The half frame died because Olympus killed it with the OM1
Not much bigger than the Pen FT and an awesome viewfinder
Half frame lives!!
I started thinking maybe the Kodak Instamatic, Pocket Instamatic and Disc cameras took market share from the people who would have shot half-frame.
But then I hit on something.
It must not feel right to shoot verticals. Now I'm not saying it's wrong to make a camera with a natural portrait orientation. I know the mark of a professional is a good variety of portrait and landscape shots that would make it easier for the Art Director laying out magazines. Not every shot can be a double-truck.
But if half-frame cameras had been made to comfortably shoot in horizontal orientation, it might have taken off.
It might have been exciting to be able to mount motion-picture lenses on your still camera and get essentially the same shots the cinematographers were taking.
Think about it, nobody makes a vertically-oriented d camera... even though there's no mechanical constraint.
The Konica AA-35 ran its film horizontally.
The Bronica 645 RF and the standard version of the Linhof 220 are vertically oriented cameras. The design of the Linhof 220 with its pistol grip seems inspired by the RCA studio microphone of its era.
People could have better quality prints using a camera the same size or smaller, with more models to choose from, which cost the same or less than half frame cameras, while using film that costs the same amount of money.
Plus, Canon and Nikon didn't make one after the 1970s (?).
Any now you are all remembering that your unloved tiny single frame cameras need a new home, I am looking for one to work with - Please donate one to me for postage, obviously not the high value PenF, but something small and easy - I pre-accept the derision I will receive when I am out working with 10x8" and single frame on the same job