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Reflex is the first update on a manual 35mm SLR camera system in over 25 years
Reflex is the first update on a manual 35mm SLR camera system in over 25 years
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464 backers pledged £131,964 to help bring this project to life.

Reflex Production and Ecosystem Update

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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

Otis, Alessandro Duce, and 10 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Ganges Bhardwaj on

      A) goal was reflex I
      B) stretch coal was reflex app, Minolta i plate
      C) ultimate stretch goal was some black coated camera?
      Shouldn't we meet the goals first while we strategize for the ecosystem? I wantbti get me hands on the camera first and then i am sure i want the other fun stuff too!
      The website is selling straps and i plate while the camera is coming soon??? Doest make sense why would anyone buy them without the camera?

    2. Missing avatar

      Ganges Bhardwaj on

      I am not sure I understand this. You envision a creation of an ecosystem, seems like the money and effort from the initial "kickstarter" backing is being spent more across products (lab,scanner, lenses), PR, etc., rather than delivering on the promised first product. The other products, while they sound super interesting, as they will peak public interest, should have been separate kickstarter projects? While there is merit in trying for economies of scale with the larger product portfolio for manufacturing partners, surely this was on the roadmap from day one as you suggest. So why is it a news now?
      Also from comments below, seems like a few items (straps, etc.) have been shipped - never got mine??

    3. Missing avatar

      Martin Siegel
      Superbacker
      on

      I find the idea of the film processor intruiging, especially at the forecasted price. If you can meet it I'm in. Also the filmscanner could be something I'm interested in. It seems more and more difficult to run the older ones under Win 10. I Hope the camera will be ready for christmas, but I'm a patient guy.
      Keep us informed and people might forgive delays easier.

    4. Federico on

      Analogue pack......................

    5. REFLEX Creator on

      @Huss Hardan There is no confusion, the below comment “...we intended to ship end of August" is referring to your comment “...not to find out 2 weeks before the ship date” Here “intended" was used in the past not present tense. “...originally intended" would have been more clear.

      "It has become apparent to us that the camera will not ship before end 2018" is the current estimation.

      Hope this helps.

    6. Missing avatar

      Huss Hardan on

      @REFLEX
      "it has become apparent to us that the camera will not ship before end 2018."

      You mention below that it will ship end of August, but in your update (quote above) it will not ship in 2018.
      So which one is it? You can understand the confusion.
      Respectfully.
      Huss

    7. REFLEX Creator on

      @Huss Hardan Not sure where you have your information, but we intended to ship end of August ahead of Photokina in September putting this update is more than 1 month in advance. That this does not take away the disappointment in anticipation of the camera however, we understand. As mentioned below, we are not being distracted by these other products as this is not sudden change and different people work on different projects. We have never, not even for 1 day, lost focus on the camera, however, we have to deal with the dynamics of keeping a young company afloat. Different products have different complexities and profits, these are realities we have to take into account. Setting up a company, making 1 product and then ceasing to exist because all resources are spent on 500 units will not be good for anyone as there will be no support network for the product. The Reflex I camera will always be our first product, however we have a roadmap for the brand and the rest of the ecosystem as well. All we can add is that of course we continue to work hard on getting the camera finished.

    8. REFLEX Creator on

      @Mistral75 The simplified answer is that we are working on this together with, indeed, industry strategic partners who help us with their expertise, be it opto mechanical in case of the lens or optimizing chemical and electromechanical workings for the ReflexLab. These partnerships are no secrets, however now is not the time to make them public. Hope this helps to better understand our position.

    9. Missing avatar

      Huss Hardan on

      "as the worst thing that could happen is for us to run out of funds somewhere mid production without other products that provide a stable income."
      Perhaps you should then have focused on those products first, you know, to provide a stable income. I have to say I feel very disappointed here as I put money down for the camera, not to find out 2 weeks before the ship date that there was no chance for that delivery date to ever be realized, and that you are diverting efforts into these new products which we only now have heard about.
      "Reflex Ecosystem - This camera is the first product from the Reflex brand and is the introduction to an innovative new photographic system which will continue to grow. "

      Your words - first product. The camera is the first product.

      Not a lens. Not a scanner. Not a film processor.

    10. Mistral75 on

      @REFLEX

      Thank you for your answer: 'These' (= the ReflexLab, ReflexScan and prime lenses) 'are original products.'

      My question however remains: will these products be designed by you or by your strategic partner(s). For instance, what expertise do you have in lens design?

    11. REFLEX Creator on

      @Rory Prior

      From the campaign: "Reflex Ecosystem - This camera is the first product from the Reflex brand and is the introduction to an innovative new photographic system which will continue to grow. "

      From the video: With this campaign, what we're asking really is a mandate to explore and update the 35mm ecosystem"

      While not revealing the products by name because of a more strategic nature, our intent has been the same from day 1, update the 35mm ecosystem, starting with the presentation of a 35mm SLR, so people understand straight away what the brand is about. The only thing that has changed for us now, is the timing due to a more logic and cost effective approach to production. We do however understand your healthy concerns and you have raised some fair points which are noted.

    12. Missing avatar

      Rory Prior on

      @REFLEX, thanks for the reply. I can't see any mention of these other products in the original campaign? It seems like any of these projects would need its own kickstarter or fairly serious outside investment to come to fruition. Like I said, Lab Box raised half a million for a simpler product which is only just now entering manufacturing, how are you going to fund development of a complicated fully electronic and automated film lab? I get that being able to place bigger orders saves you money, but bigger orders still cost more in the first place. I kind of feel like you owe it to your higher tier backers to properly explain your plans going forward and what outside funding you're taking on to make these products a reality. I mean we've not seen so much as a rendering of the mini lab yet. Suddenly announcing 'oh we're also doing all these things and it's been part of the plan since day 1' when this is the first public mention I can see of any of this just looks very odd.

    13. REFLEX Creator on

      @Mistral75 These are original products

    14. REFLEX Creator on

      @Rory Prior Sorry about the tote, however that bares little relation to the production of the camera.

      The 3 above mentioned products have been part of the design brief from day one, over two years ago, so it is not the case that suddenly we have become distracted or are pivoting away from the camera.

      And yes, it is most is definitely a decision based on supply chain management. From shared electronic components (BLE, microcontroller, electromotors, sensor modules) over PCB/PCBA to parts manufacturing all the way down to assembly, packaging and logistics are all affected by grouping of production and a larger order.

      We can not speak for other products like Lab Box, who have their own pad to walk, but this for us is the most logical decision, making sure we don't have all eggs in one basket. And this should affect anyone who is a camera backer, as the worst thing that could happen is for us to run out of funds somewhere mid production without other products that provide a stable income.

      As for the lens vs. mini lab comparison, indeed there is not much correlation there, but if you understand that the company that handles all the camera's optics (viewfinder, prism, focussing screen, mirror, LED lens and flash fresnels) will also produce the primes, than this is not so far fetched as one might assume.

    15. REFLEX Creator on

      @Falk Schütze Those have all been sent out and normally you should have received an email making sure the rewards arrived well and to send us feedback if not. Please let us know if that was the case.

    16. Mistral75 on

      Shall we understand that (i) you will design the ReflexLab, ReflexScan and prime lenses or (ii) rebadge third-party products?

    17. Missing avatar

      Rory Prior on

      Honestly this sounds bonkers, it took you over six months to post me a tote bag and now you're designing lenses and a film processor? What parts do a mini lab, a lens and an SLR share that will give you any economy of scale benefits? Lab Box took in nearly half a million quid and they are nearly a year late in delivering that, a single far simpler product. You guys really need to knock your heads together and get realistic about what you can deliver and stop making these wild promises.

    18. Missing avatar

      Falk Schütze on

      Thank you for the update, but I miss an information regarding the non camera pledges. Shipping was planned for January and up to now I haven't seen an information about the updated shipping date.