The Reflex camera is designed to work also with a digital back (already on the roadmap)


There has been some speculation online about the possibility of attaching a digital back to the Reflex manual film SLR camera (currently on Kickstarter):


Here is the official answer I got from Reflex:

"There's been lots of speculation in the comments about the camera's modular design, and its suitability for affixing a digital back. We'd like to confirm, and to let your reader's know, that a digital back is 100% in Reflex's design thinking and in the product roadmap. What we can't guarantee, given the impetus to deliver the first analogue products, is when the digital back will be available. But the amount of interest in the possibility made us think it might be worth letting you know. So this an informal confirmation."

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  • Hubertus Bigend

    Nice, but I’ve already had several digital cameras I could use a wealth of SLR lenses with, also without an automatic diaphragm. The lack of the automatic diaphragm is a problem even with mirrorless cameras, but with (D)SLRs I find it an absolute showstopper. So no, as much as I applaud the general idea to make a new analog SLR, with or without the option of a digital back, and as much as I like the classic design of the prototype, I’m sorry to say I’m not interested.

    • ZMWT

      And, you are complaining about it because you are a photographer? Is it not a whole idea of Reflex to bring back feeling of film, and extensive manual control back to the photographer?

      • Derp

        And thank god almost all 35mm SLRs have automatic diaphragm, if not their lenses have preset-apertures. There’s no suc thing as ‘feeling of film’ when it comes to a non-automatic diaphragm, maybe you’re confusing it with aperture priority auto exposure?

        • ZMWT

          That is typical SLR problem, and one more proof of the superiority of the rangefinder design. But the rant is kinda counter-intuitive with this film camera, considering how very few film types one can buy nowadays, and that this type of camera will be used mostly in good light. If one shoots at f16, at 100 ASA film, in fine light, who cares if the viewfinder is a bit darker? And this is no AF camera, that it needs every drop of light possible. From f8 to f16, most things will be in focus anyway.

          • Hubertus Bigend

            Sorry, but you seem to have no idea what you’re talking about, let alone any practical experience. With their big viewinder screens without the parallax problem it was the SLR that overcame the inferiority of the rangefinder design. Of course the SLR needed to enable open-diaphragm framing and focusing first to make use of its advantage. “If one shoots at f16” with a stopped-down diaphragm, any SLR finder is so dark that you can’t even properly see what you’re shooting, let alone be able to focus precisely, even in good light. And you honestly want to tell us that with our manual SLRs we should only shoot in good light? Because there are only 100 ASA films (which is not the case, by the way)? Ever heard of a tripod? Or that you can simply set down the camera on a piece of furniture and use the selftimer? What about shooting wide-open, to make use of the fine bokeh of all that old, fast glass? Ok, that would be the only moment the manual diaphragm wasn’t a nuisance…

          • Derp

            Talking about superiority or inferiority on a subjective choice is pointless, whether you want to use a rangefinder or SLR has nothing to do with that, but rather with personal taste and subject choice. You should know better.

          • Hubertus Bigend

            I concede it’s a subjective choice, but there are enough obvious and objective disadvantages to the rangefinder concept (beside, indeed, one or two objective advantages) to conclude that the rangefinder has more disadvantages than advantages for a camera that is supposed to be a universal instrument, suited for all major applications, including macro, sports and wildlife photography. If you have no interest in those fields where the rangefinder is less suitable or even not suitable at all, good for you, you’ll have a broader choice of gear, the objective disadvantages of the rangefinder are nothing you need to care about. They’re still there, though.

          • Derp

            There’s no such thing as a ‘universal instrument’ to begin with, sorry. You’re free to prefer one over the other, but it’s just apples and oranges. I’m not going to make orange juice with apples, either.

          • Hubertus Bigend

            First of all, a camera is a camera, not an apple and not an orange. And a camera is no specialist tool, either, except when it is a specialist camera, say an aerial camera or a view camera. Both rangefinder and SLR cameras were designed to be multi-purpose cameras – only that the SLR does the ‘multi-purpose’ much better than the rangefinder. Which is its objective advantage I’m talking about, which came from the invention of the reflex finder, and which was the purpose of the invention to begin with…

          • Derp

            There’s no ‘specialist tool’ or ‘universal tool’ or ‘multi-purpose’. A camera takes pictures. It does so on a specific way, with specific mechanics.

            You pick which camera *you* feel comfortable for whatever purpose *you* want to use it for. No one is going to stop you doing macro on a rangefinder, if that’s what you want to do. It’s not difficult to understand.

            “First of all, a camera is a camera, not an apple and not an orange.”

            I hope you at some point realize how silly that sentence is, lol.

          • Hubertus Bigend

            There’s no ‘specialist tool’ or ‘universal tool’ or ‘multi-purpose’

            That’s so obviously wrong that any further attempt at rational discussion must be futile. Even though this:

            You pick which camera *you* feel comfortable for whatever purpose *you* want to use it for

            … is perfectly true. It is just no logical argument against the objective and factual diagnosis that one camera is better suited for more applications than another. I don’t hope to be able to make myself understood anymore, though, and I’m happy to leave it at that.

          • Derp

            A tool is a tool. How and why you use it are not inherent to the tool, but to the user of the tool. What a tool is created for and what a tool is used for are two different things. This is an important distinction to make & has been made for ages now, lest you fall into techno-determinism.

            Concretely: What you find to be universal & better are based on your understanding and photographic process. There’s no objectivity in saying a rangefinder is better at macro or sports, that’s a purely subjective claim based on how *you* use rangefinders, SLRs and how *you* approach subjects. This is not inherent in the physical object, but rather are attributed to it through a large number of variables that formed you the way you are.

            Saying that a discussion is futile is an easy cop-out and argument closer (The moment someone says a discussion is futile it by definition becomes so, regardless of what it was). If you’re to continue to see your personal opinions as ‘logical arguments’ and ‘objective and factual diagnosis’ you won’t be able to discuss, you’ll simply end up arguing continuously, something I assume you have no interest in.

            There’s no discussion if the other party can’t separate their own opinions from facts, after all.

          • Derp

            Of course it’s a typical SLR problem, we’re talking about an SLR here. That such a thing wouldn’t apply to a TLR is logical, they are differently engineered.

            “One more proof of the superiority of the rangefinder design” <- Sentences like that is why people might think you're just a big troll. People pick cameras based on their preference, perhaps a rangefinder is superior for your work, but not for others. There's no objectivity to be found there whatsoever, so no claims to be made either when it comes to 'superiority'. Historically, that statement would make even less sense. Regardless, apples and oranges.

            There's easily over a hundred different offerings when it comes to film, what more do you need? Developer is much more critical anyway.

            And at f16? You do know that that's not 'a bit darker' I hope? That's almost unuseable. At f16 getting focus is ridiculous, let alone composing. SLRs work the way they do thanks to automatic diaphragms. Very few cameras exist without one for a reason, the ones that do have other ingenuities to solve such issues.

            7/10 troll, if not, then just not very intelligent.

      • Kunzite

        What this… thing brings is lack of control. Ever tried to focus with the lens stopped down?

        Except I don’t believe it will ever be a real product. And now we’re supposed to believe they’ll have a digital back? (note how no such thing is actually promised)

        • ZMWT

          Learn your Sunny 16 rule. Learn your DoF. Learn to meter your light.
          Photography is that simple. If you wish to learn.

          • Kunzite

            FYI, an exposure meter gives you greater control than the sunny 16 rule.

          • Derp

            What does sunny 16, DoF and metering have to do with automatic diaphragm?

            ‘If you wish to learn’ in this case reading a single sentence (You don’t need more) to understand Sunny 16, reading the DoF simply from your lens or through DoF preview and metering, if you’re not doing zone exposure (And who would on 35) is as simple as pressing a button.

            These are not ‘if you wish to learn’, these are basics that everyone already knows that works with analog film. Touting them around like you’re proud of knowing them is akin to a programmer who smirkingly says “But can you print hello world in a terminal?”.

      • Hubertus Bigend

        Yes, I am, and no, that’s not what the ‘feeling of film’ is about. My first camera when I was a teenager back in the Seventies was a fully manual Minolta SR-1 from 1959, but even that already had a semi-automatic diaphragm that let me frame and focus wide open, automatically closing the aperture in the instant of the shot, and re-opening it by cocking the shutter again.

        Having to manually close the diaphragm for the shot is a nuisance that has been abolished for good reason since the Sixties, when the era of film was about to come to its height. (And no, you just cannot focus precisely, if at all, with an SLR viewfinder when the lens is stopped down. While enabling the photographer to focus precisely and quickly was one of the reasons the reflex finder was invented in the first place.)

    • Got to say I agree – I probably would have ordered one of these were it not for the diaphragm issue. It was amply demonstrated to me yesterday, funnily enough, when for giggles I fitted one of my Samyang DSLR EF lenses to my newly acquired Canon 1N – unusable, really, except either at full aperture, or for the type of work where it would be feasible to manually stop the lens down before each shot (and I don’t really do still lives, so no!).

  • Derp

    Having a digital back on a roadmap and actually looking into the pricing & necessary engineering for one are vastly different, don’t hold your breath, I highly doubt this will hit the market (And if it does, will not be what you want: Smaller sensor is incredibly likely and prices will be much higher than you’d want to pay for such an item).

  • CHD

    What’s the point of this…why not just buy one of the many old, used, cheap film SLR’s already on the market….which would all be superior to this thing. Want digital, buy a used digital. Seems to me this camera is being made for a market that doesn’t exist.

    • Derp

      Market clearly exists and has existed for a while. Not every person is comfortable buying second hand, as simple as that. This only fills the gap that was left when Cosina stopped producing new 35mm SLRs last year.

  • Mistral75

    The Kickstarter campaign ended this morning around 8am UST and it’s a success. Not a huge one but a success nonetheless.

    The goal was set at £100,000 with a stretched goal at £150,000. They have raised £131,964 from 464 backers who have ordered in total 262 Reflex cameras, 105 lenses (refurbished Helios-44 58 mm f/2 and Pentacon 50 mm f/1.8 lenses) and various accessories.

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