135compact.com          35mm half format cameras

This page shows some of the smaller half format cameras for 35mm film next to each other and some APS cameras. There are others, but these were the ones I owned. It might help you to decide which one to buy. Here they are:


Ansco CaseOympus Mju II for comparisonKiev 35A (a full frame)
Ansco Memo II AutomaticFujica MiniAgat 18K
Ricoh Auto Half SLFujica Mini CaseTessina L
Canon Dial 35Taron ChicOympus Mju II for comparison
Fujifilm Nexia Q1 APSCanon Ixus IIFujifilm 1000ix TiaraMju II

Seen from above (width comparison). The Agat came a bit later and was mounted into the photos. The second row came after the first version of this page and the last was added later.

The Tessina isn't a real half format and its 35mm film has to be transferred into special cassettes. But it's a real twin reflex and it's so incredibly small that there might be some interest and much fun in using it. It's a gem. Compared to the Olympus Mju II full format, there is little interest in any other half format camera, except getting twice as much photos on a film and the fun using old cameras. The Ansco is heavy, the Fujica is very heavy and the Ricoh is very heavy and quite big, but offers a F 1.9 lens. The Agat is a very basic camera, but has an astonishingly sophistcated exposure system. It's light and might teach you a lot about the basics of taking pictures. The Canon Dial 35 is a full featured camera, except slow speeds, but it's bigger and heavier than a modern full frame. Same for the Taron Chic, which has at least a B speed.

The APS cameras were a good try to make cameras still smaller. The Fuji Tiara is a full featured gem and the Canon Ixus is incredibly small for a zoom camera. It's a shame that APS film isn't made any more. Otherwise they would have been favourites.

Except the Tessina, which is a must-have if you are into small cameras and technical wonders, my preferred is the cheapest: the Agat 18k. The exposure system works well, no battery, low weight and small size. It's fun to re-discover real film with this tiny camera, which gives sharp pictures nevertheless..