Pentax 17 - The New Half-Frame Point & Shoot

Film photography is making a comeback, and there's a new player in town that promises to elevate your analog experience—meet the Pentax 17. This camera is designed with professional photographers and film enthusiasts in mind, offering the perfect blend of vintage charm and modern functionality. In this blog post, we'll explore everything you need to know about the Pentax 17, from its impressive specs to its real-world performance, and why it might just be the film camera you've been waiting for.

The Revival of Film Photography

Film photography has seen a resurgence in recent years. From Instagram hashtags to dedicated online communities, the #filmisnotdead movement has gained momentum. While digital photography offers convenience, there's something uniquely satisfying about the tactile experience of shooting on film. The Pentax 17 seeks to capture that essence while providing reliability and high-quality results.

What is the Pentax 17?

The Pentax 17 is a half-frame point-and-shoot 35mm film camera. Unlike typical full-frame cameras, which expose an image with dimensions of 24 x 36mm, the Pentax 17 captures half-frame images (17 x 24mm). This means you can shoot double the number of photos on a standard roll of 35mm film, making it both economical and fun.

Key Features

  • Camera Type: Half Frame, behind-the-lens shutter 35mm film camera
  • Frame Size: 24 x 17mm (half-frame)
  • Lens: HD Pentax Lens; 3 elements in 3 groups, Focal Length 25mm (equivalent to 37mm in full-frame format)
  • Manual Controls: Multiple shooting modes, exposure compensation, user-selectable ISO setting
  • Design: Compact, lightweight, and stylish with a satin titanium-esque finish

A New Era for Film Cameras

For years, film enthusiasts have been yearning for a new, capable, and fairly-priced film camera from a major brand. Major players like Canon and Nikon have stepped away from film cameras, leaving a gap in the market. Leica's offerings, while high-quality, come with a hefty price tag that isn't accessible to everyone. The Pentax 17 fills this void by offering a modern yet affordable solution.

Robust Manual Controls

One of the standout features of the Pentax 17 is its robust manual controls. Whether you're a seasoned photographer or a curious newbie, this camera allows you to experiment with different settings to achieve your desired results. With multiple shooting modes, including full auto, bulb, and slow-speed sync, the Pentax 17 offers versatility and creative freedom.

Tactile Experience

The tactile experience of using the Pentax 17 is one of its biggest draws. From manually winding the film to adjusting the focus, every interaction with this camera feels intentional and satisfying. It's a refreshing change from the instant gratification of digital photography, encouraging you to slow down and appreciate each shot.

Optical Viewfinder

The Pentax 17 features an optical bright-frame viewfinder with composition frames and zone focus settings visible in the viewfinder. LED indicators provide additional information, making it easier to compose your shots accurately.

Lens and Optics

Equipped with a 25mm f/3.5 lens, the Pentax 17 offers a 61-degree angle of view. This lens is perfect for capturing a wide range of subjects, from landscapes to portraits, with sharpness and clarity.

Film Compatibility

The camera supports a wide range of film speeds, from ISO 50 to ISO 3200, allowing you to shoot in various lighting conditions. The manual ISO setting ensures that you can match the camera settings to your film of choice, providing greater control over your exposures.

Design and Build Quality

The first thing you'll notice about the Pentax 17 is its sleek design and solid build quality. The satin titanium-esque finish gives it a premium look, while its compact size makes it easy to carry around. It's the perfect companion for street photography, travel, and everyday adventures.

Ease of Use

Despite its advanced features, the Pentax 17 is incredibly user-friendly. The manual controls are intuitive, and the optical viewfinder provides a clear and accurate view of your scene. Even if you're new to film photography, you'll find the Pentax 17 easy to pick up and start shooting with.


In real-world use, the Pentax 17 delivers impressive results. The lens produces sharp, vibrant images with excellent contrast. The manual focus and exposure controls allow for precise adjustments, giving you the flexibility to capture your vision. Whether you're shooting in bright sunlight or low light, the Pentax 17 performs admirably.

The Community and Support

Join the Pentax Family

When you purchase a Pentax 17, you're not just buying a camera—you're joining a community of passionate photographers. There are numerous online forums, social media groups, and local meetups where you can connect with other Pentax users, share your work, and learn from each other.

Ongoing Support

Pentax is committed to supporting its film camera users. They offer a range of resources, including user manuals, tutorials, and customer service, to help you get the most out of your Pentax 17. Whether you have a technical question or need creative inspiration, Pentax has you covered.


The Pentax 17 is more than just a camera—it's a celebration of the art of film photography. With its robust manual controls, stylish design, and exceptional performance, it offers a unique and satisfying shooting experience. Whether you're a professional photographer looking to expand your toolkit or a photography enthusiast eager to explore the world of film, the Pentax 17 is a fantastic choice.

By investing in a Pentax 17, you're not just purchasing a camera; you're becoming part of a community that values quality, creativity, and the timeless art of film photography.

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