The Olympus PEN EES-2 is gone (as detailed here), and filling its spot on the shelf is the camera I took in trade for it, a Kodak Retina I. This is the first folding camera I’ve owned, and like the Olympus PEN designs it’s rather an interesting engineering approach to the problem of reducing the size of a camera in the interests of portability. Whereas the PEN shrunk the body by reducing the exposure to 18x24mm and employing a very small lens in a shorter focal length (30mm), the Retina retains the full-frame 36x24mm but establishes the necessary distance between the lens and the film plane by extending the lens on a bellows when the camera is unfolded.


What this means in practice is that you get a very small and very smooth package when the camera is folded up; even moreso than the PEN, it slips easily into…

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