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It’s Time for Film It’s Time for Film

Photography is an art in which the camera captures light, then forms an image of a scene based on that light.

You can use the light to create your own image, using it boldly on some occasions, or more sensitively on others. A film camera portrays the scene exactly the way you read the light and intend to capture it on a photograph.

While film cameras have had a long history, you will discover a new value in a film camera.

What’s the
film camera?

As the name implies, this is a camera that uses film as its recording medium. Digital cameras record images using electrical signals, but film cameras create pictures by exposing the photosensitive layer of the film to light.

the half-size

Film comes in many formats, but the most popular is the 35mm format (36mm x 24mm frame size) — what we call full size in digital photography. The half size is a format in which two pictures (17mm x 24mm) are captured in a single 35mm-format frame, meaning that you can double the number of pictures that can be captured on a single roll of film — 72 pictures on a roll of 36-expsoure film, or 48 pictures on 24-exposure film.


Half-size format for capturing a large number of pictures

The PENTAX 17 is a half-size-format camera that employs a left-to-right film advance mechanism. When positioned in the normal way, it captures vertical-format pictures, identical to the familiar images captured by smartphones.

Film advance lever with a nostalgic film camera look

The PENTAX 17 uses a manual film-winding mechanism featuring a film advance lever, to recreate the feel of a traditional film camera. To improve the feel of the film-winding action after each shutter release, this lever is designed for optimal finger hold.

Fixed-focal length lens to optimize image quality

The PENTAX 17 features a 25mm F3.5 fixed-focal length lens (equivalent to a 37mm lens in the 35mm format). This lens is treated with HD (High Definition) coating — highly acclaimed through its application on PENTAX SLR lenses — to optimize the image quality of half-size pictures. As the result, the PENTAX 17 delivers sharp, clear images.

Bright optical viewfinder to assure sharp subject image

The PENTAX 17’s optical viewfinder features an Albada-type bright frame finder. It also comes with a close-up visual field compensation frame to help you more easily compose close-up images. It is possible to check the zone marks directly through the viewfinder.

Functions Functions

Seven shooting modes to accommodate different applications

1Full Auto mode

The PENTAX 17 features a pan-focus mechanism with a fixed focus point, while the flash unit automatically discharges in poorly illuminated locations. This mode allows for more casual and effortless picture-taking, without worrying about camera operations.

2Standard mode

This mode lets you select the desired focus zone, while the camera adjusts exposure to the proper level. Since the flash doesn’t discharge, this mode is highly useful in daylight photography.

3Slow-speed mode

This mode lets you select the desired focus zone without flash discharge, making it ideal for twilight photography.

priority mode

This mode lets you select the desired focus zone, without flash discharge. The camera automatically sets the largest aperture available for a given scene.

5Bulb mode

This mode lets you select the desired focus zone without flash discharge. This comes in handy for subjects requiring extended exposures, such as light traces or fireworks. The use of the CS-205 Cable Switch (optional accessory) and a tripod is recommended when using this mode.

6Daylight sync mode

This mode lets you select the desired focus zone, with the camera selecting the optimal exposure settings. Since the flash makes a discharge, this is ideal for photographs taken against backlight or in poorly illuminated locations.

7Slow-speed sync mode

This mode lets you select the desired focus zone, with the camera making a flash discharge. This is useful in situations where you want to brightly illuminate a subject in the foreground while retaining the ambience of a nightscape or twilight in the background.

Exposure compensation mechanism for easy adjustment of brightness level

The PENTAX 17 features an independent exposure compensation dial, which lets you swiftly shift the exposure level with a simple turn, making it handy in backlit situations or in adding creative touches.

Zone-focus system to switch the in-focus area based on the subject distance

From close ranges to long distances, the PENTAX 17’s zone-focus system is divided into six zones, indicated by marks that signify each zone. All you have to do to set the camera’s focus is select the mark best suited for the distance to your subject.

For more details

※Because the PENTAX 17 is a compact film camera, it causes a parallax in the Tabletop and Macro zones. When photographing in these zones, you are advised to frame the image using the parallax compensation frame indicated in the viewfinder.


For more fun with the film camera

Set the ISO sensitivity manually

Since the PENTAX 17 lets you manually select the ISO sensitivity setting from 50, 100, 125, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200, it lets you try and enjoy different types of film.

Enjoy manual film winding/rewinding actions

The PENTAX 17 features an easy-loading system to prevent film-loading errors. Just insert the roll of film and pull the film leader to the film end indicator, close the camera’s back cover, and manually keep winding the film until the film counter reaches “0” (zero). After finishing the roll of film, manually rewind it to complete the manual winding/rewinding actions which are only available with film cameras.

You can even rewind the film before the entire roll is finished.

To prevent the film from being exposed to the light, load the film in a dark location without contact by direct sunlight.

Note holder to keep track of the film in use

By cutting out the end of the film package and inserting it into the camera’s note holder, you can keep track of the type of film in use with just a quick glance.

Important point to note in film development
When ordering film development, it’s important to inform the lab staff that the photos have been captured with the half-size format camera.

Other functions

Indicator lamps to inform camera operation status and provide warnings

The PENTAX 17 provides two indicator lamps to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece. These blink as warnings to prevent operational errors, when you attempt to take pictures with the lens cap on, fail to wind the film to the next frame, or set the focus zone to Tabletop or Macro.

Installation of a camera strap

The PENTAX 17 comes equipped with three strap lugs, to assure the versatile strap installation best suited to your shooting style, whether installing the hand strap (included as a standard accessory) or suspending the camera horizontally or vertically.

Grip design for firm hold of
the camera body

The PENTAX 17’s grip has been designed to provide a comfortable grip and firm hold of the camera body. Its distinctive contour assures a firm finger grip even when the camera is held vertically. The grip also serves as the battery holder, reducing the overall thickness of the camera body.

Cable switch option, useful in
extended-exposure photography

The PENTAX 17 accepts the optional CS-205 Cable Switch, which comes in handy when using a tripod for scenic photography or employing extended exposures in bulb-mode shooting. The cable switch helps you capture sharp, clear photos by minimizing camera shake.

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