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05-25-2016, 12:50 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Half frame Pentax KX?!

Here's a vintage camera mystery for the RF Forum hivemind: What's the story behind this apparently one-of-a-kind half-frame Pentax KX? I snared this unicorn at the Pasadena Camera Show this past weekend; the seller got it from an estate sale on rubylane.com. It's got a modified film gate, masked-off viewfinder, a regeared film advance, and a handwritten 72-frame insert for the frame counter. Beneath the gate is inscribed MODIFIED BY KLINGER, and other inscriptions read I.M.C. and TITLE IV B. Tell me what you know!





05-25-2016, 02:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjeffg Quote
Tell me what you know!
Never heard of it, looks interesting. It's not a Pentax dealer modification, so not much info will exist.

Thanks, for posting!

Phil.
05-25-2016, 02:52 PM   #3
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Sounds like some clever chap decided to get twice as many photos out of a roll. Maybe he shot with it in portrait mode.
05-25-2016, 02:58 PM   #4
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Pics of the film chamber would be good, I presume there's a custom mask in there

05-25-2016, 03:12 PM   #5
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Never heard of it either, but that would be a lot of fun.
05-25-2016, 03:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Johnny Rod Quote
Pics of the film chamber would be good, I presume there's a custom mask in there
Indeed there is!
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05-25-2016, 03:29 PM   #7
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Modifed perhaps for police use?
05-25-2016, 03:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Modifed perhaps for police use?
I wondered about that, too. Title IV-B is Child Welfare Services...

Child Welfare Services: Title IV-B, Subpart 1 of the Social Security Act | Children's Bureau | Administration for Children and Families

...And apparently IMC stands for Income Maintenance Caseworker...?

https://ssw.unc.edu/dssjobsnc/index.php?q=node/1050

Maybe this camera was used by a social worker?

05-25-2016, 03:52 PM   #9
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M*A*S*H* fans - Now we know what the good corporal did with his life when he got back from Korea!

It's certainly a way to stretch the film out - but there's a price to pay when you D&P in-store, or maybe the cost per print in that era was so low that it would be a nett saving if you were paying half as much per frame to shoot or loading bulk.

The other thing it would do is possibly enable you to raise your flash-sync speed.
05-25-2016, 04:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjeffg Quote
I wondered about that, too. Title IV-B is Child Welfare Services...

Child Welfare Services: Title IV-B, Subpart 1 of the Social Security Act | Children's Bureau | Administration for Children and Families

...And apparently IMC stands for Income Maintenance Caseworker...?

https://ssw.unc.edu/dssjobsnc/index.php?q=node/1050

Maybe this camera was used by a social worker?
I know that some half format cameras were used by the police (Praktica Ls in the UK and a special BX20S for the German police after the unification) so it's possible that this camera was used to take mubshots of children given in temporary adoption.

This is a link to the Praktica half format and it shows how they were used:

Praktica BXED-system 1st

Perhaps this KX has a similar history.
05-26-2016, 12:28 AM   #11
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Fascinating find! Is the half frame reflected in the viewfinder in some way, or are you left guessing what the middle half of the image is?

K.
05-26-2016, 05:27 AM   #12
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Very cool find and likely pretty rare.

I would expect the viewfinder also reflects the format and it will show a portrait mode like it does on both of my half format cameras.
05-26-2016, 07:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by womble Quote
Fascinating find! Is the half frame reflected in the viewfinder in some way, or are you left guessing what the middle half of the image is?

K.
It's masked. Overall, an impressively professional job.
05-26-2016, 08:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Very cool find and likely pretty rare.

I would expect the viewfinder also reflects the format and it will show a portrait mode like it does on both of my half format cameras.
Here's the view through the finder.

---------- Post added 05-26-16 at 08:40 AM ----------

Over on photo.net I was informed that school libraries were often called the IMC, the "Instructional Media Center." So it's probably a filmstrip camera, paid for by Title IV-B. Right?
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05-26-2016, 06:18 PM   #15
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I'm surprised no one has asked yet, but have you got any photos taken with it!?
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