35mm Half Frame Camera Proposal

Half Frame 35mm Camera

Rumours in the Quality Assurance lab in the early 1980's, revolved around the introduction of a new camera system. Personally, I was really hoping they would create a modern 35mm, since there were none in the lineup at the time. I was REALLY disappointed when they finally told us about the Disc program. I couldn't see how that tiny neg could produce decent images. I was right, they were terrible, very grainy, hard to make out faces a few feet away. The prmary reason I chose photographing with them versus evaluating the resulting photos. I would have failed every one

My colleague Gerry felt the same way. I suggested we design a 35mm half frame camera in which the film traveled from top of the camera to the bottom, thus creating a horizontal 1/2 frame format. (Verticle frame is a drawback common in many previous half frame cameras) We created a list of specs and I designed a camera in MacPaint to show what it would look like, as well as the viewfinder view, to show the various displays. The camera also featured another idea I suggested, and that was to have the film unspool to the bottom when first loaded and then each exposed frame would wind back into the canister as you shot. This would prevent accidental exposures of your exposed film if the back was accidentally opened.

Management rejected our proposal, but they adopted the winding of the exposed film back into the canister in the next 35mm camera they introduced. And interestingly. about six months after Kodak rejected our proposal, Konica released a 35mm half frame with the exact same featues and size as the camera we had proposed.

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