Pentax 17

I previously mentioned the Pentax film renaissance. Today Pentax announced the Pentax 17 (via DPReview).

This gives the details we didn’t previously have.

It’s a vertical half frame (17 mm wide, 24 mm tall) 35mm millimeter compact camera, with a manual focus fixed prime lens. It has program exposure with a few modes, and built-in flash with sync at 1/125. It will be priced at USD$499.95, to be available in late (aren’t we already in the second half?) June 2024.

The manual focusing is zone based, reminiscent of non auto-focus compact cameras, and the viewfinder is parallax corrected, and centered on the lens in the middle of the camera. This is neither a reflex (through the lens) nor a rangefinder.

The body construction has metal, i.e. it’s not a cheap plastic blob. The leaf shutter goes from 4 sec to 1/350 sec, with also a bulb mode. The lens is a fixed 25mm (37mm equivalent) with f/3.5 aperture closed down to a max of f/16. Film advance is mechanic with a lever, so is ISO setting (no DX). The camera uses a CR2 battery for the metering and the flash.

The half frame allow 48 and 72 shots on 24 and 36 exp rolls respectively. If you want to shoot in landscape mode, just flip the camera.

This camera could totally be from the late 1970s, minus a couple of things. According to Ricoh-Pentax, the lens is based on the 1994 Pentax Espio Mini, but using the same attribute as was used on the 1962 RICOH Auto Half

At USD$500 I am not sure whether this is right-priced or not.