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Film Friday: The Alfie TYCH is a new half-frame 35mm camera in need of beta testers

Are you interested in testing out a new half-frame film camera? If so, Alfie Cameras has

a new opportunity for you. Before it launches its Alfie TYCH camera on Kickstarter next month, it’s looking for beta testers to put its new compact to the test.

Being it’s a half-frame camera, each 36-exposure roll of 35mm film can capture 72 images, albeit at half the size of a standard full-frame image. To capture these images, users can select from one of three lenses that are changed by rotating the four-module lens dial on the front of the camera.

The exact details of the lenses haven’t been revealed, but Alfie says it will include a pinhole lens made via photo etching, an F8 meniscus lens taken from recycled Kodak Funsaver disposable cameras (sourced from photography subscription box company Analogue Wonderland) and a Zone Sieve lens, which uses a pinhole-style aperture in the center of the frame surrounded by additional smaller holes to create a soft glow effect around the subjects of a frame.

As for how the Zone Sieve lens is created, camera designer Dave Faulkner tells 35mmc:

‘Zone Sieve lenses are created so that lightwaves interfere with each other giving the images a rather dreamy look. First, the lens design has to be created to be a specific pattern that will achieve the desired look. Then it is photographed with panchromatic film with deep blacks. The most important part is getting the scaling right. This film is then used as the lens and acts like a filter.’

The fourth lens has a spot on the dial, but its exact build is yet to be determined. According to Faulkner, he would like to use some kind of glass lens. However, finding a manufacturer to make those optics has proven a challenge. So, as it stands, the camera will only ship with three lenses, and the fourth might be saved for a future iteration of the Alfie TYCH.

Despite its analog nature, not everything about the Alvie TYCH eschews the digital world. On the top of the camera is a display that will show what mode you’re shooting in, what the settings are and the remaining battery life. Automatic and manual exposure modes will be included and the internal battery can be charged via USB.

The Alfie TYCH is expected to launch on Kickstarter next month for an undetermined price. Before hand though, Alfie wants to get a few to these into the hands of beta testers to make sure it’s ready for mass production. You can apply to be a beta tester on Alfie’s website.

About Film Fridays: We’ve launched an analog forum and in a continuing effort to promote the fun of the medium, we’ll be sharing film-related content on Fridays, including articles from our friends at 35mmc and KosmoFoto.