It is a reoccurring story: Analogue photography, once pronounced dead, is rising in popularity as an image-making alternative to the ubiquitous digital photography. And the trend continues as old film stocks are resurrected and entirely new analogue products are launched. This post looks at two brand-new analogue cameras, from an upcoming Pentax to a now-available British-made panoramic:
Late last year, Ricoh Imaging announced its plans for the Pentax brand to launch a project bringing analogue experts and emerging photographers together, to help with the research and development of ‘new film-based products’. It has now been revealed, part of these ‘film-based products’ includes a new analogue camera. In an interview with the Japanese publication Barfout! Pentax designer and product planner, Takeo Suzuki, explained the desire to produce a truly analogue camera, perhaps even with manual winding. “The act of winding a camera manually is a special act that is unique to film,” he explained. “And that is something we want young people to experience as well.”
The news comes off the back of a building resurgence in film photography across the world, with multiple companies announcing relaunches and new analogue products, including the rebirth of the Polaroid brand, new films from traditional producers such as Ilford Photo, Fujifilm and Kodak to newly formed companies like Dubblefilm and Cinestill, and Leica’s decision to re-release the popular M6 camera, which had previously been produced more than 20 years ago. Even NBC decided to get in on analogue’s rising popularity by airing a segment on the revival, filmed entirely on film for the first time in over 40 years.
Meanwhile, handmade in a workshop in the North West of England, freshly made Chroma Cameras are ‘unique large, medium, 135 and instant format cameras’ built to order for film enthusiasts across the UK. Last year, the company created a 35-format panoramic camera, which has since been improved upon. The CubePan is a lightweight camera, coming in at only 274 grams, with an interchangeable magnetic lens cone ‘to allow for a range of focal lengths to be used by the photographer’. Slot-in baffles are also provided with each camera, allowing photographers to capture landscapes at a 24x72mm panorama in its widest format. As well as its lightweight carry-ability and panoramic capabilities, one of the CubePan’s USP is the range of colours of the camera body, from traditional black to vibrant blues and oranges, as well as a ‘classic’ wood trim. The camera is available to buy from Chroma Camera’s website with a 3-4 week turnaround. Learn more here.