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  1. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
    The idea that 1/2 frame cameras were made in post war Japan to save on film cost is incorrect. The Oly single frames were made beginning in 1959 and ran into the '80's.
    You are correct that the original intent was never to save film cost. Maitani san developed the Pen's in his lifelong pursuit to make small, lightweight, inexpensive, high quality cameras. But Olympus wanted to sell cameras; Kodak wanted to sell film. In the end, Kodak was destined to win the conflict. You only bought the camera once. You had to deal with the processing headaches each time you shot a roll of film.

    The ploy worked very well. As much as I loved (and still love) my Pens, the time came when I went into the local camera shop, put the Pen FT on the counter and told the guy, "I want a camera exactly like this, but full frame." I ended up with the lovely family group of the FT and an OM-2n. Thankfully, technology has solved the main problem. It is as easy to scan a half frame as a full frame.

  2. #72

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    How did a half frame nut like me miss this post for three days?
    Regardless, why did it die out? I guess for all the reasons already stated, don't think I have any more insight than any others.

    I've had 2 or 3 35mm half frame cameras at any one time for the last 40 years. My favorites are the original Pen VF camera with full manual control of shutter speed, aperture and focus,(never cared for the Pen EE's of any stripe) and the original Pen F with the 2 stroke advance and the plain matte focusing screen. I just can get along with the micro prism screens in the later FT and FV. Finishing a roll and then reading the contact sheet is a bug, although in my 20's it didn't seem so. Back then a 100 ft. of Tri-X was $8, and snap caps were 10 for a buck! Some used Nikor tanks and reels, Diafine, and you were ready to roll. I bought, loaded and shot a 100 ft. of Tri-X in one weekend at the Formula-V races at the Elkart Lake, Wisconsin racetrack. Took a couple days more to soup and contact print the negs. Nowdays 100 ft. of Tri-X is $65, snap caps a $1 each and I get through a roll of 72 in 1~3 months but now I use HC-110. My my, how times have changed.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by thuggins View Post
    The comments about the poorer print quality are flat out wrong. Olympus proved this time and again in the '60's by making prints up to 16x20 from their "half" frames. They would challenge professionals to tell them apart from full frame prints, and they invariably failed to do so. .
    It is very hard to believe truth in the above. 18x24mm frame enlarged to 16"x21" print requires 22.6x enlargement factor; 24x36mm frame requires 16.9x enlargement for 16"x24" final print size...1.34x greater magnification. Most folks agree that 16"x20" (16X) was the practical quality limit to prints from 135 format due to magnitude of grain size on that print, at 16.9x , so why on earth would anyone believe that even greater magnification be indistinguishable in comparing half-frame to full 135?!

    Here is a thread about preferences of 135 vs. 6x7 film prints, and that does make a difference at 16X http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...d-digital.html
    Last edited by wiltw; 04-05-2012 at 03:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #74
    MDR
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    How many enlargements are made from a full frame negative without cropping? A lot of people enlarge cropped 35mm up to 16x20 its probably grainy but sometimes grain enhances an image. Same quality as an uncropped 35mm enlargement unlikely but close to it very likely.

    Dominik

  5. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Old Man View Post
    Hello, I have just had a look at your blog sites, which I like, and realise these documents will be valued later for more than their instant and eclectic qualities - They have also reinforced my desire to get a single frame camera, or just use my Retina, to get lots of pics and print whole rolls together by putting an entire film in my 10x8" DeVere and making 32x40" prints of the whole film in one go, as I have already suggested - Put them in with the Oh-So-Phuqing-Serious 10x8" work I do to lighten up my next exhibition, as I have already suggested

    The Retina that Rae found for me in Bristol for 20 quid

    Attachment 49009
    TY I tried enlarging neg strips on to 20x24, like you suggest, it looked interesting but I really fancied bigger it was just a little bit too small for my vision. It certainly has a lot of potential though with the right subject matter, I ended up doing 5x3's in a grid, they looked great. I do need to work on a better way of displaying them though, they were portraits of a single person though. I may try a couple of my walks as an enlarged 'contact sheet'. Alas I am dependent on the uni I am doing my MA in for a 10x8 enlarger and doing big prints, my home darkroom is 2 square meters and the enlarger only goes to 6x6.

  6. #76
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    Gone!
    Last edited by John Austin; 04-06-2012 at 06:59 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: moved to classifieds WTB

  7. #77

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    Leica actually was going to show a prototype half frame reflex with interchangeable lenses at the 1962 Photokina. However Olympus was showing their Pen F system and it was ready for production, so Leica put their concept prototype away and that was the end of that. Too bad, but Leica probably thought the market was too small and their camera would not be able to compete on price although I'm sure the quality would have been up to their usual high standards.

  8. #78

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    One problem with HF cameras is that more than one was an auto-only type with a selenium meter. This makes them difficult to use today. On the rare occasions when I use my Konica Auto Reflex in HF mode, the 28mm f/1.8 Konica UC Hexanon makes an excellent standard lens. It is sharp, fast and has very close focusing. Over time these lenses tend to get oil on their blades so it tales some effort to keep them going. I also have a Konica AA 35, known in other markets as the Recorder. The lens seems nice and sharp. A friend of mine collects the Konica eye HF cameras. I think some were also sold under the wards name. The most interesting HF camera I saw (I saw a photo of one) was the Konica FT-1 Pro Half. There was a kit which Konica could install to convert the FT-1 slr to HF. Even more than 40 years ago it was possible to shoot with a film like Panatomic-X or KII and get decent enlargements if you used a sharp enough lens. The discussion on whether HF was devised to save money on film is an interesting one. Many labs charged more for processing and mounting HF slides or processing and printing print film. This offset some of the savings. Today, Portra 800, which is an excellent high speed color print film and maybe the only one left is about $10 a roll. At that price saving some money on film is not a bad idea if you are making modest enlargements. Ektar 100 should be great for HF use. I think that the last time I shot b&w HF I used a 40mm f/3.5 Bogen W.A. enlarging lens. The 40 works nicely for full frame printing but makes HF printing easier. I once asked Bob Shell whether it would be worth trying to fit the focusing screen of a Samurai into an old Olympus Pen SLR to brighten things up. He thought that the finder itself was not very bright and that chagning the focusing screen wouldn't help very much.

  9. #79

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    dynachrome, the format was made popular in Japan due to its conditions after th war and not necessarily did the same conditions exist in other markets such as the US during the period where the 1/2 format gained a decent market share considering the needs were less. Here, I remember visiting the stores and they were couched in terms of for the average middle class American who ws going on a vacation and wanted a camera that did all the work and one that took an almost unlimited number of frames with no need to frequently change film or carry rolls. Sort of like the idea of those non-film cameras. Take dozens of photos without having to change film or now a memory card.

    A I go back to when they were popular and photo labs were geared to regularly process them, the price differential was none for development but a tad more for mounting slides and making prints as there was mote time involved. My lab was set up to automount 1/2 frame slides in cardboard vs hand mounting in plastic and the per frame was the same price as 2x2 35mm frames. Their printer just printed 2 frames per print and the charge was the same as for either a 24 or 36 roll unless you wanted them to cut the prints. If you wanted 1 print per frame there was not price penalty per frame just the increase in cost due to the number of prints. Another lab I used was similar in pricing but for printing there was a surcharge as their machine was not capable of autofeeding 1/2 frame negatives for a 1 frame per print. Both labs only processed 1/2 frame a couple of days per week as it required setting up the mounter for auto cutting, feeding and mounting and the printers required a lens change at a minimum.

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynachrome View Post
    One problem with HF cameras is that more than one was an auto-only type with a selenium meter.
    I modify them to provide manual control. For example, the Pen EE-S is a delightful little camera with manual focus, but it's auto-only with two shutterspeeds. However, it has an aperture dial for flash, which lets you select aperture, but it always uses the slow speed (1/40th) in flash-mode. The camera can be modified so that you can manually select the shutterspeed: Holding the camera horizontally or vertically on its right side selects the slow speed. Holding the camera upside-down or on its left side selects the high speed.

    Making this modification means taking the camera pretty far apart, but it's no problem if you're handy with mechanics. The pictures below show the critical part of the modification: A soldered-on weight consisting of copper wire so a lever will select the correct speed by gravity. The pictures show both low- and high-speed positions:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I find that I shoot half-frame like digital: Shooting freely as if each shot were free. I turn in the roll to a mini-lab (for C-41 anyway) and tell them to pretend that each pair of frames is a normal frame and proceed as usual. The gives me two shots on each 4x6 print, which I use as proofs for selecting the keepers.

    Mark Overton
    Last edited by albada; 04-09-2012 at 01:21 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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