UK startup Alfie Cameras is looking for beta testers for the Alfie TYCH, its in-development 35mm half-frame film camera, ahead of its planned Kickstarter launch in September. If you’re ready to give your opinion on a weird and wacky new film camera, you can sign up on the Alfie Cameras website. If you need a little more convincing, here’s what you’d sign up for.
Half the frame, double the fun
Like the recently released Kodak Ektar, the Alfie TYCH is a compact, pocket-size half-frame camera, meaning you get 72 half-size photos from a standard roll of 35mm film. The name TYCH is a play on diptych, a term for two works of art designed to be viewed together, which is often done with half-frame cameras.
If cost is one of your concerns when shooting movies right now, these half-frame cameras offer plenty of possibilities for more affordable and creative enjoyment.
Triple lenses and maybe more
While many modern film cameras (and other products) opt for a retro vibe, the Alfie TYCH is distinctly modern. In its current prototype form, it’s totally unlike any camera I’ve ever seen before.
Most notably, it has three lenses and possibly room for a fourth. Right now it’s an f/8 meniscus lens repurposed from Kodak Funsaver disposable cameras, a pinhole lens, and something called a Zone Sieve lens.
In an interview with 35mmc, Dave Faulkner, owner and designer of Alfie Camera, explains that “Zone Sieve lenses are created so that light waves interfere with each other, giving images a rather dreamy look”. How this plays out in the TYCH will likely depend on feedback from beta testers.
There is also a fourth slot on the lens selection dial. In the same interview, Faulkner explains that he would like to include a glass lens, but that would require working with a partner and could be something for a future version of the TYCH.
Full control and USB charging
Unlike many half-frame cameras and other weird and fun cameras, the TYCH comes with automatic and fully manual shooting modes. You can even take double exposure photos if you want. Combined with the three different lenses, this allows for a crazy amount of unusual creative shooting options.
The TYCH also has a battery that charges via USB-C. If searching for dead batteries is one of your least favorite things about film photography, this is definitely a bonus.
Although the Alfie TYCH seems like a relatively fully realized idea, it’s important to note that it’s still in prototype mode. That’s why Faulkner is looking for beta testers.
Final pricing, availability, and even looks are unlikely to be known until Kickstarter launches. According to Alfie Cameras, they’re planning for September, but as with all physical products, we wouldn’t be surprised if that slips by a few weeks.
Still, we’re super excited to see such a new and weird camera develop. And I’ve already volunteered for beta testing.