I have always been fascinated with Half Frame Camera’s (cameras that give two vertical images on one frame of film). I always appreciated the increased efficiency of turning a 36 roll of film into 72 exposures. But even more than that is the new perspective of framing and composition of taking two images and creating one new complete image.
A couple of years ago I kept unsuccessfully bidding on the Olympus Pen series and Canon Demi on Ebay. In the end I settled on a Olympus Trip since I loved the esthetics of this camera so much. But this camera was a traditional single frame camera and it wasn’t until I got a Golden Half Camera as a Christmas gift that I had my first half frame camera.
Good and Great things:
This camera is small and light. This is the lightest and smallest camera I own. This one truly is one of those that fits in your pocket.
It has a hot shoe. Most toy cameras don’t have a flash also don’t have a hot shoe. It even works with a
Even though it is a plastic build, it somehow feels pretty solid and also because it is plastic I don’t worry about it too much and let it bang around wherever I carry it to.
Not so great and bad things:
In my experience I needed allot of light, or some very fast film to get good results. But that is to be expected when you are dealing with a camera with a plastic lens and no manual controls.
Because of the lack of the build in flash, one you do throw a flash on it, you have doubled its size and weight.
Like all half frame cameras ( AFAIK, let me know if I am wrong) you don’t know which frame you are shooting on. It is frustrating to take two great contrasting images right after one another and then when you pick up your developed film, they were on two different frames.
Outside of the center the image is pretty soft.
Cartier-Bresson Top Tip:
If you want to make absolutely sure you have two desired subjects on the same frame then you should do the following: Take a picture of one subject first, then take a picture of the second subject and then go back to the first subject. This means you are “wasting” one half frame, but since you have 72 images to take it isn’t that bad, plus you never know that what unexpected paired images give you.
It’s a nice fun light affordable way to get into half frame photography. But personally I would recommend to go for an Olympus Pen. You would have to pay a little bit more, but end up with a very sexy camera, manual controls and a fast 2.8 lens.