Like so many other things, admiring worn black paint on a camera is akin to religion: if you have to ask why people like it, you'll never understand the answers.The romantic story about black paint being favoured by war photographers, who feared the attentions of snipers if a chrome camera caught the sun, is almost certainly untrue. More realistically, the choice of camera finish is a matter of fashion and of personal taste; combined, of course, with what is available.This is the first in a series about more or less worn black cameras. The others are my Nikon F and Leica M4-P.

The Olympus Pen W was the only one of the Pen series of half-frame viewfinder cameras to be finished in black paint, but unfortunately it wasn't very good black paint. Even so, it is the most sought after of the Pens, not least because of its excellent 25/2.8 wide-angle lens (hence "W"). On many examples, the paint is even more gruesome than on this one. It looks even worse, of course, because it needs recovering: the cover wasn't stuck down right when it was repaired.

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Words and pictures copyright (c) Roger Hicks 2016