Introducing the Pentax 17 half-frame camera

Introducing the Pentax 17 half-frame camera

It’s been roughly two decades since any of the major powerhouses in photography have released a new film camera (aside from the cheap refillable types). This is why Hillvale Photo is stoked to host the official Australian launch of the highly anticipated Pentax 17: a half-frame camera that combines the best of Pentax's legacy with modern advancements. 

The Pentax 17's half-frame format is its most distinct feature: twice as many exposures per roll of film. On a standard 36-exposure roll, you can capture approximately 72 images, making it great for travelling (less film to carry!) and perfect for those shooting on a budget. The camera’s vertical orientation also complements portrait photography and social media posts.

Designed for photographers of all abilities, the Pentax 17 is a point-and-shoot camera everyone can get around. Its excellent automatic exposure system makes it a breeze to use — just load your film, set the ISO, focus, and shoot.

For those who would like a little more room to play there are seven shooting modes to choose from, with or without the built-in flash, including program, auto and bulb, and there is a bokeh mode for shallow depth of field at f3.5. It also has adjustable dials for ISO and exposure compensation, so you can nail metering for the shadows or highlights. 

The Pentax 17 sports an upgraded vintage look and a thoughtfully designed top plate. It includes a manual film rewind knob, shutter release button, on/off switch, film advance lever, and film counter window. The middle-positioned viewfinder with brightline frame lines guarantees accurate framing.

It features a manual film winding mechanism, bringing back the tactile joy of film winding. The easy-loading system is designed to prevent film-loading errors, making it user-friendly even for first-time film camera users.

A brand new fixed 25mm f/3.5 lens offers impressive sharpness and anti-reflective coating to keep your images bright and crispy. Manual six-stage zone focusing method covers a range from macro (25cm!) to infinity, providing flexibility for various shooting scenarios. 

The camera's body is made from a solid yet lightweight magnesium alloy, enhancing durability without adding weight. It comes with a CR2 battery, lens cap, wrist strap, and best of all, a one-year manufacturer’s warranty — a benefit you don’t get with buying second hand cameras.

The team at Hillvale were lucky enough to get our hands on a few models to try out and the results really blew us away. Some highlights of the camera for us include how sharp the images are despite the small frame size, possibly the quietest shutter we’ve ever heard and how robust it feels in hand, despite weighing less than 300 grams.

The Pentax 17 is available for pre-order.

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