We know, 35mm film photography was such a COVID-era hobby, but if you’re feeling a bit burned out on reading (or in our case, covering) new generative AI video technology news, then this new film camera from Pentax should be a nice reminder that non-AI—and even non-digital—technologies exist.

The fruit of years of labor at this point, Pentax/Ricoh Imaging has finally announced its newest Pentax-brand film camera with the Pentax 17. The Pentax 17 is a 35mm half-frame film camera built to carry on the company’s rich history of analog film camera development and should be quite the hot commodity with all of your hip Instagram friends this summer.

Introducing the Pentax 17 Film Camera

Built from the ground up, the Pentax 17 is a 35mm half-frame film camera designed to go against the grain of the digital age—but still take some learnings from modern cameras. This new svelte point-and-shoot is the first launch from Ricoh Imaging/Pentax's Film Project initiative and is designed using a wealth of influence from Pentax's legacy of past film cameras.

Its most interesting feature perhaps is simply its “half frame” design, which is distinct from 35mm “full frame” cameras with their 36 x 24mm format, the Pentax 17 half-frame camera has a recording area of 17 x 24mm. While smaller, this does provide additional benefits with the most notable one being that you’ll get twice as many exposures per roll compared to full-frame format cameras.

A Half-Frame Summer Heats Up

Also notable about this half-frame format is that since the film is running horizontally through the camera, the 17 x 24mm image area is inherently vertical. This means the viewfinder is set up in a vertical orientation and the camera will handle best when shooting vertically.

The Pentax 17 will also feature a fixed prime HD PENTAX HF 25mm f/3.5 Traditional Lens. This is a slightly wide-angle lens, equivalent to the field of view of a 37mm lens in full-frame, offering impressive sharpness and color rendering. It features Pentax's contemporary HD anti-reflective coating, helping to boost contrast and clarity.

Price and Availability

If you’d like to see some examples of the photos taken with the Pentax 17, check out this review from the team at B&H. The Pentax 17 is set to retail for just under $500 and is currently available for pre-order. Here are the full specs and purchase options.

  • 35mm Half-Frame Film Camera
  • HD PENTAX HF 25mm f/3.5 Traditional Lens
  • Manual Zone Focus with Macro Setting
  • Window Viewfinder with Dual Frame Lines
  • Autoexposure, Program, and Bokeh Modes
  • Built-In Flash, Flash AE Modes
  • Exposure Compensation and ISO Dials
  • Manual Film Advance Lever & Film Rewind
  • Takes 1x CR2 3V Battery
  • 2.5mm Remote Cable Switch Terminal

Pentax 17 Film Camera

A new film camera in the age of digital, the Pentax 17 is a 35mm half-frame film camera built from the ground up.