The new Kodak Ektar H35 is actually made by the analog camera company Reto, which licensed the Kodak brand for this camera. It’s a no-frills camera in the pure Kodak tradition and available in a choice of four colors.
The half-frame format is a historical oddity. It uses the same 35mm film as regular cameras, but instead of capturing one image horizontally, it captures two smaller vertical images in the same space.
That means half the size of negatives and, we suspect, difficulty finding labs that can do half-frame print processing and development. However, Retopro turns this hurdle into an opportunity by suggesting all sorts of creative “twin frame” ideas for capturing two images side by side.
You can also take half-frame photos in a horizontal format, but that would mean turning the camera 90 degrees and holding it vertically.
Reto Kodak Ektar H35 details
The Ektar H35 is a fairly basic camera with few controls and an extremely tempting price tag of just $49.99 (around £40 / AU$70). At this price, it compares well to Lomography’s old analog rivals.
It comes in four colors: Sand, Sage, Brown and Black. The lens is a simple plastic two-element 22mm f/9.5 optic and power comes from a single AAA battery, which powers a built-in flash. This is activated by a ring around the lens.
You have no control over the flash, or even the exposure, so it’s a real point and shoot and wind on the job. You can also get hard film cases in different colors to carry five or ten 35mm film cassettes, but at $25 and up these cost half the price of the camera itself.
You will be able to buy the Ektar H35 directly from the Retopro website, but there are distributors around the world if you prefer to buy locally. You’ll have to wait until late June 2022, though, before the cameras start shipping.