What is a Half Frame Camera?

With Kodak's release of the Ektar H35, I felt it was important to describe what a half-frame camera is and where they came from. 

Why is it Called Half-Frame?

It's called 'half frame' because you are using half the amount of film per exposure (18x24), as you do with a standard 'full frame' film camera (24x36). While your image won't be as high quality, having a half-frame camera comes with many benefits. 

The History of the Half Frame Film Camera

The half frame was invented in 1960s Japan, as a cheaper option to full frame cameras. The first half-frame models were part of the Olympus Pen line, one of which I have used. These half-frame models came with many benefits, among them was the fact the camera could be made way more compact than a standard 35mm camera. This was because they didn't use a mirror, and the shutter box could be half the size of a full-frame camera. This can be really seen with the Olympus pen line. Due to the smaller amount of film required to be exposed, lenses also became smaller, making the cameras even more lightweight. 


Why should I buy a half-frame camera?

Other than size and weight, the biggest benefit to shooting half-frame is price, On a standard roll of 36 exposures, if you use a half-frame camera, you can achieve 72 photographs, this means you have to spend half the amount of money per photo taken as you do on a full-frame camera.

I'm a big fan of half-frame and have attached a list below of some of the best half-frame cameras available

If you can get your hands on one, my favourite is an Olympus Pen EE (any model 1,2,3) due to its incredibly small size, and a fantastic alternative is the brand new Kodak Ektar H35. This camera is new so you also don't have any of the headaches an old camera can cause.

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