A camera project on Kickstarter with a brilliant feature - interchangeable backs

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by Karim Ghantous, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Have a look at the Reflex, a new project on Kickstarter:

    Reflex: Bringing back the analogue SLR camera

    Do we need yet another 35mm SLR? Well, no, we don't. But there is no SLR with a conventional form factor with interchangeable film backs and interchangeable lens mounts. The Rollei 2002 is great but it is not common and it is not cheap. Buying used cameras is fine but there's nothing wrong with a brand new camera, either.

    I don't like the built-in flash and LED, and I think they are stupid. But those are minor issues. I wonder why not one manufacturer thought about implementing interchangeable backs like this. I mean, you could get 250 exposure magazines for some cameras but that's a different thing.

    So many photojournalists, especially sports photographers, would have loved to have interchangeable backs. It would have reduced, and occasionally eliminated, loading and rewinding in the field.
  2. AJG


    Zeiss made interchangeable backs for both Contarex and Contaflex 35 mm SLRs--the Contarex, in particular, didn't exactly set sales records. When I shot film for a living I always had multiple camera bodies for reliability as much as anything else, as well as wanting to have different lenses available immediately. I agree with you about the flash and LEDs--they are in the worst possible position for lighting quality, and are likely to be covered by a misplaced finger when you might actually want them. Compared to buying decent condition used cameras, the price also seems to be a bit high.
  3. I always considered interchangeable backs overrated. Didn't the Contarex come with them too? Considering for how little money you could (& can) scoop up a 2nd used entry level body, what is the benefit of being able to toggle between backs? They are almost as bulky as another camera but give way less benefits than 2nd & 3rd body.
    Nice to see that kickstarter project. an SLR with interchangeable lens mounts seems needed and I hope they manage to operate and read aperture with their system. - If they'll go digital they might fill a real nieche.
    Edit: AJG typed faster than me
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  4. I hate to be negative on new projects, but I'm not sold on it.

    1. Any film camera that is billed as "analogue" loses credibility right off the bat

    2. Film bodies are cheap. For the price, I can keep multiple bodies on hand for any mount I care about(Nikon F and Canon FD) and film type.

    3. The price! Outfitted for the Nikon F mount, it's going to be £355, or $465. That buys me an FM3a, which is one of the more expensive film cameras on the market these days.

    4. Data logging-I already have cameras that can do that

    5. Of all things, why are we reverting to flash over the rewind crank? It was done in the early days of interchangeable prisms because-I suspect-there were concerns about stability and about electric contacts between the prism and body. Canon fixed that in 1980 with the New F-1, and Nikon in 1988 with the F4. "Cold" shoes started showing up on prisms in the 1960s, and by the 1970s most non-interchangeable prism cameras had a hot shoe. This is a regression in my book-I use the hot shoe all the time even if it's to mount a radio slave.

    6. Given the default M42 mount and number of interchangeable mounts, I seriously doubt that we're going to get full aperture metering or probably any kind of coupling at all. To me, 35mm is a convenience format. I'm not paying nearly $500 for a new camera that regresses to 1960s features in that regard.

    7. Personally choice-it reminds me too much of the Petri SLRs, and I don't find the design particularly attractive. It also looks heavy and clunky.
  5. A couple of other things that stand out to me on a closer look

    1. Why is the maximum shutter speed only 1 second? It's supposed to be electronically timed, and the shutter speed dial is huge. There again, I can spend the same money on an FM3a or a 2-3 FE2s and get shutter speeds out to 8 seconds. There are plenty of other cameras that go out to 30 seconds(or longer).

    2. On a second look, it looks like the film back has to come out to rewind the film. Granted you don't rewind medium format film, but changing film in an interchangeable back medium format SLR generally only requires removing the insert-something that is equally easy to do with the back on or off the camera.
  6. There is no need for long shutter speed. For speed longer than 1 sec.one can easily time by hand and stopwatch.
  7. Like I said, I consider 35mm a convenience format. I like being able to set long shutter speeds by using the self timer and parking the camera on a tripod or anything else stable.

    I guess I see not including long shutter speeds as cutting corners since the shutter is completely electronically controlled. Heck, even Nikon gave us 10 seconds mechanically timed on the F2.

    From the mock-ups, this camera has a BIG shutter speed dial. The Canon EF fits 1/1000 to 30 seconds(plus bulb) on a dial that seems to be similarly sized with room to spare. The FM2 covers the same range(1s-1/4000) on a comparatively tiny dial, and the FE2 goes out to 8 seconds on one that's no larger.

    BTW, I'm not a fan of bulb for long exposures. I tend to use T on my large format shutters instead. With that said, I tend to not use T on 35mm cameras since the ones I've used don't work like I'm use to with leaf shutters. On a leaf shutter, a second press of the release closes the shutter, while on 35mm SLRs I've used closing the shutter often involves moving the dial to a different setting.
  8. Faint hope and just another shiny Kickstarter mirage. The film ecosystem is still awash with cheap, functional used cameras--the key fact all these projects downplay to the point of denial. Anyone actively shooting film knows this. Doubt there are enough who don't to float the scheme.
  9. Exactly, and just for reasons he cites!

    There are classic film cameras - with interchangeable backs that are still working well - selling on eBay etc -- often for less than the price of a fancy pizza.
  10. Who is using film? I can't name one pro who shoots sports that does. Fine art in large format, OK. That project will never fly. Exatka had the spool to spool concept and the body had a built in knife for cutting a roll short, and what about 35mm backs for MF cameras? Your suggesting nothing new that can't be found used.
  11. Canon EF only goes down to 8 sec and not 30. I have 2 of them.
  12. The camera is definitely not aim at the pro market. Even if pro use 35mm they would buy a regular 35mm. There is no need for the removable film back or removable lens mount.
  13. I suggest you take a closer look at yours. For that matter, if you don't have them handy do a Google image search or look on Ebay.

    I have two of them also(albeit only one that fully works) and they most certainly go to 30 seconds. The slow speeds don't work on my "not fully working" one-something that is a common failure mode on this model.

    Interestingly enough, on my one that works 15 seconds actually times out to 16 seconds and 30 seconds is 32 seconds.
  14. The project has 27 days left and it has exceeded its goal.

    I don't like that word, either. I blame Lomography! I also don't like 'photoshopped' or 'lensed'. But hey, I don't have to use them.

    Yes but the Reflex is a new camera. That's the point.

    The flash and LED are really dumb. Thankfully they are not deal breakers. It does show an amateurish streak though.

    The Kickstarter page has three paragraphs which answer your question. "With Reflex, we want to offer an alternative to a second-hand camera being the only affordable option available."

    This product isn't aimed at sports photographers.
  15. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    What it lacks is sufficient benefits to draw customers, except the few that salivate / spend based on the word "new".
  16. There again, I look at this through a Nikon "lens" so to speak, but you could probably adapt my comments to other lens mounts.

    I'm going to compare it side by side with an FE2, which on the used market is 1/2 to 1/3 the price of one of these new and is pretty well an indestructible camera.

    1. The FE2 operates for a while on two A76 watch batteries, as opposed to a rechargeable and(apparently) not replaceable Li-Ion battery.

    2. If the battery dies, the FE2 still has one shutter speed available or you can find a battery pretty much anywhere(if you're in a pinch, find a dollar store and buy a pen light). The Reflex looks to be dead in the water unless you have power available to recharge it.

    3. The FE2 gives me full aperture, coupled metering with Nikon AI lenses and aperture priority AE. The Reflex looks to only have stop down metering-again a regression to the 1960s.

    4. The FE2 doesn't require taking it apart to rewind the film-the Reflex-at this point-appears to require this

    5. The Reflex has reverted to flash placement that hasn't been used since the 1980s, and that was by the last hold-out(the F3). If you've ever used a camera with a flash mounted on the rewind crank, let's just say that it really screws up the balance especially if you don't have a motor on the camera. The FE2 uses a conventional flash placement over prism

    6. The FE2 gives me timed shutter speeds 1/4000 to 8 seconds in manual mode, and I've never bothered to see how long it will go in auto exposure. Supposedly it will also go faster, although I haven't tested that and also the speeds aren't reliable.

    If one wants a newer camera, get an FM3a that was made in this century and have Nikon service it. I've never used one, but at least most(if not all) the shutter speeds are available with no batteries installed. You'll be out a bit more than the Reflex, but not by a whole lot.

    Also, I have some serious concerns about tolerance stacking between the removable back and removable lens mount. It will remain to be seen how well that's implemented. Considering the amount of strain that can be placed on a lens mount, I'd have concerns with having two separable magnesium pieces to stick together.
  17. Perhaps so. I don't own shares in the company so it doesn't affect me. But they have met their goal and they are obviously going to be satisfied with that.

    At the end of the day, our opinions are worthless - both yours and mine. The company doesn't give a damn about "suffcient benefits" as of today. Money talks and opinions are cheaper than low-grade prostitutes. I still hope that they ditch those stupid lights though.

    Ben, you make some good points.
  18. I had no idea. One really does learn something everyday! The reason I like the feature is that loading time is reduced. I wonder if APS will make a comeback? Smaller surface area than 8-perf 35mm, but the ease of processing and scanning are tempting.
  19. I know that I'm switching gears to talking about a totally different type of camera, but on something like my Canon T90 or Nikon F4, F5, or F100 film changes are probably a 15-20 second affair if I'm rushing. A high end camera takes 8-10 seconds to rewind a roll of film, and then it's just a matter of popping the old roll out, sticking the new in, pulling the leader to the mark, shutting the back, and the camera was ready to roll. The few times I used the T90 to make money, I always had a second camera ready to grab at a critical time(or really any time) but never found the rewind time to be too off-putting.

    On my Bronicas, by the time I've fished the dark slide out of my pocket, put it in, pulled the old back off, put the new back on, and pulled the dark slide I'm probably at that much time. The RB67 takes even longer.

    Granted I'm ASSUMING that the backs for this have an integral dark slide, which would shave some time.
    Jochen likes this.

Share This Page