The Olympus MJU ii or Stylus Epic, as it’s named in the states, has quickly become my favorite little pocket camera. I have loved shooting little toy cameras over the years. My job as a wedding photographer can be intense and full on, leaving me exhausted at the end of a shoot, because you’re never really able to turn your brain off in that environment. Enter the MJU ii. The beautiful thing about point and shoot cameras is that you literally don’t have to think. The MJU ii is about as automatic as a camera can be, which is part of it’s charm, but also the only gripe I have with the camera. I like to overexpose my film by a stop by rating the iso in camera one full stop lower than the film I’m shooting. For example, I’ll shoot 800 iso speed film at 400, 200 at 100, and so on. Now, there is a hack for this with this camera, but I don’t really recommend it. It’s called DX hacking, google it if you’re interested.
The MJU ii does an incredible job with exposure, the 35/2.8 lens that it’s equipped with is fast and sharp. The photos above we’re shot on a variety of BW film including; Ilford Delta 3200, Kodak Tri-X 400, and expired Kodak TMAX 100 from 1989, and this little camera handled them all with ease.
One of the little annoyances with this camera is that it’s super flash happy, this camera loves to flash people. On the bright side, the flash is powerful for it’s size and I’ve had great exposures with it, see the bottom two images in this post for an example of the flash. The other thing that is cool, if you push both of the function buttons on the back of the camera at the same time, you can enter spot meter and spot focus mode, which helps with tricky exposure and getting creative with composition. A heads up though, whatever settings you’ve chosen will be reset once you turn the camera off.
This camera is quirky but it’s also mighty. Oh, and it’s severely overpriced - the MJU ii is going for around $250 on ebay these days, but you can find them at swap meets, garage, and estate sales if you’re lucky.
Tools: Olympus MJU ii. Delta 3200. Kodak Tri-X. Kodak TMAX 100 - Expired. Check out a few more samples of the MJU ii here.
Thank for looking,