PENTAX 17: Fixed-Focal length compact film camera designed to capture half-size photographs

Fixed-Focal length compact film camera designed to capture half-size photographs

TOKYO, June 18, 2024-- RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX 17 Fixed-Focal length compact film camera. In addition to the distinctive image quality created only by a film camera, this new model provides users with the fun and excitement of manual camera operation unique to film photography, such as manual film winding using the film advance lever, and manual focus-range setting with the zone-focus system.


The PENTAX 17 was developed based on the PENTAX Film Camera Project, a concept first announced in December of 2022, in which RICOH IMAGING revealed that it was planning to develop and market a new PENTAX-brand film camera. The popularity of film cameras has grown rapidly in recent years -- especially among young photographers who have experienced this type of camera for the first time ever -- because of the distinctive, somewhat nostalgic ambience that is so much different from that of digital cameras.

Contrary to this recent trend, the ability to hand down the knowhow and technology of experienced expert engineers to their younger counterparts for the development of film cameras has been diminishing every year, because digital cameras are now the overwhelming mainstream of photography.

The PENTAX 17 was developed using a vast amount of knowhow and technology which RICOH IMAGING/PENTAX had accumulated over the years, with experts and younger engineers working closely together. The camera was designed to allow photographers to express their originality and creativity by leaving some room for manual operation, rather than making it a fully automatic camera.

The PENTAX 17 lets photographers fully enjoy the world of film cameras -- the origin of photography. It is an ideal model not only for film camera enthusiasts who have enjoyed film photography for years, but also for young photographers who are excited about trying film photography for the first time.

Main features

1. Half-size format

The PENTAX 17 features the half-size format, in which two 17mm x 24mm pictures are captured in a single 35mm-format frame (36mm x 24mm). It also employs a horizontal film advance mechanism. When positioned in the normal way, it captures vertical-format pictures, identical to the familiar images captured by smartphones, which are commonly used today for picture-taking.

2. Manual camera operation unique to film cameras

The PENTAX 17 features a manual film winding mechanism based on those incorporated in PENTAX-brand SLR film cameras. The film advance lever lets the user enjoy the film winding action and a wind-up sound after every shutter release. Its easy-loading system is designed to prevent film-loading errors, especially for first-time film camera users. It also features other mechanisms unique to film cameras, such as manual film rewinding operation using the rewind crank; exposure compensation via the exposure compensation dial; and ISO sensitivity setting via the ISO sensitivity dial.

3. Newly developed Fixed-Focal length lens combining time-proven optics and the latest lens coating technology

The PENTAX 17 features a newly developed 25mm F3.5 Fixed-Focal length lens (equivalent to a 37mm lens in the 35mm format). Based on the optics incorporated in the acclaimed PENTAX Espio Mini (marketed in 1994), it has been redesigned to fit perfectly in the half-size format. It is also treated with HD (High Definition) coating -- a highly acclaimed multi-layer coating -- to optimize the clarity and sharpness of half-size pictures. Using the lens used in the RICOH Auto Half (a best-selling half-size model first marketed in 1962) as a reference, the angle of view and focal length were selected to make casual, everyday picture-taking simple and flawless.

4. Zone-focus system to switch the in-focus area via simple selection of zone marks

From close-ups to long distances, the PENTAX 17's zone-focus system is divided into six focus zones, indicated by marks that signify each zone. All the user has to do to set the camera's focus is select the mark best suited for the subject distance on the zone focusing ring. In the Macro focus zone, the user can capture a close-up photo from approximately 25 centimeters away. The hand strap (included as a standard accessory) lets the user measure subject distance more accurately.

5. Bright optical viewfinder for real-time confirmation of a 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.

6. Seven shooting modes to accommodate different applications

The PENTAX 17 automatically adjusts exposure settings based on the lighting data collected by its metering sensor. In addition to the Full Auto mode in which all exposure settings are selected by the camera, it provides six other shooting modes, including: Slow-speed sync, which is highly useful in twilight photography; and Bulb, which comes in handy for photographing nightscapes and fireworks. The PENTAX 17 also features an independent exposure compensation dial, which allows the user to swiftly shift the exposure level to accommodate different types of subject or express the user's creative intentions.

7. High-quality body with meticulous attention to every detail

The PENTAX 17's body has a classic design, hinting at the traditional look of film cameras. The top and bottom covers are made of a solid but lightweight magnesium alloy to optimize the camera body's rigidity. The 40.5mm filter mounting thread allows the user to mount a range of the filters, which are available for purchase on the market. With meticulous attention paid to every single detail, the PENTAX 17 is designed to be a joy to own.

8. Other features

• A wide selection of ISO film speeds (50, 100, 125, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200)
• Note holder on the back cover, into which the end of the film package can be inserted for an at-a-glance confirmation of the film in use
• Three strap lugs to accommodate horizontal and vertical camera suspensions, to best suit the user's shooting style
• Compatibility with the optional CS-205 Cable Switch, which comes in handy for extended-exposure photography in the Bulb shooting mode

Notes: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Major Specifications

Type Half-frame behind-the-lens shutter 35mm film camera
Frame Size 24×17mm
Compatible Film 35mm film: ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 125, ISO 160, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200
Sensitivity Setting Manual settings to match the film
Film Loading Easy loading
Film Advance Manual winding using wind-up lever (with 130-degree stroke and 35-degree stand-off angle)
Film Rewind Manual rewinding using rewind crank. Mid-roll rewinding possible.


Focal Length 25mm(equivalent to 37mm in 35mm format)
Maximum Aperture F3.5
Lens Configuration 3 elements in 3 groups
Angle of View (Diagonal) 61°
Maximum Magnification Approx. 0.13x (at 0.25m)
Filter Diameter φ40.5mm


Type Albada bright-frame viewfinder
Viewfinder Indication Composition frame, Close-distance compositon frame
Zone focusing setting can be confirmed through the viewfinder
Viewfinder Outer Right Blue lamp display: Warning display, Orange lamp display: Flash display


Type Zone-focusing(Manual operation)
Switchover 6 zones(0.25m, 0.5m, 1.2m, 1.7m, 3m, ∞)(0.82ft, 1.7ft, 4ft, 5.6ft, 10ft, ∞)

Exposure Control

Metering Type Partial metering
Metering Range EV2.5 to 16.5 (ISO100)
Exposure Compensation ±2EV(1/3EV steps)
Shooting Mode(Exposure) Full auto(Pan focus program AE, Auto flash), Standard(Program AE, Flash off), Slow-speed shutter(Slow-speed program AE, Flash off), Maximum aperture priority(Maximum aperture priority program AE, Flash off), Bulb(Bulb, Flash off),Daylight sync(Program AE, Flash on), Slow-speed sync(Slow-speed program AE, Flash on)


Type Program AE electronic shutter
Shutter Speed 1/350 to 4 seconds, Bulb 


Built-in Flash Guide Number approx.6 (ISO100・m)
Emission Type Shooting mode interlocking system
Flash Charging Time Approx. 9 seconds
Charging Status Can be checked with the orange lamp at viewfinder outer right.
Charging status: blinking Charging completion status: lighting

Power Source

Battery Type One 3V lithium battery(CR2) , Not compatible with rechargeable CR2 type batteries
Battery Life Approx. 10 cartridges* when using 36 exposure film (using fresh battery under the condition of 50% flash shots)

External Terminal

Cable Switch Terminal Compatible with cable switch CS-205 (optional) (φ2.5mm)

Dimensions and Weight

Dimensions Approx. 127.0(W)×78.0 (H)×52.0(D)mm / 5.0(W)×3.1(H)×2.0(D)inches (excluding protruding parts)
Weight Approx. 290g / 10.2oz(without film and battery)

Operating Environment

Temperature 0 to 40°C
Humidity 85% or less(the enviroment must be free of condensation)

Included Items

Package Contents Lens cap O-LC40.5、Strap O-ST191、Lithium Battery CR2

Optional Accessories

Cable Switch CS-205

* According to the result of RICOH IMAGING in-house testing.

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