Yashica Half 17

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The Half 17 is a half-frame 35 mm viewfinder camera made by Yashica in about 1964. The Half 17 Rapid, from the following year, is more or less the same camera, but made to accept Agfa's Rapid film cassettes instead of regular 135 film; this leads to some differences. The Rapid model is very slightly larger and heavier than the 135 camera.[1][2] The name engraved on later cameras includes 'EE' (for 'Electric Eye'); these cameras appear to be exactly the same.

The Half 17 has a six-element 32 mm f/1.7 Yashinon lens (a wide maximum aperture for a popular camera of the time) and a Copal BR shutter. There is a selenium meter, with the cell arranged around the lens, and the camera is normally used with automatic exposure, which follows a program between 1/30 second at f/1.7 (EV 6½) and 1/800 second at f/16 (EV 17). The metered shutter speed (but not the aperture) is displayed in the viewfinder. There is also a setting for 'B' shutter (the aperture is then set to f/1.7), and manual aperture settings for use with flash. There is a PC socket on the left end of the body, and a cold shoe on the top. The 135 model of the camera has a film speed dial on the top plate, allowing speeds from 12 to 400 ASA; the Rapid model does not have this dial; the Rapid cassette itself sets the speed.

The lens has scale focusing down to 0.8 meter; the set distance is visible in the viewfinder. The viewfinder has a brightline frame, with markings for parallax error correction when focused close.

The film is advanced with a toothed wheel at the bottom of the back. The 135 model has a rewind release button and folding rewind crank on the base. Rapid film is wound from one cassette to a second, and is not rewound, so the Rapid model has no crank.


  1. Yashica Half 17 and Half 17 EE Rapid]; several views of each camera and text in Japanese, at Japan Family Camera.
  2. Yashica half-frame cameras including the Half 17, at Joe McGloin's Sub Club.