching one of your videos. Please don't stop.
James Fontana
James Fontana Aylar önce
Forever one of my favourite TRvidrs. Makes me smile from ear to ear every time I hear “the magic over buying two of them….. “or three in this case 😅. Love it. Thank you. So much appreciated.
Jordan BLANCHARD 2 aylar önce
Your video took me back in time. I always liked, when I was young, taking apart devices to get an idea of how it worked. More than 25 years ago I disassembled a similar camera, I saw the needle system resembling a vu-meter, resistor and electric wires and I couldn't understand how there could be any electronics without battery. I had falsely imagined that it worked in conjunction with a flash that we put on the shoe above. Thank you for bringing me back so far in my memory.
Felipe Hexsel
Felipe Hexsel Aylar önce
randy25rhoads 2 aylar önce
I have a half-frame, 35mm Kyocera Samurai SLR, and I freakin love it. It’s a camcorder-looking SLR with an integrated flash and built-in zoom lens. I’m not at all a fan of that “all in one” form factor, but there’s something incredibly endearing about them. They’re accurate, compact, reliable, and versatile.
Esa Lehtismäki
Esa Lehtismäki 2 aylar önce
Microprocessors are way more complicated, but the cleverness of older tech just gives you that fuzzy feeling.
Helge Frisenette
Helge Frisenette Aylar önce
Programs/software is way more complicated. But then a program is something completely different entirely than a mechanism. It’s more akin to many mechanisms interlinked with dependencies and branches, and/or operated by humans as mediators.
Le Parrain du fromage
Le Parrain du fromage 2 aylar önce
It's hard to compare, both are complex in their own ways and just because image processing algorithms are 'just calculations' run on a processor doesn't mean they don't require knowledge and intelligence to design, let alone everything involved in designing and manufacturing the image sensor itself etc. We just kind of take a lot of electronics for granted nowadays without reflecting on the massive amount of engineering that goes into each and every one of them. Of course there's a lot of beauty and finesse in mechanical solutions of the past but it's kind of like how you can appreciate a Rube Goldberg machine even though you could solve something with less moving parts
Bob 2 aylar önce
@eekee Yep! The 6502 was well-thought-out to optimize its limited ressources. Sometime seen as an ancestor of RISC technology. As such, it could compare favorably in performance with CPUs having much greater instructions set like the Z80.
eekee 2 aylar önce
@Ryan Boyer It takes a remarkable number of transistors to build those basic simple operations into a useful microprocessor. Take the 6502: 52 instructions; just _one_ general-purpose register and 2 index registers with slightly different functionality; and the stack pointer register is limited to just 8 bits, yet it took 3510 transistors to implement it and another 1018 transistors arranged as crude resistors. This was all in NMOS logic where some of the many logic gates can be reduced to a single transistor depending on where in the circuit they are. This is a similar complexity to an entire fighter jet, but it's one of the simplest practical general-purpose microprocessors ever made. Some PIC chips may be simpler, but I'm told they're not very nice to use.
Esa Lehtismäki
Esa Lehtismäki 2 aylar önce
Well, microprocessors are repetitive. They have a massive amount of functional elements, but they consist of the same thing repeated over and over. You could build a digital clock out of mechanical components, but it would be the size of a building and it couldn't run fast enough. It would be much more complicated than a mechanical clock, but looking at it wouldn't give you the same kind of satisfaction. You can look at a mechanical clock and understand completely, how it works. That's the thing. Same with cameras.
The Geeky Gardener
The Geeky Gardener 2 aylar önce
Awesome. After being scared of selenium cell degradation, I opted for the new Kodak Ektar H35 Half Frame camera as my first jump into half frames. I might have to revisit the Pen.
Edward Yarwood
Edward Yarwood 2 aylar önce
Thank you for another superb video. I hope you can do another on the Olympus XA, one of the great product designs of all time, done two decades later by the same designer, Yoshihisa Maitani. All that fiddly mechanical stuff for exposure was replaced by some very simple analog electronics that calculate exposure times into the tens of seconds at least. Needs two tiny batteries but they last forever, since film advance, film rewind and shutter are all still hand-powered.
Dinushka M
Dinushka M 2 aylar önce
Great video..! Pretty amazing engineering, never seen such mechanism
tecc9999 2 aylar önce
13# on trending, nice! glad i could be here to watch this channel grow this much. keep up the good work Alec!
NEWQ 2 aylar önce
The nice thing about getting Patreon early access to these videos is I can check out eBay for the camera in question before there's a huge rush to buy them all when the video goes public.
Ahuizotl Xiuhcoatl
Ahuizotl Xiuhcoatl 14 gün önce
@Rena Kunisaki I'm a month late. I was going to type literally the same thing when I saw that.
senorverde09 2 aylar önce
They've been overpriced since the early 2010 Lomography hipster boom
Rena Kunisaki
Rena Kunisaki 2 aylar önce
@Clay3613 literally pay2win smh
Charlie H
Charlie H 2 aylar önce
Good thing I ended up buying an EES-2 about two weeks ago!
Nut Bastard
Nut Bastard 2 aylar önce
@Nate The good news about the Sunbeam toasters is people will go to great lengths to maintain and repair them, so the supply remains relatively stable, though as with all things, it will diminish slowly over time. I still want one of the damn things and I'm not even particularly fond of toast.
Raj Jaiswal
Raj Jaiswal Aylar önce
I love retro tech like these. So smart that you're gonna be amazed finding how it works but not as complex to overwhelm you
Kyle_M_Photo 2 aylar önce
Great video, I have the very first model of pen that I almost always carry on me, with my pen being full mechanical with no light meter I defiantly expected a difference between the later models, but I'm still surprised by how different they are, on my pen pretty much everything mechanical about it is located directly attached to the lens and it comes out as one puck that can be operated outside of the camera. With everything on the puck it also made for a difficult repair because I had to disassemble all the way to the blades themselves and remove them to clean. Interesting how limited the EES-2 is as a manual camera, previously I was planning on buying a newer pen at some point to get a built in light meter, but now I think I'll stick with my current pen so I'm not stuck with only two shutter speeds. Unless one of the pens after yours has better manual options, something I might research later.
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Uberfish 13 gün önce
Thank you for showing not only an interesting camera, but the absolute genius of the engineers of the time. The shutter mechanism bringing together the light sensor, apature control and even preventing waste of film on low light situations is incredible. Yeah, we can do it easier today with microprocessors, but doing it all mechanically with a little photoelectric cell, incredible!
JackClayton123 2 aylar önce
I remember this camera when I was young. Pretty compact for a 35mm. Though, I did have a couple of Minolta 16’s (“spy” cameras) that were pretty handy, but getting the film developed was a bit of a hassle.
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Jacob Keller
Jacob Keller 2 aylar önce
I absolutely love how excited Alek gets when he has the magic of buying two of them and has an already taken apart one he can show us :D
Jacob Keller
Jacob Keller 2 aylar önce
@Dennis Lippert that feels like it's begging for an oscorp "I'm something of a scientist myself" meme
Dennis Lippert
Dennis Lippert 2 aylar önce
TRUE magic... is when you buy one, take it apart to see how it works, and put it back together again!! I'm no magician myself....
Anders Juel Jensen
Anders Juel Jensen 2 aylar önce
It's called "a nerdgasm", and I know the feeling all too well :P
Jesus V
Jesus V 2 aylar önce
You gotta love all the magic he is able to conjure up.... I do!
The Jacal
The Jacal 2 aylar önce
He has lots of toasters too.
Mikko Rantalainen
Mikko Rantalainen Aylar önce
Great video as usual! I was expecting the metering part to jam something between gears but the actual implementation was even more clever!
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plantpun 2 aylar önce
With every new video in this series, I want to pick up photography as a hobby even more~ The processes involved are so neat
Embrace ThePing
Embrace ThePing 2 aylar önce
Another great vid. Thank you. I love your delivery and dry sense of humour. Please keeping making more. =D
Evert Kuijpers
Evert Kuijpers 2 aylar önce
I am 17 seconds into this great video! My first camera, early 1970's was a PEN EE2. I loved it! 72 pictures instead of 36 for a poor dutch highschool student! How I hate that it did break after about 4 years of usage AND that I do not have the camera any more. Greetings from Tilburg, The Netherlands.
no 2 aylar önce
This channel continues to amaze me. It really satisfies my 'engineerguy' itch with the in-depth explanations. The delivery always has such enthusiasm and its coupled with witty sarcasm. Please keep up the great content!
alida flus
alida flus 2 aylar önce
goes public.
FredBeck 2 aylar önce
This is such a amazing design, never knew it existed.
Ideas Box
Ideas Box 2 aylar önce
I have a pretty decent camera collection, many of them have selenium cell meters. I have found that a few of them have drifted over the years as the cell degrades but i simply calibrate them with my dslr by setting the older cameras at whichever ASA setting (yes, it was ASA not ISO in the old days, same scale so same thing really) gives the correct reading. Great vid though, keep 'em coming.
Adam Hostetler
Adam Hostetler 2 aylar önce
I love seeing these old mechanical solutions to problems that we now solve digitally. Simply brilliant.
David Beddard-Banks
David Beddard-Banks 2 aylar önce
It's both simple and yet also amazingly ingenious! Spellbinding! Thanks, Alex! 😀👍
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Slacker Man
Slacker Man Aylar önce
The engineer in me just loves tiny, complex, high-precision machines.
Maximilian Hantsch
Maximilian Hantsch 2 aylar önce
That Olympus camera is such a clever technical design! Thank you so much for your explaination!
Matheus Bitencourt
Matheus Bitencourt 2 aylar önce
Dude, I love your videos. 👏👏 Hope see a video about optional image stabilization, it's on most of phones nowadays, so people could appreciate more their phones.
Joshua Shenfield
Joshua Shenfield 20 gün önce
Limitation makes amazing ingenuity. This is a really cool camera.
Brent Mercer
Brent Mercer Aylar önce
Great video, it's really cool to see how these work. I picked a working one up last year and could not imagine how the mechanical mechanism worked. Until now!
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Ptao Tom
Ptao Tom 2 aylar önce
Love these old camera mechanisms! The wind-up shutter speed mechanism on on large-format lenses is fantastic, the sound it makes is dreamy!
Niko L
Niko L 2 aylar önce
Interestingly, Instax Mini cameras, which are also vertical-first, have the shutter button on the front. Some of them have an additional one on the side for portrait photos. They could easily have done something similar on this one
Nathan B
Nathan B 2 aylar önce
Great video. I've got numerous devices employing the trusty old selenium cell meter and to be honest, I'd agree with your statement in regard to the frequency of failure/issues with them. I've had a few meters where the contacts on the actual cell itself had corroded, however once cleaned & re-soldered they usually (in my experience) spring back into life with fairly decent accuracy. Whilst I much prefer shooting 120 / medium format, the compact form-factor of these style cameras is quite convenient. I don't have a half-frame camera, however my personal favourite is the elegant little Rollei 35S. Similar light metering mechanism to the selenium cells, but with a much more reliable photosensor. I very much enjoy the deep dives into the film photography side of things - I first picked up a film camera over a year ago and have well and truly fallen down the rabbit hole. Your videos have been quite an inspiration to learning about the processes and the very extensive history around it. I started with a half-broken Zorki-4, and now I've got two cupboards full of cameras ranging from the compact Rollei 35S I have already mentioned, several Rollei-derived twin-lens reflexes and right up to the large format 4x5 technical camera and iconic Crown Graphic. I am in no way making images I'd consider groundbreaking, sharp or well composed by the standards of many other photographers but getting to use and enjoy these amazing mechanical marvels every day is an amazing thing. I look forward to the next video on the subject!
Abby Reeves
Abby Reeves 2 aylar önce
an absolutely incredible video! I've never been so enamored by a little camera from ages past. (also I will be a child and joke about it being called the Olypmus Pen-EES)
Sanguine 2 aylar önce
@Vigilant Cosmic Penguin and here I thought the joke was the misspelling of Olympus as Olyp-mus. Thanks for clearing that up!
Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
Ha, that's funny. Because it sounds like the word pennies.
The Patient
The Patient 2 aylar önce
@Sanguine Try turning the subtitles on.
Mr Son
Mr Son 2 aylar önce
I certainly noticed how much care went into making sure he said that name... :p
Sanguine 2 aylar önce
I was very disappointed when the bloopers didn't include him saying _"Get double the exposures, with the small Pen-EES 2"_
UtubeEric12345 Aylar önce
Wow, thanks for this very well thought out and easy to follow explanaition! Pure TRvid gold =D
Cassidy Hansen
Cassidy Hansen 9 gün önce
So you're telling me we had peak camera technology 60 years ago, wow. Sir, I am always immensely entertained by your videos. Thank you!
Martijn Groothuis
Martijn Groothuis 2 aylar önce
Curious how the scene selector ring works, could you maybe add that on the extra channel?
Nigel Sheridan
Nigel Sheridan Aylar önce
I had the Trip 35 back in the very early 80's, fantastic little camera, took it everywhere with me.
sirflimflam 2 aylar önce
It amazes me truly how intricate analog mechanical functions operate. I grew up in the 80s and 90s so I was exposed to a good deal of it, but it was definitely starting to fading out (was also pretty poor as a kid so we had a lot of old tech). And as I became an adult, it was all about discrete electronics. These days you can't do even the simplest of mechanisms without some sort of microcontroller walking you through the entire process.
Nut Bastard
Nut Bastard 2 aylar önce
@User 2C47 I think that's just because the things are so damn cheap. You can't really compete with a
Nut Bastard
Nut Bastard 2 aylar önce
"so I was exposed to a good deal of it" Pun intended?
User 2C47
User 2C47 2 aylar önce
@VOIP4ME I've also seen microcontrollers being used a lot for logic that could have handled by a few analog components.
Panem et Circenses
Panem et Circenses 2 aylar önce
Not to mention needing a firmware update that requires you to register etc etc.
VOIP4ME 2 aylar önce
As much as I admire the electromechanical linkages of the past, I completely understand why everyone uses microcontrollers now. It's just so much easier to modify the design. A mechanical design can perform its function flawlessly for decades, but what happens when you realize you need it to do almost the same thing, but with one tiny difference? You often have to redesign it. Whereas with a microcontroller you just change a line of code. It's just way too convenient for sentimental concerns to matter
Tacticool Nukes
Tacticool Nukes 2 aylar önce
Is is such an incredible video to me! My dad used to have a version of this camera. I used to play with it when I was younger. I had no idea how unbelievably clever and complicated this thing was and I was just playing with it!
Marcel Dekker
Marcel Dekker 2 aylar önce
You explained it so well I almost bought one.
Jonathan S.
Jonathan S. 2 aylar önce
Half-frame camera's demise was simply because manufacturers (especially Olympus) managed to produce Full Frame cameras that were the same size or even smaller. The Trip 35 as you mentioned, is a slightly larger Full-Frame version of the EES-2 with the same exposure function. The later XA was even smaller then then all the Pen cameras and managed to be a rangefinder rather then a zone focus like the Trip 35 and EES-2. Film economy wasn't as big a thing back then as film wasn't as expensive so extra frames could be seen as more of a hassle as it would be even more vaction pictures dad would have to take before he could develop the film.
The Nargles
The Nargles 2 aylar önce
Amazing! The people who design these things are geniuses!
Rob Bruce
Rob Bruce 2 aylar önce
I thought there was no way a photocell supplies enough power to adjust aperture. That trapped needle mechanism is flipping brilliant!
massimo cole
massimo cole 2 aylar önce
@Nut Bastard Yeah, after watching Steve Molds video on how a tiny difference in air pressure across a membrane is what causes a gas pump to stop automatically I figured there must be a similar force amplifying trick for the voltage needled. I couldn't think of what it could be though. Old school mechanical stuff is so full of clever obvious in hindsight tricks like this, I thinks its a big part of why I find channels like this so fun.
Nut Bastard
Nut Bastard 2 aylar önce
It truly is. I was trying desperately in my mind to predict how it worked and while I only had a few minutes to do so, I came up with nothing. It's so obvious and simple in hindsight. Need a weak thing to do a strong thing? Just stop it moving and it becomes a strong thing.
Robothut 2 aylar önce
The mechanics in cameras have always been so amazing. The blending of solar power with the mechanics is just a marvel. Thank you for sharing with us.
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IntenseGrid Aylar önce
Wow! I love the engineering of this thing!
Anatexis 12 gün önce
Wow, this was fascinating. Just this summer, I came into contact with a camera from the 60's that operates just like the one described here. It just works like it was brand new. I wondered how such an ancient camera used no batteries at all and yet still had automatic exposure. I noticed the lensy bits on the front and supsected some form of a solar panel, but I had no idea about the mechanical intricacies. Thanks for clearing that up!
Matthew Ford
Matthew Ford 2 aylar önce
I want to see more of your photos!! 🥲 They look so good!
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