Yashica Half 17

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The Half 17 is a half-frame 35 mm viewfinder camera made by Yashica in about 1964. It 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 17½). 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. There is a film speed dial on the top plate, allowing speeds from 12 to 400 ASA.

The lens has scale focusing down to 0.8 meter, and zone-focusing symbols are displayed in the viewfinder (for a head-and-shoulders portrait at 0.8 m, a half-figure portrait at 1.2 m, a group at 3 m and a scene at infinity). 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 rewind release button and a folding rewind crank are on the base.

Two similar cameras, the Half 17 Rapid and the Half 17 EE Rapid were made the following year, for Agfa's Rapid film cassettes rather than regular 35 mm cassettes. The Half 14 for regular 35 mm film, with an f/1.4 lens, followed in 1966.


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