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Another new camera for instax film
Old 10-30-2018   #1
Skiff
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Another new camera for instax film

Just FYI:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...instant-camera

Interesting to see how the established camera industry is ignoring the most successful camera segment:
In 2017 instax camera sales have surpassed DSLR sales. DSLM sales were surpassed by instax sales already five years ago.
This year instax will most likely also surpass sales of digital compact cameras.
But the established camera manufacturers (exception: Leica) are all ignoring the only significantly growing and biggest camera segment.
Instax is an "open format". It is not exclusive to Fujifilm. Lomography, Leica, MINT and some smaller companies (see above) are producing instax cameras.

There are so much market gaps in this instax market which could be successfully filled by established camera manufacturers. But they are too ignorant to see the chances.
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Old 10-30-2018   #2
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Ah, too bad, it’s a Kickstarter. Probably the Instax version of that Yashica Y35.
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Old 10-30-2018   #3
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Those “established” manufacturers were never into instant film even in analogue era.

Even though I would love to see a hi quality camera for Instax I don’t see how Nikon (or anyone else) could sell enough of Plaubel Makina 67 styled cameras to return the investment. Besides, even if Instax was 10x as big, no big manufacturer would introduce a hi-end product that is tightly tied to a proprietary “hobby” product of another company. Instax will remain in “Kickstart” and Fuji domain.

Funny that Polaroid which is even a worse film than Instax has far more exciting cameras to pick from (old and new).
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Old 10-30-2018   #4
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Shortest shutter speed is 1/100th sec. Smallest aperture is f11. Film speed is ISO 800.
So...... in bright sunlight, up to four stops over exposure? I don’t think instant film does very well with that.
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Old 10-30-2018   #5
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Always glad to see a new instant camera, but too bad it takes Instax Mini film, which is just too small for my tastes. I'd be more interested in an instant camera that took the square format Instax film, or Instax Wide.

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Old 10-30-2018   #6
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Looks like a old Refrigerator...
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Old 10-30-2018   #7
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I think it's cute, if I had the cash I'd do it.

Looks like it would be fun to build hacks for.

I don't get the same feeling as the Yashica folks, but need to dig deeper when I'm on my home network.

B2 (;->
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Old 10-30-2018   #8
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I wonder what the legal aspects of this are—does Fuji consider Instax a more or less open format, or are Lomography and others actually infringing on some copyright?

At the risk of sounding like the mirrorless naysayer I was a few years ago, I don't foresee the big guys jumping into instant cameras. While they're popular, I think that statistic is misleading: mirrorless cameras are taking the place of bridge P&Ss and low- to mid-range SLRs, not instant cameras. They're still a niche among quote-unquote "serious" photographers (note: I need to dig out my old OneStep SX70 and cash in).

As mentioned earlier, with Fuji being the only film manufacturer, I don't think the major suppliers want to be tied to a competitor's product line. And considering Canon and Nikon were so slow to produce mirrorless cameras, I think they'd be too risk-averse to develop yet another camera line; remember the insanely popular but short-lived APS era?

After everyone was coming out with a bazillion mirrorless models (I honestly forgot Olympus was even around until the OM/Pen revival), it seems like now is a period of trimming and focusing the market. Conversely, I'm not surprised Leica has an instant camera. If anything, I'd see the smaller manufacturers, like Olympus and Pentax, perhaps getting into it, but Sony/Canon/Nikon staying far away.

Besides that, this thing is cute, but not for me. Looks a lot like my mother's SMEG appliances. I'm actually trying to keep myself from buying one of the Lomography models...
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Old 10-30-2018   #9
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I don't think Fuji cares who makes cameras for their instant film, it's more film sales for them, that is where the real profits are. Fuji probably sell their own cameras for cost since they know they have a lock on the film they use.
Which brings up a second point. Any other company wanting to make a profit on producing a instant camera would have to make all of it on the initial sale.
But I guess that was most often true in the days of film to. Most big names in cameras, Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus, Pentax to name a few, did not make film so all the money had to be made on the product itself.


PS; The only interest I'd have in a camera like this would be the film holder/development unit. Something I could hack a 75~80mm lens from a 6X6 folder. I'm thinking a Zeiss 75mm f4.5 Novar in shutter with front cell focusing by scale from one of their Nettar line of cameras would be about right.
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Old 10-30-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Those “established” manufacturers were never into instant film even in analogue era.
That's right. But for example with mirrorless they also have dived into a complete new field. A field with a much much smaller market, much more competition and much higher R&D costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Even though I would love to see a hi quality camera for Instax I don’t see how Nikon (or anyone else) could sell enough of Plaubel Makina 67 styled cameras to return the investment. Besides, even if Instax was 10x as big, no big manufacturer would introduce a hi-end product that is tightly tied to a proprietary “hobby” product of another company. Instax will remain in “Kickstart” and Fuji domain.
I see that differently, because
- the R&D costs are very low, because almost all components needed are already there
- you just need a good 4-element glass lens (Tessar-type)
- built-in light meter
- aperture
- shutter
- viewfinder.
That's it.
Such a camera would cost only a tiny fraction of the design costs of a DSLM.
And could sell in much higher quantities.
This Photokina Leica said their by far best selling camera is their instax Leica Sofort. Its clearly surpassing the sales of the digital models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Funny that Polaroid which is even a worse film than Instax has far more exciting cameras to pick from (old and new).
Right .
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Old 10-30-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkun View Post
I wonder what the legal aspects of this are—does Fuji consider Instax a more or less open format, or are Lomography and others actually infringing on some copyright?
AFAIK it is an open format. Even such a tiny company like MINT is producing instax cameras. That would probably be impossible financially for them if Fujifilm would ask for license fees.
The main product for Fujifilm is certainly the instax film: More cameras - even from more manufacturers - result in more demand for their films. And with the films they have the exclusive product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkun View Post
At the risk of sounding like the mirrorless naysayer I was a few years ago, I don't foresee the big guys jumping into instant cameras. While they're popular, I think that statistic is misleading: mirrorless cameras are taking the place of bridge P&Ss and low- to mid-range SLRs, not instant cameras. They're still a niche among quote-unquote "serious" photographers (note: I need to dig out my old OneStep SX70 and cash in).
For many years now instax is not a niche anymore. Five years ago instax sales have surpassed DSLM sales. Last year they have surpassed DSLR sales. This year they will probably reach 10 million cameras sold p.a.. That would be about 2.5x the volume of mirrorless!
Instax has become a huge mass market.
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Old 10-30-2018   #12
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You are competing with a Lomo and garage guys, then. And big guys still can’t just put 3x price sticker on basically same product as Leica can. So, I really doubt they are after a super slim margin on a super cheap camera.
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Old 10-30-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
You are competing with a Lomo and garage guys, then. And big guys still can’t just put 3x price sticker on basically same product as Leica can. So, I really doubt they are after a super slim margin on a super cheap camera.
No, you are not competing with Lomo and garage guys. Because you can make a superior product. Very different to the current low-fi models. A product Lomo + Co cannot make.
And with such a camera you also have an attractive margin.
Certainly better than in the mirrorless segment. In the last years the balance sheets of the mirrorless manufacturers have shown that the manufacturers made losses in many years, and in profitable years the profit was quite small.
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Old 10-30-2018   #14
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Skiff said;
"....you just need a good 4-element lens (Tessar-type)…"

Would you even need a lens that good? I think even a triplet would do. The Instax are (usually) not enlarged, and I've read (on the internet, so it must be true) that the resolution of Instax film is 12 lpp so.....really how much resolution would one need? I'm not saying any old one element plastic meniscus lens would do, just that a Tessar might be overkill and increase cost over an air spaced triplet.


Or am I just blowing steam?
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Old 10-30-2018   #15
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Correct, you can only improve build quality and ergonomics. Both require much higher build costs and, lets be honest, 95% of millions of people buying cheap Instax cameras couldn’t care about anything except the colour of the camera. You could probably excite some more with a “bokeh” lens which brings you back to low quality or much higher price. If you are unlucky, you end up with both, just look at the latest Mint Instax rangefinder...

When a camera costs $50 the reviews inevitably end with “it’s cute and the results are lovely”, when it costs $1000 it WILL have a long list of cons and the results will still be not very good and still much too small.

It’s like making a 35mm camera with all the movements of a LF technical camera.
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Old 10-31-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post

When a camera costs $50 the reviews inevitably end with “it’s cute and the results are lovely”, when it costs $1000 it WILL have a long list of cons and the results will still be not very good and still much too small.

Perhaps, but as the market for Instax cameras continue to expand, the camera lineup will only continue to grow and innovate. There will be something for everyone! Fujifilm expects to sell 10 million Instax cameras in the current fiscal year, and Instax cameras have already surpassed the sales numbers of compact digital cameras, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Cheers, Robert
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Old 10-31-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
It’s like making a 35mm camera with all the movements of a LF technical camera.
https://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/I...I_Monobar.html

Stayed in production for seven years, though AFAIK nobody else ever made anything like it.

As for this new '60s-refrigerator-style Instax camera, the only reason to get it is if you dig the styling. It doesn't offer any functional advantages. At least Lomo and Mint are trying to do genuinely different things with Instax sometimes, even if it doesn't always pan out.
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Old 10-31-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filter Factor View Post
Perhaps, but as the market for Instax cameras continue to expand, the camera lineup will only continue to grow and innovate. There will be something for everyone! Fujifilm expects to sell 10 million Instax cameras in the current fiscal year, and Instax cameras have already surpassed the sales numbers of compact digital cameras, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Cheers, Robert
Indeed.

If numbers are too abstract for some, just have a look the Top10 on Amazon's best selling photographic items, updated hourly.

https://www.amazon.com/best-sellers-...ding=UTF8&pg=1
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Old 10-31-2018   #19
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Indeed!

Canikonson must start making security cameras immediately or else...
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Old 10-31-2018   #20
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Fugly gets an updated image in Wikimedia.


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Old 10-31-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiff View Post

For many years now instax is not a niche anymore. Five years ago instax sales have surpassed DSLM sales. Last year they have surpassed DSLR sales. This year they will probably reach 10 million cameras sold p.a.. That would be about 2.5x the volume of mirrorless!
Instax has become a huge mass market.
That statistic's been mentioned a few times here and while I don't dispute it, I'm just saying that it might not be a tempting factor for the bigger mass-market manufacturers: it's just a different market than they want to focus on. As an analog, I'm sure the growth of electric sedans is outpacing box truck sales as well, but that doesn't mean delivery companies are jumping ship to Tesla. (I also realize that they're trying to break into the trucking game, but bear with me for the sake of argument)

I should clarify what I meant by 'niche,' and that was within the context of what I assume is the target market of Nikon/Canon/what have you, who buy entire kits at camera and electronics stores. Niche within product lines, not volume. Of course it's a huge booming market, but as a fun, creative toy to augment cell phones (which, of course, cannibalized the point-and-shoot sector). It looks like these companies are really trying to refine their product lines toward 'higher end' digital photography rather than spread thin chasing the casual snapshot market, which was already lost to Apple and Samsung, etc.

Complicating all that are tooling costs, marketing and distribution networks, and so on. A lot of money to sink into something that isn't your core brand. But easy to do for these little Kickstarter projects where there's less financial risk and you don't have fingers in other pots. I'm thinking of Hasselblad's strange and ill-received forays into the small-format game a few years ago.

I see it a bit like disposable cameras, in their day: hugely popular, but dominated by Kodak and Fuji—why didn't, say, Pentax jump on board? I don't really have an answer,

I'm not in the industry and haven't worked in it in about a decade, so I'm just speculating on your original implication as to why established manufacturers aren't joining in on the craze. I'm also not knocking it either; they're fun, and I really do miss shooting pack film on my Bronica.

Do I wish a little bit Nikon would make a full-featured instant camera, maybe with interchangeable lenses? Absolutely. Would I be willing to pay a couple hundred to buy into another new system? Probably not. And I think that's why we probably won't see a whole lot from traditional manufacturers. Fuji makes money off every pack of film, like the old Gillette model. Camera manufacturers make money off of customers upgrading and expanding their kit. I just don't see casual Instax users as a whole buying feature-packed cameras or digital photographers sinking a lot into 'toy' cameras. The beauty and appeal is their simplicity.


Anyway, rant over. I'm waiting for some way to adapt MF cameras to Instax so I can shoot instant with MF again...
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Old 11-01-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Indeed!

Canikonson must start making security cameras immediately or else...
https://cpn.canon-europe.com/content...ity_cameras.do

I think their other-than-pro-photographer imagine-capturing products look pretty good.
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Old 11-03-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiff View Post
Just FYI:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...instant-camera

Interesting to see how the established camera industry is ignoring the most successful camera segment:
In 2017 instax camera sales have surpassed DSLR sales. DSLM sales were surpassed by instax sales already five years ago.
This year instax will most likely also surpass sales of digital compact cameras.
But the established camera manufacturers (exception: Leica) are all ignoring the only significantly growing and biggest camera segment.
Instax is an "open format". It is not exclusive to Fujifilm. Lomography, Leica, MINT and some smaller companies (see above) are producing instax cameras.

There are so much market gaps in this instax market which could be successfully filled by established camera manufacturers. But they are too ignorant to see the chances.

I saw this online earlier this week and backed it! I look forward to the battery-free version personally.
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Old 11-03-2018   #24
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Looks like a old Refrigerator...
It does lol
The colors throw me a bit, but I look forward to using one.
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Old 11-03-2018   #25
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Quote:
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Ah, too bad, it’s a Kickstarter. Probably the Instax version of that Yashica Y35.
Kickstarter had zero to do with that charade. The people who promoted/built it did
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Old 11-13-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Skiff said;
"....you just need a good 4-element lens (Tessar-type)…"

Would you even need a lens that good? I think even a triplet would do. The Instax are (usually) not enlarged, and I've read (on the internet, so it must be true) that the resolution of Instax film is 12 lpp so.....really how much resolution would one need? I'm not saying any old one element plastic meniscus lens would do, just that a Tessar might be overkill and increase cost over an air spaced triplet.

Or am I just blowing steam?
My suggestion to use a Tessar type lens comes from the fact that I've seen instax pictures made with excellent large format lenses (see one of my posts above).
I think such a Tessar lens would be the best compromise of
- having enough quality
- delivering compactness in construction
- being cost efficient.
Maybe a good Triplet would be good enough, too.
To know for sure needs a comparison test of course .
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Old 11-13-2018   #27
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Originally Posted by brbo View Post
Correct, you can only improve build quality and ergonomics.
No, there is more, because you can also significantly increase the picture quality (better lens, better light meter and exposure, possibility of manual exposure).
And you can increase the versatility and feature set.

And the potential market is very big:
At Photokina this year Fujifilm explained that the market for instax is currently 40 million users worldwide and increasing.
Let's be very conservative and assume that only 5% of that would have interest in a better camera: That would be a market of two million potential users.

Last edited by Skiff : 11-13-2018 at 07:42. Reason: typo
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Old 12-11-2018   #28
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I just know the Instax film is capable of much sharper and better exposed photographs than what are coming out of the little plastic point and shoot cameras. Give me some way to use the film in a professional way (good lenses, manual focus, manual exposure).
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Old 12-11-2018   #29
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Looks all but unusable: Hand-crank the camera in a jerky manner as shown in the videos and you'll get really uneven development. If you need sharper images than the Fujifilm cameras provide, try the Lomo Instant Automat Glass.
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Old 12-11-2018   #30
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slightly off topic but.. fuji now has billboards all over LA advertising Instax cameras. I guess in time for the holiday buys.
Apart from Apple’s ‘shot on an iphone’ campaign I cannot remember the last time I have seen cameras advertised out in the open.
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Old 12-11-2018   #31
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Quote:
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Looks all but unusable: Hand-crank the camera in a jerky manner as shown in the videos and you'll get really uneven development. If you need sharper images than the Fujifilm cameras provide, try the Lomo Instant Automat Glass.
Never had an issue hand cranking my mamiya universal with a belair back or my ETRSi with a printoss back.
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