Half frame camera

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by Alan W, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    I'm ready for a half frame camera!Does anyone out there own and use one on a regular basis?If so which model do you recommend?What should I look for as regards reliability,usability etc.Right now the camera that I carry everywhere is an olympus OM2,I love the camera but I'm looking for something more compact and less obtrusive mainly for "street" type shots.Thanks for any suggestions.Al.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I had a Canon Demi it was superb but I lent it and it was dropped, the meter broke. Now I have a Pen EE2 (think it's the 2) but I stopped using it about 10 years ago.

    Ideally I'd like a Pen F - but funds won't stretch to one at the moment.

    Ian
     
  3. ludoo

    ludoo Member

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    I bought a Pen EES-2 last week and it has been riding in my pocket since. It's a pretty nice and very compact fully auto camera, if you have ever seen a (later) Trip35 the Pen EES is almost the same camera and lens at 2/3 the size.

    I also have a square format Zeiss Ikon Taxona, which is heavier but even smaller than the Pen EES, but it's a fully manual camera with no meter. Both cost very little money, if you look around a bit you could try a few, then keep what you like and sell the rest.
     
  4. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    I have a a grey Olympus EE2, it is marvellous, auto metering works faultlessly, the zuiko lens is very sharp and the asa settings are great, from 400, 320, 250, 200, 160, 125, 100, 80, 64, 50, 40 to 25. I highly recommend one.
     
  5. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    The Olympus Pen EE is plenty around, I got the EES-2 and an other one.
    They are lovely little camera's , if you get a hold of one without a CLA prepare your self for new (and easy) light seals.

    Canon and Fuji made some half frames aswell.
    Most of them have zone focussing.

    The Pen F is a SLR on half frame, and will cost you a lot more, still on my wishlist.....

    Peter
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i use a pen ft every day!

    it is a great camera :smile:
     
  7. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    The Canon Dial seems like a really fun camera.
     
  8. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    The Olympus Pen F is smaller and less obtrusive, however if going half frame and small and unobtrusive are you goals, why not one of the other fixed lens Pen series. You could also stay with a full frame with the Olympus XA, with its clam shell design a real dandy of a 35mm camera. If looking at the XA series, stick with the original XA as oppose to the 2,3 or 4. Bill Barber
     
  9. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Yes, you do and you use it well. I always enjoying seeing the latest of your Pen FT images. Bill Barber
     
  10. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    If you're coming from an OM-2 you may want to look at Olympus Pens. They have very nice lenses, are mechanically simple and are abundant in numbers. The EE (Electric Eye) series (with selenium meters) are the most plentiful and the cheapest. They have zone focus or in the case of the EE-3, fixed focus. They are very easy to use.
    The earlier original Pen and Pen S are nice but slightly harder to find. They have zone focus and f3.5 or f2.8 lenses but no meters.
    The Pen F and FT are seen as the Holy Grail of Pens and therefore pretty expensive ($400 and up, here in Japan.) Some people prefer the F because it has a brighter viewfinder, some prefer the FT because it has a meter (though it uses the old mercury batteries.)
    Personally I use a Pen D and a Pen EED.
     
  11. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    I had a Pen EES which took nice half frame pictures, although I ended up converting the exposure mechanism for more manual control.

    My biggest disappointment was that it tool half frame pictures in a portrait orientation with the top and bottom of the picture next to the perforations. What I really wanted was a camera that would naturally take pictures in the old "filmstrip" format that all us old timers remember from our K-12 education days. This requires a picture with the sides of the image next to the perforations The Pen could do this but you had to hold the camera in a vertical orientation all the time which I found unnatural. The Pen looked like any other rangefinder camera with horizontal film travel. Because almost all filmstrip projectors have a vertical film travel they need the pictures to be positioned in a horizontal orientation. The following blast from the past describes the "filmstrip" format and its relationship to the half frame cameras.

    http://contrails.iit.edu/DigitalCollection/1965/AMRLTR65-078.pdf

    Denis K
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yeah, i can see why it would be nice to have it make half frames landscape orientation ..
    but then you wouldn't get the extra 24 or 36 frames! and it would be like an aps camera .
    it has taken me about a year to get used to shooting with the camera sideways, but i don't mind
    anymore :smile:

    the ee's i always thought were odd birds with the strange exposure mechanism.
    there was someone here on apug a few years back ( maybe 1 ? ) who recorded
    his tale of woe, as he tried to get it to work .. maybe it was just his that didn't work right ...


    thanks bill!

    john
     
  13. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I had both a Canon Demi and a Canon Dial 35 (basically a Demi with spring motor drive.) They had auto exposure with manual override; zone focusing. Cut a pretty sharp image. I used them for snap shooting on vacation because the company for which I worked in photo retail gave us a certain number of rolls of free processing. I loaded the Canons up with 36x rolls of C-41, got about eighty prints a roll. Hee, hee. Always lusted after the Ollie Pen F, but could never afford one.
     
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  15. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    That might have been me. The Pen EES has an auto exposure mode that makes use of two shutter times depending on the light level. On my camera the slower shutter setting didn't work and this prevented me from taking pictures in low light levels. I ended up opening the camera and making a number of modification to disable the slower shutter setting. I could then use the camera in a manual aperture, fixed shutter time mode. I also had to clean out an accumulation of white powder that got between the two lens groups. The white powder came from some form of deterioration inside the camera and got between the lens groups thru a slit where the aperture stops mechanism enters. As I remember the deterioration came from the material used in the light sensor.

    When I was trying out the camera I used color print film and had it processed at a mini-lab. I got them to give me proofs printed two half-frames to each 4x6. I remember thinking it made a neat note-taking camera because you could get like 72 frames per roll. At first I liked the portrait orientation but later I ended up wanting a filmstrip orientation. The camera cost me zilch and it was a fun experiment. I vaguely remember when the half-frame craze went thru the camera world but I wasn't into photography back then.

    Denis K
     
  16. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I have an Agfa Optima-Parat and the Agfa Paramat. The Optima-Parat has an accurate selenium meter and a very sharp Solinar (Tessar-type lens). It offers trap-needle programmed autoexposure. there also is an add-on telephoto lens and a close-up lens, as well. Construction is mostly metal.

    The Paramat features a mostly plastic body, a Apotar lens (triplet) and also trap-needle autoexposure with a selenium meter.

    I also have an Olympus Pen FT (interchangeable-lens SLR system) and a couple of Pen viewfinder cameras (both of those need to be repaired).

    I use the Optima-Parat a lot. It's small and well made with an excellent lens.
     
  17. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    A friend of mine has an old Mercury that was his fathers. I don't know that they are the most reliable machine, but he sure took some beautiful photos with his.

    Ed
     
  18. bdilgard

    bdilgard Subscriber

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    If you can find one the Fuji TW-3 is very compact and looks like (and basically is) a point and shoot. It winds to the end and works forward so the order of your pictures is backwards. I like using the Yashica Samarai's but compact they are not. They look like a 1980's era camcorder.
     
  19. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Denis, there is a camera that has the frame oriented for the horizontal. The film travels vertically in the camera. It's called the Samurai x4.0. I picked one up several months ago, and it appears to do everything mentioned in it's specifications. It's also an SLR, but sadly the Samurai is not a compact camera.

    http://www.thecamerasite.net/02_Rangefinders/Pages/yasamurai.htm

    Of all the half-frame cameras I've had, the Olympus Pen FT is still my favorite in that format.

    :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2009
  20. Romary

    Romary Subscriber

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  21. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    DannL, that's a really neat camera. I never knew it existed. It's surprising how late it was introduced (1988). You are right, since the film travel is vertical, the half frame image is naturally oriented as a horizontal 4 wide by 3 high image. That is just what's needed for a "filmstrip" projector. Some might say that holding the camera isn't much different than holding a Pen EES vertically, but it looks much more natural to me. It even has a 25-100mm zoom lens. There is a pdf manual for the camera here: http://www.thecamerasite.net/web/Samurai4.0.pdf

    I saw your Samurai thread on APUG back in May. I also noticed there is a neat half-frame group on flikr. It would be fun to play around with one of these. If I had Samurai, I would go out and produce an educational filmstrip just to say I have done one. I think I would skip the 33 1/3 RPM record that usually went with them. Maybe someone could be the first person to ever produce a half-frame filmstrip with an accompanying MP3 soundtrack complete with the beep sounds to tell you when to go to the next image.

    Denis K
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Who else here takes umbrage at Olympus Pen cameras being lumped in with "toy" cameras!?

    :smile:

    Matt
     
  23. DannL

    DannL Member

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    There needs to be a forum section dedicated to Half-Frame, Miniature and Sub-Miniature cameras. There also needs to be a forum section dedicated to Lenses and glass.
     
  24. talkingfish

    talkingfish Member

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    There is a toy half-frame, called the 'Golden Half Camera' but it is fashionably priced and it may not make it to the end of 72 frames before falling apart. I wonder how difficult it would have been to make the 'Blackbird, fly' with a setting for half frames, giving horizontal pictures?

    Jon
     
  25. Romary

    Romary Subscriber

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  26. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    I have used the Golden Half and in spite of its price, I quite like it. The lens is pretty good for what it is, and when used with films like the new sharper T-Max 400, it produces some pretty crisp images. It also has not fallen apart as you suggested it might.