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Half-Frame 35mm – loads for your money

Classic educational film strips are shot in ‘half-frame’ 35mm. Actually the way the images are set out in the film is just like 35mm movie film.

CGA 415 Primary Biology Series - Life in the Summer
A section of an educational film strip from the 1950s

Above is a section of a film strip called “Life in the Summer”. I am scanning these old strips for posting on the web in due course. I thought it would be fun to buy a half-frame 35mm camera and see what it could do.

The camera I got was an Olympus Pen EE2. EE stands for ‘Electric Eye’. It has an selenium exposure around the fixed focus lens. The meter stops you taking a picture if there is low light ; it makes a red flag appear in the view finder.

Such a nice piece of equipment it doesn’t even need a battery.

Actually, I had a false start with this. I got hold of a 45 year old Olympus Pen EE from Ebay which had a faulty exposure meter – it did take some pictures but the exposures were all over the place. So I found a slightly younger camera, the EE2, on Ebay and imported it from The Netherlands. It’s a beauty – and here is a picture of it taken with my pinhole camera.

Olympus Pen EE2 Pinhole
This photo taken with my pinhole camera

Is this too meta? Cameras taking with other cameras? This post is about half frame 35mm – we’ll cover off educational film strips and pinhole cameras another time!

Because half frame cameras take half size negatives you get twice as many pictures per roll of film. That’s 72 pictures for a 36 shot roll. No wonder I was shooting off images like someone using a mobile phone. Here are a couple of images from the gallery.

Click here to see the full gallery..