Half Frame w/ Fast Shutter?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by bvy, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I'm looking for a half frame 35mm camera that has a fast shutter (up to at least 1/1000). Small and quiet are added bonuses. Is there such a beast?
     
  2. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Konica made a SLR that was both full and half frame by use of a lever. I think it was called the Autoreflex with no other designation. I had one years ago with my half frame collection and it was well built with very decent glass. I sold it with the collection and it was one of a few half frames, I sort of missed as I could switch between saving film and getting decent general shots and then on the same roll go for full frame for getting a larger negative.

    Most half frame cameras used leaf shutters with the 1/500th max shutter speed. I can not remember if the Olympus Pen went to 1/000; I think it too only went to 1/500th.
     
  3. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    The Univex Mercury has a top shutter speed of 1/1000. The FED Micron, Mamiya Myrapid, and Konica EYE go to 1/800, but are more modern and have a faster lens. The Nikon S3M is a half-frame version of the S3 rangefinder with a fast shutter speed of 1/1000, good luck finding (and affording) one. This one sold at Christies for $28,000:

    http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=952335
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
  4. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    The Pen's max speed is 1/500. But it has a rotary titanium focal plane shutter.
     
  5. DBP

    DBP Member

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    First one that came to mind was the Mercury.
     
  6. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    There have been a few limited-production half-frame variants of modern cameras with 1/1000 sec or faster maximum shutter speeds. Camera West currently lists a half-frame Leica M4-P for a mere $22,995. There's a Japanese seller on eBay offering a half-frame Nikon FM2 outfit at a BIN of $4000. Several Alpa reflex cameras were offered in half-frame versions, all costing in the range of a few thousand dollars when they show up these days. There was a repair shop in San Diego that used to offer affordable half-frame conversions of the Cosina SLR that was rebadged by several vendors (Nikon FM10, Yashica FX-3, Olympus OM-2000), but they stopped that service a while back, and I've never seen a used one for sale. Finally, Konica made a few FT-1 Pro Half cameras, though I've never seen one offered outside Japan.
     
  7. lacavol

    lacavol Member

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    The Tessina shoots 14X21mm pictures in a twin lens reflex. Downside is that it only goes to 1/500 and the lens is a fixed 25mm. Upside is that it uses 35mm film loaded in a daylight loader to a Tessina cassette. The pictures are sharp and you focus on a ground glass.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have one with the pentaprism. Same comments.
     
  9. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The postwar Mercury II is neither small nor quiet. Perhaps the authoritive "clunk" at the end of the shutter travel could be dampened. At least, its shutter is simple and apparently reliable and accurate. I did have to repair one in the 1950s. A rare prewar version (CC-1500) had increased spring tension to boost the top shutter speed to 1/1500 second, but it and the more common prewar model CC did not accept standard 35mm film cartridges. The common postwar Mercury II CX does accept standard 35mm cartridges. It usually came with a 35mm f/2.7 Tricor, a coated three element design that covers about the same as a 50mm lens on full frame 35mm cameras and may give satisfactory results when stopped down. Also available were 35mm Tricor f/3.5 and Hexar f/2 lenses and 75mm and 125mm telephotos, all rare.

    Any advantage of the Mercury II's half frame is offset by its bulk, weight, lack of rangefinder, and triplet lens. It and the ubiquitous Argus C3 do give insight into the ingenuity of American camera designers of the past. The Mercury claims the first hot shoe flash connection, although it is not compatible with modern flashes. Its construction was impressively solid compared to the C3. The f/2.7 lens and 1/1000 second shutter were amazing compared to the folding Kodak with an f/14 lens and TBI shutter I had used a year before getting a Mercury II.
     
  10. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    Sorry for the ambiguity. That comment related to the SLR Pens, not the VF Pens.
     
  11. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv Member

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  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The fastest speed on my Tessina is 1/500 second. That is not fast. Maybe half-fast.