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The Reflex Uses Novel Ideas to Breathe New Life Into the Film SLR

Reflex is a new brand aiming to give 35mm film photographers a new camera option instead of going with a dated SLR design (the 13-year-old Nikon F6) or buying in the used market. But it’s not just a rehash of the classic film SLR design. Users can change film using a special “I-Back” system, and even change out the lens mount quickly and easily.The system was designed with the principle of being “entirely open source, giving photographers the freedom to personalize a camera system,” says the Reflex camera’s designer and company founder Laurence Von Thomas in a video created to launch the company’s Kickstarter campaign.

The system borrows pages from medium format designs and the cinema works with the I-Back system and interchangeable lens mounts. The I-Back is a changeable film back that lets photographers use one film for one part of a shoot, and change out to another already loaded film in another back. The I-Plate system allows users to change lens mounts entirely, so while the camera ships with an M42 mount plate, in theory, alternative mounts should allow other popular formats such as Nikon F or Canon FD (side note: why can’t someone invent a digital camera that can do this?)

Some features that aren’t on any used camera out there are two lighting systems on one camera, a flash and an LED light with three different intensity levels, giving users the option to use continuous lighting. The lights are positioned on the top right and top left parts of the camera, which at a glance could be mistaken for a Pentax K1000 or a Nikon FM10.

If the company hits the stretch goal of $197,535 dollars, they’ll work on hardware and create an app that can log metadata as pictures are taken. No more small notebooks needed to write that all down. Their current goal is $131,693 and they seem well on their way to getting there, with the project half-funded in only a day.

The early bird specials for the camera are $458 without a lens and $574 with a refurbished prime lens, with an estimated delivery time of August 2018. You can see some photos shot with the Reflex over on the company’s Instagram page.

[via Reddit]

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Timothy Turner's picture

Great idea, however I have a perfectly good film camera right now that I can use for free.

Nathan Dana's picture

I like the idea of interchangable mounts and backs, but I can buy older cameras for so cheap that I'm glad to have one for each system and one for each type of film I would shoot. All for less than any of the components cost I am sure. Also whats up with the shutter placement? Did they stop looking at camera design in the 50s? I think there is a reason it evolved into the position its in now.

Jason Howe's picture

Yeah, I have a really nice collection of Minolta MD lenses. XG-series bodies are so flippin cheap, there's no reason not to have a handful. My XD-11 is my main camera, but like for the random roll of B&W, high-iso, or E6 film, it's nice to have other bodies....

Eric Venora's picture

Nope. I don't get it. When you can have an EOS 1v for the same price or pretty much any fully manual film camera including some really amazing stuff like Hasselblads for the same or less I just fail to see the point of a camera from a manufacturer with no experience.

Also... major issue. even if the remove-able mount doesn't lead to light leaks it may lead to alignment problems. Imagine always having a soft side of the frame and just thinking its because you don't know how to focus well or not being able to reach infinity with some lenses but not others because the tolerances were just a bit off.

Or you could skip all that pain and just benefit from one of the manufacturers in human history that has decades of experience in design and quality control and get it all for next to nothing because we've all gone autofocus and digital.

Kirk Darling's picture

I'd rather have a Rollieflex 3003.

Ralph Hightower's picture

This is an interesting SLR; I'd be able to use my Canon FD lenses on this camera. But the most exciting feature is the interchangeable back, providing medium format capability of change film in midstream of a shoot. But I've solved my problem of whether to shoot color or B&W by having two Canon film SLRs, A-1 and New F-1.