A Full Review of the New Pentax 17 35mm Half-Frame Film Camera

Pentax 17 half-frame camera for film photography

The wait is over, Pentax 17 is here! 

We have taken it out for a couple of rolls and these are our first impressions plus a few technicalities! 

Design and Build

The Pentax 17 is beautifully designed, blending retro charm with modern features. Its sleek body, made from durable magnesium alloy, ensures it’s both stylish and sturdy. The ergonomic design makes it a great to handle.

Lens and Image Quality

Equipped with a new 25mm f/3.5 lens, the Pentax 17 ensures sharp, vivid images. The lens is enhanced with a high-definition coating, providing impeccable clarity and reducing glare. This makes it perfect for capturing a wide range of scenes, from portraits to landscapes.

Manual Controls

One of the standout features of the Pentax 17 is its manual controls. These controls are reminiscent of vintage SLRs, complete with the tactile feel of winding film manually. This gives photographers a sense of connection to their craft, allowing for greater creative control.

Pentax 17 half-frame film camera

Optical Viewfinder

The bright optical viewfinder is designed to provide a clear view of your subject. It includes zone focus system marks for quick adjustments, especially useful in fast-paced shooting scenarios.

Shooting Modes

The Pentax 17 offers seven different shooting modes, making it versatile for various photography needs. From evening shots with slow-speed sync to extended exposures in bulb mode, this camera is equipped to handle a wide range of lighting situations.


Pentax 17 half-frame camera for film photography



Built from durable magnesium alloy, the Pentax 17 is as sturdy as it is stylish. This durability makes it an ideal companion for photographers on the go, ensuring it can withstand the rigours of travel and outdoor shooting.

User Experience

The attention to detail in its ergonomic design and the ease of loading film underscore Pentax’s commitment to quality and user-friendly experience. Every aspect of the camera has been crafted to enhance the photographer’s experience, making it both a functional and enjoyable tool.


Pentax 17 half-frame camera for film photography



What makes the Pentax 17 unique among film cameras?

The Pentax 17 stands out due to its half-frame format, which doubles the number of shots per roll of film. This, combined with its modern features and retro design, makes it a unique and versatile choice for photographers.

Is the Pentax 17 suitable for beginners?

Yes, the Pentax 17 is designed to be user-friendly, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced photographers. Its automatic programs and intuitive design allow for easy learning and creative exploration.

How does the half-frame format affect image quality?

The half-frame format reduces the surface area used on the film resulting in lower resolution images and more pronounced grain in comparison to a full frame camera. However, with the combination of great modern optics and film scanning your photos will look gorgeous even with this constrain. 

 Can the Pentax 17 handle different lighting conditions?

Yes, the Pentax 17 is equipped with seven different shooting modes, including options for evening shots and extended exposures. This versatility allows photographers to capture stunning images in a variety of lighting conditions.


Pentax 17 half-frame camera for film photography



The Pentax 17 is a remarkable blend of vintage charm and modern technology, designed to reignite your passion for film photography. With its half-frame format, high-quality lens, and versatile shooting modes, it offers a unique and enjoyable experience for photographers of all levels. Whether you’re capturing everyday moments or embarking on a creative project, the Pentax 17 is a must-explore for anyone passionate about the aesthetic pleasures of film.

Here are some sample Images

Pentax 17 Sample ImagesPentax 17 Sample Images
Pentax 17 Sample Images


Feeling this camera? Get yours here!

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