5 Frames on holiday in Beaufort, South Carolina with a Fujica Half and Kodak Ultramax – By Dan Smouse

Vacations, in my personal experience (and preference), always involve cameras to record the story. One of the quintessential “vacation” cameras of the 60’s was the Half-frame. The “Halfs” were very competent, easily mastered affairs which doubled the amount of frames per roll. As a result, this would make them welcome companions for many families on vacation. The most notable of these was the Olympus Pen series though several other manufactures followed suit. One of the better ones was the Fujica Half which was introduced in 1963.

Something New and Interesting

My Half came by way of my brother who had purchased one earlier. Insightfully, he knew well my propensity for trying something new. He made sure to send one my way soon after he received his. I was immediately captured by its diminutive size and pristine condition. Unfortunately, the one caveat  was that the light meter was inoperable. Thankfully, this would pose no problem as it is fully mechanical and able to be used effectively as a fully manual camera. I was eager to run a roll through it as the half frame concept was one that had me very intrigued. I was very much drawn to the idea of shooting “doublets”, recognizing the creative possibilities it presented!

The Fujica Half on Holiday

My wife and I decided for Christmas in 2021 we would visit Beaufort, South Carolina as my son-in-law was a Marine newly stationed there. Additionally, we had never visited the area and South Carolina seemed like a wonderful place to spend a week in December. My daughter spoke very highly of the beautiful culture of her new home. Consequently, the Half became an obvious choice to carry on our walks and travels in the area. All in all, the little Fujica wonderfully lived up to its purpose. It begged to be carried everywhere although it does have some heft to it. Equally important, was the image quality which was surprising. I certainly did not expect that from a “half-size” negative! The lens was fantastic as is expected from Fujica, rendering the Kodak Ultramax sharp and vibrant.

Sharp Prints processed my images and scanned them as singles rather than doublets. I edited them into diptychs in Lightroom to stay consistent with the “half frame” concept.

Thanks for coming with me on holiday in South Carolina! I hope you enjoyed this short foray into the half frame world. You can see more of my work on Flickr (here) and IG (@in_the_image_photog). I also share my thoughts on life and theology at A Float on the River. God bless!

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4 thoughts on “5 Frames on holiday in Beaufort, South Carolina with a Fujica Half and Kodak Ultramax – By Dan Smouse”

  1. Great stuff. One of m y Elvis/UFO cameras (back in the Paleozoic) wa a Canon Dial 35- which I also used as a diary camera. My lab would make a 11×14 ‘preef’ sheet (TX) which bwcame a 1 page story

  2. PS- The Fujica is a fine little camera and you used it very well. My favorite was the Ricoh auto half SL. I finally got an accessory rangefinder – guessing distance at f.7 was too tricky for me

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