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  1. #1

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    Why did half frame die?

    I just got a Pen EE-3
    If anything has become abundantly clear in the last few years it was that, especially in the compact market, 35mm was better quality than it needed to be. People were obviously willing to trade quantity over quality which is fair enough. I'm actually looking at the moment to buy my third digital compact, but it wasn't just for some of their photography but for all of it.
    This even seems to be the case in the high end film compact market, I genuinely didn't expect the likes of Leica and Ricoh to stop making film compacts so soon. IMAO it's only in recent times since the APS-C sized MILC cameras have come out we've seen the image quality significantly improve in the digital compact realm IMAO, but they're still a quite a bit bigger heavier. Anyway I digress, if that is the case, how come there were no half frame cameras in the '80s and '90s. I know that cameras like the XA and Rollei and Later Stylus Epic could show that very small FF cameras could be made, but come on 72 frames per film that's a lot of happy snapping, also near to APS-C size format, and unlike APS you can use pretty much any film you like? I tell you what I'd love to get a modern Half frame, but in mean time I'm going to love my Pen EE-3 almost to a level that might be inappropriate for a grown adult.

  2. #2
    wildbill's Avatar
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    no one had the time to print 72 negs.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I used half frame for a few years, I still have an Olympus but I much preferred my Canon Demi which a friend borrowed - he dropped it and broke the meter I ended up with the Olympus instead.

    It's the hassle of prints. I can see a use though making enlarged contacts, poetic sequences, maybe it's my hippy roots

    Ian

  4. #4
    CGW
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    Many labs regarded them as a PITA to print. Mini-labs were usually baffled by them.

    Look for MILC like the Sony NEX 5n and NEX 7 to pummel DSLRs, especially when they roll out a FF model--what the hell, Sony makes most of the sensors!

  5. #5

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    Yes I guess having lots of photos isn't always a good thing, I would have thought a lot of people would have just had CDs made.

  6. #6
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    Film wasn't that good back in the seventies, you could really tell the difference in quality. Having worked in the photo finishing area at that time though, the main reason that people didn't like them wasn't a quality issue, but it simply took too long for them to finish a roll....remembering that a lot of folks thought that 12 exposures were too many! Also, 72 prints made a big hole in the weekly budget.
    Still, there is a lot to like about the cameras, especially those from Olympus as you have found. I have a Pen D,the EE3 like you and the lovely Pen F with a few lenses. The pen F has, of course been re-birthed as a Digital, so popular was it's design.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    One of the attractions of half frame was that it halved your film costs.

    By the 1980s, print and slide film was relatively cheap.

    In addition, when half-frame cameras were relatively prominent, "full-frame" SLRs were more of a specialty item and fairly expensive.

    By the late 1970s/early 1980s, very capable "full-frame" 35mm SLRs were much more easily found and much more reasonably priced (e.g. Canon AE1).

    And slide films were still very popular, but half-frame slides tended to disappoint.

    In addition, 35mm rangefinders and point-and-shoot cameras were well advanced.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Just think...SIX Christmases on one roll!
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Just think...SIX Christmases on one roll!
    ... ...

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  10. #10
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    As a recent purchaser of an Oly Pen I have to agreed how pleasantly surprised I was by the quality. I scan most of my negs with a Nikon 9000 and the layout of 2 frames per "35mm" frame is so easy to scan. I love it and am possibly looking to expand the lens collection from the sole 38mm I got with the camera.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

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