A New Manual 35mm SLR System? Meet the Reflex I Camera

By Kehl Bayern / November 10, 2017

Reflex has promised to bring back the analogue SLR camera with its new Reflex I Kickstarter project.

The Reflex I camera system is what DP Review calls the “first new manual 35mm SLR design in decades” and what Reflex claims is “the first update on a manual 35mm SLR camera system in over 25 years.”

Bold claims, so what exactly does this Kickstarter project offer for backers and prospective customers?

The Reflex I is a modern redesign of the classic SLR 35mm camera, utilizing a modular form factor that amalgamates current mechanical and electrical engineering with the timeless execution of the analogue cameras of yesteryear.

The camera’s modular system offers the photographer a range of customization options including an interchangeable film back and lens mount. The Reflex I camera will be capable of using legacy lenses as well as new, 3D-printed custom components and third-party accessories.

To facilitate customization, Reflex plans on releasing the electronic and hardware designs for the camera once it is available on the market.

Reflex I Image via Kickstarter.

The design includes an I-Plate as well as a universal M42 lens mount.

Reflex promises that other mounts compatible with Nikon F, Olympus OM, Canon FD, and Pentax PK lenses will also work.

The interchangeable I-Back will allow for preloading film as well as quick film swapping while on a photo shoot. Other modern features will be added as funding for the project increases, according to the Kickstarter page.

The Reflex I, in a first for analogue cameras, has an integrated flash and a continuous LED lighting source with three different levels of intensity available.

If funding goals are achieved, Reflex plans on creating a companion app for the camera system that will log each photo’s information for the photographer to recreate in future shoots.

Early adopters who pledge at least $USD 458 will receive a Reflex I camera unit, with shipments estimated to begin in August 2018.

Here is a list of the Reflex I camera system’s features from its Kickstarter page:

Type: Single Lens Reflex Camera
Format: 135 film, 35mm/FF
System: Reflex RM
Lens Mount: Reflex I-Plate (in M42, Nikon F, Canon FD, Olympus OM, Pentax PK)
Focus: Manual
Film Loading: Reflex I-Back
Film Advance/Rewind: Manual
Exposure: Manual – Aperture Priority (+ 4 stops EV)
DOF inverted preview
Shutter Speeds: 1s – 1/4000th, Time and Bulb
Metering: AV + Spot + 4 stops EV
ISO: 25-6400
Controller: Arduino based modular design
Connectivity: Bluetooth (BLE) enabled
Body: Magnesium Alloy
Weight: 490g
Dimensions: 134mm x 74.5mm x 34mm
Electronic system: 5v Ion Lithium rechargeable via USB-C
Resolution: Zero Megapixels

You can check out the Reflex I Kickstarter page by clicking here.

Reflex I Image via Kickstarter.

Reflex I Image via Kickstarter.

Reflex I Image via Kickstarter.

Reflex I Image via Kickstarter.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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