Ricoh Imaging to Release Pentax 17, Half-Frame Film Camera, in July

Courtesy of Ricoh Imaging Co.
Pentax 17

Ricoh Imaging Co. will release the Pentax 17, its first film camera in 21 years, in Japan on July 12, the company announced Tuesday.

The model is expected to attract younger people who are interested in a retro style with camera operations unique to film photography, such as a manual film winding lever and silver halide prints. The Pentax 17 will be retailed at around 88,000 yen including tax.

The camera features a half-frame format, in which two 17mm x 24mm pictures are captured in a commercially available single 35mm-format frame (36mm x 24mm), doubling the number of pictures that can be taken per roll and lowering costs. When held in a landscape orientation, the camera captures portrait-oriented pictures, like the familiar images captured by smartphones.

The model is the first Pentax-brand film camera to be released since 2003. Ricoh Imaging has developed the new model due to the growing popularity of film cameras, especially among younger generations.

In Japan, Fujifilm Corp.’s Instax instant camera series, known as Cheki in Japan, is also popular, and the company plans to launch its newest model on July 19.