Another Half Frame Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Ricochetrider, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. Ok I'd forgotten that the half frame camera thread evaporated into thin air until just now doing a search for it and turned up some discussion in a photo thread a couple weeks back.
    Last night I was talking to a friend about cameras and shooting- trying to encourage her to pick up her cameras again. Not sure how we arrived at the subject but she lit up and said she'd recently seen an old half frame Olympus somebody had given her years back. Said it has a few lenses along with it. Said the guy who gave it to her brought it back from Vietnam, and I seemed recall somebody (in that recent, disappearing thread) saying it was a popular thing then because people got so many shots from a roll of film.

    Anyway, I've asked her to keep digging around her house for it, so maybe I'll actually talk her into shooting with it. What the heck maybe it'll work after all these years of sitting around? Generally, I must say I'm not too excited about a half frame camera myself, but anything to get my long time friend excited about photography again. It'd be interesting to shoot it just for a lark, too!
  2. My Oly Pen D was the sweetest handling camera I ever owned. The shutter release was flush with the top deck so I could roll my finger off the deck onto the release. The film advances was a knurled wheel sticking out the back. The 4 X 3 ratio of the image was better than the 3 X 2 of a full frame IMHO. I only used Kodachrome slide film with no ability to crop. The camera died just after Kodak stopped supplying half frame slide mounts with their processing so I have less motivation to repair it. but you should try it if you get the chance.
  3. With extra lenses it's going to be a Pen F, the SLR version of the series.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  4. Thanks John. I was wondering. Hope she finds it, if I get a chance to shoot it I'll take some photos of the camera and make a post with a story about the experience. I guess that's IF it's even working after all the years in a box.

    Stay tuned.
  5. SCL


    The OLY Pen was a terrific camera for the time...72 shots/36 cartridge, portrait format. IMHO the only drawbacks were the metering system was EV based and the viewfinder, by 35mm standards was a bit dim. The lenses were sharp and contrasty..I still have great 8x10 prints from the 1960s.
  6. How are they Canon Demis? One for sale here for a reasonable price, shutter just serviced (I gather this is a common problem area).
  7. SCL


    The Demis are pretty much of a snapshot camera, fixed lens and zone focus.
  8. A lot shots per roll is good, but I still always have a hard time finishing a roll.
  9. ph.


    Strictly speaking, the pen is not the only interchangeable lens option; the Swiss Alpa produced a fau\irly rare half frame body which took a large number of interchangeable lenses.-

  10. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    And as noted in the missing thread, the Konica FT-1 Pro Half was also a half-frame (though full-sized) SLR with interchangeable lenses. They are pretty rare, too.

    The Zenit MT-1 medical camera was another, taking M42 lenses. It had a clear, non-focusing screen with square frame mask, though, making it difficult to use for regular photography.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  11. The Mercury II is supposed to have interchangeable lenses, but I only have one.

    But that is more like 9/16 frame (4.5 perforations) so maybe doesn't count as half frame.

    I have no idea where you would get slide mounts for that.
  12. Interesting that 35mm half frame is 18 x 24 mm and APS was 16.7 x 25.1 mm. Comparing area (LxW) isn't really a meaningful way to compare image area, but if we did we'd find that half frame's total area is slightly more. From what I've observed during the time I've taken pictures and read about in old photo magazines (before my time) half frame has enjoyed a fair amount of users. Camera designs never fully took advantage of the smaller image area to make for very compact designs. Many half frame cameras were larger than the full frame Rollei 35 and Petri Color 35. APS, had a lot of intense marketing behind it but the arrival of compact digital cameras probably hurt it. So it quickly declined in use. I think my favorite two half frame classics would be any of the Olympus Pens and the Canon Dial 35. From the modern film area it'd be the Yashica Samurai (any model). There actually was one APS camera that I did like: The Canon Elph Jr. It was fixed focal length and extremely compact.
  13. I had a nice little Pen back in the day but it was still long after you could bring it to someone and get it processed properly. You could get the film color processed and not mounted or printed and then scan it with a 35mm scanner but it was a PITA. Ditto with black and white. Cool and the lenses were nice, but ultimately you could get smaller cameras that were 35mm (like the Leica CL). It's pretty ironic that APS-C is essentially the equivalent of half frame now and it's pretty popular.

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