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UPDATE!!! Reflex 35mm SLR Kickstarter delayed
Old 07-15-2018   #1
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UPDATE!!! Reflex 35mm SLR Kickstarter delayed

Email from Reflex:

A lot of news this time around...

But let's start with the question that will be on most people's minds; How is production going and will the camera ship on time? The honest answer is that while a lot of work has been done and progress is made on a daily basis, shipping as was originally planned for the end of August is now not realistic. We are still aiming for Photokina in September to present the camera, but in these past few weeks it has become apparent to us that the camera will not ship before end 2018. We are aware that for some this will come as a disappointment, but hopefully after reading the following, the added value on which this decision is based will seem clear.

DFM, Sourcing and Economy of Scales: As mentioned in previous updates, Design For Manufacturing is where we had our biggest learning curve as a hardware startup. What makes this specific case more challenging is that there are not many specialist manufacturers around and since the product is a combination of optical, mechanical and electronically parts, it was not easy to find the right contract manufacturing partners. Additionally because of the relatively small production run, parts sourcing is more difficult because of minimum quantity orders.

Solution: As a solution, we have decided to find long term partners who are willing to learn and invest. However we also need the economy of scales to kick in for certain components in order to keep the production cost acceptable. This can be done by clustering contract orders for products that share a large portion of components. With this in mind, we have been advancing design and pre-production of the two other key products in the Reflex Ecosystem...

Film Processor: Electronics, sensors and automation have come a long way since the 90's and there is definitely room for a practical and affordable personal mini-lab. We are working on a fully automatic desktop-size developer. The ReflexLab does C41, E6 and Black and White and takes any film format from 110 up to 5x7"

Estimated retail price will be under £500

Lens-Based Scanner: Again a product with great room for an update from both flatbed to dedicated film scanners, be it in scanning speed, resolution or software. The ReflexScan can do 110 film up to 5x7" size negatives and has a small footprint.

Estimated retail price will be around £200

Field Notes and Metadata: The central Reflex app connects these 3 key products (this includes Reflex I) and syncs both data and metadata, as well as communicating film developing and scanning presets.

Prime Lens: A first in a line of three fast aperture manual prime lenses. A Sony E-Mount version will also be released.

Estimated retail price will be under £250

All products will be presented in 2018 and there will be prototypes of the Reflex I, the ReflexScan and prime lens at our stand at Photokina in September (2018).

So while we regret to have to push back the camera launch and shipping dates, we hope the decision to do so is understandable.

Meanwhile we will keep building the Reflex brand with quality photography products as we continue to work on the camera.

As always, thank you for the continued support and for more in-between stories, follow us on @shotonreflex Instagram Story Updates!

Team Reflex
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Old 07-15-2018   #2
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Well, the ReflexLab sounds interesting.
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Old 07-16-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Well, the ReflexLab sounds interesting.

At first yes, but I think we have to be realistic:
1. We have excellent semi-automatic home processor solutions made new by JOBO.
https://www.jobo.com/?ecms_lang=EN
Trustworthy design since decades. The two current models are improved and the best models ever made in this line-up.
E6, C41, BW negative and positive, RA-4, all is possible with these processors. Also developing several films in one batch.
Prices start at 1190€.

2. A fully automatic processor is offered by German Lukas Fritz with his Filmomat:
https://www.filmomat.eu/?lang=en
Very good processor, but with two main disadvantages:
1. With E6 only the Tetenal 3-bath process is possible (not the original 6-bath process).
2. Very small tanks, so very little film in one batch (much less compared to JOBO).
Price: 3.500€

Osiris failed with their cheap fully automatic processor. It was crap (a friend of mine had one). It doesn't work properly.

Therefore:
I doubt that a quality film processor is possible at only 500 pounds as Reflex has announced it.
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Old 07-16-2018   #4
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Very ambitious. Hard to produce at target cost, similar to the Reflex SLR.



Easy to write e-mails though.
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Old 07-16-2018   #5
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First off, I'm a backer. But I'm getting this sinking feeling.
It seems that their attentions are now getting diverted by these other products in order to raise capital (I guess) for the camera.
If I knew back then what I know now.. ahh to be young and naive! Now I'm just naive..
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Old 07-16-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
First off, I'm a backer. But I'm getting this sinking feeling.
It seems that their attentions are now getting diverted by these other products in order to raise capital (I guess) for the camera.
If I knew back then what I know now.. ahh to be young and naive! Now I'm just naive..
Don't I know the feeling! But as intriguing as it all sounds, I am glad I didn't jump on the bandwagon. If it all works out however, I may jump later.
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Old 07-16-2018   #7
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Well, the ReflexLab thing might be ambitious (and not work out to be a decent product), but I'm hoping it is a good, working product. The JOBO is just a little spendy for me, and I could benefit from more automation in film processing.

Therefore, I want to thank Huss for being a backer. It wouldn't even be an ambitious dream right now if it weren't for the backers.
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Old 08-29-2019   #8
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Well this is unexpected - an update and it seems that this project is not dead!...
Over the summer a lot of work has gone into moving the Reflex I closer to it's production deadline and while we continued to develop the new shutter, other parts of the camera kept evolving as well...

Due to an entirely new shutter unit, a chassis redesign, adding a more powerful processor and battery, upgraded controls, new winding mechanism, new dark slide design and some aesthetic and ergonomic improvements, we can no longer speak about the model we presented back in October of 2017.

Add to this an aperture controlled ARi Plate and we have a model II.Flight Forward

With this we're gearing up for a fresh start and have informed our manufacturing partners to start tooling up for the new model instead. Full specs will follow soon. The Reflex II will come in both black powder coating and metallic.

Pre-Production Units

A series of 75 pre-production units will be produced ahead of principal manufacturing and sent out to a selection of camera testers ranging from professionals to hobbyists.

While we received more than hundred requests in the testers program, we want to allocate a minimum of 25 units to our Kickstarter backers. To anybody who is an actual camera backer, we will contact you in the next month to see who's interested.

PhotoPlus, Oct 24-26, New York

Based on our success rate in this department, we need to be careful with promises and dates, but we will be present at the PhotoPlus NY, October 24-26 in some form or way. The working scenario is that we bring the Reflex model II and 40mm lens.

Next...

In the weeks to follow we will be working hard to make this a reality as we have continuously done so, but we also understand we have lost the trust and patience of some of the backers. This is only normal as we are now 1 year past our original shipping date.

The only thing we can say here is that we are dedicated to make it happen. Otherwise we would not have persisted this long.

So to all of our backers, we can only say thank you and we are really doing all we can as not to disappoint you.

Team Reflex
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Reflex ???
Old 08-29-2019   #9
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Reflex ???

Having read though the original Kickstarter proposal back at the beginning, I thought the economics of the project were ridiculous. The interim years have done nothing to change my mind. When they reach a dead end on the camera, they start promising other products at performance and price which they will never achieve. Two years ago, they were going to raid the money guys in Silicon Valley to pull their chips out of the fire. I guess that didn't go so well - big surprise. What I cannot figure out is why they do not just declare that having got and consumed the KS funding, the jig is up. Do they think there are more suckers out there who will plunge into another KS project for them?
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Old 08-29-2019   #10
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Does anyone remember the KONOST rangefinder that was supposed to be an alternative to the digital Ms? Last update from him is nearly three years ago. At least he didn't fleece anyone through a KS or other crowdfunding platform. http://konost.com
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Old 08-29-2019   #11
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This baby was so underfunded it’s just silly.
Look, if you you want to make a new 35mm reflex for 2020 don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Obtain several Ricoh KR-5’s, tear them down, copy them, add a few features, like;
DOF preview
1/1000 top speed
Interchangeable finders
Interchangeable focusing screens

The PK mount is ok, lots of useable glass. Maybe offer in a Nikon F mount too.

Probably can’t make it cheap enough to sell body for $200....but it would ok to try,
and then go to $300, body only.

All you would need is maybe .8 million $ to get started on prototypes.
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Old 08-29-2019   #12
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This was one I dismissed from the get go, mostly because it featured a lot of pointless complexity that would be impossible for them to produce at the price they were talking about.


I didn't know they even met their kickstarter goal.
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Old 08-30-2019   #13
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Well they claim that they will be sending out a batch of kameras to testers in the field.

I'll let you know how it goes if I get one..

;p
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Old 09-05-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
This was one I dismissed from the get go, mostly because it featured a lot of pointless complexity that would be impossible for them to produce at the price they were talking about.


I didn't know they even met their kickstarter goal.
Bingo! I thought Reflex was way out in the deep end with the features they wanted to pack in that camera. What they should have done is revrese engineer an old 1970s Chinon or even a K1000 (the design must public domain by now) with an M-42 or K mount with decent centre weighted metering to start and go from there with different lens mounts.
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Old 09-05-2019   #15
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Thing is they are still working at it, and are promising tosend out test kameras soon.

If it was just a fly by night operation they could have just packed it in a long time ago and thanked the supporters/donors/suckers for the cash.
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Old 09-05-2019   #16
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What they should have done is revrese engineer an old 1970s Chinon or even a K1000 (the design must public domain by now) with an M-42 or K mount with decent centre weighted metering to start and go from there with different lens mounts.

Why? You can buy cameras like that all day long on the used market. They are going for something different that will give peeps a reason to buy one.
Well, that was the idea at least
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Old 09-05-2019   #17
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I would think that if you want to build confidence in your product/company, you produce what you promised as close to the stated date as possible. Then you can go back and redesign the camera for the next build cycle. The fact they feel it necessary to completely overhaul the original design doesn't bode well.


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Old 09-05-2019   #18
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I've made it a rule for myself never to give money to a Kickstarter campaign and this is why. Over a year past the expected ship date, but don't worry because they've come up with more non-existent products! Also it's over a year late because they decided to just start over a make a Mk2 even though there wasn't ever really an original. I can see them coming out with a halfway decent lens for Sony E Mount, but I really don't think the camera is going to happen.
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Old 09-05-2019   #19
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On the other hand, the fact that they have reworked much of the camera could be evidence of commitment to bringing out a good product. They may have realized after getting into the project that the result would not be satisfactory and they didn't want to send their backers a product that was crap.

We won't know until the product comes out or until they actually admit defeat. Kickstarter is for amateurs that have a good idea and hope to bring it to market. If we back such a project, it's unrealistic to expect the same results we would from a large company with design, professional R&D, and manufacturing experience.

Huss is committed, so he might as well give these guys the benefit of the doubt. There's no point in accepting nothing before one has to.

By the way, this thread is sounding like Ted Striker on Kodak. He, too, has reason to be skeptical, but people get tired of the negativity.

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Old 09-06-2019   #20
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I actually resigned myself to believe that my backing $$ was long gone a long time ago.
The glimmer of hope is that these peeps are still at it, still trying whereas most would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.
I did not expect this news, that they were still trying. So, here's hoping that this Motley Crue (!) of dreamers will actually succeed.
Because c'mon, who doesn't want to see this lump actually make it to production?
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Old 09-06-2019   #21
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The interchangeable film back and the spot /averaging meter, were two reasons I supported them. I wasn't in favor of the electronic aspects.

I do wish them success.
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Old 09-06-2019   #22
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These people and the guy working on the film scanner should get together. Maybe together they could get ONE product to the market. Most likely they’re both as big a waste of bandwidth tomorrow as they’ve both been from the start.
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Old 09-06-2019   #23
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These people and the guy working on the film scanner should get together. Maybe together they could get ONE product to the market. Most likely they’re both as big a waste of bandwidth tomorrow as they’ve both been from the start.
Waste of bandwidth? What do you mean by that? Have you backed
either?
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Old 11-19-2019   #24
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Latest update from Reflex on Kickstarter:

Recently we have found ourselves wondering (often out loud), if there is anything else that can go wrong, and while answer is “yes, most definitely” we are slowly learning that it is not only about avoiding setbacks, but also about how to best manage them when they eventually do happen.

And while the above image shows the design for a near-finished Reflex Model II, we have failed to meet our PhotoPlus deadline, causing more delays and timeline shifts.

So what went wrong?

In short, a mismatch between the hardware and firmware departments caused a substantial setback on the electronics DFM. A combination of poor HR judgement (due to a lack of experience on our end) and a set of wrong decisions, caused one team to underdeliver and another team to consequentially walk out. On top of that, we suffered an unfortunate setback in project management, causing even more delays.

How does this happen?

Due to our small budget, we have to work project based with certain departments and do not always have the option to hire exactly who we want or need. Due to this and some rushed decisions under pressure, we ended up with two incompatible departments. Incompatible to such an extent that it was almost surreal to witness at times. This entire episode set us back in a way that the day of the deadline felt like the day we started, two months prior.

Tho this is not exactly true, as we do have a finished circuit design and we don't have to start the firmware design entirely from scratch. Or in plain English; the electronics are advanced but not finished.

What about PhotoPus mentioned in update #22?

We did everything that was possible to get a pre-production Reflex ready for the PhotoPlus Fair in NYC last month. We had been invited by the good people at B&H to showcase the camera and lens at the main booth. The deal was that if the production was advanced enough, we would launch both camera and lens pre-sales at the fair. And while we did make it to the fair, it was a joint decision not to showcase the product at this stage.

How are we doing?

In all honesty, this last one was a bit of a blow, as it completely blindsided us. It’s not something easy to write about either and It’s hard to deny that recent events have not put a dent in our confidence. But we have regrouped and gone back to work, looking for a new EE team and starting off where things got left.

So what's next?

The hardest part after each delay or setback is the reboot… refinancing, reorganizing timelines, launch dates, push manufacturing, etc… this consumes a lot of time and energy.

On the other hand, the 40mm lens is tested and ready, and waiting to start generating income. However, we want to show a working Reflex camera as part of the launch campaign, so in the weeks to come we will focus on finishing what we started for PhotoPlus. This way we can showcase a working and production ready camera.

When we get to this stage we will start putting out the before-mentioned test samples and contact those who want to be involved in the testing.

Thank you for your patience,

Team Reflex
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Old 11-19-2019   #25
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I'm now rooting for them (not just because I backed them) because they really are the underdogs and so sweetly naive in what they thought this would take to succeed.
If this was a scam, they would have been long gone. But here they are, still chasing that dream!

And I still would be shocked if they ever bring this to production but it is interesting, very very interesting, that B&H has shown interest and will sell and promote these cameras if they ever make it.

You can doooo eeeet Reflex! (most probably not..)
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Old 11-19-2019   #26
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I'm now rooting for them because they really are the underdogs and so sweetly naive in what they thought this would take to succeed.
If this was a scam, they would have been long gone. But here they are, still chasing that dream!

Now that you mention it, the Time Machine I am inventing falls into that same category...
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Old 11-19-2019   #27
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Sounds so like some much larger companies I have encountered. The thing about chasing a dream though is that rationality often goes out the window, so they may well succeed because of that.
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Old 11-19-2019   #28
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Didn’t back but have been following this KS out of curiosity. Think most of these creators are very enthusiastic but woefully unprepared for the arduous journey that follows the funding campaign. Even large, well established companies run into major problems bringing out new products. In an interview years ago Y. Maitani, designer of several Olympus cameras told of the long road and many problems he had developing the Pen F and the 8 years he worked on the OM system before it was introduced. So this was no surprise.
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Old 11-19-2019   #29
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Now that you mention it, the Time Machine I am inventing falls into that same category...
If it is based around a Hot Tub I’ll back it.
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Old 11-19-2019   #30
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Any place where we can get more news on the project?
Best regards
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Old 11-19-2019   #31
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Now that you mention it, the Time Machine I am inventing falls into that same category...
Well, we are all travelling through time into the future. Travel into the past, with knowledge of history retained and ability to interact with the past?
Afraid that would contaminate free will, I mean, how many things in your life would you change, if you could?
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Old 11-19-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I'm now rooting for them (not just because I backed them) because they really are the underdogs and so sweetly naive in what they thought this would take to succeed.
If this was a scam, they would have been long gone. But here they are, still chasing that dream!
...
That's how I feel as well.

Having worked in firmware and electronics for over 40 years, I can visualize how the underfunded and inexperienced Reflex team probably had to choose the lowest cost EE /FW engineering teams available and how they didn't work well together.

I admire their determination to keep their promise to their backers.
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Old 11-19-2019   #33
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I'd forgotten about this project. I do like the idea of a modern SLR with an interchangeable back and mount. In some ways it seems like they're re-inventing Cosina's tried-and-true universal camera body used by the R-D1, Voigtlander rangefinders and dozens of rebranded SLRs but in user-configurable modular form and with modern electronics. (Too bad Cosina didn't do that.)

Anyway, I'm glad they're working through problems instead of just giving up. It's hard to make nice things.
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