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Half Frames / Subminiatures This forum is for all half frame 35mm cameras, including the very popular Olympus Pens and their SLR cousins, the Pen F and Pen FT, as well as all smaller than half frame subminiature film cameras.

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I'd love to see Fuji make a new 1/2 frame film camera...
Old 02-03-2018   #1
x-ray
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I'd love to see Fuji make a new 1/2 frame film camera...

I recently purchased a new old stock Fuji XE-1 and 18-55 and 50-230. I was looking for a high quality, compact and couple of small light lenses to carry on vacation. I've had them for about 6 or 7 weeks now and really love them.

Im a longtime film shooter, over 60 years, and love the process and the results. Over the decades I've worked as a commercial photographer and transitioned into digital in my work around 2000. That transition was easy but I e resisted for my personal work with the exception of vacation pix in the last few years.

I was working on some images on my computer for one of my clients several days ago and it dawned on me how nice a compact film body about the size of an XE-1 would be. I imagined it would be similar to the 1/2 frame vintage Olympus Pen F and use the X mount lenses. It would have to be an all electronic body due to electronic control of lens functions but that would be fine. It wouldn't have to have a lot of whistles and bells, just a basic 1/2 frame reflex camera. The lenses are so good I think it would make for a very nice and compact high quality film system and expand on the value of the X system for those of us that shoot digital and love film.

What are your thoughts? What would you want to see in features and be willing to pay? I think it would be a winner if prices near the XE-3 and have speeds to 1/4000 with program, manual, shutter and aperture priority.
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Old 02-03-2018   #2
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One can dream, right? But don't ever think Fujifilm is ever going to make another film camera other than their disposable models they just raised the prices on. They are trying to kill film (except for their Instax models), so you might have to do a Kick Starter campaign to fulfill your wishes.

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Old 02-03-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
One can dream, right? But don't ever think Fujifilm is ever going to make another film camera other than their disposable models they just raised the prices on. They are trying to kill film (except for their Instax models), so you might have to do a Kick Starter campaign to fulfill your wishes.

PF
I'm not holding my breath but what a cool camera it could be. With the current fine grain films it would be a nice and usable camera.
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Old 02-03-2018   #4
Oren Grad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
I imagined it would be similar to the 1/2 frame vintage Olympus Pen F and use the X mount lenses.
No. The optical designs of the X-mount lenses assume substantial autocorrection in raw conversion. Even if you had a film body that could interface with the X lenses, you'd end up with a lot of negatives that have really excessive geometric distortion.
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Old 02-03-2018   #5
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Oren you're correct. Forgot about that.
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Old 02-03-2018   #6
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I'm sympathetic, though - I too would be delighted to see a new, high-quality (i.e., not Lomo, Holga) half-frame 35mm camera. Quite a while back I asked the Head Bartender about the prospects of Cosina doing such a thing, but his answer amounted to "not a prayer".

< sigh >
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Old 02-03-2018   #7
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I figured there's not much chance.
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Old 02-05-2018   #8
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When I got into film photography around 2012, I really liked the idea of half frame cameras (twice the shots per roll! In portrait orientation already!) the more time I spend in my darkroom, the more I realize I'd never use one. I much prefer working with 120 negatives to 35mm, and I think any 1/2 frame would be limited to 5x7 paper for me.

Now, ignoring the business case (or lack there of) of selling a new 35mm film camera (remember, it isn't whether or not it will return investment, it is whether or not it will return more investment than something else - and right now Instax is returning a lot of investment, while 35mm is not), from a technical perspective any Fuji X mount film camera would be rangefinder focusing only. If it had auto-focus, it would need to be an external sensor like the point and shoots of the 80s. Fujis have the AF sensors built into the imaging chip (which you want to replace with film) and there isn't enough room between the lens and sensor to redirect light to a a seperate AF module (SLR or SLT).
Developing a separate AF system whether RF or AF-beam, well, that half frame camera is going to be really expensive.
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Old 02-05-2018   #9
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You all can correct me if I'm wrong....More than a couple of the Fuji XF lenses are software corrected for distortion.
As much as I personally would like to use the f1.4/35mm on film, that lens and a couple others may be the only ones that "translate" very nicely outside of digital media.
Fun idea though.
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Old 02-05-2018   #10
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I dream up "film cameras I'd like to see" all the time. It's a harmless hobby.

To build a half frame kit I've chosen to do what I can with what is out there. For a interchangeable lens SLR that means the Pen F series, 3 models to choose from. (Yes, I know there were some special, modified full frame 35mm SLR's and the original Autoreflex by Konica that could shoot both full and half frame, but those are rare and offer no size / weight advantage much less lens mount adaptability.)

I just bought a FV body from the estate of Peter Dechert, half frame guru and camera history writer. But that is my last purchase other than an occasional filter adapter ring or other minor accessory. My modest Pen F kit is as complete as I can want it.

I would however love to be able to change out the micro-prism spot screen in the Pen FV for a plain matte screen but I think the screens are actually cemented around their edge to the prism so that could be a messy problem.
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Old 02-05-2018   #11
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I never got into half-frame 35mm back in the day. I do have to say I loved my Ricoh GR-1 (about the same size camera) because of the size and quality.

I do have to say I keep toying with the idea of picking up a 6x4.5 camera (half frame-ish for 120), but that's another thread.

I've always loved the look of the Pen F, how they managed to get two great camera systems in a row (the OM) speaks volumes into the old Olympus.

I don't think there is a lot of chance.

B2 (;->
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Old 02-05-2018   #12
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I worked with an art director at an agency I worked with in the 70's into the early 80's that had a nice setup of Pen F bodies and lenses. I unfortunately never shot with one but always thought the system had a lot of potential. Now that film is so much better I think it's a natural. Everything was nice and compact with a good selection of optics and high quality glass. I guess if I wasn't a half frame it'll have to be a Pen F.
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Old 02-20-2018   #13
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I was just looking at my Agat 18k and thinking that a new one with better lens coating and made from a better material--either better plastic or aluminium --could be very good. I wonder is Belomo still in business and if so, would they make 'em? Or sell a technical package for them...hmm, I've seen misstated campaigns based on much less...
Might be worth a few emails towards inquiring or encouraging them.

Rob
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