Street Photography with the Pen-F + Pana Leica 25mm f1.4

2017 Update

After over five years using the MFT system I've sold my entire Olympus Micro Four Thirds Kit and now only use the full frame mirrorless Sony A7RII.

This decision came, since writing this article, after using both systems for a year and a half on client commissions.

Curious as to why? Read this:

Full Frame or Micro Four Thirds?

How's the Pen-F for street photography? Is it just about looks or is there more when you scratch the surface?

I recently came back from a 3 week trip to Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. The timing was perfect as Olympus had just released the new Pen-F (review here) and I managed to get my hands on one last minute before leaving back in mid-February.

I didn’t want to travel heavy so all I took with me was the Pen-F with Pana Leica 25mm f1.4 (and my wife had the E-M10 Mark II with the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95).

I do own the excellent Sony A7RII which I normally use for assignments and client jobs but I felt better taking the lighter and smaller Pen-F for travel.

It’s really quite liberating to not travel with a bag full of lenses. Less is more and all that…

Australia and New Zealand were the part of the holiday which I decided would be an actual holiday (including a serious social media detox). Therefore all shots taken there were holiday snaps, with no other purpose than document our travels.

Hong Kong however was just too good an opportunity and location for street photography not to give it my best shot.

And here are some of the photos I managed to shoot in a little under 3 days there.


Overall the Pen-F is a great camera, small as they get and which performs above and beyond. I am particularly impressed with it's speed when it comes to focusing as well as reduced lag time.

It's small and discreet, especially the black version and that means people really don't take/see me as a threat when I shoot them in the street. 

I also thoroughly enjoy using the Pen F's Mono and Colour modes (front dial) which are not art filters but instead a real way to customise how your photos look resulting in less time spent later in front of Photoshop and more time shooting.

The focus tracking pad is also exciting and I will I'm sure use it more as I get used to it.