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

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

  1. My bad! Yes they do go down to 30s. If 15 seconds is 16 and 30 seconds is 32 then the camera is correctly calibrated.
  2. Yes, I was actually a bit distraught in the camera store when I was checking out my second one and 30 seconds passed. Then it clicked closed at 32 and I realized Canon knew what they were doing :)
  3. If (a really BIG if) I wanted to make a new SLR I'd get a Ricoh KR-5 Super, take it apart, and use it as a model for a making all the parts. Buy the shutter ready made, keep the early PK mount and spend money on the viewing system.

    This project is way, way overthought.
  4. Pie in the sky!

    I worry that these crowd-funding and kickstarter schemes are just scams to get fools to part with their money.

    150 grand is peanuts to tool up to make a camera like that. Has anyone actually costed it out?

    Maybe you could knock up a body prototype with 3D printing and CNC machining, but to manufacture the internal circuit boards, shutter mechanism, mirror, meter, prism, etc. on a commercially viable scale? I don't think that's remotely possible on a budget of 150K. Just renting or sub-contracting assembly facilities and marketing the product would swallow that up.

    Either that, or each camera will have a retail price in the region of $5,000.

    Anyone want to invest in canned hot air or scotch mist?
  5. If there was enough demand for new 35mm film gear, I would think that Cosina could resume making camera bodies for Nikon, Olympus, etc. I'd guess, though, that the price might be higher than most would want to pay. After all, look at how the FM-10 shot up in price during its last few years of availability.
    I'd just recommend shopping for the kind of gear one wants on the used market. That's what I do. I think the last new film camera I bought was either a Canon EOS Rebel K or maybe a Maxxum 5.
  6. So the "brilliant idea" is to have to carry as many "exchangeable backs" as one would need for the day of shooting in order to avoid having to change film in the field? And to be able to "easily" change film mid-roll? Because changing film in the field with this new camera looks even less appealing than changing film in a Leica rangefinder (where do I put that Leica bottom plate is replaced by where do I put the rest of the camera?). How many backs is one willing to carry (and pay for)?

    And the other brilliant idea is the "exchangeable mount". Which probably will preclude the camera from allowing automatic diaphragm and force stop-down metering. New camera, 60's technology? But because I want to use all those classic lenses I pony up for at least one exchangeable mount each. Maybe I can still fit those into the same bag that holds all the film backs? Doubtful I have any space left for lenses:mad:

    So far, some 80 people actually opted for a complete camera...
  7. I totally agree with Ben upon
    IMHO a fast reload would have to be Instamaticesque. - Clarifying: I don't want to pay extra for mass produced ultra fishy film pressure plates that get my shots out of focus, but The (East?) European realm had the Agfa Rapid Cassette, where 35mm got wound from one cartridge to another. There is also the "pro with old Leica" or even better late Rollei MF SLR approach of preparing interchangeable units. - Leica guys had cartridge + additional take up spools ready to save a few seconds during film change. - Rollei sold prepairable plastic frames to simply pop roll and takeup spool into the camera.
    I never shot interchangeable back MF seriously, but to me it feels it takes longer to reload Hasselblad mags than to reload my TLRs. Having multiple magazines probably only paid off when you had them ready on a tray / tools table at your side or maybe during ultra high end productions, with every light manned and at least one assistant reloading magazines while you shoot like crazy. - Being realistic, I'd prefer the assistant to reload an identical backup camera, to place my eggs into multiple baskets.
    I haven't used APS. - What ease of processing and scanning are you talking about? - I'd home process film in a Jobo or whatever it takes to hold it (since Jobo only cater 4x5" & smaller). - I'd appreciate the ability to reload cartridges myself. - Was there such an option with APS?
  8. IMO, it's hard to beat a Rolleiflex in terms of fast loading in MF. Swap the spools, thread the leader, give the crank a spin to make sure it's catching, then shut the back and start cranking.

    My main use for interchangeable backs in MF is to have multiple film types loaded and be able to change on the fly(usually B&W and transparency). A second FM or FM2 is lighter and takes up less space than an RB67 film back :) .

    Considering the relative size of MF equipment, a second back vs. a complete second is very much a viable solution when headed out into the field. Even if I opt for an F2 instead of an FM/FE series camera, I'm still looking at a very minor weight penalty for carrying a second body.

    BTW, I'm awaiting the arrival of an APS SLR. I've actually never owned an APS camera in my life, but it was cheap and I figured it would be fun to play with. It's my understanding that negatives are customarily returned in the original cassette and that even removing them requires a "hack." Between the 24mm width, sprocket holes(which I think are more like 126 or 110) and the interlocks on the cartridges I don't think bulk loading is viable. Plus, the film has a magnetic strip that can be used to encode all kinds of stuff if you're so inclined-i.e if you want to throw away resolution by using "APS-C"(3:2 aspect ratio) or "APS-P"(panorama) that's all included there as are the date, time, and "special messages" if your camera supports that.
  9. c_watson|1 said:
    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.

    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."

    Nothing like a firm hold on the obvious... Of course they're blithely downplaying the enormity of the used camera market since it makes the Reflex "project"look borderline absurd. Non-starter.
  10. Disregarding the economics and practicalities of bringing such a camera to market; who, seriously, would buy it? Given that it can't possibly be cheaply mass produced and retain any semblance of precision.

    Are there thousands, or even hundreds of professional or serious enthusiast photographers using 35mm film? And even if there are, do they really need to swap film mid-roll desperately enough to create a market?

    I propose that anyone that really needs that facility (and isn't using digital) is already using a medium or large format camera that also gives them many times the image quality of the crippled 35mm format. So why should they change systems? And more importantly, why would they spend a substantial chunk of money to do so?

    Anyone that thinks 35mm film delivers adequate image quality for their use is probably already using one of the millions of film camera systems that have been produced since the 1960s. They're also likely to be attached to that equipment enough not to be easily tempted away. I can't, for example, see many Leica users ditching their precious f or M models for a mongrel camera that'll most likely look as if it was knocked up in a shed by someone's nutty uncle.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  11. I don't think there are that many films to switch either today. One can carries several cameras instead. Good cheap 35mm cameras are available.
  12. The retail price for the body will be £399. So they say.
    The Cosina bodies were okay for the '90s, but awful considering what you can buy today. The FM10 was, relatively speaking, mediocre. I'm not sure what the generic Cosina camera would bring to the table today.
    There are probably hundreds of professionals using 35mm today. I don't know, I'm guessing. I'd say a lot of them would give the Reflex a fair look, at the least.

    There are a handful. This list is from August, so you can subtract a few:

    Adox Silvermax
    Adaox Scala 160
    AdoxCHS 100 Type II
    Adox CMS 20
    Adox Color Implosion
    Agfaphoto APX 100
    Agfaphoto APX 400
    Afgaphoto CT100 Precisa
    Bergger Pancro 400
    Cinestill 50D
    Cinestill 800T
    FILM Ferrania P30
    Film Washi Film W
    Film Washi Film X
    Fomapan 100 Classic
    Fomapan 200 Creative
    Fomapan 400 Action
    Fomapan R100
    Foma Retropan 320
    Fujifilm Acros 100
    Fujifilm Fujicolor C200
    Fujifilm Neopan 400C
    Fujifilm Provia 100F
    Fujifilm Pro 160NS
    Fujifilm Pro 400H
    Fujifilm Superia 200
    Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400
    Fujifilm Superia X-tra 800
    Fujifilm Superia 1600
    Fujifilm Velvia 50
    Fujifilm Velvia 100
    Ilford Delta 100
    Ilford Delta 400
    Ilford Delta 3200
    Ilford FP4
    Ilford HP5
    Ilford Pan F
    Ilford SFX 200
    Ilford XP2 Super
    Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400
    Kentmere 100
    Kentmere 400
    Kodak Ektar 100
    Kodak Gold 200
    Kodak Ultra Max 400
    Kodak Ultra Max 800
    Kodak Portra 160
    Kodak Portra 400
    Kodak Portra 800
    Kodak TMax 100
    Kodak TMax 400
    Kodak Tri-X
    Lomography CN100
    Lomography CN400
    Lomography CN800
    Lomography Earl Grey 100
    Lomography Lady Grey 400
    Lomography LomoChrome Purple 100-400
    Lomography Redscale XR 50-200
    Lomography Xpro Chrome 200
    Lucky SHD100
    Oriental Seagull 100
    Oriental Seagull 400
    Orwo N74+
    Orwo UH54
    Revolog 460nm
    Revolog 600nm
    Revolog Kolor
    Revolog Lazer
    Revolog Plexus
    Revolog Rasp
    Revolog Streak
    Revolog Tesla I
    Revolog Tesla II
    Revolog Texture
    Revolog Volvox
    Rollei CR200
    Rollei Ortho 25
    Rollei Retro 80S
    Rollei Retro 400S
    Rollei Vario Chrome

    Source: These are the 35mm films you can still buy today
  13. "The retail price for the body will be £399. So they say."

    - I don't think this project has been costed out accurately. Either that or someone's got a decimal point in the wrong place. Because I don't think it's possible to build a halfway decent conventional SLR at that price-point today. Let alone a modular design like this.

    This is always going to be a niche product, and as such it's going to be expensive. Even at the height of film use it wouldn't have sold in huge numbers. 35mm film cameras are essentially 'disposable', and nobody flinches at buying, or carrying, a separate body for a different film. Even more so at current used prices.

    As for the 'fast change' argument; that doesn't hold up today. Nobody in their right mind shoots sport or other fast action on film anymore.

    The design is too clunky to appeal to 'arty' types shooting film to impress. Too expensive, even at £399, to appeal to newbies dipping their toe into shooting film. Too new-fangled to appeal to nostalgia freaks wanting the 'classic' experience. Too bulky to offer much advantage over shooting an interchangeable magazine medium format SLR. And too 35mm to offer any image quality improvement!

    I predict 'Reflex' will quickly go into liquidation. That's after its executive officers have legally walked away with their self awarded fat salaries, and left the shareholders with nothing.
  14. The last time I asked(which was a few months ago) Nikon USA still provided full service for the F5, F100, and of course the F6. I suspect the FM3a could be added to that list.

    I haven't bothered to check, but I would not be surprised if the same was true of the last model EOS 1 and the EOS 3.

    If I were a pro making money on 35mm film, I'd feel a lot better buying even a used camera made by a well-established and having it serviced. A nice F100+a visit to Nikon would probably still put you at $500 or so.

    BTW, when I have been paid for photographs in the past(not my only source of income) my main cameras were my T90 and a pair of New F-1s. I had the F-1s serviced by Ken Oikawa(which reminds me that I need to send him a couple more cameras while he's still in the business). Since my T90 hadn't been serviced, I ALWAYS had an F-1 nearby when I knew I couldn't take a chance with a blinking EEE(even though that generally happens to T90s have have been sitting). It never let me down, but if I wanted to go back to using it again to make money(unlikely-I'd probably use an F100 or F2) I'd have one of the well-known guys service it.

    I'd feel a LOT more confident making money with a camera from an established maker. If this outfit delivers, they might still be here in two years, and they might not be.
  15. Interesting-at least it's an F mount camera so hopefully it will give full aperture metering.

    Still "Pictures taken with Elbaflex are images full of contrast, natural and timeless, especially when shot in black and white."

    Those properties are generally attributed to the optics, at least provided that the camera body can do basic things like minimize internal reflections and other odds and ends-issues that were solved about 100 years ago.

    So, there again, show me what it can do that an F2 or FM series camera can't...but I guess we'll see at the grand "reveal" tomorrow...
  16. There's obviously no commitment to improved image quality with these startups, since they're sticking with the 35mm format!

    A rollfilm RF at £399 would be very interesting, but then they'd have to put some actual effort into designing a range of lenses. Unless it involved a cam adaptor for, say, Pentax 67 or M645 lenses. Or maybe an electronic focus detector.
  17. Agreed-that would be a project I'd support and buy.

    The Mamiya 6 and 7 remain among the few film cameras that have held their value.

    The Fuji 645 looks okay, but the 645 format turns me off(I'd rather have 6x7) and the lenses are fixed.

    Whether using new lenses or adopting an existing design, I know I'd probably back it.
  18. You just list the film. Many are similar so you would only pick one to use. I can't see one with more than 3 type of films. 3 bodies are easy.
  19. My wife and I both owned Nikon FMs from before we met. After not so long, we kept negative film in hers, and slide film in mine. (Mine is black, so easy to tell apart.)

    Having cameras with different film can be handy. (More so in the pre-digital days.)

    But yes, there are so many good used cameras out there, maybe not enough market for new ones.

Share This Page