re35

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by emorydunn, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

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    #1
    I've seen a bunch of people (and some big blogs) tossing this link around, and to be honest it looks pretty cool. Well, cool that is, if it ever actually gets produced and, you know, works.

    Their website has nothing other than a "hey, look at us, we have some product renders" right now, with no sample images or tech specs, but in theory it could be pretty cool. What does everyone else think? Have you seen this before?

    And now, the link: http://re35.net/
     
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #2
    Seen something like it before, but it never came out. What was the the date 4 days ago?
     
  3. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

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    #3
    Let me think… four days ago, four, four, four… I can't think of anything special about that day.

    But really, they've got just enough on there to drum up excitement and then fade away into obscurity (for say, 13 years). Although the likelihood of it being a total fake is pretty high.
     
  4. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    #4
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Even if it were true, I think it's about 10 years too late.

    Who still owns an old film-era SLR? The only reason to go with this is for
    a) the hardcore types who want to be cool and use retro vintage gear
    b) people too cheap to invest in a modern era DSLR

    But both of these have fundamental flaws. People hardcore enough about using vintage gear probably are hardcore enough to keep using analog film too. And this thing will have to be cheaper than a new DSLR and outperform a modern P&S or micro4/3s system in order to compete (highly doubtful).

    No image review, likely a low storage capacity, seemingly limited ISO sensitivity (locked at ISO400?)- all so you can use old glass on largely outdated mounts?

    Again, 10 years ago it might have been a cost effective alternative for film enthusiasts vs. buying into a new DSLR system. Now, it's a fantasy niche product for a niche market that likely doesn't exist.
     
  6. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

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    #6
    I could see using it, one of those days where you feel like using an old camera but without the hassle of film.

    Or, possibly for someone learning photography, forced manual controls but with a little more freedom and ease than using "real" film.
     
  7. mike3k macrumors regular

    mike3k

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    #7
    It would be nice in a Holga.
     
  8. tinman0 macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2008
    #8
    Not sure you are right to be honest. There is still a ton of old kit kicking around, and it still has a value in many cases.

    And there are plenty of people (like me) who would love to put something like this in an old SLR and punt it around for a bit. For instance, I have an old Praktina IIA that I will load film into this summer, but would love to make it more digital.

    Modern DSLRs like I already use are brilliant, but taking out the old Praktina occasionally would be a lot of fun, and add a missing dimension to modern photography.
     
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #9
    I'm intending buying a film camera this year (a Leica M3). If this ever did exist it'd be very cool.
     
  10. dlegend macrumors 6502

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    Northern VA (outside DC)
    #10
    While I agree that it's a little late, I think this would be fantastic. Why would I go buy a D3100 or xTi when instead I could spend $100 on a used SLR camera and then this contraption? Now compare it to full frame DSLRs, big savings. While I admit to looking at the back of my SLR every time I take a picture to try and look at it, there's something fun about seeing all of your pictures when you get home instead of right away.
     
  11. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #11
    I suppose the downside would be (were it technically viable) that the contraption might cost as much as a second hand full frame DSLR!
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #12
    I would note that back in 2001 there was a real company trying to do this. Silicon Film. You can see their product here. To the best of my knowledge they never actually made it to market :(
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #13
    While the re35 was listed on a ZDnet blog as being an April Fool's release, I do remember seeing the crop up very early on in the digital days. At the time, if they had figured it out, it would have substantially changed the direction digital cameras went, I think.

    However, that was then and this is now. There is still a lot of 35mm equipment out there. There is still a lot film being sold. There are masses of equipment sitting storage.

    There would be three advantages to a re35 system, that I can see.
    1) Brand name agnostic. Since it will fit any camera (virtually) you only have to sell to a small portion of of each of the existing different brands. A few Canon, a few Minolta, a few Leica, a few Agfa, a few Nikon, etc. It would add up to a lot of sales.

    2) Some of the specialty lenses for those old cameras are fantastic quality, and a fantastic value. And there are a lot of these obscure bits still lying around. I've got this amazing macro set-up for an old Minolta camera that I can't get at all in digital for my current system. Or at least not for less than 10s of $thousands.

    I have a number of very interesting lenses for Minolta system that I don't use anymore. A range of glass that I was still trying to duplicate (more or less) for a 645 system when I upgraded to 120 film. When I upgraded to digital I purposely chose a PhaseOne so that I could keep my investment in my 645 lenses instead of needing to start all over again.

    A re35 system would allow all of these specialist 35mm lenses go back to work. It wouldn't necessarily be mainstream shooters using these, but the very creative types. And again... you only need a few users from each of the multiple platforms to add up to a sizeable portion.

    3) Very old 35mm cameras. The old Agfas, Rolleis, etc. Generally they were rangefinders. Generally they had a loverly soft glass that made these beautiful images. I've got a crate or two of old Afgas still. If the re35 came out, I'd resurrect these. In an instant.



    I dont' know if a BW digital sensor is cheaper to make than a colour one. but I'd release (at least initially) a BW only version. I think it would be a huge hit. Heck, I'd invest in a company that had an actual working version of something like this.
     
  14. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

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    #14
    My dad's been saying someone needs to make a BW only conversion kit for years. In fact, at one point we were talking about something almost identical to the re35 (if only we'd beat them to the punch with the joke).
     
  15. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #15
    While there may be a lot of old film SLRs sitting in storage, (and how much is there really? How many people do you know that still have an old 35mm SLR kit?) I still don't think they would get much use. Remember, the common consumer probably won't ever want to go back to the bigger and bulkier SLR setup when they have grown accustomed to their compact P&S. It's not about image quality, usability, features, etc. for them- it's all about convenience, portability, and instant results. They also wouldn't be able to do image review, which means a shooting discipline likely greater than the vast majority are willing to dedicate themselves to.

    For the photography enthusiast who's looking to upgrade from his film SLR or get back into shooting after a long hiatus, well they probably are looking for some more modern features in their new camera- matrix metering, autofocus, high speed frame capture, etc. Also cost-wise, again unless it can significantly undercut the cost of an entry level DSLR, (at which point it probably undercuts a lot of P&S too, which is a pretty outlandish concept) well then it doesn't make much sense to keep using that old gear when you could upgrade to a vastly more modern setup at a comparable price.

    That cuts out probably >95% of film cameras in storage.

    Beyond that, you have the retro people who enjoy using the old gear for the sake of being retro or to be cool. This would work for them, but is there enough of a market? Because the market would be small, the price would be high. Would you pay the equivalent of a good prosumer DSLR body (think $1000-1500) just to be able to use that old Holga?

    Ruahrc
     
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #16
    I think a re35 system needs to be aimed at enthusiasts primarily. There may be some buyers from the "consumer" market segment, but I think they would be the minority. The real market are the enthusiasts, who have a good reason (for them) to want to dust off hold equipment. For example
    1) Pure manual. Manual exposure, manual focus, non-zoom/prime lenses (so you have to 'manually' switch focal lengths, or 'manually' walk closer).
    2) Specialty lenses. Scientific grade macros, ultra fish-eyes, bellows, tilt and shfit, 500mm reflex lenses. Many of these are just not affordable (if available at all) in modern cameras)
    3) Old glass. Lovely and soft. And often very fast.
    4) The chance to use incredibly quirky machinery from the early days of 35mm.
    5) The chance to use incredibly engineered, non-electrical machinery from the early days.

    None of these potential customers are going to comparing the price of a re35 to a modern digital system. They will pay more than the average consumer. I believe considerably more in some cases. If I have several old cameras (I don't - I have several dozen :eek: ) I only need to buy one re35 to resurrect all of them.

    I think something like this can be priced in a way that Polaroid failed to do. Polaroid thought their entire competition was digital (and it was, but only for a portion of their business)... so they priced themselves down to the point they couldn't turn a profit. They never clued in that they could have priced up, lost the same number of people to digital that they were going to regardless of price, but kept turning on profit selling to those of us who were using Polaroid material - not instead of digital but - because we liked using it for itself. We would have paid more (complained, yes! But still paid) for Polaroid stuff.

    I think the re35 system is like that. They could charge a higher price, and still sell enough to make a profit. There are enough of us out there who would pay quite a bit for to have some very interesting creative doors opened.

    And to answer your question. Yes, I would pay nearly $1000 for something that allowed me to use just about any 35mm system I may already have, or could go out and buy because they are cheap and it has lense I want to use.

    Maybe not quite what your dad has in mind, but check out the PhaseOne Achromatic+ back (Link)
     
  17. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #17
    You make good points, I guess where we wil have to agree to disagree is how many people out there willing to use "manual everything" old gear. It's good to be able to utilize manual controls, and even fun to a certain degree, but I feel most enthusiast shooters still prefer some level of automation for their regular shooting.

    Even if you look at the modern Zeiss lineup of MF primes, they likely don't sell that strongly compared to their Canon/Nikon/Sony/Pentax AF counterparts, even amongst pros and advanced enthusiasts. Price has some to do with it for sure, but a lot of them also don't want to fiddle with manual focus.

    With "several dozen" film-era SLRs laying around, do you really think you embody the typical enthusiast shooter? Kodachrome and Polarid died because there weren't enough people like you around to keep it going.

    Ruahrc
     
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #18
    I don't dispute that the number of customers isn't going to be huge. The big question is going to be how much are they going to be willing to pay? Selling 10,000 units with a $300 net profit is still $3million profit, and better than selling 200k units if they only have a $25 net profit. As I think about it more, this is what I've come up with. If they are going to do this, they have at most a 10 year window, and probably closer to 3 to 5 year window. The people with the gear are likely going to be older. Fairly soon, we aren't going to care one way or another. On the other hand, we also have the disposable funds - we've been working for a few decades. We already have just about all the gear we need. However we also remember "The Good 'Ole Days" - and we have the nostalgia, and the funds and time to relive those days of messing about with quirky manual cameras. But in 10 years? I won't care. And those old fart shooters who are older than me won't care, even more so. But now? The market is there, small as it is.
    In my world, I'm only a little unusual with that number of old cameras. Ok, I'm at the high end of the spectrum.... but I'm still on the spectrum.

    The problem with Kodak and Polaroid is that they didn't charge enough as their market shrank. And they didn't invest in a modern fab line. If they had modernized their fab line (to reduce operating costs) and then started raising their prices they would have found enough die-hards who would have paid practically anything to keep shooting with that material. They might have sold far fewer units, but Kodak and Polaroid could have found the point where it was still profitable. The Impossible Project has/is recreating the the old Polaroid Integral film. They bought the remains of an old Polaroid plant in, iirc Holland, and are now recreating the proprietary processes since the patents were not for sale. The new film is not suitable for everything that the original film did, but it's still selling well enough that (last time I checked) the IP was still chugging along. Despite the film being hideously expensive in North America. That said, soon as I can do some Manipulations (ala SX-70) I'm picking up a crate. (I didn't include my SX-70 cameras in my total above :) ).

    all of this is just ideal speculation, of course.... and imho....
     
  19. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #19
    And yet Fuji Velvia was re-introduced on modern base stock due to demand and Polaroid film as been re-engineered from scratch by enthusiasts.
     

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